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SPRING 2015 Interim President, Texas A&M University DR. MARK A. HUSSEY Dean, College of Education and Human Development DR. DOUG PALMER Head, Department of Health and Kinesiology DR. RICHARD KREIDER

Division Chair, Health Education DR. SUSAN WARD Division Chair, Kinesiology DR. STEVEN RIECHMAN Division Chair, Physical Education Activity Program MR. FRANK THOMAS Division Chair, Sport Management DR. MATT WALKER

4243 TAMU College Station, TX 77843-4225 (979) 845-3109 2 | On The Move


Welcome from the Department Head


Combating Chemotherapy with Nutrition


Expanding the Online Experience


Faculty Profile: Lydia Dubisson


The Bigger Picture


After HLKN: Sheril Marek


Athletic Trainers & Concussion Research


Pictures from Fall 2014


Fun For All


Beyond Sightseeing


Facts About HLKN


In Memoriam: Jack Wilmore


The Success Continues


External Funding Writing, Photography, Design DELL BILLINGS Editing DOMINIQUE BENJAMIN ALLISON LAROCCA

ON THE COVER The 102,500 capacity Kyle Field is home to the Texas A&M football team. It is the largest football stadium in the state of Texas. LEFT Military Walk links the Sbisa Dining Hall area to the Rudder/Memorial Student Center complex in the heart of campus. (Photo by Alexey Sergeev) Spring 2015 | 3

HOWDY! Welcome to another issue of On the Move! This issue provides an update about some of the amazing work our faculty, staff, and students are doing to transform lives through the practice, study and promotion of physical activity, sport and health. Since 2008, our mission has been simple. We aim to not only be the largest health & kinesiology program in the nation, but the best. The following provides a brief summary of some of the progress we have made in achieving this vision over recent years. In 2008, our department had 2,191 students, taught 1,717 classes to 39,498 students, and generated 67,792 student credit hours (SCH). In 2014, we had 3,539 students, taught 1,688 classes to 54,122 enrolled students, and generated 89,322 SCH. This represents a 62% increase in majors (with a 173% increase in the number of minority students), and a 32% increase in SCH since 2008. While some might think that this type of growth would impede our ability to be productive scholars, HLKN has once again set records for peer-reviewed publications (133), total publications (151), and publications / TTF with a research assignment (4.58). This represents an 82% increase in annual publications since 2008. According to SCOPUS, our work was cited 2,833 times in the literature in 2014 representing a 178% increase in citations since 2008. We also had another strong year in external funding (~$3.6 million dollars) with over $1.9M in research expenditures recorded from grants our faculty members are serving as principal investigators (PI) or Co-PI’s. Last year, our faculty and students submitted 45 grants as PI and played significant roles in 7 large collaborative grant submissions. Our faculty and students made a record 290 national presentations in addition to 185 regional and over 50 local presentations and performances last year. Additionally, our faculty were heavily engaged in a host of community, university, and professional service activities. This productivity is helping improve our national rankings. For example, according to the most recent 2013 Academic Analytics (AA) data, our faculty published 332 articles indexed by SCOPUS over the last four years which was at the 95th percentile among 217 departments in the discipline of Health Promotion, Kinesiology, Exercise Science, and Rehabilitation. This represents an 89% increase in AA tracked publications over the last five years. These articles were cited 1,880 times (89th percentile) representing a 70% increase since 2009. Additionally, our faculty received $9.6 million dollars in federal funding as Pl from 2009-2013 (80th percentile) representing a 342% increase since 2009. Our faculty also collaborated on $9.6 million dollars in federal funding as Co-PI’s and served as PI’s on about $10 million dollars in corporate, state, foundation, and other sources not included in the AA data base during this time period. No matter how you look at it, it is clear our department is making a profound impact through teaching, research, and service. None of this would be possible without our faculty, staff and students working together as a team so we could achieve more. Moreover, this would not have been possible without college and university leadership recognizing our potential and supporting initiatives to help us move forward. I would like to thank all of our faculty, staff and students for their efforts in helping move our department forward Additionally, I would like to thank our administration, alumni and friends for their support in helping us achieve our vision. I hope that you enjoy this issue of On the Move! Gig ‘em, Richard B. Kreider, Ph.D., FACSM, FISSN, FACN Professor & Head

On The Cover:

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The new Physical Education Activity Program Building at sunset. Read more on page 2.

Performance Arts

Concussion Research

Human Performance

Huffines Discussion 4 Coming November 21, 2014 Annenberg Presidential Conference Center

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Combating Chemotherapy with Nutrition For people diagnosed with cancer, chemotherapy is the most commonly used treatment to stop the growth of cancer cells. It is not without its side effects.

