Page 1


Department of Kinesiology NEWs  page 12

Health and Human Development News



an d


| Winter 2013-14

you& your health

College of Health and Human Development Dean

Ann C. Crouter

Associate Dean for Undergraduate Studies and Outreach Dennis Shea

Interim Associate Dean for Research and Graduate Education Kathryn Drager

Greetings from the College of Health and Human Development At its heart, our college is focused on improving the quality of human health and the quality of life for people of all ages and backgrounds, as well as training the next generation of leaders in this important area. You can find our faculty members in their laboratories where they might be studying exercise physiology or developmental neuroscience, out in the community where they might be examining quality of life for cancer survivors or conducting an intervention to prevent diabetes, or in the classroom where they share their knowledge every day with future speech pathologists, physicians, experts on children and youth, physical therapists, community health leaders, outdoor educators, hoteliers, dietitians, and hospital administrators. The stories in this magazine will give you a flavor for the wide variety of research going on in the college. We’ve created eight versions with sections specifically tailored to each of our academic units to give readers an opportunity to learn more about what is going on in the part of the college that they remember best. All of the versions of the magazine are available on the web, so if you are curious about what the graduates of other majors are reading, please go to: A magazine is no substitute for what you can learn by returning to campus. Please schedule a visit to Penn State—and to our college—for 2014. You would be welcome to tour our facilities, sit in on a class or two, and soak up the energetic, rejuvenating spirit that Penn State’s incredible students bring with them to everything they do. I look forward to welcoming you back!

Assistant Dean for Undergraduate Education



Douglas Ford

Director of Development Kathleen Rider

Assistant Dean for Alumni Relations and Special Projects Abigail Diehl

Assistant Director of Alumni Relations Kristi Stoehr

Director of Communications and Creative Services Scott Sheaffer

Senior Designer


Dennis Maney

Science Writer/Editor Sara LaJeunesse

Communications Specialist Jennifer Hicks

Alumni Mentoring Program Coordinator and Staff Assistant for Alumni and College Relations


V. Diane Collins

Warmly, Articles may be reprinted with permission; for more information please contact the Office of Alumni and College Relations at 814-865-3831 or

Ann C. Crouter Raymond E. and Erin Stuart Schultz Dean College of Health and Human Development

For general correspondence, please write to the Office of Alumni and College Relations, College of Health and Human Development, The Pennsylvania State University, 201 Henderson Building, University Park, PA 16802-6501; e-mail; or visit This publication is available in alternative media on request. Penn State is committed to affirmative action, equal opportunity, and the diversity of its workforce. (HHD14032) U.Ed. HHD 14-032


Special Section: News From Your Department  page 12

you & your fitness nutrition health care relationships


YOU & YOUR Fitness

Exercise for Life

Sayers John Miller, III, assistant professor of kinesiology and former athletic trainer for the San Francisco 49ers, gives tips on how to prevent exercise-related injuries and maintain fitness throughout life. Got knee pain? Plantar fasciitis? IT-band syndrome? Achilles tendinitis? Chances are, if you’re suffering from one of these overuse injuries, you have weak hips, glutes, or abdominals—or all three. According to Miller (featured in the images), weaknesses in these major muscle groups can lead to knees that collapse inward during exercise, a habit that can wreak havoc on the body. “Once you’ve damaged cartilage or torn ligaments, they’re never quite the same,” says Miller. “One of the things we commonly

see is knee, ankle, and lower back pain, and one of the common causes of these types of pain is the inability to control the lower extremities.” To avoid injuries that can squash our hopes of maintaining fitness into old age, Miller says we should regularly dedicate time to strengthening the muscles—hips, gluteals, and abdominals—that control our lower extremities.

Double-Leg Squats

Squats Variations

Keep the knee over the foot and the beltline parallel to the ground (image A) while squatting. A band (image A) can help prevent the knees from collapsing inward (image B).

As you develop strength, begin to do single-leg squats (image C). Another variation is to place an exercise ball against a wall and hold a static squat position (image D).


2 | Health and Human Development




Clamshell Leg Lifts

Clamshell Leg Lifts With Band

Lie on your side with knees at right angles. Lift the top knee up, then lower it. This exercise strengthens the glutes and the external rotators of the hip.

When you become stronger, a band can provide additional resistance.

Leg Presses

Leg Presses With Band

Extend one leg at a time while lifting the gluteals and lowering them. This exercise strengthens the gluteal, hamstring, and abdominal muscles.

Doing a leg press with a band around the knees forces you to pull the knees out at the same time you are moving up and down, which emphasizes external rotation of the lower extremity, rather than internal rotation.

Plank Rotations To strengthen the abdominals, position your body parallel to the floor with upper body resting on elbow and forearms and lower body resting on toes. Hold.

To do a side plank, rest on one hand while raising the opposite hand in the air. Balance on sides of feet.

Winter 2013-14 | 3


YOU & YOUR Fitness and Nutrition

I’m Pregnant.

Is it Safe to Exercise? Research consistently shows that exercising while pregnant delivers tremendous health benefits, yet many women avoid exercising because they worry about falling. In a recent study, Danielle Symons Downs, associate professor of kinesiology and obstetrics and gynecology, and Jinger Gottschall, assistant professor of kinesiology, examined whether and how pregnant women’s gaits change as they transition between level and hill surfaces, such as when walking or running outside.

“Most people alter their gait to avoid tripping when walking on uneven ground, but we found that pregnant women adopt an exaggerated gait strategy compared to non-pregnant adults,” says Gottschall. The team concludes that although pregnant women do exaggerate their gaits, walking or jogging outside are generally safe activities. However, if pregnant women do not feel comfortable walking outside, a treadmill or a track are good alternatives.

Visit a Park for Your Health Want to become more physically fit? Head to your local park, says Andrew Mowen, associate professor of recreation, park, and tourism management. “Studies show that people exercise more when they have access to parks,” he says. “They also are less stressed and have fewer anxiety disorders when they visit parks.”

4 | Health and Human Development

“Work Out” Your Hot Flashes Menopausal women who exercise may experience fewer hot flashes in the 24 hours following physical activity, according to Steriani Elavsky, associate professor of kinesiology, and colleagues. “Some people think that performing physical activity could increase hot flashes because it increases body temperature,” says Elavsky. “But our research shows that this is not true. On average, the women in our study experienced fewer hot flash symptoms after exercising.”

Binge-Eating Disorders Roughly four million Americans regularly binge eat to the point of feeling sick. Repeated bingeing on fatty food may change patterns of neural signaling in the brain in a manner similar to that which occurs during drug use, according to research on rats conducted by Professor of Nutritional Neuroscience Rebecca Corwin. “These changes in the brain could perpetuate the bingeing behavior and may explain why binge-eating disorder is so difficult to treat,” she says. “What’s particularly interesting is that only rats with restricted access to a fatty treat a few times a week will binge on the treat. Rats that get to eat a little of the treat every day don’t binge and don’t show the same changes.”

Symptoms of Binge-Eating Disorder Provided by the Mayo Clinic

• Eating unusually large amounts of food • Eating even when you’re full or not hungry • Eating rapidly during binge episodes • Eating until you’re uncomfortably full • Frequently eating alone • Feeling that your eating behavior is out of control • Feeling depressed, disgusted, ashamed, guilty, or upset about your eating • Losing and gaining weight repeatedly, also called yo-yo dieting If you or a loved one has any symptoms of binge-eating disorder, seek medical help as soon as possible.

