Saturday, December 28, 2013

North American Society for the Sociology of Sport Graduate Diversity Scholarship renamed Gary A. Sailes Graduate Diversity Scholarship

Gary Sailes
Established in the late 1970’s the North American Society for the Sociology of Sport (NASSS) exists to promote, stimulate, and encourage the sociological study of play, games, sport and contemporary physical culture. As an active member of the organization since 1984, IU SPH Associate Professor of Kinesiology Dr. Gary Sailes is dedicated to assisting those who have an interest in the field of study.

In an effort to support student academic endeavors, Dr. Sailes endowed a scholarship several years ago to support doctoral students of color who have a scholarly interest in a diversity issue within the Sociology of Sport. His motivation for the endowment he says wasn’t one thing in particular, but just part of who he is.

“Altruism, servitude and mentorship have been programmed into my head since I can remember.  It is in my DNA.  I have always been the type of individual who gave a stray cat a home, give cash to homeless individuals standing on street corners with signs, give to the United Way, United Negro College Fund, etc.  That is just who I am,” he said.

While the original name for the scholarship endowed by Dr. Sailes several years ago was the Graduate Diversity Scholarship, this past year at the organization’s annual conference the Board of Directors voted to rename the scholarship the Gary A. Sailes Graduate Diversity Scholarship in honor of Dr. Sailes and his continued support.

Student Spotlight: Paige Boyer

During high school Paige Boyer knew she wanted to pursue a career in a health related field, but wasn’t quite sure what options beyond medicine or physical therapy were available to her. With a desire to explore her options further she enrolled at IU because it “…offered lots of different health-related programs from which I could choose, plus the option to design my own major if I couldn’t find exactly what I was looking for,” she said.

“When I discovered the community health program, I was immediately attracted to the wide variety of subjects I would be able to study, including chemistry, biology, psychology, epidemiology, statistics, and more. Even better, the list of careers I could pursue after graduation seemed almost endless. It was then that I really committed to a degree from the School of Public Health,” she noted.

Now a senior majoring in community health, with minors in mathematics, psychology, and nutrition, Paige also serves as medical brigade trip leader on the executive board of IU Timmy Global Health, as a student ambassador for the School of Public Health, and as a freshman mentor through the Hutton Honors College. Her future goals include employing her skills as a Health Communications Specialist, using various forms of media to educate and motive the general public about health and wellness.

“I love the school’s  holistic approach to understanding and addressing health challenges. All of my classes have emphasized that health status is the result of a complex interaction among biological, social, cultural, and environmental influences, and effective solutions take all of these factors into account,” she said.

Secure Your Prescription Drugs When Hosting Holiday Parties: Experts

Prescription-drug abuse likely isn't on your mind when you open your home to holiday guests. But it's a major problem in the United States, and you should take preventive action when hosting a party, experts say.

"We don't like to think of guests rifling through our medicine chests, but it is a possibility," Courtney Stewart, a research associate at the Indiana Prevention Resource Center at the Indiana University School of Public Health, in Bloomington, said in a university news release.

"Play it safe. Guests will be using bathrooms and placing coats and purses in various rooms," she said. "Prescription drugs of any kind should be placed in a safe location where they are kept locked and out of the hands of guests."

Thursday, December 26, 2013

A balanced view of sex "addiction"

Deb Herbenick
Dr. Deb Herbenick, co-director of the IU Center for Sexual Health Promotion and research scientist at the IU School of Public Health-Bloomington, provided a balanced view on sex "addiction" on a recent episode of the Katie Couric's talk show.

Watch the video.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Bryan McCormick Honored with the American Therapeutic Recreation Association’s Presidential Award

Bryan McCormick
Bryan McCormick, chair of the Department of Recreation, Park, and Tourism Studies and professor at the Indiana University School of Public Health-Bloomington has been awarded the American Therapeutic Recreation Association (ATRA) Presidential Award. The award was presented to Dr. McCormick during that ATRA annual conference in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania In October of 2013.

