Mount Union to Host Faculty Research Forum

April 03, 2012

The University of Mount Union will hold a Faculty Research Forum at 10:30 a.m. on Tuesday, April 10 in the Engineering and Business Building, Room 206.

Faculty members presenting research are Dr. Pattabhi Sitaram and Dr. Lori Braa.

Sitaram, assistant professor of civil and mechanical engineering, will present “Stresses and Deflection in Folded Plate Roofs by the Finite Element Method.” His primary area of research is in the development and application of finite element methods to solve a variety of problems in civil and mechanical engineering fields.

Previously, Sitaram spent 11 years at General Motors (GM) as a senior project engineer. During his time at GM, he served as the safety and crash lead, the frontal crash lead, lead for quasi-static analyses and as a subject matter expert. He was also a structural engineer for Altair Engineering and has taught at many colleges and universities throughout the United States including Purdue University, University of Michigan, University of Missouri and Kansas State University. Sitaram earned a Bachelor of Science degree in civil engineering from Bangalore University, a master of science degree in civil engineering from Indian Institute of Science and a doctoral degree in civil engineering from Kansas State University.

Braa, assistant professor of human performance and sport business, will present “A Qualitative Analysis of Variables that Contribute to the Academic Success of Freshmen Student-Athletes.” Her study sought to explore and identify variables that led to academic success of freshman student-athletes. An inherent goal of the study was to examine the cognitive and non-cognitive similarities and differences of freshman student-athletes.

Prior to joining the faculty at Mount Union, she was the recreation manager for the City of Farmington, senior woman administrator at Mesa State College, education curriculum coordinator for the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) and athletic director and aquatics director at Messiah College. Braa earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in K-12 physical education from the University of Southern Colorado as well as both master and doctorate degrees in sport administration from the University of Northern Colorado. While working toward her doctorate degree, she taught program management, sport promotion and marketing, sport and higher education, fitness management and group fitness, among other courses at the University of Northern Colorado.

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