For Healthy Weight Loss, Ditch the Diet The Atkins Diet, the Paleolithic Diet, the Cabbage Soup Diet. Some of us have tried every fad diet out there in an attempt to lose weight and keep it off. Yet, according to Penny Kris-Etherton, Distinguished Professor of Nutrition, people might have better success if they think NOT in terms of dieting, but rather on eating healthful foods over their lifetime. “That means eating a lot of fruits and vegetables, whole grains, skim-milk dairy products, lean meats, and a small amount of liquid vegetable oil,” says Kris-Etherton. “It also means avoiding high-calorie snacks. Certainly they can be incorporated in small amounts in a healthy diet, but if you focus on eating the healthier foods, you might naturally eat fewer sweets and treats.” Kris-Etherton says if you feel you really need the structure of a diet, check out the research-based DASH Diet, which emphasizes eating healthful foods in three meals and two snacks a day. Kris-Etherton recently served on a panel of scientists that ranked the diet at the top of the list in a U.S. News & World Report diet ranking.

Take a dip Can’t get your kids to eat their vegetables? Try offering the veggies with a side of dip. Research by Jennifer Savage Williams, associate director of the Center for Childhood Obesity Research, showed that more kids like vegetables when they are paired with a yummy dip compared to vegetables without a dip. “Just because children refuse to taste a vegetable doesn’t mean they don’t like it,” Savage says. “It’s foreign—the key is to try to get them to taste it in a positive light.”

Winter 2013-14 | 5


YOU & YOUR Nutrition

Nutrition Concerns in your

20s, 40s, & 60s As we age, our calorie needs and nutrient requirements change. Lynn Parker Klees, instructor in the Department of Nutritional Sciences, shares tips on how to eat healthfully in your 20s, 40s, and 60s.

6 | Health and Human Development


You may be working long hours, making new friends and dating, and possibly getting married and having children. Life is unpredictable, yet grabbing meals on the go often means taking in more calories and fewer nutrients. • When eating in restaurants, take half of the portion home. • Aim to have fruits and vegetables constitute half of your plate at lunch and dinner. • Substitute fruit for dessert most of the time. • When you need a quick meal, pick up healthy convenience foods like rotisserie chicken, instant brown rice, and frozen vegetables. • Reduce sugar-sweetened beverages and substitute water or no-calorie beverages. • Moderate alcohol consumption—one serving per day for women and two servings per day for men.


Life is hectic and you may not notice your metabolism starting to slow down. Watch out for increased belly fat as a result of dropping estrogen levels for women and long hours sitting for both men and women. • Find ways to add movement during the day. Get up early to go to the gym, take off during your lunch break to walk or bicycle, or jog or walk around the soccer field during your kids’ games. • Add strength training to slow the inevitable loss of muscle mass with aging. • Calorie needs drop as we get older. Cut 100 calories a day from your pre-40 diet. For every decade after 40, we need about 1 percent fewer calories, or the equivalent of a cookie. • Limit extra fats and sugars to about 100-150 calories per day.


You may be looking forward to increasing your physical activity in retirement or you may be slowing down due to injuries or chronic health problems. Despite your fitness level, your calorie needs have decreased while your nutrient needs have stayed the same or increased. • If you live alone, try to halve recipes or freeze in small portions for later use to avoid eating spoiled leftovers. • As we age, our thirst mechanism decreases but our fluid needs are maintained. Drink plenty of fluids to avoid dehydration. • People in their 60s need more protein to maintain their muscles. Choose lean meats, fish, beans, nuts, and tofu, and eat them throughout the day. • Beware of losing too much weight. People who are underweight and undernourished don’t fare as well when faced with illness and injury.


Percentage of Americans who are overweight.


Percentage of Americans who are projected to be obese, not just overweight, by 2030.

Source: Gordon Jensen, professor and head of the Department of Nutritional Sciences

Winter 2013-14 | 7


YOU & YOUR Health care

The Affordable Care Act: A Primer One in seven Americans does not have health insurance. When they do, the average family’s health insurance costs more than $15,000 per year. The Affordable Care Act (Obamacare), which was signed into law in 2010, promises to increase and improve health insurance coverage and reduce the cost of health care. How will this benefit you? According to Pamela Farley Short, professor of health policy and administration, it depends on who you are. Below, Short summarizes the primary provisions of Phase I and II of the Affordable Care Act, as it has evolved with Supreme Court decisions, stateby-state decisions about participation, and the Obama administration’s interpretation and implementation of the law.

Phase I (now in effect ) Insurer Limitations Preventive Care Prescription Drugs Young People Small Businesses Lifetime Limits Pre-Existing Conditions High-Risk Patients

8 | Health and Human Development

Insurers are limited in how they spend premium dollars; if too little goes into health care for their customers, they must give some of it back through rebates. No additional costs for preventive care, like screenings and vaccinations, for anyone with health insurance. People on Medicare who use a lot of prescription drugs pay less for them. Young people can stay on their parents’ policies up to age 26. Some small businesses get tax breaks to help them buy insurance for their employees. No more lifetime limits on health insurance. Insurance companies can’t turn kids down because of pre-existing conditions, like asthma and diabetes. High-risk pools supported by the government were set up to cover the sickest of the uninsured, even before the big expansions in health insurance scheduled for 2014.

Phase II (effective as of January 1, 2014) Medicaid

States have the option of expanding Medicaid to cover all low-income people, with the federal government picking up the entire cost for three years and then slowly shifting 10 percent to the states by 2020. Because of the Supreme Court ruling, states also have the option of leaving Medicaid unchanged and poor people uninsured.

Low-income Families

Tax credits are available to offset health insurance costs of anyone without Medicaid or access to affordable employment-based health insurance if their family income is between 100 percent and 400 percent of the federal poverty line (between $23,000 and $94,000 for a family of four). Lower-income families in this range get more help than higher-income families.

Marketplace Exchange

People with no option to get health insurance through work can buy it through an online marketplace, organized by their state or by the federal government on behalf of their state.

No Rejections

Insurers cannot turn people down or charge them more if they are sick.

Insurance Requirement Large Businesses

Everyone is required to have insurance. Those who don’t must pay a special tax that is relatively small in 2014 but increases in subsequent years. Starting in 2015, larger businesses will pay special taxes if they don’t insure their full-time workers.

The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation was an important source of information in compiling these lists.

Winter 2013-14 | 9


YOU & YOUR Relationships

How to connect with kids at any age Greg Fosco, assistant professor of human development and family studies and the Karl R. and Diane Wendle Fink Early Career Professor for the Study of Families, explains two of the most important ways parents can connect with their kids. Focus on positive behavior—Rather than focus on corrective feedback and nagging, parents can praise their kids’ good behavior, notice their successes, and make a point of helping them understand when they are meeting expectations or behaving appropriately. Strive for a ratio of three praises for every one corrective statement. Be a good listener—Children’s disclosures provide a range of opportunities for parents, such as problem-solving difficult peer interactions or learning about challenges their children are having with classwork. Parents are wise to take advantage of any opportunity to learn with whom their children are spending time and what happens while they are unsupervised. The most skillful parents are non-reactive listeners who ask questions like, “What happened next?” or “How did you respond?” or “Was that scary?” which can help kids open up.

10 |


“Should I allow my teenager to drink alcohol at home?”


“Many parents believe if they provide alcohol early it takes the mystery away and their kids are less likely to drink outside the home, but research shows that when the first drink is provided within the home, kids are more likely to drink more heavily and frequently,” says Robert Turrisi, professor of biobehavioral health.

39.8 million

Caring For Older Family Members 39.8 million. That’s the number of Americans over age 15 who provided unpaid care to someone over age 65 during a three-month period in 2012, according to a Bureau of Labor Statistics report. Distinguished Professor and Head of the Department of Human Development and Family Studies Steven Zarit gives some tips on how to manage the stress of caring for aging family members: • Get the information you need. Information about your relative’s condition and the options you have for providing care will help a lot. • Connect with other caregivers in a support group or on-line chat, share ideas about what works, and give support to one another. • Ask for help when you need it. • Get regular breaks from caregiving. My research has shown that adult day service programs have therapeutic benefits for their clients, while also reducing stress and improving well-being of caregivers. • If you feel upset and don’t know what to do, a social worker or psychologist with training in caregiving can be very helpful.