As part of the annual event, awards were distributed to those who have demonstrated professional success within the field and who have provided exceptional service to the organization. 

Selected for distinguished service by the ATRA president, this year’s award honored Dr. McCormick’s work in conjunction with IU School of Public Health-Bloomington alumna Dr. Gretchen Snethen. Both worked with ATRA in analyzing the results and completing a summary that was presented to the ATRA membership committee regarding the ATRA Standards of Practice Survey and Evaluation Tool.

Dr. McCormick’s research focuses on the social and community functioning of people with severe mental illnesses. Through the use of a variety of research methodologies, he examines elements such as daily physical activity, mood, and social context as well as recreation and support networks in relation to mental health. 

The vision of the American Therapeutic Recreation Association is to be the premiere professional membership association representing recreational therapists, consumers and stakeholders. It is the largest national membership organization representing the interests and needs of recreational therapists. Recreational therapists are healthcare providers who use recreational therapy interventions for improved functioning of individuals with illness or disabling conditions. 

Monday, December 23, 2013

Dr. Ka He named fellow by the American College of Epidemiology

Ka He
Ka He, Chair of the Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics and professor at the Indiana University School of Public Health-Bloomington, has been named a fellow of the American College of Epidemiology.

Dr. He received his ScD in Nutritional Epidemiology from Harvard University, MPH from Tufts University and MD from Soochow University in China. He served as an Assistant Professor of Preventive Medicine at Northwestern University and a tenured Associate Professor of Epidemiology and Nutrition at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Dr. He is an elected fellow of American Heart Association (AHA) and a fellow of American College of Nutrition (ACN).

Dr. He’s primary research interests lie in nutritional epidemiology, specifically, diet and nutrients in relation to chronic diseases, including cardiovascular disease, diabetes, obesity, and cancer. Dr. He is the principal investigator of several NIH-supported projects, including trace elements and cardiovascular disease risk factors; trace elements and risk of stroke; amino acids, protein and obesity; fatty acids and ischemic stroke; and dietary supplement use and risk of pancreatic cancer. Dr. He is also the principal investigator on a research project supported by the American Cancer Society examining diet, supplement use, and colon cancer.

The American College of Epidemiology is the professional organization dedicated to continued education and advocacy for epidemiologists in their efforts to promote good science and the public health. It serves the interests of its members through sponsorship of scientific meetings, publications and educational activities, recognizing outstanding contributions to the field and advocating for issues pertinent to epidemiology.

Monday, December 9, 2013

Students travel to West Virginia to explore impact of energy production

This October James Farmer, assistant professor in the Department of Recreation, Park, and Tourism Studies, teamed up with Associate Professor Vicky Meretsky from the School of Public and Environmental Affairs (SPEA) to offer 27 students and 2 visiting scholars the opportunity to see firsthand the impact of energy production, specifically coal extraction, on rural residents. 

Students had the opportunity to visit several sites including a restored stream system, hydro plant, wind farm, and mountain top removal site, as well as hear from college students in the area studying the issue, industry representatives, environmental managers and advocates, as well as local residents and community organizers engaged in eco-restoration.

The trip allowed students the opportunity to witness individuals from the coal and gas industries and those engaged in watershed protection and restoration working together to solve human-environmental problems, “…problems that have had and will continue to have a profound impact on human health and quality of life,” Farmer noted.  

He hopes that students became more aware of the need for collaboration in developing solutions to energy production problems, but that also the“…learned where their energy comes from and what it takes (and how it affects both people and the natural environment we depend on) to turn on a light switch.”

Sunday, December 8, 2013

National Parks Service and IU's Eppley Institute develop climate change videos

The Eppley Institute for Parks and Public Lands, the National Park Service’s Interpretive Development Program, and the NPS Climate Change Response Program (CCRP) have produced three videos that illustrate the impacts of climate change on national parks. 

