Category: Students of Kinesiology

Students, Staff, and Faculty Kick Off the Fall Seminar Series in Style with Jeopardy Competition

MTU-KIP and CMU-DPT students and faculty at the Jeopardy game and social.

The first Department of Kinesiology and Integrative Physiology Fall Seminar took place on Friday, September 16th. To help kick-off the series, the seminar was organized as a Jeopardy game and social for students, staff, and faculty. Teams of 3 to 4 students worked together to test their knowledge on all things related to anatomy, physiology, exercise prescription and assessment, biomechanics, and more.

Each team had to include students from both the Michigan Tech Department of Kinesiology and Integrative Physiology and Central Michigan University Satellite Physical Therapy Program. Isaac Wedig, a doctoral student in Integrative Physiology, served as the Jeopardy host and faculty members helped track responses and keep score. The game was quite engaging and entertaining for all! The department’s Graduate Student Government co-representatives also provided important semester announcements, along with a sign-up for the semester cornhole tournament.

The Jeopardy game and social served as a great way to get everyone fired up for the fall semester Seminar Series theme of promoting women in health science, medicine, and physiology. The first formal monthly September Seminar will take place on Friday, September 30th, from 3:00-4:30 pm in ATDC 101. The topic will focus on “Autonomic Control of Circulation for Health and Disease” and include speakers from the University of Texas-Austin and University of Minnesota. More information to come soon!

KIP Students and Faculty Participate in UP Medical Conference

Sherry Chen, PhD student, Poster Session Winner (tied 3rd place)
Isaac Lennox, MS student, Poster Session Winner (1st place)

Students and faculty from the Department of Kinesiology and Integrative Physiology and recently participated in the first annual Upper Peninsula Medial Conference, hosted by the Michigan Tech Health Research Institute, on August 26-28, 2022.

The focus of the conference was on rural health and health topics impacting rural communities (e.g., mental health, lifestyle medicine, diabetes, public health, orthopedics and sports medicine). Conference attendees included students, faculty, and clinicians from across the Upper Peninsula. The conference also provided continuing medical education credits for clinicians.

Graduate students Xingqian (Sherry) Chen, Isaac Lennox, Greg Miodonski, Isaac Wedig, and Kyle Wehmnanen presented their research and outreach-related projects. For the research category, Isaac Lennox and Sherry Chen earned awards for their poster presentations. For the physician’s choice category, Isaac Wedig and Kyle Wehmanen earned awards for their poster presentations. Isaac Lennox, Isaac Wedig, and Kyle Wehmanen, along with Dr. Elmer, delivered an interactive activity as part of the featured lecture on lifestyle medicine.

Isaac Wedig, PhD candidate, Physician’s Choice Winner (tied)
Greg Miodonski, MS student

Conference attendees also had the opportunity to tour the Exercise Physiology Laboratory and visit the Central Michigan University Physical Therapy Program – Satellite Campus. Dr. Chen and Dr. Elmer, served on the conference organizing committee. Dr. Elmer indicated that, based on feedback from attendees, the organizing committee is already discussing plans for improving the conference for next year.

Overall, the first annual Upper Peninsula Medial Conference was an excellent opportunity for students and faculty to showcase their work, learn more about rural health challenges, and network with clinicians. Thank you to the Department of Kinesiology and Integrative Physiology Faculty for supporting costs for our students to attend this conference.

KIP Students Present at Michigan Physiological Society Meeting

Students and faculty from the Department of Kinesiology and Integrative Physiology and Department of Biomedical Engineering recently participated in the ninth annual Michigan Physiological Society (MPS) Meeting, held virtually June 16-17, 2022.

The virtual meeting included a distinguished lecture, student presentations (oral, thematic poster, traditional poster), professional development session, trivia competition, and a business meeting. The meeting presentations had a “bench to beside” theme and included work focused on basic mechanisms of health and disease, applied human physiology, and public health.