Winter 2013-14 | 11


Department of Kinesiology

When the University of Michigan’s football team lost to Penn State on October 12, just how much shame did the players feel? According to researchers at Penn State, people’s goals at the outset of a competence-based task, such as a football game, can influence how much shame or pride they feel upon completion of the task. “Our research suggests that when your goal is to outperform others, your feelings of pride will be amplified when you succeed,” said Amanda Rebar ’13g KINES, “but when your goal is to avoid being outperformed by others, your feelings of shame will be amplified when you fail.” The team—which included David Conroy, professor of kinesiology—recruited fifty-eight undergraduate students to complete twenty-four rounds of the video game Tetris. The participants were instructed to earn as many points as possible. Before each round, one of four different criteria for earning a point was presented onscreen, the goal of which was to elicit different achievement goals among the participants. Immediately following each round, the researchers provided the participants with bogus feedback and the participants rated their shame and pride. “Our results suggest that a person’s motivation and purpose regarding a task—whether that task is a video game, a race, or an academic

12 | Health and Human Development

exam—impacts the amount of pride or shame he or she will experience in response to success or failure,” said Conroy. “And the amount of pride or shame a person feels can influence whether he or she will persist in the task or drop out.” The results appeared in the journal Sport, Exercise, and Performance Psychology in November. According to the researchers, it isn’t necessarily a bad thing for people to focus on their performances relative to others. “Pride is known to invoke a boost of confidence, persistence, and problem-solving ability, which can help people perform at their best,” Hyde said. But shame, on the other hand, can cause problems. “If a baseball player is the first to strike out in a game, his shame may cause him to become distracted or to worry too much about his precise movements, both of which can hurt his performance,” she said. “Our advice is for people to focus on what they can achieve rather than on what they can lose,” Conroy said. “It may be particularly helpful if coaches and teachers understand these results so they can help influence their athletes’ and students’ achievement goals so as to minimize feelings that can hurt performance.” ■

Mark Selders/Penn State Athletic Communications

Pride and Shame Success and Failure

New brain model may help stroke victims By Seth Palmer Mark Selders/Penn State Athletic Communications

A new model of brain lateralization for movement could dramatically improve the future of rehabilitation for stroke patients, according to Robert Sainburg, professor of kinesiology and neurology, who proposed and confirmed the model through novel virtual-reality and brain-lesion experiments. Since the 1860s, neuroscientists have known that the human brain is organized into two hemispheres, each of which is responsible for different functions. Known as neural lateralization, this functional division has significant implications for the control of movement and is familiar in the phenomenon of handedness. Understanding the connections between neural lateralization and motor control is crucial to many applications, including the rehabilitation of stroke patients. While most people intuitively understand handedness, the neural foundations underlying motor asymmetry have until recently remained elusive, according to Sainburg. Research by Sainburg and his colleagues in the Center for Motor Control published in the journal Brain has revealed a new model of motor lateralization that accounts for the neural foundations of handedness. The discovery could fundamentally change the way post-stroke rehabilitation is designed. “Each hemisphere of the brain is specialized for different aspects of motor control, and thus each arm is ‘dominant’ for different features of movement,” said Sainburg. “The dominant arm is used for applying specific force sequences—such as when slicing a loaf of bread with a knife—and the other arm is used for impeding forces to maintain stable posture—such as holding the loaf of bread. Together these specialized control mechanisms are seamlessly integrated into every day activities. “Our research has shown that this integration breaks down in neural disorders such as stroke, which produces different motor deficits depending on whether the right or left hemisphere has been damaged,” Sainburg continued. “Traditionally, physical rehabilitation professionals have used the same protocols to practice movements of the paretic arm, regardless of the hemisphere that has been damaged. Our research shows that each arm should be treated for different control deficits, and it also indicates that therapists should directly

retrain patients in how to use the two arms together in order to recover function.” In preparing to test their model, Sainburg and his team selected study participants from the New Mexico Veterans Administration Hospital and the Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center based on specific criteria in order to accurately distinguish the motor-control mechanisms specific to each brain hemisphere. Participants were then asked to perform a series of tasks on a virtual-reality interface, programmed and designed by Sainburg, which allowed the researchers to record detailed 3D position and motion data. The data for all the participants’ hand trajectories and final positions were then aggregated to compare the effects of left versus right hemisphere damage on different aspects of control. “Our results indicated that while both groups of patients showed similar clinical impairment in the contralesional arm, this was produced by different motor control deficits,” Sainburg said. “Righthemisphere-damaged patients were able to make straight movements that were directed toward the targets, but were unable to stabilize their arms in the targets at the end of motion. In contrast, left-hemisphere-damaged patients were unable to make straight and efficient movements, but had no difficulty stabilizing their arms at the end of motion. These results confirmed that each hemisphere contributes unique control to its contralesional arm, verifying why our arms seem different when we use them for the same tasks.” Results mirror those of Sainburg’s prior studies of motor deficits in unilateral stroke patients, focused on the ipsilesional arm, which formed the basis for his model of lateralization. “Because both arms in stroke patients show motor deficits that are specific to the hemisphere that was damaged, we have concluded that the left arm is not simply controlled with the right hemisphere and vice versa,” Sainburg said. “This is a revolutionarily new perspective on sensorimotor control: each hemisphere contributes different control mechanisms to the coordination of both arms, regardless of which arm is considered dominant.” Sainburg and his colleagues are currently designing followup studies that will aid the development of new rehabilitation protocols addressing the specific motor deficits associated with each hemisphere. ■

Winter 2013-14 | 13

Paul Hazi

Fear of F a l l i n gg g Understanding Pregnant Women’s Changing Gaits

Two kinesiologists with disparate areas of expertise investigate the psychological and biomechanical aspects associated with falling while pregnant. Besides the bulging belly, the “waddle”—the telltale sign of a shifted center of gravity—is a key distinguishing feature of pregnant women. For many, this feeling of being off-kilter translates to a fear of falling, thus deterring them from engaging in many forms of physical activity where the risk of falling is increased. “A recent study that examined 4,000 pregnant women found that 27 percent of them fell during their pregnancy,” said Danielle Symons Downs, associate professor of kinesiology and obstetrics and gynecology. “Changes in elevation are the primary source of falling accidents. So it’s not surprising that many pregnant women decrease or avoid exercising altogether because they are worried about falling and harming their babies. However, research consistently shows that the health benefits of exercising while pregnant outweigh the risks of falling as long as the exercise is conducted in a safe fashion.” To simultaneously investigate the psychological and biomechanical aspects associated with falling while pregnant, Downs, who specializes in psychological and behavioral aspects of physical activity, teamed up with colleague Jinger Gottschall, assistant professor of kinesiology with expertise in the biomechanical aspects of physical activity. “The issue of falling while pregnant is one that requires an understanding of both women’s attitudes toward falling and their physical and, perhaps unconscious, responses to uneven terrain,” said Downs. “Our unique collaboration has allowed us to examine these issues with the ultimate goal of informing more specific recommendations for pregnant women regarding how to engage in healthy exercise while maintaining physical safety, particularly as pregnancy progresses to delivery.” In a recent study by Gottschall and Downs published in the Journal of Electromyography and Kinesiology, thirteen pregnant women between 20 and 32 weeks gestation completed a standing trial and series of randomly

