Smith College’s SURF program encourages students to dig deep  

This summer, Abigail Edwards ’20 of Smith College brought together two of her academic interests — Africana Studies and cardiovascular physiology — through a research project made possible by Smith’s Summer Research Fellowship Program, also known as SURF.

The study looks at the way acute amounts of exercise affect blood vessel functioning in African-American women. Edwards explained that even though African-American women are the population at greatest risk for heart disease, previous studies have mostly used white men as the test subjects. “We’re studying particularly why this group is more at risk,” said Edwards. “When answering this question, it’s really broad. It’s been a formative time for me in practicing mixed-method research.”

Sarah Witkowski, associate professor…

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