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HEALTH & KINESIOLOGY

FALL 2010 Improving Quality of Life Through Health and Wellness

Educating and Promoting Active Lifestyles Preparing Tomorrow’s Sports Managers

Leading Innovations in Public Education and Exercise


Howdy! Welcome to the Department of Health and Kinesiology’s inaugural issue of On the Move. The purpose of On the Move is to provide our former and current students and colleagues with an overview of the many outstanding activities, programs and initiatives in the department.

HEALTH & KINESIOLOGY

Contents

We are very proud of the many accomplishments and contributions that students, staff and faculty have made over the years.

The National Research Council recently listed our kinesiology doctoral program among the top programs in the nation. In fact, we were the only doctoral program at Texas A&M University to be included in this summary of top programs.

FALL 2010

A Fresh Start . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2

New leadership brings change and new goals to the Huffines Institute

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Safety 101 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3 Students learn self-defense skills to prepare for the unexpected

Our department has become the largest health and kinesiology program in the nation, which is comprised of the Physical Education Activity Program and the Divisions of Health Education, Kinesiology and Sport Management. We are home to over 2,000 undergraduate majors, 170 graduate students, 90 faculty and 25 staff members, and 85 graduate assistants. As one of the largest undergraduate majors at Texas A&M, our sport management program prepares students for careers in the sports and athletics industry. We also serve over 25,000 Aggies each year through our physical education classes, and in the past few years, have graduated more Aggies than any other department on campus. Our faculty and students are engaged in the practice and study of physical activity, sport and health so they can have an impact on the health and well-being of Texans and all Americans. We are focused on finding the answers to some of society’s most serious and enduring problems, including diabetes, aging, bone loss, heart health, and public health. In the last year alone, approximately $2.6 million was invested in research expenditures to expand the impact of national and international health practices.

Winning Economics . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4 Recognizing athletic programs that build strong financial strategies and sports teams

Better Living Through Research . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6 4

Developing Athletic Trainers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7 Health and Kinesiology partners with athletics to offer joint master’s program

Sports: European Style . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8 Ten undergraduates experience the sport business in Switzerland and Germany

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Light On Her Feet . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10 Dance team captain Lauren Richards juggles a demanding performance schedule and classes

We are home to the Center for Alcohol and Drug Education Studies, the Center for Sport Management Research and Education, the Center for the Study of Health Disparities, the Sydney and J.L. Huffines Institute for Sports Medicine and Human Performance, and 13 research and teaching laboratories. It is through these outreach vehicles that we connect to those in our community, such as offering students hands-on learning opportunities to experience health-related professions through our Health Disparities Academy. It’s no wonder that we are consistently recognized as one of the nation’s largest and best programs. We hope this publication seeks to connect our former students across the country by showcasing the many ways in which we come together to improve the physical health and wellness of individuals across the state, nation and world.

Labratory studies on muscle and physical inactivity offer clues about common diseases

Strength & Service . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12 On the battlefield and in the classroom, Captain Mark White serves and inspires

Helping in Haiti . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14 10

A massive earthquake puts volunteer Noelle Gonzalez and her nursing skills to the test

Degree of Possibility . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16

New online degree program in health education provides options

Gig ‘em,

Richard B. Kreider, Ph.D., FACSM, FISSN

Professor & Head Thomas A. and Joan Read Endowed Chair for Disadvantaged Youth

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On The Cover: The Department of Health and Kinesiology prepares students in the fields of sport management, physical education, kinesiology and health education.

hlknweb.tamu.edu 14

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A Fresh Start

Safety 101

New leadership brings change and new goals to the Huffines Institute

Students learn self defense skills to prepare for the unexpected

The fields of sports medicine and human performance continue to grow rapidly, but associated research findings don’t always make it out to the general public, who stand to benefit from them.

Bad things can happen anywhere, anytime — even at Texas A&M University. That’s why it’s important to always be prepared.

The Sydney and J.L. Huffines Institute for Sports Medicine and Human Performance helps to bridge the gap between research and practice.

As director, Tim Lightfoot (above) plans to make information available from the Huffines Institute (right) more readily available to the public.

Under the new leadership of Tim Lightfoot, the Huffines Institute seeks to connect scientists, practitioners and the public in all aspects of sports medicine and human performance, specifically focusing on athletic performance. This objective hasn’t changed from years past, but has evolved to include how advances in sports medicine carry over to the health of the general public. Tim, former chair of the Department of Kinesiology at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, plans to continue the growth and national prominence of the Huffines Institute, centering on two main goals.