The videos were filmed on location at Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park, Everglades National Park, and Kenai Fjords National Park by IU Professor Emeritus Ron Osgood and cameraman Matt Bockelman, with assistance from NPS park ranger Matt Holly and staff members from each park. 

Available on the CCRP website, the Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park video explores species loss, precipitation, and fire; the Everglades National Park video explores sea level rise; and the Kenai Fjords National Park video explores glacial changes. A fourth video, produced by the CCRP office in Washington, DC, is also available on the site. It explores phenology and citizen science at Great Smoky Mountains National Park

These videos are part of planned training that is aimed at NPS interpreters presenting programs on climate change. This training is currently under development and should be available in 2014. Additional videos for this training are also being completed by the CCRP office in Washington, DC. 

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Students report on local park program and facility usage

Indiana University School of Public Health-Bloomington students are often asked to step outside the classroom and apply course concepts in a real world context and explore ways to improve health locally as well as on a state, national, and international level. 

In November, a group of IU students presented findings from a course project designed to examine four different Bloomington park programs specifically targeting the city’s softball leagues, arts events, senior citizens activities, and the B-Line Trail. Bloomington Board of Parks Commissioners heard the reports based on surveys taken by the students of local resident users. 

Students studying the city’s B-Line trail found that less residents were using the trail for walking as they were for biking, and that users in general were predominantly white.  Another group looked into the motivation of participants in the city’s softball leagues, and found that socialization outranked exercise as the motivating factor for getting involved. Paula McDevitt, Recreation Services Director for the Parks Department, said information like this could help the department as it does long-term planning.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Talk: Disparities in African American Health

David R. Williams
Mark your calendars for a talk by David R. Williams. Dr. Williams is the Florence Sprague Norman and Laura Smart Norman Professor of Public Health at the Harvard School of Public Health and Professor of African and African American Studies and of Sociology at Harvard University.

Dr. Williams’ research has enhanced our understanding of the complex ways in which socioeconomic status, race, stress, racism and religious involvement can affect physical and mental health.

The talk is sponsored by the Center for Research on Health Disparities, Department of Applied Health Science, and the Indiana University School of Public Health-Bloomington.

  • Where: Frangipani Room, Indiana Memorial Union, 900E. 7th Street, Bloomington, IN 47405
  • When: December 5, 2013, 4pm

Leadership void, not lack of money, slows efforts to address cervical cancer

A study by Indiana University public health researchers found that the opportunity for significant progress in addressing cervical cancer across the country is being squandered -- not because of a lack of money -- but because of a void of leadership and organization at the state levels.

"We focus on cervical cancer because it is likely the 'low-hanging fruit' opportunity to beat a cancer in this generation," said Dr. Beth Meyerson, a health policy expert at the IU School of Public Health-Bloomington and co-director of the Center for Rural AIDS/STD Prevention. "We have the tools of HPV vaccination, screening and treatment; but uninsured women and women of color experience huge health disparities. This is the signal that we have a health system problem."
Meyerson and her research colleagues conducted interviews with 15 professionals working in programs involving cervical cancer. These included federal and state government breast and cervical cancer programs; women's health and cancer control; national advocacy organizations engaged in sexual health and cancer; legislative affairs; researchers working in cervical cancer intervention and evaluation; state coalitions engaged in cervical cancer efforts; and partners from industry working on diagnostics, therapeutics or vaccines.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

IU School of Public Health-Bloomington makes a splash at the American Public Health Association Annual Meeting

Over 13,000 national and international physicians, administrators, nurses, educators, researchers, epidemiologists, and related health specialists converged on Boston from November 2-6 for the 141st American Public Health Association annual meeting. 

Among that throng were Indiana University researchers, including graduate students and faculty members of the IU School of Public Health-Bloomington attending sessions and presenting research findings. 

