News and Events in College of Health and Human Development

Fifth cohort completes Global Hospitality Management Program
Students study hospitality on three continents in three semesters
Penn State students studied hospitality on three different continents over three semesters as part of the Global Hospitality Management Program. The program is a collaboration between Penn State’s School of Hospitality Management (SHM), the Chinese University of Hong Kong’s School of Hotel and Tourism Management, and the Hogeschool Zuyd’s Maastrict Hotel Management School in the Netherlands.
woman reading on iPad in darkened room
Light-emitting e-readers detrimentally shift circadian clock
You may think your e-reader is helping you get to sleep at night, but it might actually be harming your quality of sleep, according to researchers.
Online MHA cohort fall 2014 graduation
First Penn State online MHA program students to graduate Dec. 20
Penn State will see the first cohort of the online master of health administration in healthy policy and administration graduate in the fall 2014 commencement ceremony on Dec. 20.
Sustainable Transportation in the National Parks
Professor co-authors book on sustainable transportation at national parks
Peter Newman, professor and head of the Department of Recreation, Park, and Tourism Management in the College of Health and Human Development has co-authored the new book, “Sustainable Transportation in the National Parks: From Acadia to Zion.”
MHA cohort attends classes at University Park
Online master’s degree program fits all lifestyles
This inaugural cohort of 21 students will see the culmination of the 13 course, 49 credit, 28 month program at the Dec. 20 commencement ceremony at University Park as each student receives a diploma, which they were able to earn while working, raising children, running businesses and practicing medicine. That’s because the MHA program fits every lifestyle.
New Year’s resolutions: The Penn State way
It’s almost that time of year again when individuals vow to turn over a new leaf and shed old habits -- and sometimes some pounds. We call them New Year’s resolutions, and many focus on embracing new routines to improve our health and well-being. The good news is that resources abound in the Penn State community to help faculty, staff and students stick with these New Year’s resolutions.
Penn State PGA Professional Golf Management Program celebrates 25 years in 2015
Penn State PGA Professional Golf Management Program celebrates 25 years in 2015
As the PGM program celebrates its 25th year in 2015, program faculty, staff, and alumni will formally celebrate the anniversary Jan. 22, at the PGA Merchandise Show in Orlando, Florida during a reception hosted by PGM Director Burch Wilkes and with a special appearance by Frank Guadagnolo, who served as professor-in-charge of PGM from its inception in 1990 until 2005.
HPA students study Costa Rica health care system
Students travel to Costa Rica to study health care system
Led by instructor Celeste Newcomb, 15 students enrolled in Embedded Trip to Costa Rica, HPA 401, visited the Central American country from Nov. 29 to Dec. 6. The course was developed roughly five years ago through grant funds from University Office of Global Programs, the College of Health and Human Development and the Department of Healthy Policy and Administration.
Kinesiology professor to share department’s initiatives at national meeting
Melissa Bopp, associate kinesiology professor, will present on the kinesiology department's outreach and engagement projects at the American Kinesiology Association’s 2015 workshop Jan. 26 in Charlotte, North Carolina.
man with cellphone ignoring woman
(Dis)connected: Study suggests technology interferes with couple relationships
Technology's interference in everyday life -- "technoference" -- appears to negatively relate to relationship and personal well-being, according to researchers.
Coley Rudnitsky is exercising
Kinesiology students hit the road to promote healthy living, gain experience
Through mobile Exercise is Medicine, kinesiology students travel across the state to give health advice and conduct fitness assessments.
Sara Manetta
Manetta named Health and Human Development student marshal for commencement
Sara Manetta, daughter of John and Susan Manetta, of Yardley, will serve as the student marshal at the Dec. 20 commencement ceremony for the College of Health and Human Development. She will receive a bachelor’s degree in biobehavioral health.
man with money on plate
Voters more inclined than consumers to pay for food safety
Voters are more willing to pay for a decreased risk of food-related illness than other consumers subjected to a market driven price increase, but female consumers are more willing to pay than male consumers, according to an international team of researchers.
Center for Language Science joins global outreach center for bilingualism
Penn State’s Center for Language Science will become the first U.S. chapter of Bilingualism Matters, a Center of Excellence at the University of Edinburgh, United Kingdom. The organization serves as an important bridge between outstanding research on bilingualism and successful applications on the ground for parents, teachers, and policy makers. On Wednesday, Dec. 10, Dr. Antonella Sorace, the founder and director of Bilingualism Matters, will visit the Center for Language Science to conduct outreach training with the faculty and students. One session will take place from 10 am-12 pm and a second session from 2-4 pm, both in 127 Moore Building, on Penn State’s University Park campus. On Friday, Dec. 12, Dr. Sorace will give a public lecture at 9 a.m., also in 127 Moore Building. The public is welcome to attend all events.
Larry Baronner
Rural health leader elected to national rural health policy-making board
Larry Baronner, deputy director and rural health systems manager at the Pennsylvania Office of Rural Health (PORH), has been elected to the National Rural Health Association’s (NRHA) Rural Health Congress to represent the State Office Council, the formal council within NRHA for all 50 state offices of rural health (SORHs) in the nation.
Janice Light
Helping kids with autism read, write and communicate
A research-based literacy program teaches children with little or no speech to read, write, and relate to others.
mHealth logo
IST, BBH students compete in mHealth Challenge to foster innovation
Engaged scholarship at Penn State isn’t just an abstract idea. Last month, the initiative -- defined as out-of-classroom academic experiences that complement in-classroom learning -- brought students from two colleges together to nurture entrepreneurial innovation and teamwork in the form of the mHealth Challenge.
Hospital Sign
Pa. Rural Health Office, students help rural hospitals track health disparities
The Pennsylvania Office of Rural Health (PORH), based at Penn State's University Park campus, and master of public health students at the Penn State College of Medicine in Hershey are working to help small, rural hospitals meet federal requirements for tracking and assessing local community health needs.
Three students standing
Students plan nonprofit fundraising events on zero-budget
School of Hospitality Management students enrolled in Advanced Meetings and Events planned and executed two events to raise funds for Operation: Military Kids, which supports military families living in civilian communities, and Pencils of Promise, which builds schools in impoverished countries. And they did it with $0.
Max Penn State Speech, Language and Hearing Clinic CSD grant 2014
Penn State researchers explore the future of augmentative communication
Penn State’s Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders (CSD), in collaboration with a variety of other health care organizations and research centers, is leading research, training and dissemination of information to improve outcomes for those who rely on alternative communication.
Mateer Building
Penn State launches national search for school of hospitality director
Penn State’s School of Hospitality Management (SHM) has launched a national search for a new director, as current Director John O’Neill will lead the school’s new Center for Hospitality Real Estate Strategy starting in July.
Sandberg receives grant to further brain injury research
Chaleece Sandberg, assistant professor of communication sciences and disorders, received the 2014 New Century Scholars Research Grant from the American Speech-Language-Hearing Foundation to further her research in language therapy for people who have suffered brain injuries.
Doctoral student receives American Public Health Association fellowship
Phylicia Bediako, a predoctoral trainee in the Prevention and Methodology Training program, has been honored with a Student Fellowship from the Maternal and Child Health Section of the American Public Health Association for her work on disparities in sexual and reproductive health outcomes for underserved and minority populations.
Conversations that Matter ESE 2014
Biobehavioral health students share insight, work at Engaged Scholarship Expo
Two students in the Department of Biobehavioral Health (BBH) gave presentations Nov. 17 at Penn State’s Engaged Scholarship Expo in the HUB-Robeson Center as part of Global Entrepreneurship Week.