“The institute has provided a great foundation in starting a community of individuals who are interested in investigating, applying and communicating about sports medicine. I’m looking forward to continuing to build that community.”

The institute will produce weekly audio podcasts from experts in the field of sports medicine. Speakers visiting Texas A&M University will be invited to give a Huffines Discussion, or mini online lecture, aimed at the public. Grant programs already offered by the institute will continue. The Huffines Institute’s website will be updated with expanded content and go live in early 2011. “We are here to facilitate research, application and communication between sports scientists, practitioners and the world,” Tim says.

And the Physical Education Activity Program is working to do just that. By offering a self-defense class, students are equipped with the personal safety skills they need for the unexpected. The self-defense class grew out of a need to teach public safety techniques in and around campus. Lecturer Dottiedee Agnor has led the class for almost two decades. It started primarily as a lecture-style class, but has evolved into a hands-on course to learn selfdefense moves. Today, the class includes topics like danger awareness and avoidance.

“It’s more than just punching and kicking,” Dottiedee says. “It’s about a well-rounded knowledge of safety awareness.”

The class also covers Internet safety, sexual assault, drug prevention and stalking, which is a growing concern among college students. “Both females and males can be stalked,” she says. “There are cases where males are stalked by their ex-girlfriends’ new boyfriends. Stalking is not a sexual thing; it’s a control issue.”

“We will strive to be bigger and more influential,” he says, “and to quadruple the endowment in 10 years.” Tim intends to strengthen the existing community of sports medicine and human performance scholars and researchers as well.

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Dottiedee teaches her students to be aware of who is around when walking out of buildings, to keep a record of threats for authorities and to contact the police when a threatening event happens.

Thus, men are encouraged to take the course. “We love to have guys in the class because guys are victims of violent crime more often than females, and they need to practice good safety habits,” Dottiedee says. “If you’re at a party and you’re not in control of your surroundings, you’re vulnerable. We tie alcohol awareness to personal safety.” Men in the self-defense class also can help female classmates simulate what it would be like to be attacked by someone physically larger and stronger. Dottiedee and other self-defense instructors stress that the techniques learned in class can be used and practiced long after students leave Texas A&M. And, their instruction reaches beyond the classroom. Instructors also show members of the Bryan/ College Station community the skills needed to keep themselves safe.

For almost two decades, Dottiedee Agnor (above) has been teaching students (left) the skills necessary to stay safe.

“Last year we did three presentations for St. Joseph Hospital staff because many work at night,” she says. “We also presented to local sororities, dorms and other organizations.” Dottiedee wants all of her self-defense students to come away with a healthy awareness of their surroundings. “We don’t want to make anyone paranoid. What we want is for our students to live the safest lives they can and take the precautions that the class provides,” she says. “There are little things most of us can do to prevent big things from happening.”

“Communication is key. It is not something you should take lightly,” she says. She notes that violent activity on a college campus is often connected to alcohol, especially for males.

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Winning Economics Recognizing athletic programs that build strong financial strategies and sports teams

“We are only in our second year, but the media coverage and response from athletic departments have been tremendous.” The price tag for winning college sports programs keeps growing. From coaches’ salaries to new facilities, the drive to succeed at all costs is high. For some schools, money is not a major problem. According to the U.S. Department of Education, The Ohio State University amassed $68 million in gross revenue during the 2008-09 school year. While the media and fans tend to focus on large schools with few funding issues, little attention is paid to the universities with fewer resources that still build champion programs. This situation spurred researchers at the Laboratory for the Study of Intercollegiate Athletics to create the Excellence in Management Cup. While other awards, such as the Learfield Sports Directors’ Cup sponsored by the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics, recognize universities for achievements based solely on the field of competition, the Excellence in Management Cup takes into account how a university is using its resources to form an outstanding athletic department. The purpose of the cup is to determine which athletic departments win the most conference and national championships while spending their resources wisely. Scores are calculated using a formula that accounts for total athletic department spending, number of sports played, and the number of conference and national championships won by each university. Emphasis also is placed on winning national championships because of their inherent difficulty. In the end, the Excellence in Management Cup is meant to recognize excellence in athletics as well as economics.

