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Department of Recreation, Park, and Tourism Management NEWs  page 12

Health and Human Development News



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| 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).


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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.

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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.”

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“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.”

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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.

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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

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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

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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.

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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.

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“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.

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Department of Recreation, Park, and Tourism Management Andrew Mowen (6)

Neighborhood park renovations enhance visitor behaviors and experiences Renovating public parks enhances visitor behaviors and experiences, according to Andrew Mowen, associate professor of recreation, park, and tourism management, who surveyed park visitors in Allentown, Pa., about their use of a neighborhood park after it was renovated. “It may seem obvious that park renovations benefit communities, but funders are increasingly demanding more scientific evidence, beyond anecdotal stories, that demonstrate the impact of park renovations,” said Mowen. “Such information can help state and local government agencies assess the value of their financial investments in parks.” The team, which included Ben Hickerson, assistant professor of recreation, park, and tourism management, examined visitor perceptions of a major capital renovation that was completed at Allentown’s 110-acre Cedar Creek Parkway in 2010. Renovations to this park included building a 25,000-squarefoot destination playground, paving the multi-purpose trails,

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installing new exercise stations, refurbishing the flower garden, upgrading picnic areas, and improving stream quality with a riparian buffer. The researchers surveyed 256 Cedar Creek Parkway visitors in 2008, prior to the renovation, and 416 Cedar Creek Parkway visitors in 2011, after the renovation. The team also surveyed visitors at a nearby, unrenovated park to use as a comparison. Survey questions were directed at understanding whether visitors were aware of the park renovations and whether they reported changes in park visitation frequency, length of stay, activity variety, and enjoyment as a result of these renovations. The survey also compared visitor perceptions of park quality across the pre- and post-renovation time period and compared these quality ratings with the comparison park, which received no renovations. The results appeared in the Journal of Park and Recreation Administration.

Study results indicated that most visitors were aware of the recent renovation and could identify at least one or two improvements. A majority of visitors also reported that the renovations caused them to visit more frequently and stay longer, and that their enjoyment increased. According to Mowen, when comparing pre- to post-time periods, seven of 13 perceived quality indicators improved significantly at the renovated park—such as park cleanliness, availability of picnic areas, and condition of park trails—while there were few changes at the unrenovated comparison park. In addition to the park surveys, the research team also gauged people’s reactions to the park renovation by inviting them to share their opinions in a series of focus-group discussions.

“We wanted to ask residents what the impact of the park renovation has been for themselves, their families, and the greater Allentown community,” said Hickerson. “In these focus groups, the renovations were discussed as a unifying force in the community, helping to bridge differences between people of different backgrounds and abilities.” “This study adds to a growing body of evidence that moves beyond anecdotal claims and demonstrates the positive impacts of park renovations,” Mowen said. “In addition to their potential for increasing park use behaviors, these renovations also resulted in experiential changes, such as increased visitor enjoyment and satisfaction. If these improved behaviors and perceptions translate to a more supportive park constituency, there is greater reason to recommend more widespread park renovation initiatives.” ■

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Department of Recreation, Park, and Tourism Management

Not all gamers are low scorers on friendships, relationships By Matthew Swayne Not all video game players are destined for lives filled with failing relationships and dwindling friendships, according to Benjamin Hickerson, assistant professor of recreation, park, and tourism management, and colleagues, who say that a lot depends on the role of the game-playing activity in the gamer’s life. “There’s a common stereotype that if you play video games, then you are a loner,” said Hickerson. “But it may have more to do with how a person is involved in gaming that determines how their social support is affected.” In a study of people who played multi-player, first-person shooter games, like Call of Duty and Halo, gamers who organized their lives around gaming activities tended to experience a negative effect on their friendships and relationships. On the other hand, the researchers, who published their findings in the journal Society and Leisure, found that gamers who primarily played the game as a way to reinforce social bonds said they experienced higher levels of social ties and support. Hickerson said that behavioral indicators, such as the amount of time and money spent on games, were not related to the gamers’ success in maintaining their social ties. “What the study does seem to point out is that video gaming is not always a negative,” Hickerson said. “Players may actually be doing something positive when gaming becomes a way for them to connect with friends who they otherwise may not be able to spend time with, especially friends who they are not near geographically.” Hickerson, who worked with Andrew Mowen, associate professor of recreation, park, and tourism management, said that people derive meaning from leisure activities in a variety of ways, including using them to help establish and maintain friendships—social bonding—and a need to organize their lives around the activities—centrality.