Penn Staters paying it forward
As a student in Penn State's School of Hospitality Management, Gary Budge gained the organizational skills, sense of pragmatism and professional potential he would need to succeed in New York City's highly competitive hospitality industry. He also gained an early sense of the importance of philanthropy.
Shaping The Future Summit 2015: The Power Of Money
Summit event tackles complexity of managing health care
Dr. William Rouse spoke to a full house Nov. 18 at the Biobehavioral Health Building for his lecture on “Managing the Complexity of Health Care,” a topic that will affect all students in the coming years.
John Peterson
Lion’s Pantry, student food bank, to open doors on Nov. 20
With the cost of education and student debt rising, Penn State has made affordability and accessibility a priority for its students. A multitude of resources are available for all students, including additional resources for historically underserved populations. But even in the happiest of valleys, many students don’t know where their next meal is coming from. Penn State students have created Lion’s Pantry, an on-campus food bank intended to supplement any Penn State student’s food budget by providing them with a weekly assortment of goods donated by community members and corporate partners.
Researchers rely on Pennsylvania families for key insights on children
Penn State researchers with the Family Life Project, a longitudinal study of how children learn and grow in rural communities, are finding the transition from elementary to middle school a critical time for children when it comes to future academic success.
Adult daycare helps caregivers’ emotional stability
Yin Liu
Caregivers who employ adult daycare services to help care for individuals with dementia have fewer emotional ups and downs, and that may protect the caregivers’ health, according to Penn State researchers.
A study that investigated emotional fluctuations in caregivers of individuals with dementia by researchers in the College of Health and Human Development has been published in the journal Health Psychology. Yin Liu, a doctoral candidate, is the first author. Additional authors include Steven H. Zarit, distinguished professor of human development and family studies (HDFS); David M. Almeida, professor of human development and family studies; and Kyungmin Kim, postdoctoral scholar.
Herbs and spices enhance heart health as well as flavor
diagonal lines of spices
Spices and herbs are rich in antioxidants, which may help improve triglyceride concentrations and other blood lipids, according to Penn State nutritionists.
Nothing fishy about health benefits of plant-based omega-3 fatty acid
flax flower, seed, oil
Increasing the amount of omega-3s in your diet, whether from fish or flax, will likely decrease your risk of getting heart disease, according to Penn State nutritionists.
Penn State senior instructor receives national outstanding professor award
Patty Kleban
Patricia Kleban, senior instructor and student services/internship coordinator with the Department of Recreation, Park and Tourism Management (RPTM) in the College of Health and Human Development, received the Outstanding Professor Award from the Resort and Commercial Recreation Association (RCRA).
Graduate students, faculty share the 'PhUn' in physiology at elementary school
During PhUn Week, Easterly Parkway Elementary students learned facts about the heart and used stethoscopes to hear how their own hearts sound when they beat.
During the American Physiological Society's annual PhUn (Physiology Understanding) Week initiative, Penn State graduate students and faculty from the Huck Institutes' Intercollege Graduate Degree Program (IGDP) in Physiology partnered with a local elementary school to help first- and second-grade students explore basic concepts in physiology and better understand the study of how living things work.
Kinesiology professor selected as Institute Resident Scholar for fall 2015
Jaime Shultz Institute Resident Scholar Fall 2015
Jaime Schultz, assistant professor of kinesiology, has been selected as an Institute Resident Scholar for fall 2015 for her project, “Women’s Movement: Sport, Physical Culture and 1970s Feminisms.”
Hospitality management professor recognized for excellence in advising
Breffni Noone SHC Excellence in Advising Award 2014-15
Breffni Noone, associate professor of hospitality management, is the recipient of the 2014-15 Schreyer Honors College (SHC) Excellence in Advising Award, which is presented annually to an honors faculty member who has been nominated for excellence in advising.
Bacterial product could cure viral infections, scientists say
The bacterial protein flagellin could have an important role in preventing and treating viral infections, according to a study involving Penn State researchers.
HDFS professor recognized for multivariate experimental psychology
Sy-Miin Chow Cattell
Sy-Miin Chow, associate professor of human development and family studies, has been awarded the Cattell Early Career Research Award.
Pennsylvania rural health leader receives national mentoring award
Lisa Davis, director of the Pennsylvania Office of Rural Health
Lisa Davis, director of the Pennsylvania Office of Rural Health and outreach associate professor of health policy and administration at Penn State, received the 2014 James D. Bernstein Mentoring Award from the National Organization of State Offices of Rural Health (NOSORH). Davis received the award at an Oct. 28 ceremony during the organization’s annual conference in Omaha, Nebraska.
Something different to digest
Rebecca Fry SNAP Challenge
What’s it like to feed yourself on $29.40 a week? In HPA 410, Principles of Public Adminstration, students took part in the nationally recognized SNAP Challenge held earlier this month, which charges participants to live on the U.S. daily food aid benefit — about $4 a day — for one week, keeping track of their purchases and sharing their experiences. SNAP stands for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.
College of Health and Human Development Alumni Society honors 2014 award winners
The College of Health and Human Development Society announced its 2014 award winners at the College of Health and Human Development Alumni Society Awards Dinner on Nov. 7. All recipients are graduates of the College of Health and Human Development and have distinguished themselves in their careers and service.
College of Health and Human Development announces 2014 faculty, staff awards
The College of Health and Human Development announced its Faculty and Staff Awards for 2014. A reception honoring the awardees will be held Nov. 13 at the Bennett Pierce Living Center in Henderson Building.
Students visit Hilton Worldwide, learn from corporate executives
Students visit Hilton Worldwide headquarters
Students enrolled in Penn State’s School of Hospitality Management (SHM) witnessed first-hand the operations of a major hospitality corporation, Hilton Worldwide, as part of a unique engaged scholarship opportunity.
Studies underway to help children, adults overcome communications obstacles
Seven projects are underway as part of a grant awarded to Penn State’s Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders by the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research to enhance communication and improve outcomes for children and adults who rely on augmentative and alternative communication.
Researchers probe link between newborn health and vitamin A
Nutrition researchers
The impact vitamin A has on newborns is virtually unknown, but Penn State nutrition researchers have published two papers that may provide a framework for future investigations of the vitamin and neonatal health.
Associate professor, graduate student recognized for engaged scholarship poster
Careen Yarnal and Hsin-Yu Chen
Careen Yarnal, associate professor of recreation, park and tourism management (RPTM) and co-chair of the Council on Engaged Scholarship, and graduate student Hsin-Yu Chen received a first-place prize for a poster focusing on engaged scholarship.
Critical conversations: Student educates on HIV/AIDS in South Africa
Kenya Crawford UWC
HDFS student Kenya Crawford spent two weeks at the University of the Western Cape in South Africa to learn from their programs and share her knowledge about HIV/AIDS, safe sex and other sensitive issues through coursework and counseling. While abroad she also developed and implemented a variety of programs geared toward gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and queer students.
Professor's caregiver research featured in Journal of Health and Aging
Kyungmin Kim
A paper on caregivers of those with dementia by Steven H. Zarit, Distinguished Professor of Human Development and Family Studies (HDFS) in the College of Health and Human Development, has been published in the Journal of Health and Aging.
Creating solutions together
mHealth 2014
Students from BBH and IST will create and pitch ideas for health technology applications as part of this semester's mHealth Challenger to be held on Nov. 17.
Alumna's bequest targets scholarships and THON for support
Students in two Penn State colleges and children fighting pediatric cancer stand to benefit from the generosity of alumna Cheryl Smith Hay, of Barrington, New Hampshire, who has pledged part of her future estate to support scholarships and the IFC/Panhellenic Dance Marathon.