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The winning universities of the last two years — Utah State in 2009 and Kent State in 2010 — are both from non-Bowl Championship Series (BCS) affiliated schools that generally have far less funding available. No BCS university was in the top 10 in 2009, and only one — Texas A&M University — was in the top 10 in 2010. Also, the results show that some universities dominate in all sports. “We have been able to answer basic questions, and we are currently conducting management research that will be of assistance in the future,” says lab director Shane Hudson. “It is our goal to be of as much assistance to athletic departments as possible.”

Shane Hudson (above center) presents the 2010 Excellence in Management Cup to Kent State representatives and visits with 2009 winners Utah State (left).

Trophies are given to the top three ranked programs. Shane had the opportunity to present 2009 champion Utah State with its award when they played Texas A&M at Kyle Field. The awards have helped bring these smaller schools into the national spotlight. “I’ve talked a lot recently about the high rate of return that our donors, students and friends are receiving on their investment in our student athletes and athletic programs,” says Scott Barnes, Utah State director of athletics. “This award truly confirms the notion that we are doing more with less and being good stewards of the resources we do have.” With more emphasis being placed on university athletic spending, Shane sees the Excellence in Management Cup as a mainstay among college sports awards. “We are only in our second year, but the media coverage and response from athletic departments have been tremendous,” Shane says. “The economy of college sports will continue to be relevant and so will the results of the Excellence in Management Cup.”

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John Lawler’s (above) work with skeletal muscle is being used to help astronauts (right) maintain muscle during space flight.

Better Living Through Research

Developing Athletic Trainers

Laboratory studies on muscle and physical inactivity offer clues about common diseases

Health and kinesiology partners with athletics to offer joint master’s program

On the surface, cardiovascular disease, type II diabetes and Alzheimer’s seem unrelated. However, studies completed in the Redox Biology and Cell Signaling Laboratory have begun to show how these diseases are linked and how their treatments may be related.

Two successful teams are about to join up for a big win. The Department of Health and Kinesiology will pair up with the Texas A&M University Athletic Department to offer a master’s degree in athletic training.

The master’s program is expected to enhance academics for athletic training students and better prepare them to enter the field.

Assistant athletic director Karl Kapchinski notes that the emphasis of the master’s program will be a real-world, hands-on opportunity for students.

http://bit.ly/ath_training

Under the direction of John Lawler, professor of exercise physiology, the lab investigates the role of pro-oxidants in normal skeletal muscle. Pro-oxidants are chemicals that induce oxidative stress that damages cells and tissues. The lab also studies how physical inactivity affects muscles. Through this research, John is committed to improving people’s lives through the promotion of healthy lifestyles.

The research also is being used in studies involving hypertension and type II diabetes, and to help astronauts maintain muscle during space flight.

“If you can take what you read in a book and apply it, you’re going to be a better professional,” Karl says. “If you just read about it in a book, then sometimes you’re just guessing.”

Recent research in the lab deals with Duchenne muscular dystrophy, a disorder that involves rapidly worsening muscle weakness. One in every 3,500 males will get this disease, making it one of the most prevalent types of muscular dystrophy. A gene mutation causes chronic damage and inflammation, making everyday tasks increasingly difficult.

Karl and Richard Kreider, department head of health and kinesiology, decided to establish a master’s degree program rather than an undergraduate program because only a handful of Texas universities offer a master’s degree in athletic training.

“Walking back and forth to the kitchen can cause soreness,” John says. “And if it continues, the person has a hard time producing enough force to keep the muscles viable.”

In addition, the lab has broadened its research scope to include heart health. The goal is to help people gain muscle and maintain heart function to sustain a high quality of life.

By age 12, many with Duchenne muscular dystrophy can no longer walk well and often need assistance in breathing. Their lifespan is typically 20 to 25 years.

“The average person may not know this type of research goes on here,” John says.

With funding from the Muscular Dystrophy Association, scientists have been testing drugs and developing techniques to increase the integrity of muscle cells. Researchers are applying these techniques to other conditions, such as arthritis and aging, with some promising results.

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“We often think about aging as a mild muscular dystrophy. It’s a combination of a sedentary lifestyle and a pro-oxidant state,” John says.

“It’s important that people know we are doing research that can help them not only become more healthy, but tell them how certain medicines may work with exercise to reduce risk.”

For more information on athletic trainers at Texas A&M University, visit:

Karl Kapchinski’s (above) partnership with health and kinesiology will offer students the opportunity to earn an online master’s in athletic training (left) beginning in fall 2011.

“We have a chance to turn out really good people from the program, and it will be good for both health and kinesiology and the athletic department,” Karl says. “And I’ll be pretty fired up about that.”

