Well-represented at the annual Mount David Summit, more than 50 Bobcat varsity athletes either presented research posters or participated in the one of many academic discussions.

We caught up with three of them to discuss their research and hear how both sports and academics have their ups and downs.

Football captain and psychology major Frank Williams ’18 of Brookline, Mass., wanted to research a pivotal social issue: police shootings of unarmed black people.

He worked with Associate Professor of Psychology Michael Sargent to come up with a project that investigated the relationship between feelings of power and shooter bias.

Baseball player Reed Mszar ’18 of Manassas, Va., a double major in biochemistry and sociology, took his research into the local community, combining his interests to take a look at Lewiston’s French-Canadians who suffer from familial hypercholesterolemia, an inherited genetic condition that creates very high levels of cholesterol at a young age.

Rower and chemistry major Amelia Wilhelm ’18 of Charlotte, N.C., looked at Borrelia burgdorferi, the bacterium that causes the tick-borne illness Lyme disease. She examined how the bacterium cycles between tick and host and the genetic process known as “mRNA decay”, which cells use to turn off gene expression.

Whether it’s academics or sports, success requires “hard work and dedication,” says Mszar. Plus an ability to bounce back from setbacks. “Some days there’s frustration. You strike out a couple times in baseball, or find a data point that might not be significant. It all relates.”

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