Hospitality Industry Advisory Board opens doors for students
SHM Industry Advisory Board
Three years ago, the Penn State School of Hospitality Management (SHM) Industry Advisory Board was formed, allowing industry experts to strategically advise SHM on industry trends and guide students who are studying the field. Since then, the 36-member board -- which includes vice presidents and senior vice presidents with large companies, and executive vice presidents, chief operating officers and CEO’s of smaller companies -- has opened many doors for SHM students.
Tourism studies pioneer to present retrospective and prospective views
Tourism Studies Pioneer to Present Retrospective and Prospective Views at Penn State
Jafar Jafari, an international pioneer in tourism studies, will present his retrospective and prospective views on tourism studies at 3:45 p.m. on Nov. 7 in Foster Auditorium, 102 Paterno Library.
Alumni return to Hospitality Management classrooms to advise students
Alumni in the Classroom
Roughly 78 Hospitality Management graduates returned to the classroom this week for the ninth annual "Alumni in the Classroom" program. The massive alumni outreach program gives students an opportunity to learn first-hand about the careers they’re studying from professionals who once sat in their seats.
October Healthy Aging Public Lecture to focus on daily stress, health
David Almeida
Penn State’s Center for Healthy Aging will host “The Speedometer of Life: Daily Stress, Health and Well-Being,” at 6 p.m. Oct. 28 in the Dreibelbis Auditorium at Mount Nittany Medical Center.
Program responds to social media's growing influence in hospitality industry
Brian Cliette
The School of Hospitality Management understands the impact Facebook “likes” and Twitter “retweets” can have on a brand. That’s why the school hired Brian Cliette to teach a new course focusing on successful social media marketing techniques for the hospitality field.
2014 Schmitt Russell Lecture to focus on healthy eating, reducing disease
Schmitt Russell 2014
Penny Kris-Etherton, Distinguished Professor of Nutrition, will present the 2014 Schmitt Russell Lecture at 4 p.m. on Oct. 30 in the Bennett Pierce Living Center, 110 Henderson Building, on the University Park campus.
Cirque du Soleil crew offers insight, advice to students
Cirque du Soleil performer crew member speaking to a class
Cirque du Soleil staff and crew offered career insight and advice to students enrolled in the Introduction to Arena and Facility Management course in the Department of Recreation, Park and Tourism Management.
Big Data methods in biobehavioral health goal of training grant
A National Institutes of Health Big Data to Knowledge Program grant to Donna Coffman, research associate professor in Penn State's College of Health and Human Development and principal investigator at the Methodology Center, targets the development of big data methods for biobehavioral change and maintenance. This training grant is for more than $500,000 over three years.
De Lissovoy Lecture to focus on human services’ societal impact
De Lissovoy Lecture Graphic 2014
Teresa M. Smith, outreach and training coordinator with Northeast Regional Children’s Advocacy Center (NRCAC), will present the third annual de Lissovoy Lecture at 6 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 23, in the Bennett Pierce Living Center, 110 Henderson Building.
Women's soccer player takes aim at 2015 World Cup
Women's soccer player Raquel Rodriguez
As the Penn State women's soccer team takes aim at the Big Ten title, player Raquel "Rocky" Rodriguez has another goal — to play in the 2015 FIFA Women's World Cup with the Costa Rican Women's National Team.
Research Unplugged returns to Schlow Library with six community talks
Image of Research Unplugged Fall 2014 schedule poster
The Penn State speaker series Research Unplugged launches its fall season on Oct. 9 with six speakers poised to share their expertise with local residents over the next six weeks.
Shaver’s Creek Fall Festival, Children’s Halloween Trail offer something new
Volunteer in mask paints child's face
This year’s Fall Harvest Festival will be held from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Oct. 18 and 19 at Shaver's Creek Environmental Center. About 1,500 visitors typically turn out for the annual festival, which features pumpkin carving, live music, storytelling, face painting and nature activities.
Research Unplugged series begins with tips for talking to your teen about sex
Portrait of Eva Lefkowitz
Eva Lefkowitz, associate professor of development and family studies, will present "Beyond Birds and Bees: How to Talk to Your Teens about Sex and Relationships" at 12:30 p.m. Oct. 9 at Schlow Centre Region Library as part of the Research Unplugged series.
Penn State Extension, Office of Rural Health offer health insurance resources
To assist consumers in using the federal Health Insurance Marketplace, Penn State Extension and the Pennsylvania Office of Rural Health have launched a website, Health Insurance and You, designed to be a one-stop resource for information on the Marketplace, the benefits of health insurance, a county-by-county listing of “patient navigators” and other resources.
Pawelczyk to contribute biomedical expertise to NASA
James A. Pawelczyk
Associate professor of physiology and kinesiology in Penn State’s College of Health and Human Development, has been appointed to the National Research Council’s Committee on Biological and Physical Sciences in Space.
Fisher to present 2014 Bennett Lecture in Prevention Science
Bennett Lecture
Philip A. Fisher, professor of psychology at the University of Oregon, is the 2014 Bennett Lecturer in Prevention Science.
Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders receives grant
Janice Light
Penn State's Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders has been awarded a grant to improve quality of life for those with unique communication needs.
Penn State joins Brain Concussion Neuroimaging Consortium
A number of units at Penn State have joined in a new collaboration, the Brain Concussion Neuroimaging Consortium, which aims to optimize long-term outcomes in athletes and soldiers with concussion and traumatic brain injury.
Computer game could help adolescents with autism improve their social skills
Whyte and Lavan play the first level of their autism social skills game.
Elisabeth Whyte isn’t a typical gamer: She has her very own World of Warcraft podcast, a fan following and a blog frequented by 15,000 visitors each month. Though her online persona specializes in dragon slaying, in real life she’s a postdoctoral research assistant and psychology lecturer at Penn State who is leveraging her gaming expertise to design a computer game that could help adolescents with autism improve their social skills.
HHD researchers’ study featured in Brain, Behavior and Immunity journal
A study by researchers in Penn State’s College of Health and Human Development, which focuses on the relationship between positive events and inflammation, has been published in Brain, Behavior and Immunity, the official journal of the Psychoneuroimmunology Research Society.
Marcellus Shale Gallery Crawl will feature students' photography Oct. 2
Robert Shegda, 'Walnut Springs Park, State College, Pa.'
Juried student work will be on view in a series of exhibitions across campus and downtown State College, collectively titled “Storied Images: Marcellus Shale,” during the Marcellus Shale Gallery Crawl from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 2. Each venue will also feature special activities and refreshments.
Marcellus drilling boom may have led to too many hotel rooms
rooms available sign
Drilling in Pennsylvania's Marcellus Shale region led to a rapid increase in both the number of hotels and hotel industry jobs, but Penn State researchers report that the faltering occupancy rate may signal that there are now too many hotel rooms.
Resort experience conference gives HHD students hospitality tools
U of the Way conference participants meet
Marcus O’Leary, vice president of resort experience at Marriott Vacations Worldwide Corp., thinks Penn State students “just get it.” The business, that is. For one week, students in recreation, park and tourism management (RPTM) and hospitality management (HM) in the College of Health and Human Development attended a U of the Way conference on Penn State’s University Park campus, hosted by Marriott Vacations Worldwide (MVW) and held in collaboration with Shaver’s Creek Environmental Center. The vision? To recruit Penn State students into Marriott Vacations Worldwide, a Florida-based company that is a recognized leader in timesharing and through its Marriott Vacations Club (MVC) brand, has 54 properties around the world. This gives students the knowledge, experience and tools to succeed in their respective careers.