In addition, the IU School of Public Health-Bloomington had a substantial presence at the Public Health Expo were a host of visitors to the school’s exhibition booth were greeted by a new impressive display where faculty, staff, and student volunteers eagerly answered questions and provided information about the school and its programs.

As part of the presence in Boston this year, Dean Torabi hosted a reception attended by dozens of IU alumni, school alumni, and distinguished guests, including former IU Vice President Ed Marshall and Indiana Public Health Association President Jerry King. Dean Torabi premiered the new IU School of Public Health video “Preventing Disease, Promoting Health, Improving Quality of Life.”

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Stay connected to IUSPHB team as they travel to Ghana

Researchers from the Indiana University School of Public Health-Bloomington plan to use recreational sports, in the form of basketball, soccer and volleyball after-school programs, to help boys and girls in Ghana Africa avoid problems associated with substance abuse and sexually transmitted diseases such as HIV.

Funded with a two-year grant from the U.S. Department of State-Bureau of Education and Cultural Affairs, the IU team will work with partners at the University of Cape Coast and local government officials in Apewosika Township, a rural area along the Gulf of Guinea, to train the coaches and sport personnel needed to conduct the after-school programs.

Dr. Sarah Young and Dr. Bill Ramos from the Department of Recreation, Park and Tourism Studies are teaming up with Cecilia Obeng, associate professor in the Department of Applied Health Science, and Debby Herbenick, co-director of the school's Center for Sexual Health Promotion, for the health and wellness component of YES-Ghana. Samuel Obeng, director of the African Studies Program at IU Bloomington, also is a key part of the IU team.

You're invited to follow them on social media as they start their journey!

Monday, November 18, 2013

IU School of Public Health-Bloomington video premiere

To mark the momentous transition to the new IU School of Public Health-Bloomington, recognizing the school’s heralded past while embracing its bright future, the Dean commissioned a new video

It brings together students, administrators,  alumni, and staff to talk about the importance of the school’s new vision. 

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Ditty bag of condoms, home-use instructions lead to improved comfort and consistency with condom use

Roberta Emetu    
A new and successful strategy for combating the spread of sexually transmitted diseases such as HIV draws from an old idea: Practice is fundamental to learning, even when it involves using condoms correctly.

The Kinsey Institute Homework Intervention Strategy gives men a "ditty bag" full of condoms and lubricants, makes sure the men understand how to apply condoms correctly, and then assigns homework. The men are expected to try out at least six condoms solo, paying particular attention to their own pleasure and which condoms they like best.
"It's such a simple idea, but nobody has every structured an approach like this," said William L. Yarber, professor in the Indiana University School of Public-Health-Bloomington and senior director of the Center for AIDS/STD prevention. Yarber is co-author of the study, "A novel, self-guided, home-based intervention to improve condom use among young men who have sex with men," which were discussed Nov. 6. "These are pilot studies. But even with small samples, the results are really good. Men become more motivated to use condoms; they use them more correctly and consistently. They also appreciate learning that there are different condoms available."

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Eppley Institute to offer Great Lakes Park Training Institute in 2014

Eppley Institute for Parks and Public Lands in the IU School of Public Health-Bloomington provides a unique outreach program for the park, recreation and public land management professions and works to enhance the quality of natural, cultural, and recreational experiences for all people. The institute provides expertise in several areas, including technical assistance and research, planning and design, and training and education for the National Park Service and other similar organizations around the world.

The Great Lakes Park Training Institute (GLPTI), one of the institute’s annual educational opportunities, has provided professional training opportunities for park and recreation professionals in municipal, county, state, regional, and national agencies for over 68 years. The 2014 GLPTI, scheduled for February 24th -27th, will take place at Indiana’s Pokagon State Park in the Potawatomi Inn featuring a blend of hands-on workshops, discussion panels, and presentations.

