Annika Jacobson

Health disco OG image
Annika Jacobson

Annika Jacobson

Health disco academic program
healthy disco cohort year


My name is Annika, and I am a first-year student at OSU-cascades. Throughout the winter and spring terms, I had the opportunity to work with a mentor to conduct research. This was all possible though the URSA Engage program.

My major is biochemistry and molecular biology, and I got to do research in the field of biomechanics. Even though these do not perfectly align, the experience of research, presenting and working with a mentor carry over to all aspects of scientific research.

Annika Jacobson

My project was in biomechanics in error comparison after contraction and stretch with shoulder proprioception. This included spending time in the lab with mentors and peers learning to build a new understanding of something I previously knew nothing about. I truly felt that this experience was low stakes, and presenting is not nearly as scary as it might sound. The best part is everyone is just as excited about science and learning new things as we are! I got to work with Dr. Phillips as my mentor, and the experience was definitely positive.

I was given lots of opportunities to learn new skills like motion capture software, design, data processing and more. I was given guidance but also allowed space to make my own mistakes. One of the most important elements about being involved in this experience was making my own mistakes and not being shamed for it.

Annika Jacobson

For future research experiences, I would hopefully like to take more time to have my own projects.

This experience allowed me to get my foot in the door with research and understand that it is something that I love to spend time on. The sooner that a student gets involved in research, the more possibilities and opportunities you can get out of it for the future. Don't be afraid to reach out to possible mentors and ask questions. 

Why did you choose the College of Health at OSU to pursue your studies?

The College of Health at OSU provides opportunities for hands-on lab experience and internship opportunities. OSU has significant ties to the community it is embedded in and can help build connections for future and present opportunities in the fields you want to pursue.

What sparked your interest in health?

My personal interest in health started with a love for sports and wanting to understand how the body works to perform them. Sports like climbing use the whole body in unique ways that I want to study in the future.

Why are you interested in research?

I am personally interested in research because of the hands-on opportunities to work with patients to reach new conclusions. This could mean a large project with a specific hypothesis or figuring out how to help keep athletes’ injury free.

What research will you be working on and with whom?

The research I will be working on is the Shoulder Proprioception Study with Dr. David Phillips. In this study, we are aiming to determine whether stretch, contraction or nothing allows for better spatial recognition when trying to identify where one's arm is in space.

What are your future career and/or academic plans?

My future includes working with climbers to stay injury free and doing research to understand how that is possible. This could mean working with climbers in the community or with teams of athletes.


The Healthy Discoveries undergraduate research program is made possible with the generous support of the Patricia Valian Reser Fund for Experiential Learning.