Category: News

KIP Student Rachel Clayton Spent Her Summer Creating a 3D Vestibular Model

Read more about how Rachel’s internship inspired her to create a vestibular model that demonstrates what happens in the inner ear with Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo.

This summer I had the opportunity to intern with Josh Hill, DPT at UPHS-Portage Rehab Center. My special project for the internship was the creation of a vestibular model. This model can be used in the clinic to demonstrate to the patient what occurs in the inner ear with the condition Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo (BPPV). BPPV occurs when a crystal from the otolith organs becomes dislodged and falls into the semicircular canals of the vestibular labyrinth. The crystals that fall into the semicircular canals respond to changes in head positions that they would not normally respond to causing the patient to feel dizzy. 

The idea for my project arose in an appointment when Josh was trying to explain what causes vertigo in the case of BPPV. He shared, with me, instructions to create the model that would benefit patients’ understanding in these cases. I began the project by working with the 3D printing lab at Michigan Tech to print the base of the model. Mineral oil, clear plastic tubing, and crushed stone inlay were used to create the semicircular canals. The clear plastic tubing was increased in scale to represent the actual dimensions of the semicircular canals. The tubing was filled with mineral oil and a little crushed stone inlay. The small size of the stones in the mineral oil fall at the approximate speed at which the stones would move in the semicircular canals. 

Follow the link here to watch a video of Rachel’s model in action.


COVID-19 Town Hall Thursday, August 26: Dealing with the Delta Variant

Join us Thursday from 7:00-8:00pm ET for the COVID-19 Community Town Hall. Organized by the Health Research Institute at Michigan Technological University, the 60-minute Town Hall broadcast can be heard live at 7:00pm ET on 97.7 The Wolf (WOLV-FM) and 99.1 (WIKB-FM) and viewed through a Zoom Webinar and Facebook Live. The Town Hall can also be viewed on ABC 10 Sunday at 12:00pm EST. Town Hall moderators Steve Elmer and Kelly Kamm (KIP/HRI) will discuss a range of pandemic-related issues (vaccines, community transmission, mental health and well-being, and more). More information along with the Zoom link for the Town Hall can be found on the Health Research Institute’s COVID-19 Town Hall Series webpage.


COVID-19 Vaccine Clinics at MTU

With the beginning of the Fall semester around the corner, Michigan Tech in partnership with the Upper Great Lakes Family Health Center will be holding walk-in COVID-19 vaccine clinics on campus. These clinics are open to all students, faculty, and staff.

The dates are August 24 during Orientation Week, and then September 1 and September 2 at the Rozsa Center Lobby from 3 to 5 pm. No appointment is required.

Please visit MTU Flex’s website for more information about the upcoming clinics and for additional information on quarantine guidelines and COVID-19 vaccination.


Gain Experience through the Athletic Training Student Aid Program

For those interested in Athletic Training, there is a great opportunity to gain some experience at Michigan Tech!

The Athletic Training Student Aid Program gives students the opportunity to work under an athletic trainer to acquire knowledge and skills related to the domains of athletic training, which can be valuable to all healthcare professions. Areas of opportunity in the ATSA Program include assisting in practice and game coverage, observing orthopedic injury assessments, and potential travel to MTU away games.

Please find the ATSA Program’s flyer and visit the program’s website for more information.


KIP Department Presenting at the 45th Annual Meeting of the American Society of Biomechanics

The 45th annual meeting of the American Society of Biomechanics will take place August 10 through 13.

Jessica Pitts (MS, Kinesiology) and Dr. Carolyn Duncan’s (KIP) team will give two presentations during the virtual meeting. Below are the titles of each study and the colleagues who worked on them. Best of luck to all!

For more information on the American Society of Biomechanics and its annual meeting, visit the ASB’s website.

“Effect of Wearing a Backpack on Speed and Kinematics of Reactive Stepping”
Pitts, J., Verbrigghe, D., Siko, C., Smith, A., Elmblad, K. Komisar, V., Nussbaum, M. A., Duncan, C. A. (2021)

“The Influence of Huntington’s Disease on Reactive Balance Movement Latencies”
Pitts, J., Gainer, A., Seidowski, C., Gwaltney, C., Duncan, C, A. (2021)


Applications for the CMU DPT program are Open for Michigan Tech Students

If you are thinking about or are preparing to apply to doctorate in physical therapy programs, Michigan Tech University’s partnership with Central Michigan University’s DPT program is a fantastic option. Information on the program, requirements, and how to apply can be found in the flyer below. Also, find KIP’s website for even more information on this program.


UP Health Science and Medicine Lecture Series featured in the News

The June edition of the UP Health Science and Medicine Lecture Series was highlighted by the Daily Mining Gazette and the Mining Journal.

Supported by Michigan Tech’s Department of Kinesiology and Integrative Physiology and Health Research Institute, the summer lecture featured Dr. Robert Sallis and his study published by the British Journal of Sports Medicine.

To watch the lecture series, find it on the Health Research Institute’s YouTube channel. Or read about the highlights on the Daily Mining Gazette’s or the Mining Journal’s website.


Students and Faculty Participate in the Michigan Physiological Society Meeting

Students and faculty from the Department of Kinesiology and Integrative Physiology and Department of Biological Sciences recently participated in the 8th annual Michigan Physiological Society (MPS) Meeting held virtually on June 24-25, 2021. Graduate students Jessica Bruning (KIP), Xingqian Chen (KIP), Carmen Scarfone (KIP), Aditi Vyas (BIO), Manas Warke (BIO), and Isaac Wedig (KIP) presented their research, teaching, and outreach focused projects. 

Dr. Steven Elmer (KIP) co-organized the featured symposium titled “Research and Teaching during COVID-19: Challenges, Opportunities, and Lessons Learned” and received help from Greg Miodonski (KIP) and Carmen Scarfone (KIP) who served as moderators for two oral presentations. Anatomy and Physiology Instructor, Travis Wakeham (BIO), also presented during this session and the Michigan Tech “UP and Moving” Team helped to break up the sitting time by leading the audience through a movement activity.  

All students did a great job with their presentations including Isaac Wedig who earned a student award for one of the top oral presentations. Finally, Dr. Elmer was elected as the next MPS President-Elect and will serve on the executive leadership committee for the next three years. 


UP and Moving featured on Portage Health Foundation Podcast

Dr. Steve Elmer and PhD student Isaac Wedig were featured on the most recent episode of the Portage Health Foundation Podcast. They talked about how the threat of COVID-19 created the UP and Moving project, which has reached a milestone 100th workout. UP and Moving provides free live and recorded home-based workouts that can be found on its website, YouTube, and Facebook. They also discussed a study done by Dr. Robert Sallis, who was the speaker for the most recent edition of the UP Health Science and Medicine Lecture Series, and the impact that physical activity has on COVID-19 outcomes for infected adults. For Dr. Elmer and Isaac, the goal was simple: get adults in the Upper Peninsula physically active to positively impact their health not only during the pandemic but beyond it.

Dr. Elmer has received a $100,000 Community Health Impact Grant from the Michigan Health Endowment Fund to continue with a one-year project titled “Keep the Western UP Moving during COVID-19 with Exercise is Medicine.”

If you would like to listen to the podcast in its entirety, click here for the PHF Podcast. To learn more about UP and Moving or to begin a workout routine with the project, click here for the UP and Moving website.