Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Eta Sigma Gamma awards two distinguished faculty members

This year, two distinguished faculty members from the School of Public Health-Bloomington have been selected by Eta Sigma Gamma for their outstanding achievements and contributions:

Mohammad Torabi
Dr. Mohammad Torabi
Dean and Chancellor's Professor

Dr. Mohammad Torabi is the 2014 recipient of the Presidential Award. The award honors Dr. Torabi’s remarkable record of teaching, service, scholarship, and leadership activities that have earmarked his professional career. 

He has published over 125 refereed articles, book chapters, and monographs as well as delivered hundreds of presentations at state, national, and international conferences; and will soon exceed the two million dollar level in funded research projects. 

Today he continues to make substantial contributions to knowledge through his health promotion and disease prevention research addressing tobacco and other drugs use prevention, cancer, and HIV/AIDS infection.

Dr. David Lohrmann
David Lohrmann
Professor and Chair of the Department of Applied Health Science

Dr. David Lohrmann is the 2013 recipient of the Honor Award. The award is presented to individuals or organizations that have made major contributions to the health education profession through service, education, and/or research.

His 42 year career includes 17 years of public school teaching and administrative experience, including as a district-level health coordinator, and 10 years of service as a national school health evaluator for CDC. Over his career, he has authored or co-authored over 95 scholarly works including professional journal articles, books, book chapters, technical reports, and executive summaries; has delivered more than 250 presentations at local, state, national, and international conferences; and has been instrumental in the accrual of over $21 million in grants and contracts. Additionally, over the past 20 years, he has provided technical assistance on school health issues to numerous state education and public health departments throughout the United States, including recent service on strategic planning and accreditation committees of the Indiana State Department of Health.   

About Eta Sigma Gamma

Eta Sigma Gamma National Health Education Honorary is dedicated to the promotion of health education by elevating the standards, ideals, competence, and ethics of professionally prepared men and women in the field of health education.

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Brian Dodge receives Collaborative Fellowship Grant

Brian Dodge
Dr. Brian Dodge, associate professor in the Department of Applied Health Science and associate director of the Center for Sexual Health Promotion, has been awarded a Collaborative Fellowship Grant from the Institute for Advanced Study at Indiana University to support the development and implementation of the U.S-India Partnership for Sexual Health Promotion

The highly competitive award is designed to enable innovative and interdisciplinary research that will assist with facilitating the applicant’s successful process of promotion from associate to full professor at Indiana University Bloomington. 

The Institute for Advanced Study, a research entity within the Office of the Vice Provost for Research, is Indiana University’s leading center for the pursuit of new knowledge and new directions of inquiry in all fields of study. It pursues its goals and contributes to the university’s research mission by supporting intellectual exchanges that are primarily collaborative and interdisciplinary and at an early stage of development.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Student contributes to Little 500 tradition

Ren-Jay Shei is a life-long Bloomington resident, and as part of the local community, developed a love for cycling early on. 

Having ridden since high school, it was a natural transition for Shei to become involved in the Little 500 when he became an IU student. "I grew up watching the race and knew that it was something that I wanted to be a part of. It turns out that it was one of the best decisions I made. The people I met through Little 500 are amazing and most of my best friends (and my fiance) from college are former Little 5 riders,” he said. 

As an undergraduate student, Ren-Jay rode for the Black Key Bulls, a men’s independent team. He transitioned to coaching the team his senior year and serving as the assistant coach for the Alpha Xi Delta sorority team when his USA Cycling category transitioned to "semi-pro," making him ineligible to participate in the race as a competitor. 
Ren-Jay Shei 

As a graduate student in the Department of Kinesiology at the IU School of Public Health-Bloomington, pursuing a Ph.D. in Exercise Physiology, Shei has remained involved with both teams, currently serving as the Head Coach for the Alpha Xi Delta sorority team and Assistant Coach for the Black Key Bulls. He noted that his experiences and education from the School of Public Health has significantly contributed to his understanding of the sport. 

