The Citadel Director of Undergraduate Research, Dena Garner, Ph.D., is the recipient of one of the top science awards presented by the state of South Carolina. Governor Henry McMaster presented Garner with the Award for Excellence in Scientific Research at a Predominately Undergraduate Institution at a ceremony in Columbia on May 1, 2019.
Garner received a letter from the Governor earlier in the year that read:
Dear Dr. Garner,
It is my pleasure to congratulate you on being chosen to receive the 2019 Governor’s Award
for Excellence in Scientific Research at a Predominately Undergraduate Institution. You are very deserving of this recognition for your outstanding work in exercise physiology and human performance. Your work on mouthpiece use and exercise, concussion assessment, and traumatic brain injury is significant and has national and international implications, and your development of the ArmourBite Performance Mouthpiece that is widely used by professional, college and elite athletes is especially commendable.
You have been a wonderful ambassador in South Carolina for excellence in scientific research, and our work to revolutionize the manner in which concussions are diagnosed on the sideline is outstanding. I thank you for your contributions to scientific research and education and wish you continued success.
Yours very truly,
Garner is a full professor in the Department of Health and Human Performance, the Director of Undergraduate Research and the Assistant Provost for Research and Policy at The Citadel. In these roles, she leads and promotes research and scholarly activity campus wide, works to secure external grants for undergraduate research and directly leads cadets and students by facilitating their engagement in research projects.
Garner has been working in the area of mouthpiece use and effects on human performance since 2005 with studies that have focused on reaction time, lactate, and cortisol and the effect of mouthpiece use on these parameters. In addition, her research has focused on mouthpiece use during steady state exercise and effects on oxygen and carbon dioxide exchange as well as the proposed mechanisms for positive effects on airway dynamics in a healthy population. Garner is the author of many scholarly scientific publications related to this work.
Garner, a mother of six, joined The Citadel in 2004 while completing her post-doctoral fellowship in the Department of Neurology at the Medical University of South Carolina. Before her move to Charleston, she worked at Oregon State University where she received her doctoral degree in exercise physiology. She earned a masters degree from the University of South Carolina in exercise physiology and an undergraduate degree from Furman University in Greenville, South Carolina.