Health and Human Development distinguished speaker to discuss biosimilars
McCamish Distinguished Speaker 2014 HHD
Mark McCamish, ’80g NUTR, global head of biopharmaceutical and oncology injectable development for Sandoz International, a division of Novartis, will present “Biosimilars: A Biologic Drug Revolution” at 4 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 9, as part of the College of Health and Human Development Distinguished Alumni Speaker Series. The talk, which is sponsored by the Health and Human Development Alumni Society, will be held in the Ruth Pike Auditorium, 22 Biobehavioral Health Building on Penn State’s University Park campus. The event is free and open to the public.
Cafe Laura ribbon
Cafe Laura celebrates grand reopening with ribbon-cutting
Cafe Laura, which reopened on Aug. 25, held its grand reopening Sept. 9 after months of extensive renovations. The student-run restaurant housed in the Mateer Building features new fare stations, a revised design, and a variety of novel equipment and technology.
Drum Major Christopher Siergiej poses for a photo during the Croke Park Classic
Schreyer Scholars represent, cheer on Penn State in Ireland
Six Schreyer Honors College Scholars traveled with various extracurricular groups to Ireland for the Croke Park Classic.
HPA student recognized for research on age and social isolation in the U.S.
Penn State Health Policy and Administration senior Sharon Qi’s research paper has been selected as a winning undergraduate-level paper in the Francis G. Caro Student Paper Award Contest at the University of Massachusetts.
Itinger and Harkless ACOR 2014
Health and Human Development staff receives Career Achievement Awards
The College of Health and Human Development’s (HHD) Jerome “Boe” Itinger and Donna Harkless have received Penn State’s Administrative Committee on Research (ACOR) 2014 Career Achievement Award. Itinger and Harkless were recognized at this year’s ACOR Retreat, held Sept. 3 at The Penn Stater Conference Center Hotel.
Dr. Tom Hogan and Student
Fall kick-off to celebrate town-gown sustainability projects
The Sustainable Communities Collaborative is hosting an event from 4 to 6 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 11, in the lobby of the State College Borough building, 243 S. Allen St., to celebrate past collaborations and introduce fall projects.
Cooking Programs 2014 fruit
Cooking programs to be offered on campus
The College of Health and Human Development, Department of Nutritional Sciences, and School of Hospitality Management will offer several Cooking Programs throughout the academic year.
National Science Foundation logo
Penn State hosts new National Science Foundation graduate researchers
Penn State is hosting 22 new National Science Foundation (NSF) Graduate Research Fellowship Program (GRFP) recipients for the 2014-15 academic year.
Business majors night will inform students about academic options
The Division of Undergraduate Studies will host Penn State’s fifth annual Business Majors Night from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 25, in 110 Business Building, for students interested in learning about University Park majors that focus on business.
Graduate School to host fall grant-writing workshops
Registration is now open for a series of grant-writing workshops to be held this fall by the Penn State Graduate School that are intended for advanced graduate students and postdoctoral scholars.
HRIM students Cafe Laura
Café Laura returns with new look, new tastes and new opportunities
From food preparation to healthier eating choices, the newly renovated Café Laura offers the gamut. The cafe re-opened today (Aug. 25) and will hold its grand reopening Sept. 9 after months of extensive renovations. The student-run restaurant housed in the Mateer Building features new fare stations, a revised design, and a variety of novel equipment and technology. More importantly, the $1.2 million renovation boosts the educational experience for students and enhances dining experiences for customers.
Old Main in Spring with bicycle
More reasons to move: Active Lions campaign encourages biking, walking
Active Lions, scheduled to launch this month, is a two-pronged research and outreach initiative that includes a social marketing campaign and accompanying smartphone application to encourage active travel -- such as walking and cycling -- for Penn State students, faculty and staff
Group recognizes professor for work on House bill
Ingrid Blood professor of communication sciences and disorders (CSD) at Penn State, has been recognized by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association’s Political Action (ASHA) Committee for her advocacy on the Telehealth Bill. ASHA staff were informed by Congressional staff that Blood's effort is why a section supporting services provided by audiologists and speech-language pathologists was added to the legislation.
Nearly 70 percent of NUTR students place into post-baccalaureate internships
Penn State’s Department of Nutritional Sciences (NUTR) students had a 69.4 percent acceptance rate into dietetic internships for the fall 2013 and spring 2014 application periods.
HHD Alumni Society Board of Directors Reaches 100 Percent Participation in Giving
One hundred percent of the members of the HHD Alumni Society’s Board of Directors have made a gift to the College of Health and Human Development or the School of Nursing during the current fiscal year, the board’s development committee has announced. The thirty-three-member board is composed of alumni of the College of Health and Human Development and the College of Nursing.
National Recreation and Park Association honors professor emeritus
Geoffrey C. Godbey, professor emeritus of recreation, park and tourism management (RPTM) at Penn State, has been awarded the National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA) Distinguished Professional Award.
Jennifer Dobson
Penn State biology student recognized by DAAD
Penn State biology student Jennifer Dobson, Class of 2016, has been accepted into the Research Internships in Science and Engineering (RISE) program by The German Academic Exchange Service (Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst – DAAD), for her studies on the neurotoxicity of paraquat, a suspected risk factor for Parkinson's disease, with neurobiology professor Byron Jones, professor of biobehavioral health.
Leland Pillsbury
School of Hospitality Management names Pillsbury as Conti Professor
The Penn State School of Hospitality Management (SHM) named Leland C. Pillsbury, co-chairman of Thayer Lodging Group, as the fall 2014 Walter J. Conti Visiting Professor.
Training program for kinesiology, physiology students receives $1.3M grant
Penn State’s Department of Kinesiology and Intercollege Program in Physiology, part of the Huck Institutes of the Life Sciences, have received a five-year pre-doctoral training grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH).
Lloyd and Dottie Huck
Huck Institutes benefactor Dorothy Huck dies at 91
Huck Institutes benefactor Dorothy (Dottie) B. Huck passed away Saturday, Aug. 9, 2014, at her home in The Village at Penn State.
Students played double Dutch
Students to go mobile with Exercise is Medicine
Penn State's Kinesiology Club is launching its new Mobile Outreach & Regional Expansion initiative, a project that will take its events and health assessments to campuses and community groups across the state.
Michael Leven
PSHRS names Michael Leven 2014 Hospitality Executive of the Year
Michael Leven, president and chief operating officer for Las Vegas Sands Corporation, has been named 2014 Hospitality Executive of the Year by the Penn State Hotel & Restaurant Society.
3 views of LB1 skull
Flores bones show features of Down syndrome, not a new 'hobbit' human
In October 2004, excavation of fragmentary skeletal remains from the island of Flores in Indonesia yielded what was called "the most important find in human evolution for 100 years." Its discoverers dubbed the find Homo floresiensis, a name suggesting a previously unknown species of human.
Rhonda BeLue
HHD faculty accepted into SHC Distinguished Honors Faculty Program
Rhonda BeLue and Lori Francis have been accepted into the Schreyer Honors College Distinguished Honors Faculty Program (DHFP) for the 2014-15 academic year.
pile of shelled pistachios
Pistachios may lower vascular response to stress in Type 2 diabetes
Among people with type 2 diabetes, eating pistachios may reduce the body's response to the stresses of everyday life, according to Penn State researchers.
Food Science grad student to present research at 2014 SSIB
Catherine Shehan, a graduate student in Penn State's Department of Food Science, will present her research on the ways parents influence children’s eating behaviors, at the 22nd Annual Meeting of the Society for the Study of Ingestive Behavior on Aug. 2 in Seattle, Wash. The study addresses how the amount of time parents spend on food preparation at home influences children’s food intake decisions made in the laboratory without parental supervision.