"The most obvious contributions have been what I've learned about all aspects of sport science ranging from basic physiology and training program structure to motor learning and practice schedules, and sport psychology. Every day I get the chance to apply the concepts and content that I learn in the classroom to two functioning, real-world cycling teams, which is incredible. As an undergraduate student, I received a minor in coaching through the school, which really helped me recognize things that I could improve and gave me the tools to succeed as a coach. It'd be fair to say that my education at the School of Public Health-Bloomington has had a positive and defining role in shaping me as a coach."

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

School recognizes outstanding alumni

The Indiana University School of Public Health-Bloomington recently honored six distinguished alumni, with honorees including past university department chairs, leaders in sports management, and individuals who have been instrumental in policy development both domestically and abroad.

"We could not be more pleased to honor these exceptional alumni," Dean Mohammad Torabi said. "Their dedication and commitment in their chosen fields is a true inspiration to all of us, and we are thrilled to have them as part of the school's family."

The school has been presenting awards since 1976 to the most prestigious graduates, those who excel professionally and personally. Recipients this year are:

Anita Aldrich Distinguished Alumni Award
  • Kathleen Cordes, Professor Emerita of Miramar College
Early Career Alumni Award
  • Kalen Irsay, Vice Chair and Owner of the Indianapolis Colts
John R. Endwright Distinguished Alumni Service Award
  • Thomas Templin, Professor at Purdue University
  • Scott Chakan, Director of Operations for Cassady Neeser & Brasseur a member of The Horton Group, Inc.
Mobley International Distinguished Alumni Award
  • Talal Hashim, Professor of Public Health Safety and Education at King Saud University in Saudi Arabia
W.W. Patty Distinguished Alumni Award
  • Eugene Monahan, retired Head Athletic Trainer for the New York Yankees
"Our 2014 alumni award recipients are some of the most distinguished and dedicated alumni," said Natalie Kubat, Director of Donor and Alumni Relations. "We are proud to be recognizing them and their accomplishments."

Each award winner received a plaque and was added to an honor wall at the School of Public Health-Bloomington.

Clockwise from top: Eugene Monahan, Scott Chakan, Thomas Templin, Kalen Irsay and Kathleen Cordes 

Study: Iron consumption can increase risk for heart disease

Jacob Hunnicutt
A new study from the Indiana University School of Public Health-Bloomington has bolstered the link between red meat consumption and heart disease by finding a strong association between heme iron, found only in meat, and potentially deadly coronary heart disease (CHD).

The study found that heme iron consumption increased the risk for coronary heart disease by 57 percent, while no association was found between nonheme iron, which is in plant and other non-meat sources, and coronary heart disease.

The study was published online ahead of print in the Journal of Nutrition. Along with first author Jacob Hunnicutt, a graduate student in the school's Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, the study’s co-authors are Ka He and Pengcheng Xun, faculty members in the department.

Hunnicutt said the link between iron intake, body iron stores and coronary heart disease has been debated for decades by researchers, with epidemiological studies providing inconsistent findings. The new IU research, a meta-analysis, examined 21 previously published studies and data involving 292,454 participants during an average 10.2 years of follow-up.

The new study is unique because it looks at the associations of total iron consumption as well as heme and nonheme iron intake in comparison to the risk of coronary heart disease. The only positive association involved the intake of heme iron.

The body treats the two kinds of iron differently. It can better control absorption of iron from vegetable sources, including iron supplements, but not so with iron from meat sources.

"The observed positive association between heme iron and risk of CHD may be explained by the high bioavailability of heme iron and its role as the primary source of iron in iron-replete participants," the researchers wrote in the journal article. "Heme iron is absorbed at a much greater rate in comparison to nonheme iron (37 percent vs. 5 percent). Once absorbed, it may contribute as a catalyst in the oxidation of LDLs, causing tissue-damaging inflammation, which is a potential risk factor for CHD."