assigned walking conditions in a laboratory protocol. Their goal was to determine whether and how pregnant women’s gaits change as they transition between level and hill surfaces. Specifically, the researchers examined the participants’ strides as they walked up a custom-built 2.4-meter ramp with a 15-degree incline, across a raised 4.8-meter plateau, and back down again. The team placed markers on the participants’ feet, legs, hips, and backs and recorded their movements as they walked using a 3D camera system. The researchers also measured electromyography—or muscle activity—by attaching electrodes to the participants’ legs. “Most people alter their gait to avoid tripping when walking on uneven ground, but we found that pregnant women adopt an exaggerated gait strategy compared to non-pregnant adults,” said Gottschall. “The women become more cautious during walking with their gait as they advance through pregnancy.” In another study, the researchers are examining pregnant women’s attitudes regarding physical activity during pregnancy. They are using surveys to determine how frequently and how intensely women exercise at various points prior to pregnancy, during pregnancy, and after pregnancy. They also are investigating how fearful these women are of falling and whether they actually have fallen. Knowing that pregnant women are generally fearful of falling, especially during later stages of pregnancy, and also knowing that women alter their gait in an exaggerated way in response to uneven terrain, Downs and Gottschall conclude that if pregnant women do not feel comfortable walking outside, a treadmill or a track are options, particularly as pregnancy progresses toward delivery. “By following this recommendation, pregnant women can get the beneficial exercise they need while minimizing a possible fall,” said Gottschall. ■

Winter 2013-14 | 15


Department of Kinesiology

The Richard C. Nelson Program Endowment in Biomechanics In 2009, the former Biomechanics Laboratory—the “Water Tower,” which is located next to the Nittany Lion Inn on the Penn State University Park campus—was dedicated as a historical landmark. At the same time, Richard Nelson was honored as the founding director of the Biomechanics Laboratory. The next year, a quest to establish the Richard Nelson Program Endowment in Biomechanics began.

endowment is important because it enables the lab to offer its students state-of-the-art equipment, opportunities to travel to conferences, and the flexibility to provide the necessary and most advanced environment to continue the research and productivity of the Biomechanics program.”

“Dr. Nelson had a considerable influence on the early development and expansion of biomechanics as a field of study and area of research,” said Philip Martin ’83g, chair of the Department of Kinesiology at Iowa State University. “The endowment is an acknowledgment and expression of appreciation for Dr. Nelson’s extensive contributions to Penn State and to the field of biomechanics over the past four decades,” he added. “Drs. Nelson, Cavanagh, and Morehouse created a very rich learning environment. I personally benefitted from that rich learning environment when I was a graduate student in the lab. I hope the support that comes from the endowment will in some small way assist current biomechanics faculty in sustaining that rich environment for students for many years to come.” Founded in 1967, the Biomechanics Laboratory was one of the first of its kind in the world to focus on human movement analysis using principles in mechanics. Early research in the laboratory focused on human performance in sports such as swimming, football, gymnastics, track, and volleyball. Currently, the laboratory has expanded its domain to include hypothesis-driven research over a very broad domain that includes, for example, projects examining stroke survivors, pregnant women, and older adults. In addition, the lab has grown substantially over the years in terms of the number of affiliated faculty members, post-doctoral fellows, graduate students, and undergraduate students. “When you review faculty research interests, the diversity of research that is conducted in the lab really stands out,” said Martin. “In addition, from its humble beginnings in the Water Tower, the current Biomechanics Lab is much larger and is one of the best-equipped biomechanics labs in the world,” he said. Robert Gregor ’76g, professor emeritus at the Georgia Institute of Technology and professor emeritus at the University of Southern California, added, “The

16 | Health and Human Development

To make a gift and join the community of donors making this endowment possible, please send a check made out to Penn State with “Nelson Endowment” written in the memo line to: College of Health and Human Development Development Office 201 Henderson Building University Park, PA 16803 Or visit to make your gift online (Under Colleges select Other in the College of Health and Human Development and type “Nelson Endowment – XCHNR” in the Additional Information Box).

Kinesiology student-athletes honored as Big Ten Distinguished Scholars Nine student-athletes from the Department of Kinesiology were among 68 Penn State studentathletes to have been selected for the Big Ten Distinguished Scholar Award for earning a gradepoint average of 3.7 or higher during the 2012-13 academic year.

Colleen Shannon (senior) Women’s Cross Country/ Track and Field

Hannah Allison ’13 Field Hockey

Lauren Purvis (senior) Field Hockey/Women’s Lacrosse

Scott Rosenthal (graduate student) Men’s Gymnastics

Sharaya Musser ’13 Women’s Gymnastics

Timothy Golder (senior) Men’s Lacrosse

Brynja Winnan (senior) Women’s Swimming and Diving

Kathleen Rodden (senior) Women’s Cross Country/Track and Field Kathleen earned a perfect 4.0 grade-point average during the 2012-13 academic year.

Rachel Myers (senior) Softball

Winter 2013-14 | 17


Department of Kinesiology

Kinesiology Club holds “Exercise is Medicine” week The Kinesiology Club, with the support of faculty members in the Department of Kinesiology, held the second annual “Exercise is Medicine™” event during the week of October 14-18, 2013, on the Penn State University Park campus. The event consisted of campus-wide activities to encourage all Penn State students to “get moving” so they can enjoy a healthier, more physically active lifestyle. “Physical inactivity is the fastest growing public health problem in the United States, and is widely prevalent even among college-age individuals,” said David Proctor, professor of kinesiology and faculty chair for Penn State’s Exercise is MedicineTM event. “While university students may currently look and feel healthy, now is the time for them to become and remain physically active to help ward off future medical problems such as obesity, diabetes, and heart disease.” Exercise is Medicine™, an initiative launched by the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) and the American Medical Association in 2007, encourages primary care physicians and other health care providers to assess physical activity during office visits and to discuss the health and medical benefits of exercise with their patients. One outgrowth of this ACSM initiative is “Exercise is Medicine on Campus,” a program calling on universities and colleges to promote physical activity and its health benefits on their campuses. Kinesiology Club members and department faculty members hosted several activities on campus to raise awareness of the importance of physical activity and to provide stu-

Penn State (2)

18 | Health and Human Development

dents with opportunities to learn more about their health and fitness. An Exercise is Medicine™ information table was available in the HUB-Robeson Center, where students could obtain health information and sign up for free fitness testing in the White Building. Also, Kinesiology Club members and department faculty members set up stationary bikes and circuit exercise equipment, such as a trampoline and medicine balls, at select sites on campus with a goal of encouraging passersby to engage in exercise. Finally, Ann C. Crouter, the Raymond E. and Erin Stuart Schultz Dean of the College of Health and Human Development, showed her support by organizing a walk around campus for her faculty and staff. “Although fitting exercise into a busy college life can seem challenging, it’s really not if you consider that even a modest amount of daily walking and some stretch-band exercises, for example, can improve our heart health and muscle tone,” said Ali Thompson, student director of Exercise is Medicine™ week at Penn State. “Exercise is also a great stress reliever,” added Chris Gettle, president of the Kinesiology Club. “Exercise is Medicine™ week at Penn State perfectly aligns with the educational and outreach mission of our department and college,” said Nancy Williams, professor and head of the Department of Kinesiology. “We advocate for improved health and quality of life through movement and physical activity, and that is exactly what this initiative does.” n

Dean Ann C. Crouter (front, right) organized a walk around campus for her faculty and staff.