Cochran Fellowship Program participants
School of Hospitality Management lends expertise to Nigerian food service execs
Oluwatoyin Alabi, president and CEO of a catering company in Port-Harcourt, Nigeria, said one of the most valuable things he learned while studying with instructors in Penn State’s School of Hospitality Management (SHM) is how to maximize small spaces without compromising food safety. Now Alabi is determined to share what he’s learned with his team back home.
Penn State Facebook page on an iPhone
Aug. 7 Healthy Aging Lecture Series to focus on communication strategies
The Penn State Center for Healthy Aging will host “Talk or Text? Communication Strategies as We Age,” as part of its Healthy Aging Community Lecture Series at 10:30 a.m. Aug. 7 at the Ruth Pike Auditorium in 22 Biobehavioral Health Building.
Student struggles with math homework.
Instructional practices may need to change to boost first-grade math outcomes
First-grade teachers in the U.S. may need to change their classroom instructional practices if they are to increase the achievement of students struggling with mathematics, according to Paul Morgan, associate professor of education, Penn State.
Assistant professor of pediatrics Brian Allen
Clinical child psychologist joins Network on Child Protection and Well-Being
Brian Allen joined Penn State’s Network on Child Protection and Well-Being in June as the sixth of at least 12 new co-funded faculty hires. In addition to his work with the Harrisburg-based TLC Clinic and the Penn State Hershey Center for the Protection of Children, Allen serves as an assistant professor of pediatrics, specializing in researching child abuse and trauma.
Susan Sanders
Susan Sanders takes on new role in master of health administration program
Former health policy and administration (HPA) undergraduate adviser Susan Sanders recently was appointed program coordinator for Penn State’s master of health administration (MHA) program.
Alumna Renee Lewis honored by National Association of Women Business Owners
The National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO) Greater D.C. has honored Renee Lewis, president/CEO and co-founder of the Bethesda, Md.-based consulting firm Pensare Group, as one of three finalists with its 2014 Woman of Distinction Award. Lewis received her degree in man-environment relations from Penn State in 1985.
Prevention Research Center receives $1.4 million mindfulness research grant Grant from the Institute on Education Sciences focuses on teaching adolescents mindfulness practices
Teaching adolescents mindfulness practices that may strengthen their attention, executive function and emotion regulation skills, and in turn improve their academic and social functioning is the focus of a new grant received by the Bennett Pierce Prevention Research Center at Penn State. Mark Greenberg, Edna Peterson Bennett Endowed Chair in Prevention Research and professor of human development and psychology, is the principal investigator. The three-year, $1.4 million grant from the Institute on Education Sciences will enable the integration of mindfulness practices and teachings into the regular high school health curriculum by completing the development of the Learning to BREATHE (L2B) program, a curriculum developed by Trish Broderick, a member of the research faculty at the Bennett Pierce Prevention Research Center. L2B is intended to facilitate the development of attention and emotion regulation skills within the context of public high school health classes. In addition, a training program for teachers and school specialists to deliver the program will be developed along with materials to support the program’s implementation in Pennsylvania.
Eating lean beef daily can help lower blood pressure lean beef cuts
Contrary to conventional wisdom, a growing body of evidence shows that eating lean beef can reduce risk factors for heart disease, according to recent research by nutritional scientists. "This research adds to the significant evidence, including work previously done in our lab, that supports lean beef's role in a heart-healthy diet," said Penny M. Kris-Etherton, Distinguished Professor of Nutrition, Penn State. "This study shows that nutrient-rich lean beef can be included as part of a heart-healthy diet that reduces blood pressure, which can help lower the risk for cardiovascular disease." The DASH eating plan -- Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension -- is currently recommended by the American Heart Association to lower blood pressure and reduce risk of heart disease. People following the DASH diet are encouraged to eat fruits, vegetables, low-fat dairy and protein predominantly from plant sources.
Health and Human Development funds biological mechanisms research
The College of Health and Human Development recently awarded funding to numerous investigators for research focused on biological mechanisms underlying health, development, disease, or disability and/or biological indicators of health outcomes. This funding initiative was designed to assist faculty with biologically-oriented research advance their projects and enhance their potential for securing extramural funding.
Students with vision impairments transition to college via Summer Academy Students at bottom of escalator
Imagine venturing across a high-ropes course for the first time, balancing on cables two stories above the ground. Now imagine doing it if you were blind. A high-ropes course is just one of many challenges on tap this summer for students participating in the Summer Academy, a program for high school students who are blind or visually impaired that will be held at Penn State for the first time this summer. The three-week program runs from July 13-Aug. 1 and is free for qualifying students. Students will live in Penn State dorm rooms.
Classes reduce pregnancy complications for stressed mothers
mom and dad with newborn
Pregnant women with moderate to high levels of stress and anxiety are at higher risk for complications during pregnancy and delivery. However, Penn State researchers have developed an educational preparation program for expectant couples that has recently been shown to improve birth outcomes. "Because stress, anxiety and depression are widespread, it's crucial to find ways to help pregnant women and their partners become more emotionally healthy during pregnancy without the use of prescription drugs—which may carry side effects for the pregnancy and fetal development," said Mark E. Feinberg, research professor of health and human development and senior scientist of the Prevention Research Center for the Promotion of Human Development.
Anthony R. D'Augelli
Anthony R. D'Augelli to participate as panelist in response to PBS documentary June 20, 2014
Anthony R. D'Augelli, professor of human development and family studies, will participate in a panel responding to the national broadcast premiere of the film "Broken Heart Land." The film focuses on a gay young man living in a rural town who took his own life; it is part of the PBS series "America ReFramed."
Child Care Center at Hort Woods named grand prize winner in design showcase Child Care Center at Hort Woods
College Planning & Management magazine has named the Child Care Center at Hort Woods on the Penn State University Park campus as the Grand Prize Winner in the higher education division of its annual Education Design Showcase. Each year the Education Design Showcase panel of judges selects two Grand Prize winners: one from K-12 categories and one from higher education categories. Honorable Mention and Project of Distinction designations are also awarded. All projects entered in the showcase are evaluated by a jury of architects and facility planners for excellence in design and functional planning directed toward meeting the needs of the education program. Lisa Wegner, Stephanie Lanza, Donna Coffman, and Brian Bumbarger
Researchers win awards at Society for Prevention Research 2014 Annual Meeting
Several researchers affiliated with the Bennett Pierce Prevention Research Center and The Methodology Center, research centers in Penn State's College of Health and Human Development, won awards at the Society for Prevention Research 2014 Annual Meeting.
Zarit featured at symposium on dementia and caregiving in Ireland Steve Zarit
Steven Zarit, distinguished professor and head of the Department of Human Development and Family Studies, recently presented at a symposium on dementia and caregiving in Dublin, Ireland. The event, held in May, was organized by the Dementia Services Information and Development Centre (DSIDC) involving St James’s Hospital and Trinity College Dublin.
Promotions in academic rank, effective July 1, 2014
Health and Human Development faculty are represented in list of academic promotions for tenured and tenure-line faculty at Penn State, effective July 1.
Zarit receives recognition from PA Adult Day Services Association L>R) Pam Barton, Brian Duke, Steven Zarit, Teresa Johnson
Steven Zarit, distinguished professor and head of the Department of Human Development and Family Studies, was presented a Certificate of Appreciation by the PA Adult Day Services Association (PADSA) for his research and dedication that has helped to quantify the value of adult day services. According to the PADSA, in addition to more than 25 years of helping professionals understand the role of family caregivers, Zarit has validated the benefits of adult day services for both family caregivers and their loved ones with dementia who attend the programs.