Current research is looking at the effect of protein and fish oil supplements on patients presently going through chemotherapy. These types of supplements have shown impact on cancer patients in the past.

However, including a loss of appetite. As a result, many cancer patients do not respond to proteins they ingest after treatment causing muscle loss and increasing recovery time.

During the study, researchers measure muscle mass, muscle and gut function, protein metabolism wellbeing and outcome. Patients are also given advice about nutrition and how they can help their body recover through good practices. The study lasts ten weeks with follow up calls happening over the next two years.

Researchers at the Center for Translational Research in Aging and Longevity (CTRAL) are studying what can be done to help patients stay healthier during this time. Dr. Marielle P.K.J. Engelen, co-director of CTRAL, believes when the right nutrition is provided to patients, muscle can be retained. “We know that chemotherapy is associated with muscle loss,” Marielle says. “When patients with cancer experience muscle loss, it has an effect on chemotherapy and what they can tolerate during treatment.” The center has been researching how patients with chronic diseases and muscle loss respond to treatment for years. Researchers currently study the gut function of patients where nutrients from foods and supplements are absorbed into the body. When protein a patient takes is not well digested, a smaller amount of proteins can be used by the body, hindering his or her ability to deal with chronic illness. “You can imagine, through chemotherapy, gut function is compromised,” Marielle says. “The digestion of protein is diminished and there are less amino acids available for the muscle.”

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CTRAL collaborates with physicians from the M.D. Anderson Center in Houston and locally with Baylor Scott and White Health and the St. Joseph Cancer Center. Several patients currently in the study report that they are feeling better and taking more ownership in their nutrition. Engelen attributes this to learning more about the science behind their treatment. “Nutrition is something you can actually do something about,” Marielle says. “When you can do something to maintain muscle mass, we can provide them with positive results.” With support from the department and college, CTRAL is just beginning their life changing work at Texas A&M University. With the proposed Human Clinical Research Center building, CTRAL hopes to expand the possibilities of what they and the university can do to help people who are experiencing health issues. “What we try to do is improve the health of older adults, especially with age related diseases,” Marielle says. “It’s important to keep them in the best condition possible. And that is what we do here.”

Expanding the Online Experience Office of Digital Learning Technologies Serves Online Student Population Taking classes online was once thought of as a novelty or easy way to get a passing grade. It is now an integral part of how students and professionals receive education for advancement or if they decide to change careers. This method of learning has evolved in many places, including in the department’s Office of Digital Learning Technologies (DLT), where their mission is to teach and implement distance education courses for HLKN. Beyond individual courses, the DLT supports online master’s degrees in health education and sport management. According to Bruce Hanik, associate director of the DLT, online classes were basic in the early days. Most consisted of voiced-over PowerPoint presentations. “When I first started, courses used only video lectures for instruction and exams for assessment,” Bruce says. “It was just watch a recorded lecture and then come to campus and take your exams.” Online classes have changed to give more of the in class experience. Videos and chat features have been added and students can now take quizzes and complete interactive projects. “In the previous forms, the student was a passive learner,” Bruce says. “Now we create lessons and quizzes to engage students with the information presented.” Today, online and distance educations courses are considered part of the college student experience, with many students taking college courses well before they step foot on a university. For over a decade, the DLT has showcased the department’s goals to adapt to changes in traditional learning, and give students away from campus an opportunity to further their education. There are web-based classes, geared to on campus students and distance education classes for students who take classes in their communities. Classes usually have one quiz per module or topic and two exams. A number of assignments are also

required, including group projects where students interact with each other online. The DLT staff approaches course development and delivery with a team mentality. A faculty member is identified and that person is responsible for everything content related to the course. Daily management is assigned to graduate assistants in the DLT. An instructional design crew decides how the courses will be set up on the class website and designs the layout. Instructional media teams use software to develop workflows that help to streamline courses and projects for the group. One of the latest projects for the DLT was to create a graduate student orientation. The orientation is for all new graduate students within the department and it is meant to explain the steps they need to take to progress successfully through their degree. This is especially helpful for distance students who aren’t on campus. The classes have proved popular with students, with over 6,000 undergraduates taking online courses this year. “With A&M and the department growing, that’s getting big,” Bruce says. Growth has not changed the goal of the DLT; making sure students have an opportunity to learn and the ability to demonstrate their understanding of what is being taught, regardless of location. Like many of the department’s laboratories and centers, the DLT also generates new knowledge in its field of research. Hanik sees the DLT being a model for other online courses in the department, the college and beyond. “We are unique to the university in that we are a one stop shop for course production,” Bruce says. “There are other places where a professor can receive assistance on how to use technology, but there isn’t one where a professor can go to implement a class like we do.”