Paul Hazi (2)

Delegation of top Chinese scientists visits Department of Kinesiology A delegation of top sport and exercise scientists from China visited faculty and staff members from the Department of Kinesiology, the Department of Intercollegiate Athletics, and the Golf Teaching and Research Center in October to learn about the latest in scientific research and training in their field. The visit is the second in which a group of Chinese sport and exercise scientists visited the department. Last year’s group came in November. Representing the General Administration of Sports of China, the twenty-five delegates this year were given tours of the football program’s strength and conditioning and athletic training facilities in the Lasch Football Building, the Multisport Complex, and the Golf Teaching and Research Center in Keller Building during their two-day visit. The delegates also attended lectures and laboratory presentations on athletic training, injury prevention and management, rehabilitation, nutrition, special considerations for the female athlete, and other topics given by professors and researchers in the Department of Kinesiology. The department’s graduate program is ranked #1 in the field of kinesiology, according to 2010 studies conducted by the National Research Council and the American Academy of Kinesiology and Physical Education. “The Department of Kinesiology is honored to support this delegation,” said W.E. Buckley, professor of kinesiology who, along with S. John Miller III, assistant professor, and others, led the team that organized the visit. “The fact that this group chose to visit us speaks volumes about the strong international reputation gained through the cutting-edge basic and applied research conducted by our faculty.” The visitors from China were selected from a much larger group of professionals for the trip through a national competition. During the trip to the United States, the delegation also visited

the University of Connecticut as well as institutions in Washington, D.C., and Philadelphia. “The group wants to better understand the sport science research going on in the United States, especially at Penn State and UConn, which are ranked so highly in kinesiology,” said Ling Chengyi (Jamie), the group’s translator. “They want to get some new ideas so they can provide better services for our Chinese athletes. The presentations we have heard at Penn State provide very good information for them to bring back home for their athletes.” According to Jamie, sports research does not exist at the college level in China. “Our best athletes train in national teams operated by the government, so most of our research is geared for these athletes,” she said. As a result, many members of the Chinese delegation work with Olympians and other elite athletes. “The Department of Kinesiology is particularly strong in the domains of athletic training, biomechanics, exercise physiology, history and philosophy of sport, motor control, and psychology of sport and movement,” said Buckley, “The research faculty includes some the world’s most renowned and respected scholars in their respective fields. We were delighted to share our latest research discoveries with the scientists from China as well as to learn from them what they are discovering in their own work.” Buckley said that researchers from Penn State and the Chinese delegation already are planning to collaborate in the future through the Sino-Canada Technology Exchange Centre, which is contracted by the General Administration of Sports of China to promote, develop, and lead academic and business exchanges in order to encourage international collaboration. “Our hope is that this visit will lead to mutually beneficial research and educational collaborations for both faculty members and students here and in China,” he said. n

Winter 2013-14 | 19


Department of Kinesiology

Department of Kinesiology Provides Physical Fitness Training for Deputy Sheriff Program Kyle Pagerly was only 28 years old when he was murdered. He had just learned that his wife was pregnant with their first child. A deputy sheriff with the Berks County Sheriff’s Department, Pagerly and several other law enforcement personnel had arrived at the home of Matthew Connor in June 2011 to issue a warrant for the man’s arrest on charges of burglary, possession of firearms, and assault. As the officials talked with Connor’s girlfriend at the front door, the criminal fled out the back of the house. Pagerly pursued him, but was killed when Connor opened fire with an AK-47 assault rifle. In Pagerly’s case, being in peak physical condition—he had been training for an Ironman triathlon—did not influence his outcome. Yet, due to the dangerous situations in which deputy sheriffs sometimes find themselves, being physically fit often can mean the difference between life and death. That’s why deputies in the Deputy Sheriff Academy, administered by the Justice and Safety Institute within the College of Liberal Arts at Penn State, must pass the physical training portion of the program to graduate. Pagerly passed it with flying colors in 2011, the year he graduated from the academy.

Part of that training includes maintaining or enhancing their physical work readiness, or physical fitness. That’s where W.E. Buckley, professor of kinesiology, comes in. He and a few colleagues—including Lauren Kramer, instructor in kinesiology; Hachiro Oishi, lecturer/building coordinator for intramural programs; Dane Aumiller, coordinator of athletic programs; and Diane Baldwin, coordinator of athletic programs— meet with the deputies three times a week for two hours at a time to help them become physically fit in addition to giving classroom lectures. “The main goal of the physical training portion of the academy is to prepare the deputy to be able to perform job duties safely and effectively,” said Buckley. “We all know there are physical requirements in law enforcement such as suspect apprehension, crowd control, and prisoner transport. Our job is to enable the deputy to reach a level of physical fitness where he or she can perform these duties effectively and safely when required. We want to get them to a level of fitness that allows them to chase down and physically subdue a perpetrator, but then be able to recover quickly enough that they can handcuff them and take them in.”

Tracking Progress

“Deputy sheriffs secure courts, juries, county jails, outside areas of airports, and other locations as well as serve papers,” said Daniel Miltenberger, a law enforcement training specialist for the academy. “They are in contact with bad guys, and those guys are working out. Our deputies need to be prepared.”

On February 15, the 2013 cohort of the academy—fifteen students altogether—met at the Penn State Multi-Sport Facility to run and do sit-ups and pushups, all with a goal of finding out how much progress they had made since the beginning of the semester and how far they still had to go to pass the final physical fitness test.

In the nineteen-week course that starts in the classroom and moves out to the field, deputies in the academy learn from attorneys, magisterial district justices, police officers, university faculty members, and others about all aspects of what it takes to be a deputy sheriff— from how to plan for a trial to mastering defensive tactics.

Trainee Stephen Perkins, 46, gave it his all and came out on track. The former construction worker and arborist from Harrisburg said he had been feeling like his career wasn’t going anywhere when a friend who was a New York City police officer recommended he pursue a career in law enforcement.

20 | Health and Human Development

“It’s tough being away from my family to do this academy,” said Perkins. “But it’s tough being here too. I’ve been out of college for twentythree years. It was an adjustment getting back to the academic realm.” Despite its rigorousness, the academy’s pass rate is high, according to Miltenberger.

place,” said Buckley. “About half are below levels of fitness that would allow them to do the physical portions of their jobs successfully and safely. Some have never had appropriate instruction and supervision to develop an effective fitness regimen and carry it out. We are glad to be available to help them change their personal fitness profile.”

“Most of the people who fail the academy do so because of the physical training,” he said. “It can be heartbreaking for the trainees because to get certified as a deputy sheriff in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania you have to pass this academy.”

According to program evaluation assessments, the majority of the deputies appreciate the information and programming the team provides. Some lose significant excess weight and many successfully incorporate a more active life style when they return to their home county after the program.

At least for Perkins, the physical training portion won’t be a problem. “I wasn’t very academically inclined in school, but I live for athletics,” he said.

Ultimately, though, the goal of the physical training portion of the academy is to graduate deputy sheriffs who are physically fit enough to handle the perils of the job.

When Perkins graduates from the academy, not only will he be certified to work as a deputy sheriff, he also will have earned 16.5 academic credits at Penn State, according to Don Zettlemoyer, director of the Justice and Safety Institute and a former officer with the Detroit Police Department and Marquette County (MI) Sheriff’s Office. “It bears witness to the quality of the program because Penn State does not dole credits out like they’re candy,” he said.

Preparing for the Future The physical training portion of the academy relies on researchbased physical fitness standards developed by the Cooper Institute, a non-profit research and education organization dedicated to preventive medicine whose founder coined the term “aerobics.” The physical fitness assessments—one at the beginning of the academy, one at the halfway point, and a third at the end—consist of vertical jumps, sit-ups, pushups, a 300-meter run, and a 1.5-mile run. “Deputy candidates come to us with varying levels of fitness already in

“It is a dangerous job, and the fitness portion of this training is very important,” said Buckley. “You’ve got to be prepared to defend your life. When you’re a deputy sheriff serving papers, you are often taking something from someone—their freedom, their family, or their property, even though you’re not physically doing it. You’re the face, the voice, the presence of the government. Some people react to this with violence.” For Kyle Pagerly, the academy gave him the skills necessary to do a job that he loved. A row of plaques mounted to a wall inside the HUB-Robeson Center is a daily remembrance of Pagerly and other deputies who have made the ultimate sacrifice in the line of duty. “Each morning we require the deputies to recite the Pledge of Allegiance and salute fallen law enforcement officers as a way of keeping them mindful of the risks involved,” said Miltenberger. “Our goal is to prepare future deputy sheriffs with the best possible training to deal with situations that hopefully never will happen.” n

Winter 2013-14 | 21


Department of Kinesiology

Ryan Cusack (back row left) helped bring Ill-Abilities to campus last year.