HDFS doctoral student receives NSF Graduate Research Fellowship
Allison Doub, a doctoral student in Penn State's Department of Human Development and Family Studies with a minor in nutrition, has been awarded a Graduate Research Fellowship from the National Science Foundation (NSF). Doub is one of 2,000 graduate students in the 2014 fellowship class. According to the National Science Foundation, this year’s group comes from 442 baccalaureate institutions; 1,069 members are women and 382 are from underrepresented groups; 55 are persons with disabilities; and 37 are veterans. The research agenda proposed in her fellowship application focuses on reducing the gap between science and practice by leveraging new media channels to accelerate the distribution and uptake of evidence-based parenting and nutrition information. Emphasis will be placed on parental use of food blogs by parents of preschool-aged children. Blogs are popular websites among young parents and may be a source of social influence on readers’ own feeding decisions.
Undergraduate Thesis Award winner and finalists announced
Emphasis is on the importance of utilizing quality research methods
Undergraduate thesis award winners 2014
The winners of the Penn State University Libraries' 2014 Outstanding Undergraduate Thesis awards have been announced. Top winner of the $1,250 award is Chloe Quinn Weaver, history and German, for her thesis "An Economic and Historical Analysis of Turkish Guest Worker Migration to Postwar West Germany." Natalie Roberts, history and political science, was awarded $750 for her thesis “History of Organic Farming in California and Pennsylvania.” Ronald Paul Mack Jr., kinesiology, was awarded $500 for his thesis "Marginal Zinc Intake Impairs Mammary Gland Involution, Increases Oxidative Stress and Disrupts Ductal Integrity Abrogating the Protective Effect of Lactation on Breast Tumorigenesis in a Mouse Model." The annual competition, coordinated by Endowed/Distinguished Chairs/Librarians, includes a review of the submitted theses by a faculty jury and a public oral presentation by the students chosen as finalists. It provides an opportunity to fully appreciate the academic quality of Penn State students and the depth of their undergraduate research.
Hospitals recover from recession, some financial issues remain
The recent economic recession affected hospitals across the nation, regardless of financial status, but following the rebound, financially weak and safety-net hospitals continue to struggle, according to health researchers. "Poor financial outcomes [for hospitals] could lead to poor care," said Naleef Fareed, assistant professor of health policy and administration, Penn State. "This is an issue that needs attention as health care reform moves forward." Fareed and colleagues used data from both the American Hospital Association Annual Survey and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to analyze how different groups of hospitals fared financially during the recession, and where these groups stand as health care reform continues in the United States. Jeanna Stiadle
Jeanna Stiadle named Health and Human Development college marshal
Jeanna Stiadle, daughter of Thomas and Eileen Stiadle of Montgomery, Pa., served as the student marshal at the May 10 commencement ceremony for the College of Health and Human Development at Penn State. She received a bachelor's degree in communication sciences and disorders with minors in vocal performance, and human development and family studies. While at Penn State, Stiadle was a Schreyer Honors Scholar and a member of the McNair Scholars Program and the Women's Leadership Initiative. She earned an Alumni Recognition for Student Excellence Award, a Communication Sciences and Disorders Award, an Evan Pugh Scholar Award, a President Sparks Award and a President's Freshman Award.
CTSI awards more than $400,000 in grants to Penn State scientists
Nine research projects at Penn State College of Medicine and University Park campus received more than $400,000 from the Penn State Clinical and Translational Science Institute (CTSI) through its Novel Methodologies in Health Research program. “The CTSI is a vehicle to bring together people from different points of view to examine real medical problems,” said Dr. Lawrence Sinoway, CTSI director. “The projects are a real manifestation of our mission.” Of the 32 research teams that applied, nine were selected for funding, for a total of $418,762 awarded. Researchers can now implement their ideas in hopes that they will one day translate to practical use.
Mobile health apps lack behavior-change techniques woman exercising, looking at smartphone
Behavior-change techniques are not well represented in the marketing materials for top-rated physical-activity apps, according to a team of Penn State researchers. They also found that two types of physical-activity apps are available on the market -- those that focus on educating users on how to perform different exercises and those that focus on supporting users' motivation for physical activity. "The app marketplace is largely unregulated and users make decisions based on developers' descriptions of apps," said David Conroy, professor of kinesiology. "Our results suggest that developers have not incorporated many behavior-change techniques to date, and there may be opportunities to integrate behavioral science to make apps that are more effective for helping people who seek to change their behavior and become more active."
Speech, Language and Hearing Clinic helps people face communication challenges
Trip. Fall. Crash. Smash. Miranda Padilla helping a student with speech therapy. When Terri Foster's face slammed into the dresser at the nursing home where she worked, her life changed forever. The blow injured the frontal lobe of her brain, leaving her forgetful, depressed and barely able to communicate. A year later, Foster still could not function. She lost her job as a nurse's aide, she was unable to do simple chores at home and her stuttering prevented her from having meaningful conversations. Her family suffered too. Her husband mourned the loss of the woman he had married, and her 10-year-old son couldn't understand why his mom never wanted to get out of bed. Foster knew she needed help, but she wasn't getting it from doctors. It wasn't until she began therapy at the Speech, Language and Hearing Clinic within the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders that she truly began to heal.
Key factor in neonatal zinc deficiency may impact lactation and breast cancer two researchers checking on a lab rat
It started when her son was just two months old with a diaper rash that would not go away. The blisters eventually spread across his body, including his face. He soon began to suffer from chronic ear infections, unusual for an exclusively breastfed infant who was not in day care. By the time he was six months old, his mother noticed that he was not as active as other babies his age, and he was also failing to gain weight. "The pediatrician told me that my son was allergic to my breast milk and that I should wean him onto infant formula," she says. "I refused to stop breastfeeding, because I knew 'breast is best.' Instead, I eliminated all possible allergens from my diet. Only organic foods crossed my lips. Out went cow's milk, all things soy, eggs, gluten, and the dreaded peanut, but nothing helped." That's when the woman contacted Shannon Kelleher, associate professor of nutritional sciences.
Professor publishes book on concussions in athletics book cover
Semyon (Sam) Slobounov, professor of kinesiology and neurosurgery at Penn State, has published a book titled "Concussions in Athletics: From Brain to Behavior." The book offers state-of-the-art clinical guidance on diagnosing and treating concussion, the latest research findings and implications written by an international panel of experts and advanced brain imaging findings to delineate the hidden symptoms of concussion. The book -- which Slobounov edited with Wayne Sebastianelli, Kalanek Professor in Orthopedics and director of athletic medicine at Penn State -- was published on March 7. "Concussion in athletics is a growing public health concern with increased attention focusing on treatment and management of this puzzling epidemic," Slobounov said. "Despite the increasing occurrence and prevalence of concussions in athletics, there is no universally accepted definition, or 'gold standard,' for its assessment."
Students receive honors at the 2014 Undergraduate Exhibition
Students from across the College of Health and Human Development participated in the 2014 Undergraduate Exhibition. Join us in congratulating students from Health and Human Development who received recognition.
Experience helps restaurant managers stick with local foods
Andrew Monk inventories fruit and meat delivered to his kitchen from regional suppliers
Past decisions to purchase local foods increases the likelihood that chefs and food purchasing managers
Restaurant chefs and food purchasing managers who have bought local foods in the past are more likely to continue adding them to menus and store shelves, according to a team of researchers. "Past experiences will have an impact on buying local foods," said Amit Sharma, associate professor of hospitality management, Penn State. "Restaurant managers who buy local foods currently are significantly more likely to keep purchasing locally." In a study of the cost and benefits of purchasing local foods in restaurants, managers and chefs indicated that certain actions of local food producers stand out as reasons why they continue to buy local foods. For instance, managers said that a local farmer's or producer's response time—the time it took a business to respond and process an order—was more important than delivery time—how long it takes to actually receive the goods—as a factor when they considered buying local food products.