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Faculty Profile: Lydia Dubuisson Where are you from originally? Born in Weslaco, Texas, went to school in Mercedes and lived on Progresso Lakes about a mile from Nuevo Progreso in Mexico. Our community grocery store was literally across the bridge. Moved to Los Angeles in 1999 until the end of 2006. I started working at Texas A&M in the spring of 2007.

What brought you to Texas A&M and the Department of Health and Kinesiology? Both my degrees are from Texas A&M University (class of ’96 and ’99, B.S. and M.S. in Kinesiology, emphasis in Sport Management).

What types of classes do you teach/research you do? Currently I teach sport marketing (writing intensive), sport communication, sport sales and foundations of sport management. My research efforts are focused on sport sponsorship with budding involvement in better understanding why people fall in love with sports. Some may refer to this relationship oriented research.

We were told that you played professional football. I played twice for what is considered women’s professional football. In 2001 for the Los Angeles Lasers (now defunct) and the Houston Energy (still thriving) about three years ago. I played linebacker and special teams.

also kickers/punters) at Cleveland High School in Reseda, California. I had four of my backers receive All-League Honors from my varsity group. Considering it was the toughest league in the city, two to three of the four championship contenders coming out of our league both of my varsity years, I guess that’s not shabby. My whole life started when I set foot on the football field here at Texas A&M in 1992 as the first female football manager in the history of this school. I fell in love with the sport and it has remained a part of my life in some capacity since. As far as being a woman in a “man’s profession?” Some people actually see those for what they are capable of without getting caught up in irrelevant things like gender or color, etc. My life and what I can do with my talents and interests is far more important than the opinions of others as to what I can or can’t do with it.

What brought you to Texas A&M? I’m a 3rd generation Ag. I was the first female football manager and possibly the first female football letterman (no one seems to know for sure). As a student I was extremely active in our governing academic body (NASSM-North American Society for Sport Management) and the first student representative to serve on the board. Some of the people in the program still knew who I was and were interested in what I had been doing over the years. As we tell students to get involved and it’s not always “who you know but who knows you”, well, I’m a good case in point.

Were you a coach for football as well? How did When faced with the choice to pursue my sports that come about and what was it like in what broadcast career (I was a sports director at a cable news station in California at the time) or to go full some consider a male only profession? I coached one year of JV (defensive coordinator) and two years of varsity (linebackers primarily but

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time into teaching at the collegiate level, teaching was the path I chose. It was absolutely, 100% the right choice.


How do you see things evolving in the world of sport management and how does Texas A&M prepare students for those changes?

We have some of the most well connected people between both academia and industry here. That helps us stay in the know and creates some of the best opportunities for partnerships with industry. For example, we have had many high level industry professionals speaking here and interacting with students. Just my pet industry projects alone include using my sports marketing class as a consulting platform to teach students to do market research while applying the information to recommendations that they then pitch to their clients. We work with Aggie Athletics and College Station Parks and Rec to serve both school and community with our efforts. The sales class is in partnership with the San Antonio Spurs. New this spring, we are partnering with Ryan-Sanders Baseball and Entertainment on their Big League Weekend event. I would be remiss if I didn’t mention our undergraduate internship program and the great job Dr. Shane Hudson does with that. This is something very unique that both prepares students and forges relationships across the various aspects of sport business. For our undergraduates, our intense prioritization of the industry experience is an important competitive advantage.

What are the best parts of your job? My students! Positively impacting lives, preparing people for the future, seeing the “light bulb” moments, laughing with them, being sad with them, hearing their stories, seeing them grow and mature, listening to their ideas, getting updates on my “kids” now taking on the world. Recently I got the highest compliment of one who wants to be like me someday (and that was after grades were totaled!! Ha!). We have a fantastic department and division. The comradery around here probably makes other departments quite jealous. I’m proud of that. The great hallway conversations! We do get a lot of support for which I’m so grateful because it helps me do a better job for my students. For example, Saurabh Singh (assistant director of the Office of Digital Learning Technologies) helps me so much that I can’t figure out how I got on without him! Now I can focus more time and energy on student learning because he helps with the technical stuff that would normally take up so much of my time to figure out. And our advisors…Wow. They do so much and head off so much at the pass. I’m not going to even try to imagine life without those amazing people.