Classes will start in fall 2011. Many program components are already in place. Texas A&M athletic trainers will lead as clinical instructors, and students will complete their clinical rotations under staff supervision.

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Sports: European Style Ten undergraduates experience the sport business in Switzerland and Germany

“This is the only time in my life that I will have an opportunity to do something like this, so why not take it?” Foreign travel provides learning that no amount of time in a classroom can replicate. Last summer, 10 sport management majors left their Aggieland classrooms for Germany and Switzerland to learn about the European sport business. Samantha Cooper, a junior sport management major, jumped at the international opportunity. “This is the only time in my life that I will have an opportunity to do something like this, so why not take it?” Samantha says. “It’s a chance to go somewhere I have never been, meet new people, learn about a different culture, get credit hours and have a lot of fun.” Led by Paul Batista, chair of the sport management division, the study abroad trip lasted five weeks. The first four weeks were spent in and around Bonn, Germany, and continued in Grindelwald, Lausanne and Lucerne, Switzerland. Classes and academic site visits introduced students to the organization and operation of sport in the European Union. Students met with representatives of the German Soccer Association, the German Olympic Committee and Deutsche Telekom, which sponsors many sport teams and is heavily involved in sport marketing. The trip highlight was the International Olympic Committee (IOC) headquarters in Lausanne, Switzerland. Representatives from the IOC discussed the organization and history of the Olympic movement and led a tour of the Olympic Museum. The group viewed the IOC archives, which included a letter signed by Adolph Hitler thanking the IOC for allowing Berlin to host the 1936 Olympics.

land

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Switzer

While in Lausanne, students spent a morning at the Court of Arbitration for Sport, which resolves disputes from the Olympic Games and other sports organizations around the world. They participated in a two-day research workshop with students from the German Sport University Cologne, the world’s largest university devoted solely to sport research and teaching. On weekends, students had free time for travel and visited places like Venice, Rome, Paris and the Swiss mountains. “We certainly got to see views of some of the most beautiful land on Earth, knowing the whole time that we were among a very small percentage of the population that would ever be there,” says Ben Agee, a senior sport management major.

Students (above) visit the Football Globe in Germany and the Swiss Alps (left).

For some students, the trip not only provided a sense of cultural immersion, it caused them to value home even more. “You come back to the states with an unbelievable appreciation for small things you take for granted here, like free refills and noncarbonated water,” Ben says. Both Ben and Samantha are firm believers in studying abroad and hope more students take the opportunity to travel to another country. “It’s a once in a lifetime experience, and you have to take advantage of that,” Samantha says. “I was scared at first because I had never been to Europe, and I had never been away from home for that long. But once you do it, you feel so accomplished, like you can do anything.” “It was more than a vacation,” Ben says. “For five weeks, we were all different people living completely separate lives. It was not all class, and it was not all vacation. It was living.”

Germany

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Light on Her Feet Dance team captain Lauren Richards juggles a demanding performance schedule and classes

“Serving as captain and co-captain for the Aggie Dance Team helped me to strengthen my leadership skills.” Where you are from originally? Austin, Texas.

was very time intensive and helped me to strengthen my leadership skills. It was a big responsibility serving as captain my senior year, but I know I have grown as a dancer, person, student and leader.

Considering that you are from Austin, you still chose to attend Texas A&M University. How did that happen? With classes and the Aggie Dance My mom went to Texas A&M and so did my Team being a large part of your life, older sister, so I already had in mind that I how do you achieve balance between would go here. My dad went to the University the two? of Texas, so we are a divided family. It makes for fun Thanksgivings though!

What do you do in your free time?

I definitely learned a lot about time management. You just have to make sure that you set aside enough time in your day for school while juggling practices and basketball games. It is tough but worth the effort! The spring semesters are hardest considering we have anywhere from two to four basketball games a week. We also travel with the basketball teams to the Big XII and NCAA Tournaments, so it is my responsibility to make sure my teachers are aware of the times I will be out of class.

I love dancing. I was on the Aggie Dance Team for three years and am in the dance minor program here at Texas A&M. I also was in Tri Delta sorority for four years.

What would you say to students who are considering going into the kinesiology or dance fields?

What made you decide to major in health and kinesiology? I knew I wanted to work in the health industry, either by teaching dance or working as a personal trainer/aerobics instructor. The kinesiology program at Texas A&M has prepared me for this wonderfully.

