Faculty Mentor of the Week Matthew Hoch
Dr. Matthew Hoch is an Associate Professor in the Department of Athletic Training and Clinical Nutrition in the College of Health Sciences and the Associate Director of the Sports Medicine Research Institute. His research interests involve mitigating sensorimotor compromise and enhancing patient-centered care following traumatic lower extremity injuries to reduce the long-term consequences of these conditions over the lifespan. Dr. Hoch’s previous work has largely focused on identifying novel therapeutic intervention strategies for patients with chronic ankle instability.
In the past year Dr. Hoch has mentored three doctoral, four graduate students, and three undergraduate students. He explains, "Undergraduate students have become an important component of the research activities at the Sports Medicine Research Institute and are actively involved in nearly all aspects of our research. The undergraduate researchers in our laboratory participate in journal clubs, research planning meetings, and human subject protection processes." Undergraduates participate and contribute to Dr. Hoch's projects by assisting with data collection, analysis, and dissemination of study results through conference presentations and peer-reviewed manuscripts.
Dr. Hoch states that the best thing about being a mentor "are the relationships you build with students. I am very grateful for the opportunity to share my passion for sports medicine research with student researchers every day. However, I am more grateful for getting to personally know my students, help them overcome challenges, and celebrate their accomplishments." He was nominated for this recognition by one of his mentees who noted, "Dr. Matthew Hoch has provided unwavering guidance, mentorship, knowledge, resources, and support for not only me, but every other student who has been fortunate enough to work with him. He constantly reminds everyone that we are fully capable of whatever we set our minds to, no matter what level of education we have completed. Dr. Hoch inspires students to grow by encouraging them to take on opportunities that may otherwise be outside their level of comfort. He has celebrated me in my accomplishments, provided essential feedback when I err, and continues to support and aid in my endeavors outside of the University."
Although his undergraduate experience did not include a strong research component, Dr. Hoch's involvement in research did offer inspiration for pursuing his graduate education and notes, "I am extremely pleased and supportive of the university wide efforts to get undergraduate students involved in research, particularly through the Undergraduate Research Certificate in the College of Health Sciences." For undergraduates interested in research, Dr. Hoch looks for students who desire to be part of a team, as well as have an interest in science, humility, and optimism. His advice to students is to "do your homework when seeking mentors or laboratories for your experience. Choose a mentor that will integrate you into their research team, care about your experience, and work with you to make it as worthwhile as possible." He adds, "Once you have started your research experience, dive in headfirst and get as engaged as possible. The effort you put into the experience will dictate what you will take away from the opportunity."
Thank you Dr. Matthew Hoch for your unwavering support of undergraduate research at the University of Kentucky. We are pleased to recognize your dedication this week as our Research Faculty Mentor of the Week.