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.