Congratulations KIP Class of 2023 Spring Graduates!

Undergraduate Students

Devin Schmitz, BS, Sports & Fitness Management

Cody Tarnowski, BS, Sports & Fitness Management

Kaitlyn Brady, BS, Exercise Science

Blake Hewitt, BS, Exercise Science

Brendan Kaski, BS, Exercise Science

Jessica Lacy, BS, Exercise Science

Karina Madigan, BS, Exercise Science

Maxwell Marion, BS, Exercise Science

Armando Motz, BS, Exercise Science

Gracie VanLangevelde, BS, Exercise Science

Mariah Willmer, BS, Exercise Science

Graduate Students

Isaac Wedig, PhD, Integrative Physiology

Isaac Lennox, MS, Kinesiology

KIP 2023 Spring Undergraduate Students
KIP 2023 Graduate Students

American Kinesiology Association Honors KIP Students with Scholar Awards

Gracie VanLangevelde, Isaac Wedig, and Isaac Lennox received scholar awards from the American Kinesiology Association. These students were nominated by the KIP department and selected by AKA based on their academic performance, scholarly interests/accomplishments, leadership, and service to the profession.

Gracie received the 2023 AKA Undergraduate Scholar Award.

Isaac Wedig received the 2023 AKA Doctoral Scholar Award.

Isaac Lennox has the distinction of having received the 2023 AKA National Master’s Scholar Award, the highest award for his category.

Congratulations to our students for achieving these accolades from a fantastic professional organization!

Gracie VanLangevelde, BS-Exercise Science
Isaac Wedig, PhD-Integrative Physiology
Isaac Lennox, MS-Kinesiology

Call for Applications: 2023 Songer Research Award for Human Health

Undergraduate and graduate students in the Kinesiology and Integrative Physiology Department are encouraged to apply for the 2023 Songer Research Award for Human Health. Matthew Songer, (Biological Sciences ’79) and Laura Songer (Biological Sciences ’80) established these awards to stimulate and encourage opportunities for original research by current Michigan Tech students.

Students may propose an innovative medically-oriented research project in any area of human health. The best projects will demonstrate the potential to have a broad impact on improving human life. This research will be pursued in consultation with faculty members within the College of Sciences and Arts. The Songers’ gift and matching funds from the College will support two awards for undergraduate research ($4,000) and two for graduate research ($6,000), for research conducted over the Summer of 2023 and/or the following academic year.

Learn more about who is eligible to apply, how to apply, and how the funds may be used.

Submit applications as a single PDF file to the Office of the College of Sciences and Arts by 4:00 p.m. Monday, April 24, 2023. Applications may be emailed to djhemmer@mtu.edu. Any questions may be directed to David Hemmer (djhemmer@mtu.edu).

PhD Student Receives Award at the 2023 National Safe Patient Handling and Mobility Education Event

Ashley Hawke, PhD student

PhD student Ashley Hawke received the Gallagher Award at the 2023 National Safe Patient Handling and Mobility Education Event that took place in Glendale, AZ from March 20-23, 2023. This national event is hosted by the Association of Safe Patient Handling Professionals.

The award Ashley received is for her project proposal entitled “Effectiveness of Patient Handling Interventions on Reducing Musculoskeletal Disorder Risk in Healthcare Workers: A Study Proposal.” Below is her project’s abstract to learn more about Ashley’s work.

Background: Musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) are extremely prevalent among healthcare workers, especially those who perform patient handling tasks. Previous research has found that sustained static and/or awkward working postures, frequent bending, repetitive and/or forceful work, and twisting were commonly associated with MSDs. The use of mechanical assistive devices reduces risks of MSDs during patient handling; however, availability and accessibility of equipment are common barriers to using these devices in clinical settings. Portable passive interventions, such as transfer slings, slider sheets, and exoskeletons have been proposed to assist with patient handling tasks as an alternative to mechanical assistive devices, but the effectiveness of these interventions in reducing MSD risk in healthcare workers is inconclusive. METHODS: In the proposed study, we will evaluate three passive patient handling interventions (transfer sling, slider sheet, and passive back-assist exoskeleton) in their ability to alter biomechanical and physiological responses associated with the development of MSDs when performing two standardized patient handling tasks: 1) turning a patient onto their side and 2) performing a sit to sit transfer. Twenty participants will be recruited to perform the tasks using an 80 kg mannequin in four different interventions: manual, using a transfer sling, using a slider sheet, and wearing a passive exoskeleton. Variables to be measured include muscle activity of the trunk, upper extremity, lower extremity muscles, shoulder/lumbar kinematics, kinetics, oxygen consumption, heart rate, energy expenditure, and rating of perceived exertion. FINDINGS: As this is a study proposal, no results are available at this time. CONCLUSIONS/IMPLICATIONS: Results from the proposed study will allow researchers to evaluate the biomechanical demands and physiological cost of each patient handling intervention and how together these may play a role in potentially reducing MSDs. Importantly, these findings may serve as a first step to developing more cost-effective and portable patient handling interventions.

