Lovvorn visits Warrior Research Center, presents check to support its work with firefighters

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Alabama State Rep. Joe Lovvorn, who represents Auburn in House District 79, recently visited the Warrior Research Center, or WRC, in the Auburn University College of Education’s School of Kinesiology.

During his visit to the lab, which is directed by JoEllen Sefton, Lovvorn presented a check from his state discretionary fund to support the center’s research involving firefighters, soldiers and other first responders.

Lovvorn himself is a Battalion Chief with the City of Auburn Fire Division.

“Being a firefighter, policeman or really any first responder has always been a challenging job, but the COVID-19 pandemic has heightened that difficulty,” Lovvorn told the team of student researchers who work with Sefton in her lab. “Our world is changing, and these first responders must make high-stress decisions every day. Physical and mental capacity is central to what we do, so we appreciate the important work you are doing here in this lab.”

The WRC has worked extensively with firefighters, including a study of the effects of heat exposure on performance. In addition, the center has worked with the U.S. Army, Air Force, Alabama National Guard and other military units and first responders on matters of exercise, readiness and equipment.

WRC is now preparing to examine the effects of COVID-19 on firefighters’ readiness as part of its research portfolio.

“Seeing what I see every day, and personally knowing the effects COVID-19 can have on a person, I very much appreciate the work you are doing here,” Lovvorn said. “It is my honor to help support your work.”

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Founded in 1915, the Auburn University College of Education enrolls 2,800 undergraduate and graduate students. Four academic units offer 60 degree options in teaching, special education, educational leadership, kinesiology, counseling, adult education, educational technology and educational psychology. The College is committed to diversity and inclusion and maintains a focus on outstanding teaching, consequential research and solution-oriented outreach in order to fulfill its mission of making a better world for all, including those most in need.