Graduate students Xinqian (Sherry) Chen, Ashley Hawke, Isaac Lennox, Greg Miodonski, and Isaac Wedig, along with undergraduate student Madeline English, presented their research and outreach-related projects. All students did a great job with their presentations. Isaac Wedig and Greg Miodonski earned awards for their featured oral presentations and Sherry Chen earned an award for her thematic poster presentation. Sherry Chen stated “I think the greatest part of presenting at the MPS meeting is that I can receive research advice and be inspired by new ideas from professional scientists who are in the same field as me. The small size MPS meeting also enables me to present my initial research no matter how it progresses.”

A highlight of the meeting was the distinguished lecture given by Karyn Esser, Professor of Physiology and Functional Genomics at the University of Florida, whose presentation was titled “Exercise and Muscle Clocks: Partners in Health and Performance.” Professor Esser highlighted how a muscle circadian clock is necessary for maintaining healthy metabolism and muscle strength. The presentation can be viewed on YouTube.

During the professional development session, Robert Larson (BioSci) shared insight into the job application process and Steven Elmer (KIP) discussed graduate degree options. Graduate students, Isaac Wedig and Isaac Lennox, helped moderate the thematic poster and standing break activities respectively.

Steven Elmer assisted with organizing and delivering the meeting and will now begin his term as MPS President. His MPS responsibilities for the upcoming year include increasing membership, delivering the mid-year symposium and annual meeting, and dissemination of meeting reports.

Finally, thank you to the Department of Kinesiology and Integrative Physiology faculty for their efforts supporting and mentoring students with their research.

KIP Students Present at the American College of Sports Medicine Annual Meeting and World Congresses

Graduate students Isaac Wedig and Isaac Lennox accepting EIM-OC recognition certificate from former ACSM President Robert Sallis and EIM-OC Committee Chair Neil Peterson  
Isaac Lennox, Masters student, giving his presentation titled “Exercise Is Medicine On-Campus: A National analysis during the President’s Cup Competition
Isaac Wedig, PhD student, presenting his poster titled “A Prediction Equation for Blood Flow Restriction Exercise That Accounts of Cuff Width”

Graduate students from the Department of Kinesiology and Integrative Physiology recently participated in the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) Annual Meeting and World Congresses, held in San Diego, California from May 31- June 4, 2022.

The meeting featured over 200 hours of oral presentations and over 1,400 abstracts showcasing the latest research in exercise science and sports medicine. Two graduate students, Isaac Wedig and Isaac Lennox, attended the meeting where they each presented their respective research and outreach projects.

Isaac Wedig, a third year PhD student, presented a poster highlighting his research in the Exercise Physiology Lab titled “A Prediction Equation for Blood Flow Restriction Exercise That Accounts for Cuff Width.”

“Attending and presenting at the conference was a fantastic opportunity to receive feedback and meet other researchers doing similar work,” said Wedig.

After being selected as the top presenter at the regional Midwest ACSM meeting held in November of 2021, masters student Isaac Lennox was given the opportunity to present his work at the national meeting and compete in the prestigious President’s Cup competition. Competing against ten of the top presenters selected from around the country, Lennox delivered a 5-minute oral presentation to a panel of judges titled “Exercise is Medicine On-Campus: A National Analysis”.

“The opportunity to present my work at the ACSM national meeting was an experience like none other for me. Representing the regional Midwest ACSM was an honor, and I am extremely grateful to receive feedback from a panel of judges to move this project forward,” said Lennox. 

Both students attended a special ceremony hosted by the Exercise is Medicine World Congress which recognized each of the Exercise is Medicine On-Campus (EIM-OC) programs around the world. In March of 2021, Michigan Tech earned a silver level designation from the EIM-OC for their efforts to educate students, faculty, and staff about the benefits of increased physical activity and to create a culture of wellness on campus. During the ceremony, Wedig and Lennox accepted a certificate of recognition on behalf of Michigan Tech from former ACSM President Robert Sallis and EIM-OC Committee Chair Neil Peterson. “It was an honor to represent Michigan Tech as one of only 153 universities and colleges that were recognized around the world,” said Isaac Wedig. “Being acknowledged for our work was very motivating. It inspired us to push our efforts to promote physical activity at Michigan Tech even further.”