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The Bigger Picture Student Tackles Race Questions for Asians in Sports When race relations are spoken of, the discussion is usually between white Americans, Latinos and African Americans. This is especially true of the discussion surrounding players from major sporting groups like the NFL, MLB, NBA and NHL, where teams are dominated with players from traditional minority groups. Kun Soo Shim, a sport management doctoral student from South Korea, sees this as oversimplifying the issue by not taking into account the Asian culture. Research on Asians and Asian-American participation in the sports world was also hard to come by. He started to look at the Asian population in college sports and noticed a lack of diversity. “Asians were six percent of the United States population in 2012 and when I looked [at] the Asian population in college sports administration and coaching – it is a small number,” Kun Soo says. “Somewhere less than one percent.” Curious why there were such low numbers, Shim began to research why there is such a disparity. First theories centered on participation in sports while at a university. He was surprised with the interest in college sports in the United States. “South Korea does not have a strong and solid college sports culture,” Kun Soo says. “We have varsity sports teams, but they do not invest a lot of money in it.” With assistance from his advisor, Dr. Akilah CarterFrancique, Shim conducted interviews with Asian Americans or Asians in and out of sports to get opinions on where sports fit into their lives. Based on his research, Shim found many Asians put a greater emphasis on education versus sports.

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“Asians and Asian Americans tend to be more focused on STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) careers,” Kun Soo says. “Their participation in sports is very low.” Social perspective and stereotypes also play a part. Shim says that many Americans believe the term ‘Asian’ has little to do with sports, believing Asians only excel in the classroom. Perceptions seem to be changing, however, due to the popularity of baseball and rising interest in basketball in Asian countries. “I think after Jeremy Lin and Yao Ming, it makes people think that Asians can play. But it’s not enough to change the whole stereotype,” Kun Soo says. “It may be possible that kids use Lin or Ming as role models to play professionally, but it is not yet enough to change the long standing perception.” This research is scheduled to be published in early 2015 and Shim hopes it brings his theory of Asian Critical Theory to prominence. “Asian Critical Theory is a new emerging perspective focusing on Asian populations,” Kun Soo says. Similar to the critical race theory discipline, Asian Critical Theory focuses on issues for Asians and Asian Americans to achieve equality and transform the relationship between different races. Shim is hopeful this line of thinking will be useful to groups, such as the NCAA. After graduating with his Ph.D. in December, Shim is a former student, pursuing a career in teaching. He has been hired as an assistant professor at Campbellsville University in the state of Kentucky.

Pictured are Yao Ming of the Houston Rockets, Aggie lengend Dat Nguyen from his time with the Dallas Cowboys, Olympic figure skater Michelle Kwan and Jeremy Lin of the Los Angeles Lakers.

After HLKN

Sheril Marek (left) does testing in class on a classmate.

Sheril Marek Takes Knowledge to Physical Therapy School Going to the grocery store. Enjoying hobbies. Improving activities of daily living. All the things that a healthy person enjoys. It is what pushes students like Sheril Marek to pursue physical therapy as a career. Being active has always been a focus for Sheril. She played sports in high school and always wanted to be in a profession that involved exercise and sports. “I looked into several exercise professions, but quickly found my passion in physical therapy when I realized you have the opportunity to help a wide-range of people, from infants to the elderly, accomplish their goals and increase their quality of life,” Sheril says. Marek received her bachelor’s degree in applied exercise physiology and master’s degree in exercise physiology from Texas A&M University. She served in many roles while enrolled here, from teaching assistant for kinesiology courses to researcher in the Applied Exercise Science Laboratory. She also interned with the department’s FitLife program, assisting with first responder wellness testing. Active outside of class, Sheril was director of activities for the Texas A&M Physical Therapy Society. She was also a member of the campus organization, Sports for Kids. With the help of Texas A&M StudentAthletes, the group held a camp day where they would promote physical activity by playing sports with children from the local community. Sheril even found time to be an Aggie Lunch Buddy, eating with a student at College Hills Elementary in College Station from kindergarten to second grade. “I got to watch him grow and I actually cried on the last day,” Sheril says. She volunteered to be part of the staff of the Huffines Institute in 2011, becoming an integral part of the annual Huffines Discussion. Her first year involved, she was in charge of designing the stage. The next year, she was the point of contact, arranging travel and accommodations for the speakers. “To have the opportunity to be involved with something like the Huffines Discussion from the very beginning and to watch it grow and come together into this amazing production really makes you appreciate the Huffines Institute staff as well as the opportunities and resources available to students in the Kinesiology

Department,” Sheril says. “And I still have contact with some of the speakers. Reflecting on my involvement in the Health and Kinesiology Department and Huffines Institute, it wasn’t until after I graduated that I realize the number of opened doors and opportunities available to me as a result of my continued involvement, dedication, and hard work” She is now pursuing her DPT (Doctor of Physical Therapy) degree at the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston, where she continues to be involved with everything. Already selected as the president of DPT class at UTMB, she is a School of Health Professions student ambassador, leading service and volunteering endeavors for her fellow students. Sheril believes that while the classes are challenging, her courses in HLKN prepared her for what she is learning today. “As a kinesiology major, I feel more prepared for the challenging course load and high expectations for success because Texas A&M expects that from all students,” Sheril says. “I catch myself hearing a lecture for the second time because one of my professors at A&M presented about the same topic in class.” Eventually Sheril wants to be involved in professional sports or athletic rehabilitation. “My main goal is to be the physical therapist for the Texas Rangers, but you have to start somewhere,” jokes Sheril. In the end, she cherishes her time at Texas A&M and with the Department of Health and Kinesiology. “Whenever you have students come back to see everyone or have professors Facebook you and ask how you’re doing, you know it’s a good program with faculty that genuinely care about their students,” Sheril says. “I’ve been back twice already. I miss Aggieland and I miss the kinesiology division. To me it’s like a family.”