Iron stores in the body increase over time. The only way to reduce iron in the body is by bleeding, donating blood or menstruation. Some dietary choices, such as coffee and tea, also can inhibit iron absorption.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

IU to expand public health partnership aimed at promoting sexual health research, education, and training activities in India

Brian Dodge
In India, a country of 1.24 billion people, of whom nearly 2.5 million are currently living with HIV, the need is even more urgent for public health interventions that are evidence-based, culturally congruent, and high impact in terms of their ability to promote sexual health. In India, sexual risk behavior remains the main mode of HIV transmission and men who have sex with men (MSM) are characterized by disproportionately high rates of HIV prevalence (ranging between 7% and 24%). Relatively high rates of bisexual behavior have also been found among Indian men. Men who have sex with both men and women (MSMW), who may or may not self-identify as a “bisexual,” face unique psychosocial challenges but they remain understudied and underserved.

Dr. Brian Dodge, associate professor in the Department of Applied Health Science and associate director of the Center for Sexual Health Promotion, and his research colleague Dr. Swagata Banik, associate professor of and director of the public health program at Baldwin Wallace University in Ohio, recently met with partners in India’s oldest and largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) health service and advocacy organization, The Humsafar Trust. The team laid the groundwork for an exploratory study of sexual health among Indian bisexual men, which led to a series of focus groups, followed by in-depth interviews with 50 behaviorally bisexual men in Mumbai. They intend to use the pilot data for a subsequent grant proposal to the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

This summer, the team will return to India to share the preliminary findings of their first project and, in collaboration with several new colleagues from the IU School of Public Health-Bloomington, to launch a new initiative, the U.S.-India Partnership for Sexual Health Promotion. 

The primary goal of the partnership will be to facilitate new opportunities for advancing the field of sexual health through collaborative and community-based research, education and training initiatives among colleagues on both continents. With institutional support from the Office of the Vice President for International Affairs at Indiana University, the members of this unique initiative are hoping to expand their efforts to work with other sexual health issues and priority populations in other geographical areas throughout India.

"We are so fortunate to have the opportunity to collaborate with Baldwin Wallace University, The Humsafar Trust, and other with others across the Indiana University Bloomington campus who are invested in promoting public health research and practice initiatives in India," Dodge added. "It truly is a special place and we simply would not be able to do this work without the insight and expertise of our academic and community partners as well as the resources and institutional support from Indiana University."

Civic Ecology: The intersection of urban ecology, restoration, and public health

James Farmer
Dr. James Farmer, Assistant Professor from the Department of Recreation, Park, and Tourism Studies recently joined colleagues from the Indiana University Department on Biology for a presentation at the New Dimensions in Urban Health and Action conference. The conference, hosted by the Center for Urban Health at IUPUI, featured presentations and posters highlighting cutting-edge research and action on urban issues spanning the health sciences, social sciences, environmental health, and community wellness. 

The conference was held during Public Health Week to highlight the necessity for researchers, practitioners, and the community to work together to meet current and future challenges to human health in cities.

Entitled "Civic Ecology: The Intersection of Urban Ecology, Restoration, and Public Health," the group’s presentation highlighted the importance of urban ecosystems and the services they provide for public health. Topics discussed included local and national examples of how urban citizens are working to rebuild their ecological systems through civic ecology, as well as provide a framework for engaging in community-based-participatory-research that positions scientists and community members together to restore native woodlands. An excellent example of restoring native woodlands includes removal of invasive species and enhancing the natural ecosystem of Dunn's Woods on the IU Bloomington campus:

IUSPH grad inspiring others with his own journey

Zach Tobias
When Zach Tobias graduated last May from the IU School of Public Health-Bloomington with a Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology and a concentration as a Health Fitness Specialist, he had no idea he was about to embark on a life-changing journey. 

Dedicated to spreading a message about health and physical activity, Zach has embarked on a journey that will take him 3,600 miles across the country. By sharing his journey along the way, Zach hopes to inspire others to develop healthy, active lifestyles. His mission has been fueled by what he's learned about the importance of being active and healthy through his studies at the IU School of Public Health-Bloomington.