Undergraduate Ryan Cusack receives USA Today Student Leadership Award James Jay Edward Thomas, Jr. never let his disability hold him back from his love of sports. The former member of Penn State’s Ability Athletics Wheelchair Basketball team passed away in September 2012, just shy of his 40th birthday. To honor Thomas’s life, Ryan Cusack, a kinesiology major and president of the Penn State Adaptive Outreach Club, organized the first annual Jay Thomas Memorial Wheelchair Basketball Tournament, which was held in December 2012. For his effort on the tournament as well as his other work helping people with disabilities, Cusack received the 2012-2013 USA Today Student Leadership Award. The purpose of the award is to recognize a Penn State student who has made valuable contributions in the areas of service and volunteerism to the Penn State community and its surrounding areas. “Jay lost his leg due to health complications and was forced to spend his life in a wheelchair,” said Cusack. “Although it was sometimes difficult for him, he always showed up to every single Adaptive Outreach event with a smile, and this annual wheelchair basketball is put on with the purpose of honoring his life.”

22 | Health and Human Development

The inaugural Jay Thomas Wheelchair Basketball Tournament was co-hosted by the Adaptive Outreach Club and the Penn State Ability Athletics program. The daylong tournament consisted of four-person basketball teams contesting for a first-place prize. Proceeds from the wheelchair basketball tournament are donated to THON, the student-run philanthropy that raises money for pediatric cancer research, in honor of Thomas’s passion for the event. The next tournament will be held in December 2013. Cusack first became interested in helping people with disabilities as a high-school student. He has maintained this passion as a student at Penn State, where he is a volunteer with Penn State Ability Athletics and Penn State’s Inclusive Recreation for Wounded Warriors Program, a class for U.S. military personnel on how to provide recreation opportunities for people with disabilities. Cusack also was instrumental in bringing Ill-Abilities to campus in October 2012. Ill-Abilities is an international group of b-boys (breakdancers), the members of which have overcome extraordinary challenges to become some of the best dancers in the world. Cusack also recently was selected as the student representative for the planning committee of “Penn State’s “Diversability” Awareness Month, which focuses on the abilities and talents of people with disabilities. n


Affiliate Program Group (APG) Update HEALTH POLICY AND


Credit: Laura Stocker Waldhier




which features one alum and his/her career achieveThe KINES APG’s Mentoring Committee is currently AFFILIATE PROGRAM GROUP ment per month; and collaboration with other HHD recruiting kinesiology alumni for career fairs, alumni APGs to improve professional discussions. Most panels, classroom visits, and workshops. Some events recently, the Communication Sciences and Disorders in which the committee was involved this past year APG reached out to the KINES APG to engage in include the Kinesiology Club Career/Internship Fair an inter-professional discussion on the roles of speech and Roundtable in October at the Bryce Jordan Center; therapy and physical therapy and how both APGs the HHD Internship Fair, held in November in Rec can better collaborate to improve for patient care. Hall; and the Kinesiology Club Alumni Roundtable, HEALTH POLICY AND also held in November in Henderson Building. The Social/Professional Committee sponsors or coADMINISTRATION sponsors at least one event per year (e.g., a reception The APG continues to support the College of Health AFFILIATE PROGRAM GROUP at a professional meeting or a basketball weekend). and Human Development’s Mentoring Program. To learn more about the College’s Mentoring Program and/ We hope to be involved with the Lady Lions’ Pink or to become a mentor to a kinesiology undergraduate Zone Game on February 16, 2014 at the Bryce student, visit Jordan Center. We also play a role in supporting the kinesiology THON group, which raised a record of The Awards Committee is responsible for collectmore than $30,000 last year. ing nominations for deserving kinesiology alumni for the college-level alumni awards, as well as awards Please be sure to keep your contact information established by the APG. Recently, Mark Mintzer ’86 updated with the Penn State Alumni Association at PH ED, executive director and founder of the Youth Mentoring Partnership, received the Alumni Service Connect with the KINES APG at alumni.hhd.psu. Award sponsored by the College of Health and Human edu/kines, on LinkedIn at “PSU Kinesiology APG”, Development Alumni Society. The society is seeking and on Facebook at “Penn State Kines Alumni”. nominations for its alumni awards. For more inforTo learn more about the KINES APG, contact the mation about the awards and to nominate deserving president, Anna Roskowinski ’07 KINES at kinesiology alumni, visit KINES APG outreach includes Facebook raffles; the “Alumni Spotlight” series on its LinkedIn page, KINESIOLOGY








Winter 2013-14 | 23



Older adults learn to Skype with help from Penn State students The moment she laid eyes on her beautiful great-granddaughter Sallee Wilkins knew she was in love…with Skype. “My great-granddaughter lives in Italy, and I only get to see her maybe once a year,” said Wilkins, “but with Skype I can watch her grow up.” Wilkins is one of 26 residents of The Village at Penn State, a State College retirement community, to receive a Skype lesson from volunteers Amanda Gresh, undergraduate student in health policy and administration, and Courtney Polenick, graduate student in human development and family studies, since January 2013. The student volunteers decided to teach older adults at The

24 | Health and Human Development

Village to use Skype after learning of their interest in such help from Amy Lorek, research and outreach associate with the Center for Healthy Aging. The center conducts and supports research, outreach, and educational activities focused on promoting health and well-being from early adulthood into later-life. “It’s important to stay connected, whether it is with family or by participating in the community,” said Lorek. “Students and older adults have much to teach each other. Student volunteer opportunities help facilitate conversations between generations and strengthen our connection and sense of community. We can be a happier, healthier community with that exchange. This project helps to connect students to community members while also connecting community members with their families.”

< Penn State students Amanda Gresh (left) and Courtney Polenick (right) help Annetta Pierce (middle), a resident at The Village at Penn State, learn to Skype. Lorek introduced Gresh and Polenick to Kellie Vogt, a resident of The Village and self-described “techy,” who helped the students to train other interested residents. “I’ve always had a knack for solving tech-related problems,” said Vogt. “When dining with fellow residents, I often hear comments like, ‘I can’t get my email,’ or ‘My daughter replaced my old printer with a new one, but I don’t know how it works.’ I leave the meal thinking, ‘I could fix that.’” Vogt’s own children and grandchildren live out of state, so she has experienced firsthand the joy of visiting with them via Skype. “Since my oldest son, his wife, and his three children moved to Wyoming last year, I’ve toured their new home and visited with them on Thanksgiving, Christmas, and birthdays, all via Skype,” she said. “The face-to-face conversation that Skype enables  is superior to a phone call, text message, or email.”

Nancy Gamble, a resident at The Village at Penn State, talks about how her lessons in Skype enabled her to talk with family members while they were on vacation in Mexico.