A special thank you to the students’ advisor, Dr. Steven Elmer, as well as the Department of Kinesiology and Integrative Physiology, the Graduate Student Government, the Health Research Institute at Michigan Tech, and the ACSM for supporting conference attendance for these students.

MS Student Greg Miodonski Recalls Experimental Biology 2022 Experience

After two years of virtual conferences, we finally made it to an in-person conference: Experimental Biology 2022 in Philadelphia. Each seminar-filled day was a cornucopia of knowledge, especially the Central Nervous System session chaired by Dr. Chen (MTU) and co-chaired by Dr. Patel (UNMC). Here, some of the foremost experts on exercise and autonomic control of the cardiovascular system discussed their latest research and methods. Beyond attending seminars and drinking inordinate amounts of coffee, I had the privilege of presenting our lab’s exercise and SK channel research to undergraduate and graduate students, as well as researchers, inside and outside our field. This was a nice opportunity to get feedback and suggestions on how to improve our research going forward. Additionally, after being worn down from months of experiments and troubleshooting, seeing how your research fits into the larger scientific field was a gratifying breath of fresh air.

Experimental Biology 2022, as told by PhD Student Jessica Bruning

As a fourth year Ph.D. student, networking is pertinent to the expansion of my professional prospects after graduation. Experimental Biology (EB) is an annual international conference put on by five societies featuring lectures, symposia, poster presentations, and various professional workshops.  As an interdisciplinary scientist, my research spans from the impacts of the gut microbiome on neurophysiology to the effects of high salt diet on neurogenic cardiovascular diseases. EB welcomes scientists and biological educators in multiple areas of expertise, largely from the United States. The energy in the building was charged with enthusiasm and merriment as friends reconnected to discuss revolutionary science at one of the first in-person natural and life sciences conference this year. The symposium “Exercise and Autonomic Regulation of Cardiovascular Function” chaired by the KIP departments’ very own Dr. Qinghui Chen sticks out in my mind in particular. Another KIP graduate student, Isaac Wedig, and I walked up to the conference room slightly confused by the amount of people pouring into the hallway. After moving through the crowd, we discovered all seats were filled and walls were lined with spectators eager to listen to this invigorating symposium. The speakers presented novel findings followed by an eruption of applause, all of which was observed by me in the only available space, the floor.  

This year EB took place in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, “The City of Brotherly Love”. Being my first time in this city, me and several other graduate students found time away from professional networking and groundbreaking science to explore the richness of the city. Philadelphia is home to several historical and cultural must-sees including the Liberty Bell, Independence Hall, The Reading Terminal Market, and the Rocky statue. The city is scattered with sculptures, beautiful pieces of art, hip breweries, and tasteful restaurants. Isaac and I were delightfully reunited with Ian Greenland, Jeremy Bigalke, and Joshua Gonzalez, fellow Huskies that are dispersed throughout the country. Reconnecting with friends, colleagues, and fellow scientists from all over the country was extremely informative and electrifying. I greatly appreciated the opportunity to represent the Kinesiology and Integrative Physiology Department during my time in Philadelphia.  

KIP Department Recognizes Student Achievements

The KIP department congratulates our graduate students, undergraduate students, and alum for their recent accomplishments. Our compliments go out to them and the faculty who support their efforts.

Undergraduate Students
Megan Keranen and Leah Preston earned 2nd and 3rd place awards for the top World Water Day Presentations.  PFAS Groundwater Contamination in Michigan
The Physical Impacts of Water Carrying in Relation to Groundwater

MS Students
Isaac Lennox and Carmen Scarfone were awarded the Midwest American College of Sports Medicine President’s Cup Award for their Exercise is Medicine on campus research. They will now travel to the National ACSM Meeting to compete against the other regional winners for the National-Level President’s Cup Award. This is one of the most prestigious student awards through the ACSM. 
Exercise is Medicine on Campus: A National Analysis and Implications for Rural Health

PhD Students
Isaac Wedig was awarded 1st place for one of the top oral presentations at the MTU Graduate Student Research Colloquium.  A Practical Application of Blood Flow Restriction Exercise

Alumni  Josh Gonzalez had part of his dissertation research accepted for publication in American Journal of Physiology-Regulatory, Integrative and Comparative Physiology, a very reputable APS physiology journal. Gonzalez JE and Cooke WH. The influence of an acute fast on ambulatory blood pressure and autonomic cardiovascular control. American Journal of Physiology-Regulatory, Integrative and Comparative Physiology. In Press, 2022.