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To collect data for the study, the researchers surveyed the gamers who were waiting in line for a late night release of a new version of the video game, Call of Duty: Black Ops, at two central Pennsylvania video game stores. Hickerson said that gamers who attend these new release gatherings tend to be both behaviorally and psychologically committed to the activity. The researchers asked 175 video game customers to fill out a questionnaire about their video game playing habits and attitudes. Hickerson said 166 completed and returned the questionnaire. To assess whether or not video game playing served a central role in the life of the gamer, the participants were asked to assess the truth of statements, such as, “I find that a lot of my life is organized around video gaming” and “I invest most of my energy and resources in video gaming.” The researchers also measured what role social bonding played in their gaming by asking them to what extent they agreed with statements such as, “Most of my friends are in some way associated with video gaming” and “I enjoy discussing video gaming with my friends.” To measure the behavioral investment, the researchers asked the participants to estimate how much time and money they spend on video game playing. On average, the respondents spent 20.5 hours per week playing video games and a majority spent more than $200 a year on video games. “Some participants indicated they spent more than 100 hours per week on playing games, which is well above the national average,” said Hickerson. “These are people who are thoroughly invested in gaming and people who are organizing their lives around playing video games.” Hickerson said that this information could help video game designers create games that identify problematic behaviors, such as excessive centrality, and build games with features that help the gamers maintain friendships and relationships.

Lindsay Usher has competed in four surfer world championships.

Surfer culture and tourism A graduate student investigates the effects of surf turf wars on tourism. You could say that surfing is in her blood. The daughter of a surfer, Lindsay Usher ‘10g, ‘13g grew up hearing the lore, learning the lingo, and witnessing the action. By the time she was 12 years old, the North Carolina native had taken up surf kayaking, eventually competing in four world championships. She also became a competent surfboarder.

ers, and tourists, Usher examined how surfers define their territory and how they feel regarding ownership of the territory. She also interviewed government officials to learn more about the surf tourism industry in Nicaragua. In addition to the interviews, she directly observed surfers in Nicaragua in order to confirm or disconfirm what she heard in the interviews.

Today, Usher, who recently graduated with a Ph.D. degree from the Department of Recreation, Park, and Tourism Management, not only participates in surf culture, she also conducts research on the topic.

Usher found that localism does not seem to be a problem in the location where she collected data in Nicaragua. 

“Surfing and surf travel is a major component of the travel industry that generates billions of dollars every year,” said Usher, who earned bachelor’s degrees in recreation administration and dramatic art at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. “Evidence suggests that surfers feel a sense of ownership over their local breaks, and in many surf destinations in the world, this ‘localism’—or territoriality whereby resident surfers in a given area try to exclude nonresident surfers through threat, intimidation, and occasionally violence—has become a problem that has impacted tourism.” With faculty adviser, Deborah Kerstetter, professor of recreation, park, and tourism management, Usher investigated surfer localism and how it may affect local surfers and other members of the community who rely on income from surf tourism as part of their livelihoods. To conduct her research, Usher traveled to a small indigenous community on the Pacific coast of Nicaragua last summer. There, she lived with a local family for two months while conducting an ethnographic study of the territoriality of local surfers. According to Usher, surfers will travel to remote destinations to find “the perfect wave.” “Unfortunately, the cultural, social, and environmental impacts of surf tourism on the people that live in these remote destinations are often overlooked,” she said. Through interviews with surfers, resident foreigners, business own-

“Despite the local surfers having different opinions about their surfing space, they seem willing to share it and realize how important it is for tourists to be able to use the space as well,” she said. “While some had observed physical fights in the water over waves, others had not; it did not seem to be a common occurrence. My observations confirmed this, since I did not see any fights in the two months I was there. For the future, the important thing will be to make sure the locals still have access to this surfing space they are attached to—in other words, not allowing tourism developers to block their access—so that problems do not develop.” Usher added that while many surfers agree that localism is highly negative and detrimental to the sport in its most violent form, others acknowledge that different forms of it can be positive in preserving resources for the locals and in regulating the surf zone so that people are safe. “There is a need to strike a balance between respecting local space and acknowledging the need for tourists to also use the space,” she said. “Studying surfer territoriality will bring answers about whether it is a problem in remote destinations, and if it is, what could be done to solve the problem, or if it is not, what could be done to prevent it from happening.” Usher is now an assistant professor of park, recreation, and tourism studies at Old Dominion University. ■

