The Explorathon HerStory Makers is a competition for female-identifying researchers to share their inspirational stories in research. The competition comprises researchers across Scotland and Europe and allows them to pitch their research, and themselves, in a digital format to make their research more accessible to everyone.
Meredith Schertzinger, a Health and Social Psychology PhD candidate, showcased her research and earned a top place finish during the Scotland round. Her research looks at the interplay of group processes with initial exercise enjoyment and long-term exercise adherence. Working with Dr Gozde Ozakinci, Dr Fergus Neville and Dr Andrew Williams, this research has worked alongside parkrun and jogscotland, community-led initiatives working to take away the daunting aspect of physical activity and, instead, turn it into a fun social activity that increases the level of connectedness between group members.
In her HerStory Makers video, Meredith recounts how she became interested in exercise and sports psychology after a devastating knee injury that ended her football career. After finishing her undergrad at The University of Alabama at Birmingham, USA, Meredith decided to combine her love of sport and psychology and embarked on her Master’s in Sport and Exercise Psychology at the University of Stirling. Upon completing her masters, Meredith knew that she wanted to get her PhD and followed her interest in exercise psychology to St Andrews where she now is halfway through her PhD.
Becoming involved in the HerStory Markers competition was an opportunity for Meredith to showcase her research and inspire the next generation of scientists. Having this kind of exposure to different areas of research was something that Meredith wished she had when she was in school, and at the end of her video, she urged future researchers to stay curious and be willing to pursue what they’re interested in.
You can watch Meredith’s and the other Scottish HerStory Maker videos here.