Michigan Tech University Recognized by Exercise is Medicine® for Efforts to Create Culture of Wellness on Campus

Michigan Tech University is one of only 156 universities and colleges around the world to be honored by Exercise is Medicine® for its efforts to create a culture of wellness on campus. Michigan Tech’s “UP and Moving” Program housed in the Department of Kinesiology and Integrative Physiology played a large part in helping the university to earn a silver level designation from the Exercise is Medicine® On Campus (EIM-OC) program. The University also increased awareness of the health benefits of physical activity through a series of public seminars and town hall presentations. 

“We are thrilled to recognize these campuses’ commitment to make movement a part of daily campus culture and equip students with tools to cultivate lifelong physical activity habits, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Robyn Stuhr, vice president of Exercise is Medicine. “These campus programs are nurturing future leaders who will advance a key tenet of Exercise is Medicine: making physical activity assessment and promotion a standard in health care.”

For substantial health benefits, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services recommends that adults engage in at least 150 min of moderate-to-vigorous intensity physical activity each week and limit the amount of time spent sitting. To facilitate physical activity on campus and in the community, the UP and Moving program offers free virtual home-based workouts to keep students, staff, faculty, and community members active. Steven Elmer, Associate Professor in the Department of Kinesiology and Integrative Physiology, emphasized, “Engaging in regular physical activity promotes good physical and mental health, improves quality of life, and reduces risk for chronic conditions such as heart disease and type 2 diabetes. Importantly, regular physical activity also lowers risk for severe COVID-19 outcomes.”

The home-based workouts do not require any specialized equipment and are easily adapted to fit a wide range of ages and ability levels. Workouts are led by a team of graduate students (Isaac Wedig, Carmen Scarfone, Isaac Lennox) at Michigan Tech and range from muscle strengthening exercise (i.e., weightlifting) to aerobic exercise (i.e., walking) to yoga and everything in between. The live workouts are also recorded and available to watch anytime on the program’s website and YouTube Channel. “Moving forward, the UP and Moving program at Michigan Tech aims to partner with local health care providers to establish physical activity as a health vital sign,” explained Isaac Lennox, a master’s student in Kinesiology.

Of the 153 campuses recognized this year, 73 received gold, 60 silver and 23 bronze. All gold, silver and bronze universities and colleges will be officially recognized on June 1 as part of the 2022 Exercise is Medicine World Congress, held in conjunction with the American College of Sports Medicine’s Annual Meeting. Professor William Cooke, ACSM Fellow and Acting Chair of the Department of Kinesiology & Integrative Physiology at Michigan Tech, said, “faculty and students in our department were instrumental in educating both university and community members about the necessity of activity during the worst of the pandemic. The positive response we received from their outreach efforts was overwhelming.”

EIM-OC calls upon universities and colleges to promote physical activity as a vital sign of health and encourages faculty, staff, and students to work together to improve the health and well-being of the campus community. EIM-OC launched its recognition program in 2014 to honor campuses for their efforts to create a culture of wellness. Schools earn gold, silver or bronze status based on their activities. Gold level campuses have created a referral system where campus health care providers assess students’ physical activity and refer students as necessary to a certified fitness professional as part of medical treatment. Silver campuses engage students, faculty and staff in education initiatives and make movement part of the daily campus culture while bronze level campuses promote and generate awareness of the health benefits of physical activity.

View a complete list of EIM-OC recognized schools at the Exercise is Medicine website and learn more about the UP and Moving program at UP and Moving’s website.