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Department of Recreation, Park, and Tourism Management

Jon Mills ’86 helps students As a Penn State student, Jon Mills ‘86 RPTM struggled to balance his duties as an overall chairperson for THON with his coursework as a student in RPTM. Now, as general manager and chief operations officer at Allied Convention Service, a company that designs and develops conventions, exhibitions, and trade shows, he is in a position to help other students who are in similar situations. He has created two scholarships: the Mills Family Scholarship and the Mills Trustee Scholarship. The Mills Family Scholarship, in particular, helps deserving students in RPTM who are involved in extracurricular activities. “I feel strongly that as much can be learned outside the classroom as in the classroom,” said Mills. “I wanted my scholarships to be available to students who are active with THON or other organizations on campus.” Here, three RPTM students discuss how they are benefiting from Mills’ philanthropy.

Caitlyn Doyle

Christian Castelli

Nick Decker

“This scholarship helps cover book costs, travel costs, and other student necessities.”

“This scholarship is helping me do the things I love to do.”

“This scholarship has helped me by taking away some financial stress for myself and my family.”

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Caitlyn Doyle (beneficiary of the Mills Family Scholarship during 2012 and 2013) What extracurricular activities are you involved in? “This past year, I was able to be the PGA Golf Management THON Family Relations Chair. Our golf program has one THON family that we are fortunate enough to be able to support and to be a part of their lives. Being a part of THON at Penn State has enabled me to grow as a person and leader while giving me the opportunity to meet other dedicated individuals on Penn State’s campus, all working toward a greater goal.” How is the scholarship helping you? Deciding to attend college on the east coast, being from Oregon, was a big decision for me. I chose Penn State mostly for the great name, the PGA Golf Management program, and the yearlong fundraiser for pediatric cancer, THON. Being this far from home, though, does put out-of-state tuition into play. This scholarship money helps cover book costs, travel costs, and other student necessities. What are your career goals? Working through the PGA Golf Management program will enable me to become a Class A PGA Professional. My career goals lie within the golf industry and tournament operations.

Christian Castelli (beneficiary of the Mills Family Scholarship during 2013) What extracurricular activities are you involved in? I am thoroughly involved in the Professional Golf Management Student Society (PGMSS). I have been involved in THON since my freshman year, attending every canning trip and fundraiser that I was capable of doing. I was also part of a morale committee in which I was assigned a dancer at THON. I served as the assistant tournament director my sophomore year, tournament director my junior year, and THON director my senior year for the PGMSS. How is the scholarship helping you? The scholarship is not only helping me financially, but it also is helping me attend a university that I absolutely love. Coming to Penn State was one of the greatest decisions of my life. Penn State has so many great things to offer. This scholarship is helping me do the things I love to do. With the support of this scholarship, I can continue to make an impact and help people in need through activities such as THON, teaching and competing in golf, and interacting with new people every day. What are your career goals? I have been fortunate to obtain incredible internships through Penn State alumni at the Masters Tournament at the Augusta National Golf Club, the Ryder Cup at the Medinah Country Club, and the Walker Cup at the National Golf Links of America. One of my career goals is to be a head golf professional in the New York area. Being a head golf professional in the metropolitan section is very competitive, but I will strive to make that dream a reality.

Nick Decker (beneficiary of the Mills Trustee Scholarship during 2013) What extracurricular activities are you involved in? I am a member of the Nittany SCUBA Diver’s Club, the Outing Club, and the RPTM Student Society. I also work for the College of Agricultural Sciences and the Penn State Adventure Recreation Center. How is the scholarship helping you? The scholarship has helped me by taking away some financial stress for myself and my family as we continue to work hard in our respective careers to fund my academic career. What are your career goals? I intend to graduate with a bachelor’s degree in RPTM in summer 2014. From there, I plan to continue on to a career in outdoor recreation management.