"My best friend once asked me 'Zach, how are you going to change the world?' and my answer was 'I have no idea.' Deep down inside I was frustrated because I didn't have a clue and I wanted to have some crazy awesome answer to come back with that would really impress her. I thought about it for months and every night it haunted me. Finally, one thought lead to the next, ideas were hitting me left and right, and I decided this would be the start of my answer to that question," he said.

Zach departed from Surf City, North Carolina in April 2014 and should arrive in Eureka, California sometime in late 2014 or early 2015. His journey will be blogged on his website as well as on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and Flickr. He expects to travel somewhere in the ballpark of over 3,600 miles, will use apps to track his location, and fitness equipment to track his vitals as he travels. 

You can follow Zach’s journey online at:

Delta Omega Honorary Society in Public Health - Gamma Beta Chapter Initiation

The newly formed Indiana University Chapter of the Delta Omega Honorary Society in Public Health celebrated the initiation of a group of leaders this past April. Delta Omega was founded in 1924 when public health as a profession was still in its infancy. The society was established to promote graduate study in the emerging field prior to the establishment of university-based education in public health.

In addition to the initiation of new chapter members, Dr. Ed Marshall shared his thoughts on what Delta Omega has meant to him, how it has shaped his life and provided him experience and opportunities. As a founding member of the IU School of Medicine's Department of Public Health, Dr. Marshall served for many years as an adjunct professor in the department, and became the first optometrist to be elected to serve as president of the Indiana Public Health Association. In 2003, he even became the first optometrist in the 132-year history of the American Public Health Association to be elected chair of the executive board.

Delta Omega currently has 80 chapters throughout the world and has more than 15,000 members from top echelons of graduate schools and programs of public health, as well as the public health community. Membership in Delta Omega reflects the dedication of an individual to increasing the quality of the field, as well as to the protection and advancement of the health of all people.  

2014 Chapter Initiates Include:

Master of Public Health Students
  • Jackie Braspenninx (BSCH)
  • Bianca Jarvis (BSCH)
  • Emily McDonald (EPI)
  • Susan Miller (PHA)
  • Devan Petersen (PHA)
Public Health Faculty
  • Dean Mohammad Torabi
  • Dr. Michael Reece
  • Dr. Catherine Sherwood-Laughlin
  • Dr. Juhua Luo
  • Dr. Nancy Ellis
Public Health Alumni
  • Mary Boutain, MPH
  • Gina Forrest, MPH
  • Hannah Laughlin, MPH
  • Sally Pelto-Wheeler, MPH
  • Laurie Riggins, DPT
  • Alex Purcell, BS
  • Dawn Volungis, MPH
Honorary Member
  • Dr. Edwin Marshall

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Bradford Woods partners with Agape Therapeutic Riding Resources

Bradford Woods, a unit of the Department of Recreation, Park and Tourism Studies in the IU School of Public Health-Bloomington, has partnered with Agape Therapeutic Riding Resources Inc., a mission-centered organization specializing in cultivating personal growth through horse-facilitated experiences. 

Agape will provide equine therapy programming at the Bradford Woods Equine Center near Martinsville.


Friday, April 18, 2014

Three faculty receive Trustees Teaching Awards

To facilitate the recruitment and recognition of outstanding faculty, the Trustees Teaching Awards were established to honor individuals who have a positive impact on learning through the direct teaching of students, especially undergraduates. Award recipients must have demonstrated a sustained level of teaching excellence.

This year's recipients of the Trustees Teaching Awards from the IU School of Public Health-Bloomington are:
  • David Smiley, Department of Recreation, Park, and Tourism Studies
  • Dr. Hsien-Chang Lin, Department of Applied Health Science
  • Dr. Carol Kennedy-Armbruster, Department of Kinesiology

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Faculty contribute to Journal of Leisure Research

Dr. Rasul Mowatt, a faculty member in the Department of Recreation, Parks, and Tourism Studies at the IU School of Public Health-Bloomington, recently served as the guest editor of the Journal of Leisure Research (JLR) special issue on social and environmental justice. 