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Future Athletic Trainers Take on Concussion Research A large percentage of the public may only know athletic trainers as the men and women who run onto the field when an athlete is injured. They may not know that athletic trainers are allied health care professionals who play an integral role in all aspects of an athlete’s health and well-being. The field is rapidly growing as more students across the country are pursuing athletic training as a career. Two of those students, Nellasha Davis and Ryan Attridge, are earning their master’s degree in athletic training from Texas A&M and conducting research on the differences between concussion testing for athletes. The King-Devick Test is a measure of saccadic eye movement requiring athletes to quickly read a series of numbers on three different test cards while timed. Formerly used to diagnose disorders in children, test baselines are previously administered and results are measured versus an athlete that is believed to have a concussion. Increased completion time compared to baseline may signal an alteration of brain function. “Local high schools have been collecting data for the student-athletes that are considered to be in high risk sports for concussion,” Ryan says. A series of concussion tests are performed at baseline after an athlete is suspected of suffering a concussion. The researchers are comparing the results of the various concussion tests with the King-Devick test to determine its validity in diagnosing a concussion in an adolescent population. “We hope to show that the King-Devick does help and is something you can do on the sideline,” Nellasha says. “We never just use one concussion assessment,” Ryan says. “We use versions of a number of tests dealing with memory recall and coordination. If athletic trainers think a player has a concussion they will do a sideline assessment including balance testing, sit them out for the game and do more testing later.” Several of the other concussion tests take longer to perform, use a computer program or require significant training to use correctly. In many secondary schools across the nation, these tools are not available or there is no athletic trainer on staff. A quick and easy to use testing tool may be beneficial for these youth sport organizations and schools.

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With increased media coverage of concussions, the role of an athletic trainer is drawing more attention. Several states are implementing laws that require athletic trainers in the high schools. Both Davis and Attridge believe it is imperative to put people with the knowledge in place to help keep players safe from concussions and other injuries. Research on concussions is one part of the Masters of Science in Athletic Training (MSAT) program. The program is designed for students who wish to earn the credentials from the Board of Certification to become a Certified Athletic Trainer (ATC) but do not have a bachelor’s degree from an accredited undergraduate athletic training program. “It’s a challenging program,” Ryan says. “A typical day includes taking classes in the morning and going to your clinical sites in the afternoon and evening. That could be anywhere from a local high school to Texas A&M.” Ryan and Nellasha were assigned to athletic trainers in the Texas A&M football program. That meant sometimes over 30 hours a week of helping to care for A&M athletes - before and after practice - and traveling with the team for games. These students gain valuable experience in multiple settings; helping them choose what setting they would like to work in. “This program helps you decide which way you want to go,” Nellasha says. “I rotated at Bryan High School and it made me want to work in the high school setting.” Ryan looks forward to earning a position in collegiate athletics Division I football and basketball after graduation. Both students are also looking forward to using the expertise learned in the MSAT program for the ultimate goal: The ability to help others. “We enjoy studying the human body and like to give back to people who are injured and help to rehabilitate them,” Ryan says. “Seeing that smile you get, from being down to being excited after rehab, gives you a great feeling that you helped someone,” Nellasha says.

Ryan Kreider, a sophomore sport management major, made national news with his block to protect Reveille VII during the SMU game.

In December, students participated in a study abroad, learning and touring the sights in the nation of Greece!

The Huffines Discussion 4 speakers: Dr. Ann McKee, Ms. Christie Aschwanden, Dr. John Chong, Dr. Kris Chesky, Mr. Gerald Veasley, Dr. Kevin Guskiewicz, Dr. J.P. Bramhall, Mr. David Epstein and Mr. Randy Dick.

Faculty and staff started the semester with tons on Aggie spirit on College Colors Day.

The Laboratory for the Study of Intercollegiate Athletics (LSIA) was busy during the holiday break. First, students went to North Texas to assist staff at the Cotton Bowl Classic. They did such a great job that they were asked to participate in the NCAA Division I Football Championship (FCS) in Frisco. The students made us proud again, assisting and representing the Department at the first ever College Football Playoff Championship game!