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Department of Recreation, Park, and Tourism Management

Playfulness may help adults attract mates Why do adults continue to play throughout their lives while most other mature mammals cease such behavior? According to Garry Chick, professor of recreation, park, and tourism management, and colleagues, playfulness may serve an evolutionary role in human mating preferences by signaling positive qualities to potential long-term mates. “Humans and other animals exhibit a variety of signals as to their value as mates,” said Chick. “Just as birds display bright plumage or coloration, men may attract women by showing off expensive cars or clothing. In the same vein, playfulness in a male may signal to females that he is nonaggressive and less likely to harm them or their offspring. A woman’s playfulness, on the other hand, may signal her youth and fertility.” Chick and colleagues Careen Yarnal, associate professor, and Andrew Purrington, lecturer, expanded on a previous survey that included a list of 13 possible characteristics that individuals might seek in prospective mates. To that original list, they added three new traits: “playful,” “sense of humor,” and “ fun loving.” The authors gave the survey to 164 male and 89 female undergraduate students, ages 18 to 26. Of the 16 items, “sense of humor,” “fun loving,” and “playful” ranked second, third, and fourth, respectively, among traits that females sought in males. Males rated three traits—”physically attractive,” “healthy,” and “good heredity”—that are characteristic of female fertility as significantly more desirable than females rated them in males. The team reported its results in the American Journal of Play. “The fact that the subjects tended to rank ‘sense of humor,’ ‘fun loving,’ and ‘playful’ at or near the top of the list of 16 characteristics does not mean that the mates they have selected or will select will actually exhibit these traits,” said Chick. “In addition, the results may be skewed by the fact that most of the study subjects were college students from a western culture. Despite these caveats, it seems to us that signaling one’s virtues as a potential longterm mate through playfulness is not far-fetched. Our results suggest that adult playfulness may result from sexual selection and signal positive qualities to potential long-term mates.”

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Portrayal of spring break excess may be stereotypes gone wild By Matthew Swayne The popular perception that college students are reaching new levels of self-indulgence and risky behavior during spring break excursions may be based on media coverage and scholarship that oversimplifies what has become an annual rite for many young adults, according to researchers. The researchers, who analyzed studies on spring break from 1980 to 2010, concluded that scholars are divided on whether college students actually increase extreme behaviors during the break. In fact, activities at most spring break destinations may not differ significantly from typical weekend behavior on campuses. “The more you are part of the party atmosphere in the university, the more likely you are to engage in those behaviors during spring break,” said Benjamin Hickerson, assistant professor of recreation, park, and tourism management. “You probably won’t completely deviate from your campus behaviors, and those behaviors are a very good predictor of how you’ll behave on spring break.” Hickerson, who worked with Nuno Ribeiro ’08g, ’11g RPTM, said that the media portrayal of spring break, and most current scholarship on the subject, may not give the complete picture of the experience. Ribeiro, who focused his doctoral work on spring break culture and is currently a post-doctoral fellow at the Indigenous Peoples’ Health Research Centre, University of Regina, Saskatchewan, said that while some studies show that substance abuse and promiscuity increase during spring break, other reports indicate that there is little change between behaviors on spring break and behavior on campus. The researchers, who reported their findings in a recent issue of Tourism Review International, said that since much of the research

is based on data derived from self-reporting surveys, students may skew their actual behaviors. “Most of the data in the studies were self-reported, which could lead to a certain pressure for the subjects to conform,” said Ribeiro. “In males, for example, that means they may overstate and, for females, they tend to underestimate those behaviors.” Researchers should conduct more objective and quantitative studies, as well as qualitative studies, on spring break participants to add more depth to the findings, according to Ribeiro. Ribeiro added that most research on the spring break phenomenon ignores alternative spring trips for college students, such as mission work, service trips, and study abroad programs. The spring break experience also changes over time for students. Risky behaviors tend to peak in the first year as students experiment with drugs, alcohol, and sex, and then decrease as students find their limits in subsequent years. The behaviors rise again in the last year of school for the students, which Ribeiro calls the “last hurrah” effect. “The variety of spring break experiences is huge,” said Ribeiro. “In certain spots and in certain cases, the stereotypes of spring break excesses are correct, but in other areas it’s not as extreme as the media seem to present.” Hickerson said that while the spring break phenomenon is relatively new, researchers have focused considerable attention on student motivation and behaviors during these trips over the last few decades. For the systematic review of the literature, the researchers reviewed 29 articles on spring break tourism, as well as media coverage, conference presentations, book chapters, and dissertations.

