Spring 2015
A strong finish

This year, senior Daniel Chan Bastos da Silva is one of the more than 500 international students from more than 60 countries who are studying at the University of Indianapolis. When he came here in 2012 from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, he wanted to find a school that offered both a competitive exercise science degree program and an opportunity to swim. He accomplished both.

A stroke ahead

Daniel_Chan-1As a swimmer for the Greyhounds, Daniel has finished in the Top 8 for three separate NCAA swimming championships. He has also been voted the team’s MVP for two consecutive years. Daniel’s commitment to his education and swimming has been noticed. He has earned the conference Winter Commissioner’s Award as well as the Capital One Academic All-American Third Team Award.

“UIndy was the school that caught my attention, not only because of the swim program but also for the strong academics,” Daniel says, and he has experienced great success in both athletics and academics.

Daniel hopes to become a biomechanist, a choice that was greatly influenced by his lifelong involvement with athletics. Pursuing an undergraduate degree in exercise science has connected him to influential faculty members and presented him with some major internship opportunities.

An academic anchor

Daniel began looking for internship positions that centered on his desired career interest. He reached out to several professors at UIndy, including Dr. Richard Robinson in the Kinesiology Department.

“Dr. Robinson has been really important in my academic development, teaching classes that are the basis for the career path that I wish to pursue,” says Daniel. “He was very helpful in answering all of my questions regarding class materials and graduate school.”

Through his hard work and his networking with professors, Daniel was able to land an internship at the IU Health Neuroscience Center. 

He works with patients who have a wide variety of neurological issues, such as multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, stroke, and cerebral palsy. With a team of physical therapists, occupational therapists, speech therapists, and a motion analysis coordinator, Daniel observes advanced treatment techniques using upper- and lower-extremity robotics, a NeuroCom Balance Master System, vestibular rehabilitation, and motion analysis.

“At the internship, I assist the physical therapists with whatever they need. I can help transfer patients from their wheelchairs, set up some of the equipment, and hook patients into the equipment they will be using.

“I was also trained on how to use the ‘Gait Mat’, which is a walkway designed to capture a sequence of footsteps, providing data for foot function analysis. Based on that data, it is possible to determine if a certain type of treatment has a positive or negative impact on a patient’s walking pattern. This is a really important tool that helps assess the progress of the patient.”

Just getting started

As Daniel nears the end of his undergraduate career at UIndy, he is looking forward to graduate school. He hopes to one day work with athletes in the United States.

“I want to work for a company whose main goal is to do motion analysis of athletes, especially of swimmers,” he says.

Daniel says that UIndy and his family have provided him the encouragement and support he needed to be successful at UIndy.

“Without my family,” he says. “I would not be here in the United States pursuing this dream. I love my family more than anything in the world. The types of recognition I have received only motivate me to improve even more.”

—Steven Freck ’16