Summer 2017 PHF Graduate Assistantship Nominations Open

Screen Shot 2017-01-16 at 8.39.25 AMApplications for summer 2017 Portage Health Foundation Graduate Assistantships are being accepted and are due no later than 4 p.m. Feb. 14 to Debra Charlesworth in the Graduate School.

Students are eligible if all of the following criteria are met:

  • Must be a PhD student participating in health-related research that is aligned with the PHF’s mission
  • Must be eligible for or in Research Mode at the time of application
  • It must be two years after starting the graduate program at the time of application
  • Must not have previously received a PHF Graduate Assistantship

Priority will be given to students originally from Houghton, Keweenaw, Baraga or Ontonagon counties. Non-resident students and international students are encouraged to apply if their health research is applicable to health needs and job shortages of our local community (obesity research, rural health, medical informatics, drug delivery and lab testing, physical therapy, etc.).

These assistantships are available through the generosity of the Portage Health Foundation. They are intended to recognize outstanding PhD talent in health-oriented research areas. Applicants should be catalysts for promoting and improving the overall health of residents in Houghton, Keweenaw, Baraga and Ontonagon counties through one of the following:

  • Health research and technology development
  • Health education or preventive and wellness initiatives
  • Rural healthcare access, informatics and assessment of care

Students who receive full support through a PHF Graduate Assistantship may not accept any other employment. For example, students cannot be fully supported by a PHF Graduate Assistantship and accept support as a GTA or GRA.

Randy Owsley Memorial Scholarship Winners Named


Hali Evans, a participant in Michigan Tech’s Athletic Training Internship Program treats a student-athlete. Evans, an exercise science major, is one of five recipients of the Portage Health Foundation/Randy Owsley Memorial Scholarship.

Five undergraduate students at Michigan Technological University have been selected to receive inaugural Portage Health Foundation/Randy Owsley Memorial Scholarships.

Randy Owsley made an impact that would last a lifetime, in fact, beyond his lifetime. During the 18 years he was the Head Athletic Trainer for Michigan Tech, he worked with a group of student trainers who bonded with him and with each other. Even after Randy left Tech in 1988, he continued to influence them and their careers. That cadre of former student trainers have remained close today.

Owsley died on Thanksgiving morning, 2015. Although his former students are a living legacy of his impact, these former students wanted to establish a lasting tribute here at Michigan Tech. Working in partnership with Portage Health Foundation, these alumni have created and funded the Randy Owsley Memorial – Portage Health Foundation Scholarship. Every dollar the alumni gave, the campus-wide Portage Health Foundation grant matched to help them reach their initial goal of providing five, $1,000 scholarships this year to five student athletic trainers. The long-term goal is to endow the scholarship fund as a lasting tribute to Randy and his influence.

The scholarships are designed to create opportunities for students participating in Michigan Tech’s Athletic Training Internship Program, for those enter health science and engineering professions.

The $500 scholarships, which are renewable for an additional semester, are named after the late Randy Owsley, who spent 18 years as the Huskies’ head athletic trainer and passed away in 2015. Former student athletic trainers who worked with Owsley worked in launching the scholarship as a means of keeping his name associated with Michigan Tech and to show gratitude for the service he provided athletes and life lessons he taught student trainers.

The scholarships were presented at a ceremony this past fall.

This year’s scholarship winners are:

  • Marissa Kinney, Berkley, Michigan, a fourth-year medical laboratory science major now in her second year as a student athletic trainer.
  • Kelsey Saladin, Maple Grove, Minnesota, a third-year exercise science major in her second year as a student athletic trainer.
  • Emily Gilkes, Edgewood, Kentucky, a fourth-year biological sciences/pre-med major in her third year as a student athletic trainer.
  • Sydney Smuck, Traverse City, Michigan, a second-year exercise science major in her second year as a student athletic trainer.
  • Hali Evans, Lake Isabella, California, a third-year (transfer) exercise science major in her second year as a student athletic trainer.

In addition to submitting their resume, applicants were required to submit a 300-word written response or one-to-three minute video response addressing two questions; “How has athletic training internship played a role in health promotion in our local community” and “How has the athletic training internship helped you academically and in the profession that you desire.”

Jason Carter, Professor and Chair of Michigan Tech’s Department of Kinesiology and Integrative Physiology, says he was impressed with the quality of the applicants.