What’s the plan after graduation? I would love to teach dance at a high school or studio. If this doesn’t work out, I also would enjoy working at a gym as a personal trainer and aerobics instructor. I love being active and maintaining a healthy lifestyle.

What do you consider your biggest achievement at Texas A&M?

Lauren Richards (above) uses her passion for dance to entertain audiences at most Aggie sporting events.

There is so much you can do in kinesiology, which is why I picked that major. You learn so much, and it is incredibly rewarding! While the dance program is growing at Texas A&M, the teachers help you in any and every way. All of the teachers know you by name, which is reassuring. With experiences in both of these fields, I know I will have many career opportunities, which is encouraging in today’s economy.

Having a leadership role on the Aggie Dance Team while being involved in my sorority and while taking a full load of classes was my biggest achievement. Serving as captain and co-captain for the Aggie Dance Team

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Strength & Service On the battlefield and in the classroom, Captain Mark White serves and inspires

“The training, values and support my department has given me have meant the world to me.” Texas A&M University has six core values: excellence, integrity, leadership, loyalty, respect and selfless service. Those values are very much personified in Army Capt. Mark White ’03, an instructor in the Physical Education Activity Program. Originally from Clyde, Texas, Mark joined the National Guard during his time at Angelo State University and spent time in Bosnia during his sophomore year. He was chosen as Solider of the Year for his service and started officer training once he returned from overseas. Mark’s experience opened his eyes to the world outside of his West Texas roots. “In Bosnia, we dealt with the Swedes, Russians and Turks; it was an international force,” he says. “I learned a lot about life and started to set myself up for future endeavors.” One of these endeavors included enrolling at Texas A&M, a goal that came by chance. “One of my high school buddies was starting school at Texas A&M, so I came down to visit him. I fell in love with Aggieland and enrolled in classes.” Mark earned his bachelor’s in kinesiology with teacher certification. With one semester remaining and the need to complete a student teaching requirement, he was called to duty again, but this time in Iraq. After that tour, he student taught at Bryan High School and went on to earn a master’s in sport management. It wasn’t long before this veteran of two wars would be called to action again. “I had been at home for three years and had resigned myself to the fact that I was going to Afghanistan as a staff officer with my engine brigade,” he says. “They called and asked me to lead my company as commander. It made

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me feel really good that my leaders felt I had the ability and power to handle that much responsibility.” With 13 years of service in the army and 144 soldiers under his command, White and his company, named Team Rhino, are charged with protecting senior leaders of the U.S. forces in Iraq. Their job includes traveling with leaders on the eight-mile stretch of dangerous road between the Victory Base complex and the embassy area in downtown Baghdad. The safety of colonels, State Department personnel and enlisted soldiers are Team Rhino’s responsibility. Mark’s time in the Department of Health and Kinesiology has helped him prepare for many of the situations he has seen in combat.

Aggie Football Coach Mike Sherman (above right) visits Captain Mark White in Iraq. Mark (left) leads the members of Team Rhino during deployment.

“Any given semester I would have up to 400 students, and there is a lot of management that goes with that — both with personalities and time management,” he says. “Not every soldier is 6’2” and 215 pounds. We come in all shapes and sizes. I take a lot of pride in helping to counsel and educate them on positive lifestyles, stress management, health and wellness, and time management.” As Mark prepares to return to teaching in the spring, he realizes how much his Aggie education makes a difference to those around him. “The training, values and support my department has given me have meant the world to me,” Mark says. “I made an effort to clean my office when I left, and they never refilled it. There’s a big yellow ribbon on the door. It just talks to the quality of people who work here and what they represent – good wholesome values.”

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Helping in Haiti A massive earthquake puts volunteer Noelle Gonzalez and her nursing skills to the test

Noelle Gonzalez never expected to be miles from the epicenter of one of the deadliest natural disasters of her lifetime. Noelle, a senior allied health major preparing for nursing school, was on her third mission trip to Haiti, volunteering and training in hospitals around the capital of Port-au-Prince and working at a camp for children ages 8 to 14. On the afternoon of January 12, everything changed. Noelle’s days of training were about to be put to the test. “My bed started moving,” Noelle says. “I looked down, and my roommate was in the middle of the room, eyes wide as saucers. We reacted like it was a hurricane — which isn’t what you’re supposed to do — and covered our heads and started praying.” Once the earthquake was over, Noelle and her roommate made sure the children at the camp were safe as well. “They were in the middle of playing a game where they all jump into and out of the pool together. Luckily, they weren’t in the pool when the earthquake happened,” she says. The clinic where Noelle was volunteering also was intact. Still reeling from the aftereffects of her first earthquake, Noelle helped prepare for the injured to arrive. Having just learned about burn treatments earlier in the week, Noelle admits she felt pushed outside the scope of her training, but the situation called for everyone to help however they could. “All I could do was put my gloves on and pray for strength,” she says. The injured started coming. Crushed legs. Broken backs. Hundreds injured from a nearby flour plant also arrived at the hospital, including 15 men with third-degree burns over 80 percent of their bodies. No