Isaac Wedig: PhD Defense, Integrative Physiology

Isaac Wedig will defend his dissertation on Friday, April 14, at 12 pm in ATDC 101. He is advised by Dr. Steve Elmer.

The title of Isaac’s dissertation is “Physical Activity as Medicine During the COVID-19 Pandemic and Beyond.” More information about Isaac’s dissertation can be found in the accompanying flyer.

From the Abstract:
During the COVID-19 pandemic, physical activity levels have decreased and sitting time has increased. This is a major concern as physical inactivity increases the risk for severe COVID-19 outcomes. Evidence also indicates that COVID-19 survivors can experience reduced physical function (i.e., ability to complete daily living activities) long after acute illness. Currently, there are no evidence-based guidelines for recovering physical function following COVID-19 infection. Exercise with blood flow restriction (BFR) presents a promising rehabilitation strategy as the benefits of traditional exercise can be achieved using lower intensities. However, several barriers such as cost, access to equipment, and lack of standardized methods limit its use.

KIP Master’s Student Wins 2023 American Kinesiology Association National Master’s Scholar Award

Isaac Lennox has been named the winner of the 2023 AKA National Master’s Scholar Award. Isaac was selected from all the local AKA Master’s Scholars nationwide as the master’s student with the most distinguished academic and leadership record. The AKA has recognized the top master’s kinesiology student in the nation with this award since 2014. National award winners will be recognized in an upcoming issue of Kinesiology Today.

Winners receive a cash prize, an AKA memorabilia medal, as well as a national certificate of recognition. The annual scholar awards honor a select number of students from member departments, recommended by department faculty, whose academic and leadership records are distinctive. The awards are intended to recognize and promote academic excellence, to further the professional competence and dedication of academically accomplished students, and to promote kinesiology and its related fields. National award winners will also be noted on the AKA website, Kinesiology Today, and AKA Social media channels.

More information about AKA and its mission can be found on its website. Congratulations to Isaac on this well-deserved recognition!

Isaac Lennox, MS student

Education

  • BS, Kinesiology, Lake Superior State University, 2021

Research Interests

  • Exercise as medicine in rural populations 
  • Physical activity as a vital sign 
  • Blood flow restriction training

KIP Alum Wins AJP 2023 Best Research Article Award

KIP alum Joshua Gonzalez (PhD, Integrative Physiology), who graduated in the summer of 2021, earned the “American Journal of Physiology-Heart and Circulatory Physiology 2023 Best Research Article Award” for his article titled “Acute Effects of Electronic Cigarettes on Arterial Pressure and Peripheral Sympathetic Activity in Young Nonsmokers.”

Dr. Joshua E. Gonzalez
Dr. William Cooke
Dr. Josh Gonzalez receiving his award at the American Physiology Summit. Also in the photo is AJP Editor-in-Chief Merry Lindsey and the winners of the best review article and best rapid report.

He wrote and published this article while still a PhD student at MTU along with his advisor and co-author Dr. William Cooke. 

The AJP-Heart and Circulatory 2023 Best Research Article Award is based on: 

  • The total number of citations the article has received since publication (11)
  • Total online article usage (4,100+)  
  • The Altmetric score of 17 (measure of social media/news media impact)

He will receive both an award and cash prize at the upcoming American Physiology Summit 2023  to be held April 20-23, 2023 in Long Beach, California.

American Journal of Physiology, Heart and Circulatory Physiology logo

“Engineering the Future of Human Health”: KIP featured at MSU-MTU Symposium

Dr. William Cooke (KIP), Dr. Carolyn Duncan (KIP), and Dr. Kevin Trewartha (CLS/KIP) were among 12 researchers from Michigan Tech who met with colleagues representing the College of Human Medicine at Michigan State University on March 13, 2023. Hosted by MSU in Grand Rapids, Michigan, this was the inaugural event of the collaborative research symposium between the universities.

Dr. Duncan and Dr. Trewartha presented during the “Neurological Disease and Aging Research” session, while Dr. Cooke presented at the “Cardiovascular Research” session.

In the fall, Michigan Tech will host the second symposium with Dr. Cooke as a co-sponsor. “This is an important collaborative opportunity, and I look forward to being among those who will be organizing the next collaborative meeting on October 27th–beautiful time to be in the UP,” he remarked when asked about the future event.

The full story and complete list of MTU and MSU researchers who gave presentations can be found in Tech Today.

Dr. Carolyn Duncan presented on “Balance and Functional Mobility” at the MSU-MTU symposium.
Dr. Kevin Trewartha’s presentation was titled “Aging and Cognition: Implications for Motor Learning and Sensorimotor Motor Control in Older Populations.”

KIP PhD Student Awarded Michigan Space Grant Consortium Fellowship

Kyle Wehmanen, PhD Student

Kyle Wehmanen, a PhD student and graduate teaching assistant, has been awarded a $5,000 graduate fellowship by the Michigan Space Grant Consortium, which is sponsored by NASA, for its 2023-2024 cycle. His project is entitled “Human Powered Locomotion on Variable Terrain: Implications for how to Move on Mars.”

More details about the MSGC and the complete list of undergraduate, graduate, and faculty recipients can be found in the Tech Today announcement from the Graduate School.