“These are excellent students from multiple majors and I am very pleased they will have a chance to be rewarded for their high levels of engagement with our athletic trainers and our sports teams. They deal with amazing real-world situations that will prepare them well for careers in health care professions,” Carter said.

Read the full story.

Intro to Epidemiology Offered for Spring 2017

EpidemioloKammgy, what is it?  With the addition of Dr. Kelly Kamm, we will finally be able to offer students the opportunity to learn all about it.

Dr. Kamm joins the Department of Kinesiology and Integrative Physiology and The Department of Biological Sciences as a research scientist with a specialty in epidemiology and community health.

She will teach a Intro to Epidemiology course for the Spring 2017 semester.  Any undergraduate or graduate student with an interest in various professional schools including medical, PA, and PT schools are encouraged to take her course.

 Intro to Epidemiology  (EH 4990)
MWF, 12:05 – 12:55 pm

Course DescriptionThis course is an introduction to the principles and methods of epidemiology to understand the distribution and determinants of health in a population. Course topics will include basic statistics used in epidemiologic studies, study design, sources and impact of error. We will use current examples to explore the use of epidemiologic data to address public health problems.
Credits: 3.0 
Pre-Requisite(s): BL 2020 and BL 2021

201701 Intro to Epidemiolgy EH 4990 02201701 Intro to Epidemiolgy EH 4990 02

KIP Fall Seminar Series

KIP Fall 2016 Seminar SeriesThe KIP Fall 2016 Seminar Series will kick off on Friday, September, 30 with Dr. Stephen DiCarlo, professor in the School of Medicine at Wayne State University.

Friday, September 30
3:00 – 4:00 pm

ATDC, 101

His work focuses on shifting information distribution from a teacher-centered based approach so that students become “active learners.”  He has received numerous awards for his teaching including the Claude Bernard Distinguished Lecturer award from the American Physiological Society.

Abstract: Too Much Content, Not Enough Thinking, and Too Little FUN!
Henry Ford, stated “Thinking is the hardest work there is, which is why so few people engage in it.” This is also true in the classroom where the content driven curriculum leaves little time for thinking. In this setting, information is transferred from the notes of one person to the notes of another person without going through the minds of either person. That is, we spend too little time thinking about the information. This is important because active processing of information, not just passive reception of that information, leads to learning. Specifically, we understand the information we think about because understanding is the residue of thinking. Therefore, we will discuss strategies to create a joy, an excitement, and a love for learning. By making learning fun, our students will be impatient to run home, study, and contemplate–to really learn.

*This is a co-sponsored event with William G. Jackson Center for Teaching and Learning (CTL).  Dr. DiCarlo will also deliver a lunchtime presentation and hands on workshop on Thursday, September 29.  Both events can be found on the Michigan Tech Events Calendar or clicking on the links provided.


Kilgas and Phillips Receive Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan Award

Please join me in congratulating doctoral students Matthew Kilgas and Kevin Phillips as both received $3,000 awards for their research through the Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan Foundation (BCBSM) Student Award Program. Briefly, this foundation is dedicated to improving the health of Michigan residents and supports student research projects across a wide range of human health topics. We wish Matt and Kevin the best of luck with their respective projects and strongly encourage other graduate students to apply in the future.

Matthew Kilgas (Dr. Elmer’s Lab)
Kilgas“Restoring Quadriceps Function Following ACL Reconstruction with Blood Flow Restriction Exercise”





Kevin Phillips (Dr. Yoon’s Lab)
Phillips“Muscle Architecture and Muscle Neuromuscular Fatigue in Middle-Aged Obese Adults”

Dr. Elmer Awarded National Science Foundation Grant

nsf_icorps_logosDr. Steven Elmer and his team were recently awarded a $50,000 research grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) for their project entitled “I-Corps: A New Assistive Device for Wheelchair Users”.

As part of the grant, Elmer along with doctoral student Matt Kilgas (KIP) and Mike Morley (Assistant Director of Technology Commercialization, Innovation and Industry Engagement) will participate in the rigorous I-Corps curriculum.  This curriculum consists of a 7 week program to help train scientists and engineers to develop entrepreneurship skills that will lead to the commercialization of technology that has been supported previously by NSF-funded research.   The team will travel to San Francisco for a three day “Kick Off” workshop and return for the final “Lessons Learned” workshop at the end of the program.

