Thursday, February 27, 2014

Lecture: The World of 2030 and What it Means for Academic Public Health

John Finnegan, Jr.
Please join us for the Marian Godeke Miller Lecture, a part of the Public Health Lecture Series, with featured speaker John R. Finnegan Jr., Ph.D., Dean, School of Public Health at the University of Minnesota.

Topic: The World of 2030 and What it Means for Academic Public Health

When and where: Thursday, March 6, 2014 1:30 p.m. in the Indiana Memorial Union Alumni Hall. Reception to follow.

If you are unable to attend, view the talk online

School of Public Health-Bloomington receives support from IU alumna’s $3.4 million estate gift

The Indiana University School of Public Health-Bloomington and School of Education will receive approximately $3.4 million from the estate of the late Patricia K. Fehl. The gift, split between the two schools, will provide funding for education and health initiatives.

"As a pioneer in her field, Patricia had an amazing capacity for giving back to her students and colleagues, her community and her profession," said IU Foundation President and CEO Dan Smith. 

"With this generous gift, she is passing her dedication to education and public health on to future students and scholars at IU by providing them opportunities to make a difference in their own communities."

Fehl spent her career in academia teaching and acting as an administrator in the areas of physical education and sports.  As one of the few female administrators of her time, Fehl was committed to fitness and community health programs, as well as the development of women's intercollegiate athletics.

Fehl's gift to the IU School of Public Health-Bloomington will provide funding for top priorities including faculty and student support along with research and infrastructure initiatives.

"We are extremely grateful that Dr. Fehl has honored our school with her generous support," said Mohammad Torabi, dean and chancellor's professor at the IU School of Public Health-Bloomington. 

"To be a world-class, futuristic school of public health, it is imperative that private funding is secured to augment resources received from the state and from extramural research funding. Such generosity makes a tremendous difference in the school's ability to recruit high-quality students, attract and retain world-class faculty, and further enhance our research infrastructure. We are truly inspired by her passion and commitment to the School of Public Health-Bloomington."

Related links: Indiana Daily Student

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

IUSPH study: College athletes often sidelined from healthy lifestyle later in life

An Indiana University study found that elite college athletes -- typically the picture of health and vitality -- often struggle to stay active in later years, facing limitations to their day-to-day activities in middle age that could be a result of injuries during their athletic career.

Lead investigator Janet Simon, a doctoral candidate in the IU School of Public Health-Bloomington's Department of Kinesiology, said researchers have long known that compared to non-athletes, college athletes experience more severe injuries -- and long-term effects of those injuries. She was surprised, however, with her findings that the former elite athletes also scored worse on depression, fatigue and sleep scales.

Her study -- which focused on Division I athletes, considered the most competitive college athletes -- was published in the American Journal of Sports Medicine.

"Division I athletes may sacrifice their future health-related quality of life for their brief athletic career in college," Simon said. "Also, when comparing former Division I athletes, non-athletes who were physically active in college and the general U.S. population, it appears that, in rank order of the three groups, non-athletes who were recreationally active in college had better health-related quality of life scores, followed by the general U.S. population. This may be because former Division I athletes sustain more injuries and possibly more severe injuries due to the rigor of their sport."

Read more >> 

See additional coverage from NPR, The Huffington Post, Inside Higher Ed, and The Examiner.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Obeng Honored with Annual McGraw Hill Distinguished Scholar Award

Cecilia Obeng
In February of 2014, the 26th Annual Ethnographic & Qualitative Research Conference (EQRC) was held in Las Vegas, NV and brought together researchers, practitioners, and students from around the country.

As part of the annual event, awards were distributed during the keynote luncheon to those who qualify in scholarship, with particular consideration given to individuals with regular EQRC attendance and/or who have assisted with the conference (juried review of proposals, journal review board participation, and the like).  Selected by a blue ribbon committee, each year only 4-5 individuals are honored with the award.

This year Dr. Cecilia S. Obeng, Associate Professor of the Department of Applied Health Science, was honored with the award for her scholarly work in qualitative research.

Friday, February 14, 2014

Unique study examines feelings of love tied to sex between gay and bisexual men

Debby Herbenick
A first-of-its-kind study by researchers at George Mason University and Indiana University Bloomington draws some conclusions to an age-old question: What does love have to do with sex, in particular, among gay and bisexual men in the United States?

While most research about love has been conducted among heterosexual-identified individuals or opposite-sex couples, the focus of this study on same-sex couples suggests experiences of love are far more similar than different regardless of sexual orientation.

The study, published in the Archives of Sexual Behavior, finds nearly all (92.6 percent) men whose most recent sexual event occurred with a relationship partner indicated being in love with the partner at the time they had sex.

"This study is important because of myths and misunderstandings that separate men from love, even though the capacity to love and to want to be loved in return is a human capacity and is not limited by gender or sexual orientation," said Debby Herbenick, co-director of the Center for Sexual Health Promotion at the IU School of Public Health-Bloomington.

Read more >> 

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

IU School of Public Health-Bloomington establishes Institute for Research on Addictive Behavior

The IU School of Public Health has established a new institute, The Institute for Research on Addictive Behavior (IRAB). IRAB’s mission is to advance basic and translational research on addictive behavior to improve public health. The goal is to create an infrastructure that nurtures scientists across disciplines to work as teams to optimize the quality and relevance of research on addictive behavior. Access to datasets through IRAB will enable a broad range of secondary analyses. 