The 4-day training opportunity will include hands-on workshops including sessions on timber maintenance and chainsaw use, identifying changing visitor types in parks, and ADA requirements for parks. Discussion panels, demonstrations and, lectures on topics ranging from high-risk recreation maintenance to interpretive programs will occur throughout the week, with the highly anticipated “gadgets” session, which allows participants to share tools and inventions they’ve created to make their own jobs a little easier. taking center stage mid-week.

Find information about the Great Lakes Park Training Institute, including the Registration Book, Institute schedule, and Online Registration Form, at

Friday, November 15, 2013

Conversations about STIs are important in theory but difficult

Margo Mullinax
Having sex can be fun; and talking about sex can be fun. Talking about sexually transmitted infections with a sexual interest, however, is a totally different matter, according to new research from Indiana University's Center for Sexual Health Promotion.
The study found a disconnect between the public health messages that promote STI testing as a way to prevent STIs such as HIV and chlamydia and the conversations -- or lack of them -- occurring in bedrooms.

"Talking to partners about STIs is an important conversation to have," said Margo Mullinax, lead researcher for "Talk about testing: What sexual partners discuss in relation to STI status and why." "However, findings from this study suggest public health campaigns need to promote specific messages, concrete tips and tools around sexual health conversations stratified by relationship status. Campaigns should also address STI stigma and promote messages of normalcy with regard to talking about STIs."

Friday, November 1, 2013

Alan Ewert receives the 2013 Association for Experiential Education Distinguished Researcher Award

Alan Ewert
Alan Ewert, Interim Department Chair of the Department of Environmental Health at the IU School of Public Health Bloomington and President of the Academy of Leisure Sciences has received the 2013 Association for Experiential Education Distinguished Researcher Award.

The work of experiential educators is unique, inspiring and meaningful, and contributes greatly to the well-being and education of individuals, communities and work environments. There are many outstanding, often unsung, experiential practitioners whose high standards, commitment and contributions have inspired others to dream and to act. AEE Awards recognize individuals and organizations for their contributions to the theory of experiential education and their service to AEE. 

The mission of the Association for Experiential Education is to develop and promote experiential education, an approach to education which believes that interaction between a teacher and student infuses direct experience with the learning environment and content, yielding better outcomes.

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Indiana Lifeline Law Resource

As this semester is approaching the end and you begin to prepare for next semester, the IPRC would like to share information that is important to all students and the Indiana University community.

The Indiana Lifeline Law provides immunity for some alcohol related offenses, subject to certain conditions, to Hoosiers who request medical assistance for someone in need or who receive medical assistance due to a request by someone else.  Many students are not aware of the law and how it works. 

The IPRC Relationships Committee has prepared a short set of PowerPoint slides that can be included in your courses or in your syllabi.  This law can help save lives and we encourage you to share the information with your students about the Lifeline Law.  The more opportunities that students have to hear this message, the greater the awareness of the law.

If you have any questions or need additional information and resources about this law or other substance abuse, problem gambling or addiction related topics, please contact the Indiana Prevention Resource Center, or 855-1237.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Reconnecting African Americans to Nature via Social Media: A Public Health Perspective

Rue Mapp
A talk by Rue Mapp, CEO and Founder of Outdoor Afro.

Rue Mapp was named a Hero in Backpacker Magazine, honored as part of the Root 100 of the top black achievers and influencers for 2012, and received the Josephine and Frank Duveneck award for her humanitarian efforts. Recently, Rue received the National Wildlife Association’s Award for Communications for her humanitarian efforts. Recently, Rue received the National Wildlife Association’s Award for Communications.

When: November 8, 2013, 11:15am

Where: Mobley Auditorium (PH C100) at the IU School of Public Health-Bloomington, 1025 E. 7th Street, Bloomington, IN 47405

Sponsored by the Indiana University School of Public Health-Bloomington, IU Outdoor Adventures, the Diversity Leadership Conference, and the Department of Recreation, Parks, and Tourism Studies.