Phillip Powell



Phillip is a nontraditional undergraduate student completing a B.S. in Computer Science in Fall 2020. His main focus is in the field of software development, specifically game development and design. Phillip is assisting Dr. Hout and Dr. Post with various research projects in the Addison Care Virtual Reality/Augmented Reality Lab. He is currently assisting Dr. Post in his research on how virtual reality vacations affects tolerance of physical stress, such as cold temperatures. After graduation, Phillip will pursue a career in software development in the private sector. In his free time, Phillip enjoys making and playing video games, and writing science-fiction as a hobby.



Project Description:

 The current project with Phillip Powell examines how virtual vacations (i.e., virtual reality vacations) affects tolerance of physical stress (i.e., cold temperatures). Specifically, the project examines how immersive virtual vacation scenes (i.e., beaches, white water rafting, hiking, etc.) mitigates the discomfort of cold temperatures. The immersive vacations will be compared to a less immersion vacation condition (i.e., participants will be shown scenes on 2D computer screen). If the immersive virtual vacation condition is superior to mitigating the physical stress of cold temperatures compared to a 2D screen, the technology could be tested/used with patients experiencing chronic pain. It is hoped that this emerging technology could be used to mitigate the discomfort of the 50 million Americans who experience chronic pain.
  • Project description, timeline, and milestones developed with mentor; on file with DSP
  • Complete project
  • Present scholarly work at URCAS
  • Attend a professional conference (without presenting)
  • Author or co-author a manuscript submitted for publication
  • Promote #DiscoveryScholars ten times on social media




Phillip’s Mentor: Dr. Phillip Post:


Phillip Post is an associate professor and department head of the Kinesiology and Dance Department. He teaches courses in sport and exercise psychology. Dr. Post research interests include examining the essential mental skills and motor component associated with effective sport performance and learning, specifically the effects of imagery, self-control, and virtual/augmented reality manipulations on the learning and performance of motor skills. He has over 500 hours of applied sport psychology experience, with the most recent being with the New Mexico State University Athletic Department.