The institute’s website contains up to date information about IRAB’s data. The following datasets are presently available and ready to be utilized under a data use agreement:
  • Alcohol, Tobacco and Other Drug (ATOD) use by Indiana Children and Adolescents (depending on year, n=50,000 to 200,000), data available from 1993 through 2013 (cross-sectional only).
  • Indiana College Substance Use Survey (n=5,000, approximately), data available from 2009 through 2013 (cross-sectional only).
  • Multi-domain Health Survey of Health, Physical Education, and Recreation students (n=1,200).  Data are from 2009 (cross-sectional only).
More detailed information is available for each dataset at

Additional datasets, including a multi-level and an IU Public Health Survey of student databases, are in process and will be announced through the IRAB list (IRAB – L) as soon as they are available. If you are interested in joining the IRAB list, visit and click “join now.” As a list member, you will receive updates on available data, professional development opportunities, and relevant news related to addictive behavior.

If you have additional questions, please contact the IRAB’s data manager, Dr. Jon Agley, at

Sunday, February 9, 2014

In the news: Why Winter Endurance Athletes Compete In So Many Races

Robert Chapm
Indiana University School of Public Health-Bloomington professor, Robert Chapman, was featured in a recent Inside Science article, “Why Speed Skaters Perform Better At Higher Elevation.”

The article is syndicated to subscribers at,, and LiveScience.

In the article, Dr. Chapman discusses how "after superhuman efforts, athletes often race again just days later."

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Forrest appointed to Monroe County Human Rights Commission

Gina Forrest, of the SPH Office of Global and Community Health Partnerships, has been appointed to the Monroe County Human Rights Commission by the Monroe County Board of Commissioners. Forrest was elected for a one year term, expiring in March 2015.

The Commission, established by the Monroe County Human Rights Ordinance, is responsible for promoting equal opportunity in employment, housing, education, and access to public accommodations, regardless of race, sex, religion, color, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, ancestry, or disability. The group’s primary responsibilities include preventing discrimination through education, investigating complaints, and devising solutions.

The Monroe County Human Rights Commission meets on the second Wednesday of each month at 6:00 p.m. in the Assessor's Conference Room, First Floor of the Courthouse.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

MPH Students Experience the Policy Process

Earlier this year MPH students joined Dr. Beth Meyerson, Assistant Professor of Health Policy & Management, at the Indiana State Capitol to attend a Cervical Health Awareness rally organized by the Indiana Cancer Consortium and the Cervical Cancer Free Indiana Coalition.

“This was a tremendous field learning experience about the intersection of public policy, the policy process and public,” said Meyerson, who also Co-Directs the Rural Center for AIDS/STD Prevention.  “The Health Policy and Politics class is our way of strengthening student competency with structural aspects of public health. Field experience is a great way to ‘dive in and learn;’ even in a short legislative session.”

Students joined public health professionals, researchers and members of the public to hear about the latest science about cervical cancer screening and HPV vaccination, stories from people affected by cervical cancer and from two state legislators working on HPV issues.

"I was thrilled to attend,” said Fulbright Scholar and MPH Public Health Administration student Dr. Qadeer Ahmad. “I got to know the legislative process and how scientific advocacy can assist the creation of law for the health and safety of future generations.”

Representatives Sue Errington (D-Muncie) and Public Health Committee Chair Representative Ed Clere (R-New Albany) joined the group in the afternoon to speak about current HPV bills in the legislative process and encouraged participants to get involved.

Lindsey Degi, Public Health Administration student summarized the experience this way: “The trip to the Capitol allowed me to gain perspective of how the community, public health practitioners, and legislators communicate and work together in order to create policy changes that will improve public health. This opportunity allowed me to appreciate how important policy is to public health and without understanding this partnership nothing can be changed.”  

“For me, this experience was a really empowering and energizing, as I could bring my knowledge and passion for public health to the very place where it can make a difference - the policy arena,” said Lauren Berlow, an MPH student in Behavioral Social and Community Health.

From left: Students Neha Sengar (Epidemiology), Adama Dabo (Phadmin/African Studies), Dr. Beth Meyerson, Qadeer Ahmad (Phadmin/Fulbright), Representative Sue Errington, Lindsey Degi (Phadmin) and Lauren Berlow (BSCH) pictured on at the Capitol on January 22, 2014.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Cole Explores Monroe County Tourism Trends

Shu Cole
A report compiled by Dr. Shu Cole, Associate Professor and Associate Chair for Research and Graduate Studies from the Department of Recreation, Park, and Tourism Studies was recently released demonstrating tourism’s economic impact in Monroe County in 2013. 

The report was based on data from 1,314 surveys conducted at 11 leisure, sports and business events in Monroe County from January to November of 2013, and provided some significant findings regarding tourism trends in Monroe County.

The report notes that visitors are booking shorter stays in the county, but that the overall income generated has grown over past years. Visitors are not only coming more frequently, but are spending more intensely during the days they’re spending in Monroe County. The impact of the shift has also been seen in tourism employment as well as tax income generated. The growth contributed to an increase of 319 jobs and around $8 million in employee wages, with tax revenue increasing by $8 million. From 2009 to 2013 alone, gross sales generated by tourism increased to $326 million, up from $279 million.