This new grant is a result of Dr. Elmer’s continued efforts to provide wheelchair users a means to strengthen upper-extremity muscles and improve their mobility without overtaxing their heart and lungs.  Elmer’s team engineered a rehabilitation device called RENEW-U to provide wheelchair users this opportunity.

* This is the first NSF award for the Department of Kinesiology and Integrative Physiology.

American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) Conference

ACSM 2016Early this month Dr. Steven Elmer, Dr. Christopher Schwartz, and graduate student Matthew Kilgas attended the 63th annual meeting for the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) in Boston, Massachusetts. For this meeting more than 6,000 professionals from around the world come together for one of the most comprehensive sports medicine and exercise science meeting in the world. Dr. Elmer and Matthew presented their research relating to using upper-body eccentric exercise to improve muscle strength and power. Dr. Elmer also attended the ACSM Awards Banquet where he was recognized for receiving the ACSM Research Endowment Grant.

Larson recipient of American Autonomic Society Lundbeck Research Fellowship

Robert Larson waLarson_Headshots recently named a recipient of the American Autonomic Society Lundbeck Research Fellowship for his post-doctoral research proposal entitled “Targeting cardiac sympathetic and renin-angiotensin systems with Ang-(1-7) in hypertrophic cardiomyopathy.”  Robert will begin his post-doctoral fellowship in the lab of Dr. Mark Chapleau in The Department of Internal Medicine at The University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine in July.  The $50,00 AAS-Lundbeck Research Fellowship provides salary support for one year and travel costs to the AAS annual conference for two years.  Robert earned his master’s degree with Dr. Jason Carter and his doctorate degree with Dr. Qing-Hui Chen.

Robert’s full story was recently featured on Michigan Tech News.  Congratulations Robert and continued success as you move on to The University of Iowa.

Experimental Biology 2016

The Kinesiology and Integrative Physiology  (KIP) department was represented well at the Experimental Biology (EB) 2016 Conference in April.  Faculty members Dr. Jason Carter, Dr. Qinghui Chen, and Dr. Zhiying Shan along with their graduate students were in attendance and presented posters.

The list of KIP/Biological Sciences graduate students includes; Andrew Chapp (PhD), Ida Fonkoue (PhD), Michael Huber (MS) and Robert Larson (PhD).  Andrew Chapp and Michael Huber were also awarded the 2016 Caroline tum Suden/Frances Hellebrandt Award from the American Physiological Society. KIP Visiting Scholar, Fengli Zhu also had a poster presented by Robert Larson and Dr. Zhiying Shan.

Abstract Title: Intraneuronal Acidification with Acetic Acid, an Ethanol Metabolite, Increases Excitability of Central Nucleus of Amygdala Neurons with Axon Projecting to Rostral Ventrolateral Medulla (CeA-RVLM).
Andrew D. Chapp, Kyle M. Driscoll, Zhiying Shan, Jason R. Carter, Qing-Hui Chen

Abstract Title: Acute alcohol consumption blunts the muscle sympathetic nerve activity response to mental stress in humans.
Ida T. Fonkoue, Brett Gervais, Qing-Hui Chen, and Jason R. Carter

Abstract Title: Upregulation of Orexin in the Paraventricular Nucleus Contributes to Salt Sensitive Hypertension
Authors: Michael J. Huber, Fengli Zhu, Robert A. Larson, Ningjun Li, Qing-Hui Chen, and Zhiying Shan

Abstract Title: Diminished Intracellular Calcium in the Hypothalamic Paraventricular Nucleus Augments Neuronal Excitability and Sympathetic Nerve Activity
Robert A. Larson, Andrew D. Chapp, Zixi Cheng, Zhiying Shan, Qing-Hui Chen

Abstract Title: High Salt Challenge Augments Expression of Proinflammatory Cytokines and Contributes to Elevated Neuronal Activity in the Hypothalamic Paraventricular Nucleus
Authors: Fengli Zhu, Robert A. Larson, Peng Shi, Ningjun Li, Qing-Hui Chen, and Zhiying Shan

Huber EB 2016

Chen,Chapp,Huber,Larson EB 2016





EB 2016