Students receive honors at the 2014 Graduate Research Exhibition
The College of Health and Human Development was once again very well represented by a strong cohort of graduate students at the Graduate Research Exhibition held last weekend. The representation indicates to the University community the excellent interdisciplinary research that is being conducted in the college.
Stephanie Vellucci receiving award
HPA student, Army veteran wins Penn State adult learner award
Stephanie Vellucci grew up in a rural town and barely made it through high school. As a teenager, she fell in with the wrong crowd and struggled with a lack of motivation toward her education. But as time passed, she realized she wanted more for herself and wanted to make her family proud. She took steps to turn her life around. Vellucci enlisted in the U.S. Army as an operating room technician, serving at U.S. posts and overseas. She assisted with surgeries and saved lives. Vellucci then knew she could make a difference.
Adults' tonsillectomy complications are higher than previously thought
Twenty percent of adults who have tonsillectomies will have a complication, which is significantly higher than previously shown, according to a team of researchers. The team also found that these complications substantially increase health care expenditures. "Since 1973, John Wenneberg and his colleagues at Dartmouth have been examining variation in the rates of tonsillectomy performed across regions, trying to explain why such wide variation is observed," said Dennis Scanlon, professor of health policy and administration, Penn State. "In other words, why are some patients significantly more likely to get the procedure in some areas of the country compared to others? Yet despite the wide degree of regional variation reported, most of which has been documented in pediatric populations, much less is known about the safety and risks to patients who undergo the procedure, particularly adult patients."
Customers prefer restaurants that offer nutrition facts and healthful foods restaurant nutrition label
Customers are more likely to frequent restaurants that provide both healthful foods and nutrition information, according to researchers at Penn State and the University of Tennessee. "The Affordable Care Act has mandated that chain restaurants -- those with more than 20 restaurants -- provide nutrition information to customers," said David Cranage, associate professor of hospitality management. "Many restaurants had been fighting this legislation because they thought they would lose customers if the customers knew how unhealthy their food was. In this study, we found that customers perceive restaurants to be socially responsible when they are provided with nutrition facts and healthful options and, therefore, are more likely to patronize those restaurants." To conduct their study, the researchers presented participants with various scenarios, including the presence or absence of nutrition information and the presence or absence of healthful foods. They asked the participants to read example menus presenting these scenarios and to answer questions about their perception of the restaurant's corporate social responsibility, their attitude, their willingness to select the restaurants and their health-consciousness. The team collected responses from 277 participants.
Students attend Hunter Hotel Investment Conference Natalie Wainger and Jessie Glassmire
Natalie Wainger and Jessie Glassmire, seniors in Penn State's School of Hospitality Management, attended the Hunter Hotel Investment Conference at the Marriott Marquis in Atlanta from March 26 to 28. The hotel real estate and finance conference is intended for hotel owners, operators, financial institutions/lenders and related suppliers. This year's conference was titled "The Time is Now!" The keynote speaker was Chris Nassetta, president and CEO of Hilton Worldwide. "This conference is considered to be one of the top four hotel investment conferences," said Brian Black, director of hospitality industry relations in the School of Hospitality Management. "It provides our students with education and networking opportunities with executives from leading hotel brands, owners and lenders. Few students get the opportunity to network with so many executives at this level."
Turrisi to be featured speaker at MADD news conference
Rob Turrisi
Robert Turrisi, professor of biobehavioral health at Penn State, and developer of the underage drinking prevention effort known as the Power of Parents, will be a featured speaker at the Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) news conference on “21 Days in Support of 21,” at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C., on April 1. MADD will present new data from a Nationwide Insurance-MADD survey on what keeps teens from engaging in underage drinking. According to these data, three out of four teens point to their parents as the biggest influence on their decisions about alcohol. “21 Days in Support of 21” is a 21-day national event. From April 1 to 21, MADD will showcase community and online events designed to help parents keep teens safe during spring break, prom and graduation season. The series culminates with MADD’s fourth annual Power Talk 21® on April 21 -- the national date on which parents are urged to begin talking with their teens about alcohol.
Marianne Hillemeier named head of Health Policy and Administration Marianne Hillemeier
Marianne Hillemeier, professor of health policy and administration and demography, and associate director of the Population Research Institute, has been named head of the Department of Health Policy and Administration (HPA) at Penn State. She will assume the position July 1. Hillemeier will replace Dennis Shea, who was named associate dean for undergraduate programs and outreach in the College of Health and Human Development last summer. Dianne Brannon, professor of health policy and administration, has served as interim department head. “I am honored and excited by the opportunity to work with the HPA faculty and staff to build our department through recruitment of additional faculty members, including senior health services researchers, and to promote excellence in research and in undergraduate and graduate education,” said Hillemeier.
Students place highly in health administration competition
Group of four MHA students
Penn State students in the master of health administration (MHA) program were selected as finalists (top five out of 37 teams) in the eighth annual University of Alabama-Birmingham (UAB) Health Administration Case Competition. Students Jared Stanger, Yamini Kalidindi and Keerthana Rajagopal, with Kevin Hawkins as alternate, participated in the competition, which was held Feb. 26-28. The UAB Health Administration Case Competition provides graduate students from health administration programs that are accredited by the Commission on Accreditation Healthcare Management Education an opportunity to put what they have learned into practice with a real-life, real-time case. It is designed to be a capstone experience. Each year, student teams from around the country travel to Birmingham, Ala., to present their recommendations before a national team of judges. The first-, second- and third-place teams receive cash awards.
Kathleen Keller to receive Norman Kretchmar Memorial Award
Kathleen Keller
Kathleen Keller, the Mark T. Greenberg Early Career Professor in the Department of Nutritional Sciences at Penn State, has been selected by the American Society of Nutrition (ASN) as the recipient of the 2014 Norman Kretchmer Memorial Award in Nutrition and Development. The award is given to a young investigator for a substantial body of independent research in the field of nutrition and development with a potential relevance to improving child health. Keller will be presented with the award -- an inscribed plaque supported by Abbott Nutrition Institute and a monetary gift of $1,500 -- at the ASN Awards Ceremony on Sunday, April 27, in San Diego, Calif. The awards ceremony is part of the ASN Scientific Sessions and Annual Meeting at Experimental Biology 2014.
Model predicts blood glucose levels 30 minutes later
pancreas in situ
A mathematical model created by Penn State researchers can predict with more than 90 percent accuracy the blood glucose levels of individuals with type 1 diabetes up to 30 minutes in advance of imminent changes in their levels -- plenty of time to take preventative action. "Many people with type 1 diabetes use continuous glucose monitors, which examine the fluid underneath the skin," said Peter Molenaar, Distinguished Professor of Human Development and Family Studies and of psychology. "But the glucose levels under the skin trail blood glucose levels from anywhere between 8 and 15 minutes. This is especially problematic during sleep. Patients may become hypoglycemic well before the glucose monitor alarm tells them they are hypoglycemic, and that could lead to death." According to Molenaar, a person's blood glucose levels fluctuate in response to his or her insulin dose, meal intake, physical activity and emotional state. How great these fluctuations are depends on the individual.
