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Skyler K Krull

Skyler K Krull Psychology Major

About Skyler

Year: Senior
Major: Psychology
Hometown: Durango, CO
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Whitney Whitaker
Research Recognition: 2021 Outstanding Undergraduate Scholar

Learn more about the Outstanding Undergraduate Scholar award

Describe your research

Overall, our study will measure the efficacy of Ashtanga yoga at reducing seizure frequency in those with intractable epilepsy, (i.e., those who have been prescribed medication and/or treatment but find no relief from what was prescribed). Furthermore, we will explore potential relationships between heart rate variably (HRV), seizure frequency, and Ashtanga yoga. Finally, we will measure whether Ashtanga yoga has a positive influence on quality of life.

We hypothesize that there is an inverse correlation between heart rate variability and seizure frequency. We will attempt to increase study participants HRV by instructing them to practice Ashtanga yoga. Since it is not uncommon for people having repeated seizures to be unable to drive, we are instructing participants to practice yoga from the convenience of their own homes. They will follow along to an Ashtanga yoga video series that they can watch on their phone or computer.

What was it like sharing your research?

I was scheduled to speak at the annual Rocky Mountain Psychological Association (RMPA) conference, Denver, CO, but it was canceled because of COVID-19.

However, I was also invited to speak in at Eric’s Corner in Dublin, California. This is an organization that focuses on raising awareness of epilepsy and connecting their community with resources and support to help them better manage seizures. I haven't presented here yet because, at present, our study is still ongoing. It is certainly nice to be asked to speak at these events.

What are your future career goals and how does this research experience prepare you for the future?

Doing research at Fort Hays State University has helped me be better prepared for graduate school. My future career goals are still somewhat unclear. Although, I am positioning myself to be a clinical health psychologist.

Why would you recommend other students get involved with research or scholarly activities at FHSU?

If you want to get into a psychology graduate school PhD program, getting undergraduate research experience is essential. On the other hand if you want a PsyD, it may not be completely necessary, but do your own research here. The advantage of earning a PhD is that you will likely incur much less debt and you can also teach after you earn the degree if you want.