The journal publishes research findings from original investigations that contribute new knowledge and understanding to the field of recreation and leisure studies. The findings of these cutting-edge research projects are relevant to researchers, students, and practitioners.

The issue featured research by Dr. James Farmer, also of the IU School of Public Health Department of Recreation, Parks, and Tourism Studies, in the article "Agrileisure: Farmers' Markets, CSAs, and the Privilege in Eating Local."

In the article, Dr. Farmer and his team discuss how participation in local food systems has recently emerged as an important and overlooked leisure behavior that is critical to community recreation agencies, sustainable development, and overall public health. His study collected motivational, participation, and demographic data from 712 individuals who shop at farmers' markets, subscribe to community supported agriculture (CSA) programs, or do not participate in either. 

The results indicated that environmental and nutritional motives were the top two factors affecting farmers' market and CSA participants' engagement, while also highlighting a significant association between the CSA and farmers' market participants and privilege variables. These findings suggest that even as farmers' markets and CSAs are promoted as a means to reduce food insecurity and promote agrileisure opportunities, barriers exist that exclude many from engagement.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Shannan Stryjewski earns Outstanding New Advisor Certificate of Merit

Shannan Stryjewski
Shannan Stryjewski, and advisor for the Department of Applied Health Science at the IU School of Public Health-Bloomington, has earned the Outstanding New Advisor Certificate of Merit for the National Academic Advising Association (NACADA). 

The Outstanding New Advisor Awards are presented to individuals who have demonstrated qualities associated with outstanding academic advising of students and who have served as an advisor for a period of three or fewer years. Winners are honored at an awards ceremony held during the NACADA Annual Conference in the fall.

Shannan advises current and prospective students majoring in Human Development and Family Studies, Youth Development, or minoring in Gerontology, Human Development and Family Studies, Human Sexuality, and Youth Development. She received both her undergraduate and graduate degrees from Indiana University. She received a Master of Science degree in Counselor Education and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Ivy Tech Transfer Fair helps students connect with the School of Public Health-Bloomington

Twice a year, Ivy Tech Community College offers students the opportunity to talk with representatives from area colleges and universities regarding continuing their education at another institution. This Transfer Fair offers students the opportunity to explore potential careers and programs they wish to pursue as they continue their education.

The annual event, which attracts between 50 to 100 students, offers both students who have completed associates degrees and those who have taken prerequisite courses with the intention of moving into a four-year program, a variety of options for continuing their studies. Dedicated staff from the IU School of Public Health-Bloomington were on hand to showcase the breadth and depth of academic offerings available to the students.

Friday, April 11, 2014

Alumna named 2014 Health Teacher of the Year at the AAHPERD/SHAPE Conference

Heidi Stan
In early April, SHAPE America, formerly the American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance (AAHPERD) honored the elite of the physical education, adapted physical education, school health and dance education profession by honoring the best of the best with the National Teachers of the Year award. The winners are recognized for their outstanding teaching performance and the ability to motivate today's youth to participate in a lifetime of physical activity.

Among the recipients was Heidi Stan, BS’02, who received the Health Teacher of the Year award for her work at Riverside Junior High School in Fishers, Indiana. Stan’s health education programming for which she was recognized is designed to improve the "health literacy" of the students ensuring they're able to obtain, interpret and comprehend basic health information, as well as products and services in order to enhance personal, family, and community health.   

From activities focused on endurance, flexibility, and coordination to lessons on portion control and reproduction, Stan’s curriculum is mapped out to ensure that students are lifelong learners and participants. Stan emphasizes the principles of health promotion, disease and injury prevention, and how to incorporate students' new-found knowledge into making positive health decisions.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

NLRB college football ruling a potential game changer

Galen Clavio
Galen Clavio, a sports communication and marketing expert at the Indiana University School of Public Health-Bloomington, described the recent ruling by the National Labor Relations Board allowing Northwestern University football players to unionize "potentially a game changer."