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Fun for All SPLASH Enriches Students and the Community An outreach program in the department is giving students an opportunity for real life training while helping kids in the Bryan/College Station area who suffer from disabilities. Special Populations Learn Aquatics with Aggie Students Helping (SPLASH), is a 5-week long water activity program designed to prepare undergraduate students for working with people who have special needs. It is part of the KINE 429 – Adapted Physical Education course that takes place in the classroom and at the pool. In the classroom students learn about ethical and legal considerations when teaching to special needs individuals and how to adapt physical activity specific to different ability levels. Some of the diagnosis they explore are Down’s syndrome, autism, hearing impairments and cognitive development delays. Gretchen Tyson, an instructional assistant professor in the Physical Education Activity Program, has worked with special needs children since she was in high school. She has been involved with SPLASH for four years. “Half the class does field experience in local schools working with an adaptive physical education specialist,” Gretchen says. “The other half does lab experience, and the students flip roles during the semester.” Students come from a variety of majors, such as physical

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education teacher certification, motor behavior, exercise physiology and special education. They are matched up with their “buddy,” a local kid taking special education classes. For many Aggies this is the first time they have taught an individual with special needs. It can make for nervous moments for students in the beginning, which is part of the learning process. “They come in with the expectation that the challenge is going to be their diagnosis,” Gretchen says. “I tell them to start out the first day just teaching as you would to anyone their age and then you can compensate for other challenges.” Students also meet the child’s parents and, on the first day of class, all go into the instructional pool together. Each child gets one to two students with them, depending on what kind of extra care they need in the water. The buddy has their swimming skills assessed and a lesson plan is developed based on the results. At the end of the program, kids are

given a certificate of participation and parents receive a progress report from the Aggie students. “Our Aggies work one on one with their buddy for an hour in the Rec Center’s instructional pool and take turns leading the group in a group game,” Gretchen says.

SPLASH, at its core, is about connecting with people. Between making special accommodations and changing the way they communicate, students are given the opportunity to realize that we are all individuals and that Aggieland extends beyond campus. “It does good things for our community and for our Aggies,” Gretchen says. “It definitely changes their perspective on who they get to see and work with as they leave school.” SPLASH happens every fall and spring semester. Registration opens in early January for the spring session, early August for the fall. Parents can register their kid (aged five to 21) for SPLASH online. Kids from around the area are allowed to participate, however sessions are limited to 12 children. Go to for more information.

Pool time has an added benefit for other members of the child’s family. Parents and guardians can get a break from their day-to-day challenges. “Sometimes it’s good for them because they can leave, if they want to go to the grocery store or just sit and read, they have that time,” Gretchen says. The impact for both student and teacher is evident by the time the semester is over. “Usually the first day our students are intimidated, but by the end, they ask for pictures and develop a bond with the kids,” Gretchen says. “Some of the kids have been coming to SPLASH for years and still ask about their Aggie buddies years later.”

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Beyond Sightseeing The Department of Health and Kinesiology has study abroad opportunities available for students to learn and research the world in places like Costa Rica, Germany, Greece and Senegal. One of the newest programs has students going to the Caribbean.

Many of the families in the country are in a low-income bracket. Health care is free to citizens, but options are limited. Sanitation systems are not always developed. In many areas, it is commonplace for children to work dangerous jobs. There are daily power outages even in the most developed areas.

Christine Tisone, a clinical assistant professor in health education, took her first group of Texas A&M students to the Dominican Republic last summer. The program, which she started over a decade ago at another institution, immerses students in the culture and enables them to interact directly with host families.

“One reason the Dominican Republic is a great place to do work like this is that any of the factors that impact health in developing nations around the world, you can find in this tiny little country,” Christine says. “Yet it’s safer than many of the other countries that have these problems.”

The Texas A&M Dominican Republican Global Health Issues immersion program has several goals: To let students see first-hand the many health-related challenges that face developing nations and the efforts being made to address those challenges; to teach students how to do health-related field research and to provide them an opportunity to carry out their own project; and to provide an opportunity for immersion into a different culture by living with host families. For students, the life they see in the Dominican Republic is a culture shock. “I do as much as I can to prep them for things,” Christine says. “I want them to learn to be good observers without being judgmental. It’s not something that comes naturally to many of us, but it can be learned.”

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Students are taught how to do health related field research and they decide what direction their research will go. “Each student develops their own project from start to finish, collecting data and presenting it at the end of the program,” Tisone says, “with as much support from our program staff as needed throughout the process.” Students split time with host families during the trip. They spend one month in a mountain town with a developed infrastructure. They then spend a month in a rural area that has more poverty and less infrastructure. This allows them to experience two different ways of life and its challenges. The students are learning from Dominican Republic professors about the country’s culture. They also receive lessons in the local dialect, Dominican Spanish.