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Department of Recreation, Park, and Tourism Management

Coming to America: Understanding Cultural Adjustment Among Immigrants

When Svitlana Iarmolenko first came to the United States in 2008 to attend a master’s degree program at East Carolina University, she figured she’d make new friends just as easily as she’d done back home in Ukraine. But rather than drawing in potential pals, she seemed to be pushing them away. “I came to this country believing in strong family bonds, friends helping friends in difficult situations, going above and beyond to make people around me happy, following through on appointments and promises even if it caused me an inconvenience, and being considerate of the feelings of other people at all times,” said Iarmolenko. “What I faced was a society of self-reliance, protection of one’s own interests and feelings above anything, and caring for oneself before anyone else. Not that any of that is bad; it’s just on the opposite extreme of what I was used to. It took a while to learn to hold myself back from being ‘too much’—from caring too much and investing in people too much. Instead of fostering social bonds, as was the case at home, too much care would push people away.” Iarmolenko’s difficulty adjusting to American culture bothered her so much that she decided to make it the focus of her dissertation research when she came to Penn State to pursue a Ph.D. degree in recreation, park, and tourism management. With faculty adviser Deborah Kerstetter, professor of recreation, park, and tourism management, she devised a research project that would explore the experiences of Ukrainian immigrants to the United States and how these experiences have shaped their perceptions of Ukraine, as well as their desire to travel back home.

Photo Courtesy of Svitlana Iarmolenko

A graduate student investigates the cultural challenges faced by Ukrainian immigrants in the United States.

in the United States, the more they will exhibit individualist cognitions. In addition to learning about migrant experiences and struggles, Iarmolenko is testing the effectiveness of priming—in which she exposes people to either individualist or collectivist travel advertisements of Ukraine prior to taking a trip to the country—to determine which strategies best enhance Ukarine’s image and increase visitation.

“Coming from a country with aggressive collectivist media propaganda, these immigrants have found themselves in the United States, a highly individualistic society,” said Iarmolenko. “I am interested in how this transition occurs, how difficult it is, and how it affects their perceptions of Ukraine.”

“Despite a rich heritage and unique natural resources, Ukraine is just beginning to promote tourism and thus is struggling to attract international travelers,” said Iarmolenko. “As a Ukrainian I want my home country to flourish and be successful. I am hoping the results of my research will aid Ukraine and other emerging destinations in their efforts to increase the number of inbound travelers and boost foreign exchange earnings.”

To examine individualism and collectivism traits in Ukrainian-Americans, Iarmolenko is interviewing immigrants to learn about their experiences and to see if their struggles are similar to the ones she had. She is investigating whether immigrants shift from collectivism to predominantly individualism after living in the United States for some time. She said she expects to find that the longer Ukrainian-Americans stay

While at Penn State, Iarmolenko has learned that she has a passion for teaching. Thus, when she graduates, she intends to seek a university faculty appointment through which she can teach as well as continue her research on migration, expanding it beyond Ukrainian-Americans to other ethnic groups and immigration-intensive countries. n