PROSPER wins 2014 Community Engagement and Scholarship Award March 20, 2014
The PROSPER Project, a collaboration between the College of Health and Human Development and Cooperative Extension, has received the 2013 Penn State Award for Community Engagement and Scholarship. The award recognizes a project that best exemplifies Penn State as an “engaged institution,” which the Kellogg Commission defines as an institution that has redesigned teaching, research, and extension and service functions to become even more sympathetically and productively involved with its communities. PROSPER (PROmoting School-community-university Partnerships to Enhance Resilience) is a scientific delivery system that facilitates sustained, quality delivery of evidence-based programs that reduce risky youth behaviors, enhance positive youth development and strengthen families. PROSPER coordinates the expertise of prevention scientists, public school systems and Cooperative Extension educators at Penn State, Iowa State and other land grant universities. The goal is to disseminate evidence-based best practices in community settings.
Adult day care services boost beneficial stress hormones in caregivers
Family caregivers show an increase in the beneficial stress hormone DHEA-S on days when they use an adult day care service for their relatives with dementia, according to researchers at Penn State and the University of Texas at Austin. DHEA-S controls the harmful effects of cortisol and is associated with better long-term health. "This is one of the first studies to show that DHEA-S can be modified by an intervention, which in our case, was the use of an adult day care service," said Steven Zarit, Distinguished Professor of Human Development and Family Studies, Penn State. "The study is also one of the first to demonstrate that interventions to lower stress on caregivers, such as the use of adult day care services, have an effect on the body's biological responses to stress.
Twenty-one HHD student-athletes earn academic All-Big Ten Honors
Twenty-one student-athletes from the College of Health and Human Development are among 83 Penn State student-athletes to have earned Academic All-Big Ten Honors for earning a grade-point average of 3.0 or higher during the 2013 fall semester.
Mayers Lecture to focus on 'Leadership, Collaboration and Change in Health Care'
Dr. James K. Stoller
Dr. James K. Stoller, head of Cleveland Clinic Respiratory Therapy, will give the 17th annual Stanley P. Mayers Endowed Lecture at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, April 9, in the Nittany Lion Inn Boardroom on the Penn State University Park campus. The lecture, titled "Leadership, Collaboration and Change in Health Care," is sponsored by Penn State’s Department of Health Policy and Administration and Mount Nittany Medical Center. It is free and open to the public. Stoller is a noted pulmonary/critical care physician and chairman of the Education Institute at the Cleveland Clinic in Ohio. In addition, he is a member of the Respiratory Institute at the Cleveland Clinic, where he also served previously as the vice chairman of medicine and as executive director of physician leadership development. He holds the Jean Wall Bennett Professorship of Medicine at the Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine at Case Western Reserve University and the Samson Global Leadership Academy Endowed Chair. He also has a secondary appointment as a professor of organizational behavior in the Weatherhead School of Management at Case Western Reserve University.
Kinesiology professor publishes book on U.S. women's sports
Qualifying Times book cover
Jaime Schultz, assistant professor of kinesiology at Penn State, has published a book, titled "Qualifying Times: Points of Change in U.S. Women's Sport." The book explores U.S. women's sports through historical "points of change" — particular products or trends that dramatically influenced both women's participation in sports and cultural responses to women athletes. The book became available for purchase March 15. Beginning with the seemingly innocent ponytail, the subject of the book's introduction, Schultz challenges the reader to look at the historical and sociological significance of now-common items -- such as sports bras and tampons — and ideas — such as sex testing and competitive cheerleading. She posits that while some of these points of change increased women's physical freedom and sporting participation, they also posed challenges. Ultimately, she finds that U.S. women's sports have progressed significantly but ambivalently.
President responds to child care recommendations from task force
Erickson agrees with many findings, approves some immediate changes
Following careful review with University leaders, Penn State President Rodney Erickson has agreed with a number of changes to child care on campus, including placing oversight of operations with the Office of Human Resources and providing additional funds for researchers, benchmarking and lower-income family support. In addition, the president also decided that the child care centers at University Park — the Bennett Family Center and the Child Care Center at Hort Woods — would continue their operations for a set period of time with the current providers and staffing in place. Erickson is responding to a series of five findings spelled out in a 93-page January report, created by a Presidential Task Force on Child Care at Penn State that he commissioned in October 2013.
Alumna to discuss patient-centered research
Penn State alumna Lori Frank, program director of research integration and evaluation at the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) in Washington, D.C., will give a talk, titled “Research and Infrastructure Development from the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute,” at 4 p.m. April 1, in the Bennett Pierce Living Center on the Penn State University Park campus. The talk, which is hosted by the College of Health and Human Development, is free and open to the public. Since its establishment as part of the Affordable Care Act, PCORI has been funding patient-centered comparative effectiveness research. In her presentation, Frank will provide an overview of the merit review process at PCORI, including PCORI’s unique requirements for patient-centeredness in research and engagement of patients and other health care stakeholders. In addition, she will describe PCORI’s recently launched PCORnet, a major research data infrastructure initiative.
Time and Patient$
Video game screen
The "bad guys" in Jonathan Clark's video game are not gun-wielding guerillas, fire-breathing dragons or flesh-eating zombies. Instead, the "antagonists" are wasted time, lost customers and reduced profits. In the summer of 2013, Clark -- assistant professor of health policy and administration and executive director of the Master of Health Administration (M.H.A.) program -- piloted a video game in his online M.H.A. class HPA 897A, Healthcare Operations Management. He is using the game again this semester as part of his resident M.H.A. version of the class. The setting of the game is a walk-in physician clinic; the goal is to optimize the clinic's operations to ensure patient satisfaction and maximize profits. Clark developed the game -- called Time and Patient$ -- in collaboration with Chris Stubbs and Zac Zidik of Penn State's Educational Gaming Commons office and Wendy Mahan, senior instructional designer in the College of Health and Human Development. The services of the Educational Gaming Commons office are available to any faculty member, staff member, or student who is interested in developing unique learning tools.
Parents' attitudes about helping their grown children affect their mental health mother and daughter
Older parents frequently give help to their middle-aged offspring, and their perceptions about giving this help may affect their mental health, according to a team of researchers. "We usually view the elderly as needy, but our research shows that parents ages 60 and over are giving help to their children, and this support is often associated with lower rates of depression among the older adults," said Lauren Bangerter, Ph.D. student in human development and family studies, Penn State. The team -- which included researchers at Penn State, the University of Texas at Austin and the University of Michigan -- examined the association between the support that aging parents give to their middle-aged offspring, the parents' perception of this support as rewarding or stressful and the parents' levels of depressive symptoms.
Child care task force makes recommendations and outlines needs
Child Care Task Force report cover.jpg
A new report on the state and well-being of the University's child care services includes five major findings and numerous recommendations, including the need for a director of child care to oversee programs across the University, and an exemption of Penn State child care centers from the University's AD-39, a policy that requires higher ratios of adults to children than what is required by existing child care regulations. The 93-page report, created by a Presidential Task Force on Child Care at Penn State, can be found online. Penn State President Rodney Erickson, who commissioned the 14-member task force in October 2013, said the report was "comprehensive, thoughtful and included considerable benchmarking of data with peer institutions. The report reflects the needs and perspectives of parents, employees, and child care researchers who are looking for the best care and education of our children."
Gordon Jensen recognized as a top nutrition support therapy researcher
Gordon Jensen, professor and head of the Department of Nutritional Sciences and professor of medicine at Penn State, has been named the 2014 Jonathan E. Rhoads Lecturer by the American Society for Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition (A.S.P.E.N.). The Jonathan E. Rhoads Lecture is A.S.P.E.N.’s most prestigious award. It recognizes scholars for their major contributions to the field of nutrition support therapy and their career-long commitments to improving the nutritional statuses of patients. The lecturer is recommended by the A.S.P.E.N.'s board of directors and is invited by the society's president to deliver a lecture at the society's Clinical Nutrition Week conference. This year's conference will be held in Savannah, Ga., on Jan. 18 to 21.
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