About Exercise Is Medicine

The American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) co-launched Exercise is Medicine® (EIM) in 2007 with the American Medical Association. ACSM continues to manage the global health initiative, which seeks to make physical activity assessment and promotion a standard in clinical care, connecting health care with evidence-based physical activity resources for people everywhere of all abilities. EIM is committed to the belief that physical activity promotes optimal health, is integral in the prevention and treatment of many medical conditions and should be regularly assessed and included as part of health care. Visit www.ExerciseisMedicine.org for additional information.

About the American College of Sports Medicine

The American College of Sports Medicine is the largest sports medicine and exercise science organization in the world. More than 50,000 international, national and regional members and certified professionals are dedicated to advancing and integrating scientific research to provide educational and practical applications of exercise science and sports medicine. More details at www.acsm.org

KIP Faculty and Graduate Student Featured in “Kinesiology Today” to Highlight COVID Community Outreach

Faculty members Dr. Kelly Kamm and Dr. Steve Elmer, along with PhD student Isaac Wedig, were featured in the latest edition of Kinesiology Today, which is a quarterly publication of the American Kinesiology Association.

The article discusses how the KIP department has become a resource for Michigan Tech and the Upper Peninsula during the pandemic for factual, evidence-based information. Also noted is the three-step initiative that the students and faculty have executed to achieve success in broadcasting their message.

To read the full article, follow the link to the 2022 Winter Edition of Kinesiology Today.

Student Presentation from KIP Seminar, “Exercise is Medicine on Campus: A National Analysis and Implications for Rural Health”

This post is dedicated to showcasing the research of master’s students Carmen Scarfone and Isaac Lennox, and PhD student Isaac Wedig. Carmen and Isaac presented their work to colleagues and faculty during February’s KIP Seminar. Read their abstract on what they found from analyzing Exercise is Medicine on Campus programs throughout the United States.

Exercise is Medicine on Campus: A National Analysis and Implications for Rural Health
Carmen J. Scarfone, Isaac M. Lennox, Isaac J. Wedig

Physical inactivity is in itself, is a major public health issue. Four out of every five US adults do not meet the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) physical activity guidelines of 150 minutes of moderate level intensity. In rural, non-metro areas, physical activity is even lower than the national average. To counteract these public health problems, the ACSM created Exercise is Medicine on Campus (EIM-OC), which is a global health initiative that calls upon colleges and universities to promote and increase physical activities. Exercise is Medicine on Campus fulfills this by promoting the health benefits of physical activity through bronze level status, and the use of education initiatives for silver level campuses. Gold level campuses take it a step further by incorporating exercise as a vital sign in the clinical setting.
Our purpose was to perform a National analysis of the 131 recognized EIM-OC programs in the United States. The programs were stratified by state, as well as metro and non-metro counties defined by the United States department of agriculture. Of 131 U.S. colleges and universities with a recognized EIM-OC program, 59 were gold, 53 were silver, and 19 were bronze level status. Thirty-five states had at least one EIM-OC program. Stratified by state, the most EIM-OC programs were California (12), Pennsylvania (9), and Michigan (8). Twenty-six states had at least one EIM-OC gold level program with California (7) and Michigan (5) having the most. The average population for a city with an EIM-OC program was 274,071 and 237,755 for cities with gold programs. Our analysis found that out of the 131 U.S. colleges and universities with a recognized EIM-OC program, only 11 of the 150 or 8% of all EIM-OC programs are located in non-metro counties. Additionally, only 6 out of 59 or 10% of gold EIM-OC programs are located in non-metro counties.
Two thirds or about 66% of US states have an EIM-OC program – however, 92% are located in metro counties. Efforts to promote physical activity during the pandemic are especially important in rural communities, where over 46 million Americans reside. Compared to urban and suburban residents, those living in rural areas have lower physical activity levels. Even though rural communities typically possess fewer resources, the U.S. Department of Education identifies over 500 colleges and universities that are located in rural areas. These institutions may be able to help provide valuable resources for promoting and facilitating physical activity in their surrounding rural communities such as Michigan Technological university starting the Up and Moving Program.