Room Service Since January, the team has been meeting with residents of The Village in their homes to give them one-on-one tutorials in Skype. In March, Gresh and Polenick met with Annetta Pierce and Mary Gundel ’46 PH ED, ’53 M.Ed., the twenty-fifth and twenty-sixth residents to receive the training. The students were greeted at the door of the apartment by the women’s toy poodle and were quickly welcomed inside. Pierce, a former Harrisburg School District guidance counselor, was particularly interested in using Skype to talk with her nephew and his family in Camden, Maine. “We visit him in Maine from time to time, but it would be so nice to see him more frequently,” she said. The Penn State students quickly got to work showing Pierce how to operate Skype. They then helped her practice dialing out and receiving calls. When they were finished with the lesson, they left the women with a handout containing step-by-step instructions and an invitation to contact them if they had questions.

and we couldn’t go, so we Skyped with them. They could pick up their laptops and show us around the apartment where they were staying and around the pool and beach. One daughter I talk to almost every week by Skype.” “I thought I couldn’t learn how to do it,” said Wilkins, “but slowly I am learning, and if I can learn anybody can.” But of all those involved, the students have, perhaps, benefitted the most. “Skype opens up the opportunity for people to have more face-to-face communication with their families,” said Polenick, who is studying adult development and aging with a focus on family relationships. “By participating in this volunteer work I hope to understand the potential for Skype to assist in maintaining and enhancing family relationships.” Gresh, too, is interested in working with older adults in her future career. Her goal is to become a nursing home administrator. “I’ve always felt at home working with older adults,” she said. “I really appreciate the wisdom they have to share.”

The residents who have participated with Gresh, Polenick, and Vogt in the Skype program each have their own story to tell about how they have benefitted.

Both students, as well as Vogt, plan to continue to help other residents of The Village learn to use Skype.

“I have used it to reconnect with a couple of my high school friends,” said Nancy Gamble ’52 H EC, ’55g CD FR. “Also, at Christmas time, our kids were going to Mexico

“The program is such a wonderful way for older adults to stay connected with their families,” said Gresh. “It feels really good to be able to help them do this.” n

Winter 2013-14 | 25

Biobehavioral Health Building Dedication Food, music, and cheerful chatter filled the halls and meeting spaces of the Biobehavioral Health Building on September 12, when faculty and staff members, alumni, and friends gathered to dedicate the new building. The event began with remarks from Ann C. Crouter, Raymond E. and Erin Stuart Schultz Dean of the College of Health and Human Development; Rodney A. Erickson, president; and Paul H. Silvis â&#x20AC;&#x2122;06g BUS, vice chair of the Board of Trustees. Following the presentations, guests were given a chance to tour the building, peruse posters describing faculty and student research, and listen to live music by the band Pure Cane Sugar. Photos taken by Paul Hazi Photography

Edna Bennett Pierce Prevention Research Center Dedication Philanthropist Edna Bennett Pierce ’53 H EC has supported prevention research at Penn State for nearly two decades. The college recently honored her transformational support by naming the Prevention Research Center in her honor. A dinner was held on September 13, 2013, to commemorate the dedication of the Edna Bennett Pierce Prevention Research Center. Bennett Pierce’s longstanding support of the center began in 1994 when she and her late husband, C. Eugene Bennett ’52 SCI, endowed the Edna Peterson Bennett Faculty Chair in Prevention Research, held by Mark T. Greenberg, founding director of the center. Edna continued her support by establishing the Bennett Endowment for Children and Adolescents and the C. Eugene Bennett Chair in Prevention Research. The Edna Bennett Pierce Prevention Research Center serves as a catalyst for the development and implementation of collaborative projects among Penn State faculty and Pennsylvania community members. The Prevention Research Center’s purpose is to promote healthy social and emotional development and to prevent problems Ann C. Crouter, dean, Ednafailure Bennett and Mark Greenberg, founding of social and academic in Pierce, children and youth.

director of the Prevention Research Center.

A. Duer “Bud” Pierce and Edna Bennett Pierce

Celebration of Scholarship Recipients On September 15, the College of Health and Human Development celebrated its student scholarship recipients and the generous donors who are responsible for making these scholarships available. Around 125 students participated in the event, which included a breakfast and a presentation by Suzanne Martin ’74 CRS. “My mom struggled financially to enable me to finish school,” said Martin, who created the Joanne Durrwachter Finke Memorial Trustee Scholarship. “When I graduated, I promised myself I would pay her back. I never got the chance because soon after I graduated, she died of a rare auto-immune disease. Shortly after her death, I started giving to Penn State as a way to honor her memory.” Students at the celebration had the opportunity to talk with donors and share their gratitude for the financial assistance that has made it possible for them to pursue their dreams. “Meeting Ricardo Ortiz, who is a current recipient of my scholarship, was exciting,” said Martin. “With his Penn State education, Ricardo will be wellequipped to make a difference in the lives of others.”

SHM students, donors, and faculty members

Adam Fenton, Janet Atwood, and Mary Grace Hill

Dean Crouter addresses the group

Suzanne Martin

Development Council Update

Mary E. Good (left) and Elizabeth J. Susman (right)

Scholarship recipient Jasmyn Franklin

Dear Friends, The people supporting For the Future: The Campaign for Penn State Students are inspired to give for a variety of reasons—a professor whose mentoring steered them toward a successful career; the financial aid that enabled them to receive a Penn State education; the opportunity to help the college attract the best and brightest junior faculty; or the chance to support research to improve the lives of children, youth, and families. While individual motivation for giving may vary, the overarching reason our alumni and friends support this campaign is simple—they believe in Penn State.

Stan Mayers talks with scholarship recipient Nicholas Santone

The top priority of the campaign has been to increase scholarship support, making a Penn State education a possibility for all students, regardless of economic background. As the campaign comes to a close this spring, we hope that if you have not had the opportunity to participate, you will join us. A commitment to the For the Future campaign is a commitment to ensuring generations to come will have the opportunity to experience the Penn State we all know and love. For the Glory, Mary E. Good ’85 I F S Elizabeth J. Susman ’71 I F S, ’73g, ’76g HD FS Campaign Committee Co-Chairs

For more information on how you can lend your support to the campaign, contact Kathleen Rider at or 814-865-1064.

Christina Ellis, Alyssa Hischak, Nicole Phillips, and Valerie Katulka Photos taken by Jennifer N. Sloss, Blink of an Eye Photography

Health and Human Development New Faculty Sy-Miin Chow

Carter Hunt

Associate Professor of Human Development and Family Studies

Assistant Professor of Recreation, Park, and Tourism Management

Sy-Miin Chow’s research focuses on study methodology, with particular emphasis on investigating the development and adaptation of modeling and analysis tools that are suited to evaluating linear and nonlinear dynamical systems models, including longitudinal structural equation models and state-space modeling techniques. Prior to joining the faculty at Penn State, she was an assistant professor of psychology at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill from 2007 to 2012. She earned a Ph.D. degree in quantitative psychology at the University of Virginia.

In his research, Carter Hunt investigates tourism-supported biodiversity conservation, sustainable community development, impacts of tourism on both destination communities and on travelers, and environmental anthropology. He earned a bachelor’s degree at the University of Kentucky and master’s and Ph.D. degrees at Texas A&M University. He conducted postdoctoral research at Stanford University.

Christopher Engeland Assistant Professor of Biobehavioral Health

Christopher Engeland’s research focuses on how factors such as stress, age, gender, and hormones affect immunity, inflammation, and health. He also examines the feasibility of biomarkers for predicting health outcomes. Prior to joining the faculty at Penn State, Engeland was an assistant professor at the University of Illinois at Chicago since 2008. He earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees at Carleton University in Ontario and a Ph.D. degree at the University of Western Ontario.

Naleef Fareed Assistant Professor of Health Policy and Administration

Naleef Fareed’s research focuses on health care topics related to organizational theory, information technology, and patient safety. He earned a bachelor’s degree in management at Hartwick College, a master of business administration degree in health care management at Union Graduate College, and a Ph.D. degree in health services organization and research at Virginia Commonwealth University.