one is sure how many people were treated in the hours after the earthquake. “That whole night is a blur to me,” Noelle says. “I had seven people lined up on a bench and would spend a minute or two with each of them because I couldn’t give any one of them all the care he or she needed.” The night didn’t offer much time to rest either. Aftershocks every two minutes kept Noelle up most of the night. “I just prayed for God to make the sun come up. It wasn’t hard to be in the clinic, but it was hard to go back home, lay there and think about what I had seen,” she says. After days of assisting at the clinic and realizing she may be in Haiti for at least a month, Noelle sent word to her advisor at Texas A&M University that she may have to be dropped from her spring semester classes. Fortunately, a charity plane en route to the United States had room for anyone needing to return. “I called my mom and told her I was in Florida,” Noelle says. “It turned out my dad had a business partner who was flying home from Miami, so it was nice to be on the plane with someone I knew. God really took care of me and got me home safely.”

Noelle Gonzalez (above right) with other volunteers at the Haitian clinic. Noelle (left) also spent time volunteering at a children’s camp while in Haiti.

Noelle plans to return to Haiti this summer for humanitarian work, and one day she hopes to open her own clinic in Haiti. “One of the things I’ve been shown is God’s faithfulness,” she says.

“I now know that I would rather be in Haiti helping those in need than here. People would tell me, ‘I am so sorry you had to go through that,’ but honestly, there’s no place I would have rather been on this earth.”

Go to http://bit.ly/helping_in_haiti for a video about this story.

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Degree of Possibility New online degree program in health education provides options for nontraditional students As people hunt for new employment opportunities in this lingering recession, many have decided to return to school to gain new skills or freshen up existing ones. The sudden increase in college enrollment has come at an inopportune time — higher education budgets have been slashed in Texas and nationwide. Universities are looking for innovative ways to meet the demand while keeping costs down on new campus facilities. Online courses allow universities to do both, as well as generate revenue. Online courses are not new, but they have gained steam in the past few years. Students can earn a master’s in health education from the comfort of their own homes.

Professionals wishing to earn a graduate degree in health education from Texas A&M University — without having to move or quit their current job — can now do so through the Office of Health Informatics. The E-Master of Science in Health Education is designed to enhance the training of professional health education specialists to plan, implement and evaluate interventions that promote health and wellness. The program requires 36 credit hours of coursework, like most other master’s programs. The difference is that students are not required to attend class on campus. There’s no required one-week orientation, and the final exam does not need to be completed in a classroom.

We’re Always On The Move.

OHI began offering online classes over the past five to six years. Classes for the full e-master’s degree started in fall 2010.

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“We will start out small, with five to 10 students, but eventually we hope to get 30 to 40 students enrolled,” Amber says. “My hope is that once people graduate, they can take what they learned about health and technology and apply it to their current or future job.”

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The price of the e-master’s is comparable with other schools offering the same type of online degree, with the added benefit of receiving it from Texas A&M. It’s a great choice for working professionals or those trying to break into the health field.

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“It could be a P.E. teacher who is already teaching health and wants another degree or someone working in health and human services,” Amber says. “It might be a stayat-home mom who wants to get back in the job market. For those whom it isn’t practical to move to campus, the online master’s is definitely a great option.” As education evolves and changes, programs like the E-Master of Science in Health Education will likely be considered complementary to traditional classes. “I don’t ever see the online degree replacing conventional classes,” Amber says. “It’s just a different way to open up new doors in the field and earn a secondary degree.”

“On campus, you’re going to have more conventional teaching methods,” says Amber Icke, director of the Office of Health Informatics (OHI). “You are still getting the same degree online, but you are using different methods. Your lectures are being presented by video, making them more convenient for you.”

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HLKN On The Move - Department of Health and Kinesiology, Texas A&M University  

The Department of Health and Kinesiology (HLKN) at Texas A&M University is proud to present the inaugural issue of On The Move Magazine, hig...

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