"This ruling is potentially a game changer for the college athletics model as a whole. The primary things that the National Labor Relations Board ruled were that the football players at Northwestern were not 'primarily students'; that their football coaches exercised strict control over their schedules; and that their athletic scholarships were, in effect, compensation in exchange for work at school, with the work in this case being their football duties. This was a bit of a surprise ruling, as many in the legal profession thought that the players were going to lose this ruling.

“Northwestern has already announced that they are going to appeal, so there is still more to come in this case. But this is a major step toward a change in the way college athletics is treated by the courts and could lead to a system where football players -- and potentially other college athletes -- could form their own unions and collectively bargain with college athletic departments on a range of issues, from salary to health benefits to other items."

Friday, April 4, 2014

Donisha Reed honored with Stephen Jay Leadership Public Health Award

Donisha Reed
Donisha Reed, BSCH Master of Public Health student and research coordinator for the Center for Sexual Health Promotion, was recently honored with the Stephen Jay Leadership Public Health Award at the 2014 Indiana Joint National Public Health Week Conference. 

The award is presented to an MPH student (across the three statewide MPH Programs at IUPUI, IUB, and Purdue) who exhibits exemplary public health leadership, scholarship and practice resulting in the improvement of public health in Indiana. 

Donisha was recognized  for her tireless community engagement efforts across a wide range of initiatives and organizations during the course of her MPH program.

In addition, within the first few months of starting her new position as the Community Outreach Director at the Wichita Falls YMCA, Donisha has just been awarded a prestigious grant from The Oliver Foundation in support of her own innovative health promotion program, “ELF: Eat Well, Live Well, Feel Well.” The Oliver Foundation is a Houston-based non-profit operating foundation organization dedicated to the prevention of childhood obesity by providing technical support, training, and nutrition and physical activity education materials to grant recipients.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Decreased smoking rates correlate with wealth

Jon Macy
Indiana Public Media recently ran a story that discussed findings by University of Washington showing that smoking rates are declining in wealthier counties faster than poorer counties.

Indiana University Department of Applied Health Science associate professor Jon Macy was consulted to provide his expert opinion. Based on his assessment, he says says he’s not surprised by the findings.

“We failed in terms of delivering interventions to those high risk groups in our communities and we need to do a better job,” Macy said.

He says the study provides the data needed to better develop strategies of reducing smoking rates on a local level that would engage with socio-economic groups who would benefit the most from targeted anti-smoking activities.

Read more >> 

Health Program Fair helps students explore potential careers

Cindy Moore
Students from across the IU campus recently had the opportunity to explore a multitude of educational opportunities and campus resources at the annual Health Programs Fair hosted by the Health Professions and Prelaw Center

Co-sponsored by various campus schools and departments including the IU School of Public Health-Bloomington and the departments of Applied Health Science and Kinesiology, the fair offered students an opportunity to learn about much more than just the familiar roles of "doctor" and "nurse." 

Designed to provide students with the opportunity to meet with representatives from medical schools and health profession programs from across the country, as well as learn about associated volunteer opportunities and student organizations, the fair attracted students just beginning their college careers to those applying to graduate-level programs.

New Public Health Library resources

The IU School of Public Health-Bloomington Library has added three major new library online resources to the collections, accessible both on or off campus.

Rehabilitation Therapy in Video

This resource offers a large streaming video resource for the study of occupational therapy, physical/physiotherapy, and speech-language pathology. The collection allows students and faculty to easily find, cite, and share footage of top clinicians and academics explaining the underlying anatomical and neurological issues in specific patient populations, while demonstrating effective techniques and methods for their treatment. All of the video has been thoroughly indexed to allow users to search and filter content by patient details, therapist specialization, treatment method, presenting problem, and more.

Wiley Blackwell Encyclopedia of Health, Illness, Behavior, and Society

This is the first comprehensive, interdisciplinary, and international reference work on all aspects of the social scientific study of health and illness.


Evidence-based clinical decision support resource, UpToDate is updated daily following a continual comprehensive review of peer-reviewed journals, clinical databases and other resources (see the Evidence section for a detailed list). Topics in UpToDate are revised whenever important new information is published.