Dr. Christine Tisone (top right, holding child) takes students every summer to experience life and conduct research in the Dominican Republic.

“I often take bilingual students who have Mexican or other Latino heritage, but it’s still a big culture and language shock, even though they may go in completely bilingual,” Tisone says. Professors help students with daily life while Tisone coordinates and carries out the research part of the program. “It’s a neat program because we have a very structured system of support in place for the students,” Tisone says. “But they can be as independent as they want to be – as long as they are not breaking program policies!.” Students are required to write reflection pieces at the end of the program, discussing how their experience will change their actions in the United States.

can bring my two worlds together. When I am able to bring students there to let them see things I’ve been talking about in my classes, it just makes me happy.” Tisone and student researchers will go again in the summer. “I had an anthropology student this past summer, along with a group of our Community and Allied Health majors,” Christine says. “It was neat seeing my students interact with her and benefit from a different perspective that she applied to her research.” “I believe strongly that students can learn more outside the classroom than in,” Christine says. “And I just love being able to create opportunities for that.”

“Many didn’t realize until spending a summer there how much water they waste here at home, for example, or how they’ve taken certain things for granted all their life,” Christine says. The program is personal for Tisone. She lived in the Dominican Republic for over a decade and still considers it her second home. In addition to her three biological children in the United States, Tisone adopted three children while living there. “Their mother died when they were young but I didn’t want to move them from their environment, culture, and large extended family.” Christine says. “They are adults now and have kids of their own, and it means so much to me when I

If students are interested in the Study Abroad immersion program to the Dominican Republic, contact Christine Tisone at

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16 18 | On The Move

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In Memoriam:

Dr. Jack H. Wilmore

This past fall, the Department of Health and Kinesiology lost a visionary in our field. Former department head Jack Wilmore passed away in November after a long and courageous fight with heart disease. Jack received his bachelor’s and master’s degree in physical education at the University of California, Santa Barbara and his doctorate in physical education from the University of Oregon. In addition to serving as department head for HLKN from 1997-2000 (and distinguished professor from 2000-2003), Jack was the head of the physical education department at the University of Arizona and the head of the kinesiology and health education department at the University of Texas at Austin.

chief of Exercise and Sport Sciences Reviews from 1972-1975. Jack was also respected and acknowledged by his peers. He served as the president of the American College of Sports Medicine from 1978 to 1979, later being honored by that organization as the recipient of the ACSM Citation Award in 1984 and the ACSM Honor Award in 2006. He was also selected as the Margie Gurley Seay Centennial Professor Emeritus for the University of Texas at Austin in 2005. Dr. Wilmore’s legacy lives on in our department in the Sydney and J.L. Huffines Institute for Sports Medicine and Human Performance, which he established during his time as department head. More than anything, Jack Wilmore was a husband, father and friend. The family expresses their thanks to all who have sent their love, concern and prayers to Jack.

From current department head Dr. Richard Kreider, He was also an associate professor at Ithaca College, “On behalf of our department, I want to express the University of California, Berkeley and the our heartfelt sympathies and say we are thankful for University of California, Davis. Jack’s leadership, mentorship, and friendship. We were certainly blessed to count him as a friend and Professionally, Dr. Wilmore was second to none. colleague. Rest in peace.” During his career, he published over 300 articles, 55 book chapters and 15 books. He was also editor-in- Pictures courtesy of the American College of Sports Medicine

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The Success Continues Commit To Your Growing Department The Texas A&M Department of Health & Kinesiology is dedicated to providing the highest quality of education for its students. Crucial to the educational experience is outstanding faculty, state of the art equipment and facilities, and scholarships for students who cannot afford tuition. Lecture series and symposiums, which bring in top industry leaders to share their knowledge with our students, are also vital to our learning culture. This quality of education is made possible with the help and generosity of some very special people.

Giving Options Endowed Scholarship Program For some students, a scholarship may determine whether or not they can achieve their dream of earning a college degree. Help our future health, kinesiology and sport management leaders who are in need of scholarships today. The impact of your generosity will be felt for generations to come. • Permanent endowments can be established for $25,000 or more • Scholarships may be established in your name, the name of a loved one, or someone you wish to honor • Payment may be made in one or multiple payments over a five-year period • Gifts to establish scholarships are eligible for corporate matching gift programs • Scholarships are awarded to highly motivated students within the Department of Health & Kinesiology Faculty Fellowship Program You can create a gift to inspire faculty research and teaching through a faculty fellowship. As a department, we are committed to providing resources and recognition to well deserving professors

who are preparing our students for important careers in health, kinesiology and sport management. • Permanent endowed gift of $100,000. A permanent endowment can be established over a period of up to five years. You have an option to give an additional $5,000 each year to allow for the fellowship to be awarded during the year preceding full funding of the endowment. • Non-endowed gift of $15,000 funding three $5,000 annual awards