Helen Kamens Assistant Professor of Biobehavioral Health

In her research, Helen Kamens seeks to identify genetic mechanisms that contribute to complex behaviors with a special emphasis on alcohol and tobacco use. She was an assistant research professor at the University of Colorado from 2012 to 2013. She earned a bachelor’s degree in biobehavioral health at Penn State and a Ph.D. degree in behavioral neuroscience at Oregon Health & Science University.

Ji Min Lee Assistant Professor of Communication Sciences and Disorders

Ji Min Lee’s research goal is to examine and expand the foundational research on speech production and clinical application of that research to speakers with speech disorders. In particular, she examines the relationship between articulatory acoustics and kinematics, the development of various speech subsystems and their control in children with and without motor speech disorders, and identification of comprehensive production variables that predict speech intelligibility in young children with speech disorders. She received a Ph.D. degree at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2010.

Alison Gernand

Seoki Lee

Assistant Professor of Nutritional Sciences

Associate Professor of Hospitality Management

Alison Gernand’s research focuses on micronutrient deficiencies, pregnancy, fetal and placental growth, and child growth. She received a master of public health degree at the University of Texas at Houston’s School of Public Health in 2003 and a Ph.D. degree at the John’s Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health in 2011.

30 | Health and Human Development

Seoki Lee’s research focuses on corporate social responsibility, internationalization, and financial distress and equity valuation. Before coming to Penn State, he served on the faculty at Temple University. He earned bachelor’s and master’s degree at Michigan State University, and a Ph.D. degree at Penn State.

Larry Martinez

Gregory Shearer

Assistant Professor of Hospitality Management

Associate Professor of Nutritional Sciences

Larry Martinez’s research examines employee diversity and employee retention and turnover. Specifically, he investigates stigmatization, prejudice, and discrimination across the spectrum of employment experiences, particularly from the target’s perspective. He also researches the role of non-stigmatized allies in reducing discrimination. He earned bachelor’s, master’s, and Ph.D. degrees at Rice University.

Kristina Neely

In his research, Gregory Shearer seeks to understand disease-related functional changes in lipid mediators—bioactive metabolites of dietary fatty acids that act on tissues to alter many disease-related functions, including the stiffness of blood vessels and the body’s response to stress. He uses lipid mediators to identify markers of disease and better ways to prevent or manage disease. He earned a bachelor’s degree in biochemistry at the University of California, Riverside, and master’s and Ph.D. degrees in human physiology and nephrology, respectively, at the University of California, Davis.

Assistant Professor of Kinesiology

Kristina Neely’s research focuses on understanding how the central nervous system organizes the preparation, execution, and inhibition of skilled, purposeful actions. She is especially interested in how the brain mediates precision grasping by the hand. Neely earned a bachelor’s degree at the University of Minnesota, a master’s degree at Indiana University, and a Ph.D. degree at the University of Western Ontario. She conducted postdoctoral research at the University of Florida.

Peter Newman Professor and Head of Recreation, Park, and Tourism Management

Peter Newman’s research focuses on the human dimensions of natural resource management and social carrying capacity decision making in the context of protected areas management. In particular, he studies visitor management in protected areas, soundscape/acoustic management in parks, transportation management and planning, and efficacy and communication of “leave no trace” principles. He earned a bachelor’s degree in political science at the University of Rochester, a master’s degree in forest resource management at the State University of New York, and a Ph.D. degree in natural resources at the University of Vermont.

Jennie Noll Professor of Human Development and Family Studies

Jennie Noll’s research examines the bio-psychosocial consequences of childhood sexual abuse, pathways to teen pregnancy and high-risk sexual behaviors for abused and neglected youth, the long-term adverse health outcomes for victims of sexual abuse, and the propensity for abused and neglected teens to engage in high-risk internet and social media behaviors. She received a Ph.D. degree in developmental psychology and statistical methodology from the University of Southern California. She then spent eight years at the National Institutes of Health in Washington, D.C., before going to Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, where she spent ten years as a professor of pediatrics.

Chad Shenk Assistant Professor of Human Development and Family Studies

Chad Shenk focuses on longitudinal pathways from child maltreatment to the onset of psychological disorders in childhood, adolescence, and young adulthood. He also conducts experimental and observational research to identify the mechanisms of various psychological disorders in the child maltreatment population across multiple levels of analysis. From 2010 to 2013, Shenk was an assistant professor of pediatrics at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center. He earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology at Penn State and a Ph.D. degree in clinical psychology at the University of Nevada, Reno.

Matam Vijay-Kumar Assistant Professor of Nutritional Sciences

In his research, Matam Vijay-Kumar examines host metabolic adaptations to inflammation, innate immunity-gut microbiotal interactions in metabolic diseases, and iron homeostasis in inflammation. Before joining the faculty at Penn State, he was an assistant professor of biology at Georgia State University. He earned a Ph.D. degree in biochemistry at the Central Food Technological Research Institute in Mysore, India, in 2002.

Photos by Paul Hazi (12) and Chuck Fong, Studio2 Photography (2)

Winter 2013-14 | 31

Benedick Brothers Pay it Forward

Jeff (left) and Jim (right) Benedick created the Benedick Family Scholarship in the College of Health and Human Development and the College of Engineering with the goal of helping students to realize their academic dreams, just as others helped them. The Benedick Family Scholarship in the College of Health and Human Development and the Benedick Family Scholarship in the College of Engineering will provide recognition and financial assistance to outstanding undergraduate students in those colleges. “I wanted to give other young people an opportunity to move forward with their lives,” said Jeff ’72 CRS. “But I also wanted to honor my family and everyone who raised me and gave me the encouragement and guidance to move on with my life and have it be wonderful.” Jeff credits his education at Penn State with preparing him to establish a successful and rewarding career in interior design. For 25 years, he ran Saddleback Homes, an interior design company specializing in model homes for builders. Today, he enjoys creating interior designs for high-end private residences internationally. “Being from York, Pa., back in the late 1960s, I thought that was all there was,” said Jeff. “I was somewhat isolated. At Penn State, being exposed on the university campus to different cultures and different ways of living was eye opening for me. Now I’ve been all over the world, which is way beyond what I ever expected in my life and career.” “My brother and I did not come from an affluent family, but we managed a most important achievement:

32 | Health and Human Development

to get a degree from Penn State,” added Jim ’66 ENG. “I have been very fortunate in my education, career, and life, and now it is our desire to assist others to achieve their aspirations and dreams.” Jim, the chief operating officer for ProFun Management Group—which specializes in the management and operation of theme parks, entertainment centers, visitor centers, World Expos, and other leisure-time projects—added, “The opportunity to attend Penn State exposed me to individuals and cultures that empowered me to think way beyond my presumed limits. During my time there I grew tremendously and my excellent education helped propel me into a world that I had never imagined.” Jim’s first job out of college was with the Apollo Moon Program. “I like to say ‘I helped to put a man on the moon!’” he said. His second job was as an industrial engineer at Disneyland. “Since those wonderful experiences, I have had the opportunity to travel the world, consulting with and operating numerous entertainment facilities. I could never have done all of these things without my first major step—getting a great education from Penn State.” Learn more about planned gifts and other ways to support Penn State at do?orgId=5701.

2:1 1






1.65 billion






University’s history, and more than 500,000 alumni and friends have already joined in. Have you? For the Future: The Campaign for Penn State Students ends on June 30, 2014, so please give now. We’re counting down, and every gift counts.

12% 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014


It’s the most ambitious fundraising effort in the

6.30.14 Numbers ad_test.indd 1

8/1/13 11:56 AM

Nonprofit Org. US Postage


The College of Health and Human Development The Pennsylvania State University 201 Henderson Building University Park, PA 16802-6501

Pittsburgh, PA Permit No. 35

Tell us how Penn State Lives in Your World.

Health and Human Development magazine - Kinesiology Edition  

2013-14 winter issue of the College of Health and Human Development's magazine (Department of Kinesiology Edition)