20 | Health and Human Development

Paul Hazi

Alumnus ensures 2013 U.S. Open goes off without a hitch As did most fledgling golfers in the mid-1990s, Sean Palmer ’07 RPTM grew up admiring Tiger Woods, one of the most successful golfers in the history of the sport. So when, decades later, Palmer’s hero arrived at the Merion Golf Club on the outskirts of Philadelphia, Pa., to practice for the U.S. Open, which took place in June, the man—now a first assistant golf professional—was more than pleased. “Working with Tiger was amazing,” said Palmer. “I have tremendous respect for what he has accomplished as a golfer and his positive impact on the growth of the game.” In his position as first assistant golf professional, Palmer runs daily golf events at the Merion Golf Club, promotes the game of golf, teaches the game, administers golf shop merchandise and sales, plays in local professional tournaments, and much more. For the U.S. Open, he was responsible for scheduling the club’s entire golf staff of 42 employees—including five assistant golf professionals, all of whom are Penn State PGA Golf Management program alumni—to help in different positions during the U.S. Open, the national championship for the United States Golf Association (USGA). Among their duties, the professionals (George Forster ’06, Matt Bird ’10, Bill Ciccotti ’10, David Trude ’11, and Michael Ursomarso ’13) assigned golf carts to media, staff, and committee members; registered players; worked with players to set their practice-round tee times; managed shuttles to ensure players got to their starting locations on time; introduced players and their caddies to a course they may never had played before; worked as starters on the first tee; announced groups to patrons; and ensured that groups started on time. Palmer said he would not have had the opportunity to be involved in such an exciting event if it weren’t for his degree from Penn State. “Penn State’s PGA Golf Management program is by far the most professional and, in my opinion, does the most to groom young people to excel in our industry,” said Palmer. “This is how I got to where I am today, and it has snowballed into excellent opportunities.” The U.S. Open began on Thursday, June 13. Palmer said the day was a bit hectic; he raced around, issued orders, and smoothed out hiccups to ensure that the event ran smoothly. But come 1:14 p.m., when Tiger Woods prepared to tee off, Palmer was there watching and waiting for his hero to make history once again. From Left to Right: David Trude (’11), Bill Ciccotti (’10), George Forster (’06), Sean Palmer (’07), and Matt Photo Courtesy of Sean Palmer

Bird (’10). Not in photo: Michael Ursomarso (’13)

Peter Newman named head of recreation, park, and tourism management Peter Newman, the former associate dean of academic affairs in the Warner College of Natural Resources at Colorado State University, has assumed the role of head of the Department of Recreation, Park, and Tourism Management. He replaced Garry Chick, who returned to the department’s faculty. 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 also conducts work with the Natural Sounds Program of the U.S. National Park Service. Newman was appointed to the International Union for the Conservation of Nature World Commission on Protected Areas and as the U.S. delegate to the International Standards Organization on Human Perception of Acoustics in Natural Areas. He earned a bachelor’s degree at the University of Rochester, a master’s degree at the State University of New York, and a Ph.D. degree at the University of Vermont. He joined the faculty of Colorado State University in 2002.

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Department of Recreation, Park, and Tourism Management

› Linda Caldwell: NCAA Faculty Athletics Representative

Linda Caldwell is the first to admit she knows very little about the intricacies of sports. “I never played sports,” says the Distinguished Professor of Recreation, Park, and Tourism Management. So it was a surprise to her when, in 2010, her colleague Scott Kretchmar, professor of kinesiology, asked if she would be interested in being nominated for the position he had held for 10 years as faculty athletics representative to the NCAA (National Collegiate Athletic Association). Yet even without extensive knowledge of sports, Caldwell had all the right skills for the job; she had been a member of the Penn State Committee on Intercollegiate Athletics in the past and had a well-established research program on positive youth development.

Now four years into her role, she spends much of her time ensuring that Penn State’s student athletes meet the academic requirements of the NCAA, such as maintaining an appropriate grade-point average and avoiding missing too many class hours for practices and competitions.

Gene Maylock

Linda Caldwell talks about what it’s like to serve as faculty athletics representative to the NCAA.

Caldwell also serves as a member of the Faculty Senate Committee on Intercollegiate Athletics; she reports to the president of the University on a regular basis; and she collects and examines data on the majors and courses that student athletes take. In addition, she administers the NCAA coaching certification exam and participates in investigations of possible rule infractions. Overall, Caldwell says the work has been rewarding and she has great admiration for the student athletes, most of whom excel in their studies as well as in athletic competition. “It’s definitely been interesting,” she says. “There is always a new challenge to deal with and there is something new almost every day.”

› Alan Graefe receives national recreation and park award

“It’s wonderful to see Alan receiving such a prestigious, national award,” said Ann C. Crouter, the Raymond E. and Erin Stuart Schultz Dean of the College of Health and Human Development. “His research tackles important issues at the intersection of human activity and the natural environment—a key issue for the nation’s parks, forests, and other public lands. Alan has also been very committed to training the next generation of park and recreation scholars, ensuring that his ideas will have ripple effects for years to come.” The Theodore and Franklin Roosevelt Award for Excellence in Recreation and Park Research is presented once a year to an individual whose