Building Endowments Another way to give back is by naming a building or center in honor of a family member or friend to the university. Endowments are available for our the PEAP Building, the upcoming Human Clinical Research Center, as well as the Texas A&M Coaching Academy, the Transdisciplinary Center for Health Equity Research (TCHER), the Center for Sport Management Research and Education (CSMRE), the Exercise and Sport Nutrition Lab (ESNL) and the Center for Translational Research in Aging and Longevity (CTRAL). For information on how to give to the College of Education & Human Development or the Department of Health & Kinesiology please contact: Jody Ford Director of Development College of Education & Human Development 802 Harrington Tower 4222 TAMU College Station, TX 77843-4222 (979) 847-8655

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Recent External Funding BLOOMFIELD, SUSAN (PI, Professor and Assistant Provost) Iron Overload and Oxidative Damage: Regulators of Bone Homeostasis in the Space Environment 8/1/2013 - 7/31/2016 $240,875 (NASA-Washington) BUCHANAN, JOHN (PI, Professor) Collaborative Research: ARWED Augmented Perception for Upper-Limb Rehabilitation 8/15/2014 - 7/31/2017 $31,567 (National Science Foundation) CHEN, LEI-SHIH (PI, Assistant Professor) Cancer Genomics Training Program for a Competent Texas Health Education Force 8/31/2014 - 8/30/2016 $75,000 (Cancer Prevention & Research Institute of Texas) CUNNINGHAM, GEORGE (PI, Professor and Assistant Dean) MCKYER, E. LISAKO (Co-PI, Professor and Director) Aggieland’s Community-Campus Partnership for Health: Brazos Valley Youth Engaged Actively for Health! 9/1/2014 - 8/31/2016 $100,000 (Texas A&M Dean of Faculties) ENGELEN, MARIELLE P. (PI, Associate Professor) DEUTZ, NICOLAAS E. (Co-PI, Professor and Director) Metabolic Effects of Chemotherapy and the Clinical Effects of Nutritional Intervention in Cancer 11/1/2013 - 10/31/2014 $33,088 (European Society for Clinical Nutrition and Metabolism) KREIDER, RICHARD B. (PI, Professor and Department Head) Woodbolt International Research & Development Program 10/1/2013 - 8/31/2016 $402,727 (Woodbolt International) KREIDER, RICHARD (PI, Professor and Department Head) Curves Women’s Health & Fitness Initiative 6/1/2013 - 12/31/2014 $700,224 (Curves International)

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LAWLER, JOHN M. (PI, Professor) Developing Novel, Targeted Countermeasures to Reduce Oxidative Stress and Skeletal Muscle Atrophy During Microgravity (Post-Doctoral Fellowship James Kuczmarksi) 12/1/2013 - 12/31/2015 $51,275 (NASA-Washington) LAWLER, JOHN (PI, Professor) FLUCKEY, JAMES (Co-PI, Associate Professor) Redox Regulation of nNOS Translocation and Muscle Atrophy During Mechanical Unloading 7/1/2012 - 8/23/2015 $135,217 (NASA-Washington) LIGHTFOOT, JOHN TIMOTHY Undoing the Damage: Reprogramming the effects of early high sugar/high fat diets through exercise 9/15/2013 - 9/14/2015 $68,548 (DOD-Army Medical Research Acquisition Activity) MARTIN, STEVE E. (PI, Clinical Associate Professor) CROUSE, STEPHEN F. (Co-PI, Professor) City of Taylor (TX) Fire Department Cardiovascular Health Profiles 2/1/2014 - 12/31/2014 $13,279 (Taylor Fire Department) MCKYER, E. LISAKO (Co-PI, Professor and Director) Using Family Focused Garden, Nutrition and Physcial Activity Programs to Reduce Childhood Obesity 3/1/2011 - 2/1/2016 $6,168 (United States Department of Agriculture-Agriculture and Food Research Initiative) WOODMAN, CHRISTOPHER R. (PI, Associate Professor and Division Chair) Post-translational Mechanisms Regulating eNOS Function and EndotheliumDependent Dilation in Senescent Skeletal Muscle Resistance Vessels 7/1/2013 - 6/30/2015 $25,000 (American Heart - South West)

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Texas A&M University 4243 TAMU College Station, TX 77843-4243

On The Move Magazine - Spring 2015  

The Department of Health and Kinesiology at Texas A&M University is proud to present its sixth edition of On The Move magazine. Highlights i...

On The Move Magazine - Spring 2015  

The Department of Health and Kinesiology at Texas A&M University is proud to present its sixth edition of On The Move magazine. Highlights i...