22 | Health and Human Development

contributions to research in the field of parks and recreation have significantly advanced the cause of the parks and recreation movement and whose dedication to the field parallels the same dedication and zeal toward parks, recreation, and conservation that was exhibited by the presidents after whom the award is named. Graefe’s research involves the application of social science to various aspects of recreation resources planning and management. His recent work has focused on visitor management studies on public lands in Pennsylvania and in the National Forests of the northwest region of the United States. Prior to joining the faculty at Penn State in 1985, Graefe was an assistant professor at the University of Maryland from 1980 to 1984. He received a bachelor’s degree in ecosystems analysis/biology from the University of Wisconsin in 1973, and master’s and Ph.D. degrees in recreation and resources development from Texas A&M University in 1977 and 1980, respectively.

Penn State

Alan Graefe, professor, has been selected by the National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA) to receive the 2013 Theodore and Franklin Roosevelt Award for Excellence in Recreation and Park Research. NRPA presented the award to Graefe at a special reception at the association’s 2013 Congress & Exposition in Houston, Texas, on October 9.







The RPTM APG continues to support the College of Health and Human Development’s Mentoring Program. Many of its board members are mentors themselves. To learn more about the college’s Mentoring Program and/ or to become a mentor to a RPTM undergraduate student, visit


tion about the awards and to nominate deserving RPTM alumni, visit

If you are interested in becoming a member of our APG board or would like to participate in future events, please contact Anne Tubiolo ’10 RPTM, APG president, at RECREATION, PARK, AND The APG’s Awards Committee is seeking nominations TOURISM Please be sure to keep your contact information updated of RPTM alumni for its Deb Kerstetter RPTM APGMANAGEMENT with the Penn State Alumni Association at AFFILIATE PROGRAM GROUP Outstanding Alumni Award. For more information or Conto nominate deserving alumni, visit nect with the RPTM APG at, alumni/apg/rptm/awards. The College of Health and on Facebook at “RPTM Alumni/Student Network”, Human Development Alumni Society is seeking nomiand on LinkedIn at “Penn State Recreation Park and nations for its alumni awards as well. For more informaTourism Management Affiliate Program Group.”



In the fall of 2013, the PGM APG and the PGM Student Society hosted the 13th annual PGM Alumni Panel Discussion. We would like to thank the following alumni for participating and sharing their experiences and advice on topics, such as trends in the industry, internships, interviewing skills, networking, the importance of a good mentor, and life after college. Michael Conley ’11, assistant professional, Plainfield Country Club; Jacob Hoffer ’09, assistant professional, Inverness Golf Club; Rick Martel ’10, buyer, Dick’s Sporting Goods Headquarters; Megan Padua ’09, teaching professional, Maidstone Golf Club; Sean Palmer ’07, assistant professional, Merion Golf Club. The PGM APG mentoring program continued into the summer of 2013. The program connects students with alumni on a year-round basis. The students are paired with alumni based on similar interests to maximize the students’ professional development. If you are interested in becoming a mentor, please contact Burch Wilkes, director of the PGM program, at or 814-863-8987. The PGM APG continues to significantly grow interest and nominations for its awards. The following recipients were recognized during the 2012-13 academic year: Pride of the Lions Golf Professional of the Year Award: David Reasoner ’01, PGA head professional, Ridgewood Country Club in Ridgewood, NJ

Emerging Professional Award: Megan Padua ’09, PGA teaching professional, Maidstone Golf Club, Maidstone, NY Frank B. Guadagnolo Award for Mentoring Excellence: Jamie Kilmer ’99, PGA head professional, Wheatley Hills Golf Club, East Williston, NY The College of Health and Human Development Alumni Society is currently seeking nominations for its alumni awards. For more information on the awards and to nominate deserving PGM alumni, please visit The Alumni/Student Reception at the PGA Show in Orlando, Florida, was most significant gathering of APG members and students for the year. The event included more than 100 individuals gathering to connect, network, mentor, and engage professionally and personally. Highlights of the evening included the awards presentation and an APG “State of the Union” address. Please be sure to keep your contact information updated with the Penn State Alumni Association at alumni.psu. edu/about_us/contact_us/update_info. Connect with the PGM APG at, on Facebook at “Penn State PGA Golf Management”, and on Twitter at “PennStatePGM”. To learn more about the PGM APG, contact the president, Jason Marciniec ’04, at

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

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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.

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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.

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