From the Scientific Literature to the Field: KIP Graduate Students Present their Work at Two Recent Conferences

Graduate students in the Advanced Exercise Physiology Course (KIP 5000) recently attended several conferences and presented class projects collaboratively built through the first part of the semester. The course taught by Dr. Steven Elmer in the Department of Kinesiology and Integrative Physiology (KIP), tasked students with conducting a literature search to evaluate the direct and indirect effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on human health and society. In support of Exercise is Medicine on Campus Month, the student projects emphasized the important role that physical activity has in combating both chronic and infectious disease.

Midwest ACSM Conference

Master’s student Felix Cottet-Puinel and doctoral student Kyle Wehmanen attended the annual meeting for the Midwest Chapter of the American College of Sports Medicine held in Indianapolis, Indiana on October 20-22, 2022. The mission and purpose of the conference was to promote scientific advancement, disseminate information regarding sports, physical activity, and medicine, and foster collaborative relationships between students, educators, scientists, and physicians across the region. Felix and Kyle presented their class work during the first poster session of the event with great success. Visitors were highly engaged with the poster’s topic spotlighting the problematic synergy between multiple long-standing health pandemics (non-communicable diseases) and the crisis of the emergent COVID-19 pandemic. Their work also laid out evidence based on the HL-PIVOT Model (Healthy Living for Pandemic Protection) for leveraging healthy living behaviors including physical activity to combat these multiple pandemics. They shared ways the KIP students and faculty are working to increase activity and health in our community. Our Michigan Tech attendees also enjoyed learning outside their direct areas of study. Dr. Andrew Jagim from the Mayo Clinic delivered a fantastic keynote on nutrition in athletes and how they are often not meeting their basic needs. Also during the trip, Felix, Kyle, and several other KIP graduate students visited Dr. John Durocher at Purdue University Northwest to foster collaborative relationships across institutions. At the end of the day, it was a fantastic experience. Felix said, “I learned a great deal, and had a ton of fun presenting. The only thing I would change is making the poster session twice as long!”

Felix Cottet-Puinel presenting at Midwest ASM
Felix Cottet-Puinel
master’s student
Kyle Wehmanen
PhD student

Global and Community Engagement Conference

Master’s students Tyler Hampton and Gwyn Hamlin presented at the D80 Conference here at Michigan Tech University on October 29, 2022. The theme of the interdisciplinary conference was “Re-energizing Our Communities Through Service.” These students expanded upon the work described above to deliver an oral presentation to a broad audience consisting of students, staff, faculty, and community members. A key component of the presentation was highlighting the community service that the KIP Department provides delivering live and recorded physical activity workouts through a free program called UP & Moving. Attendees were very interested in how the general public views “physical activity” as a means to go to the gym, while Tyler and Gwyn pointed out that this could be something as simple as walking the dog or shoveling snow during our long winters here in the Upper Peninsula. These students also had the opportunity to listen to the keynote speaker Dr. Kurt Paterson, who presented “Global Engagement, Problem-Solving, or Impact.” Dr. Paterson’s return to Michigan Tech was very welcomed as he participated in the first D80 Conference held here. This is especially true since he really got the audience thinking at the end of his presentation. After the conference Gwyn said, “I enjoyed the setting of the conference and I think it went well. We were able to answer questions at the end and provide additional information on the importance of being physically active during the pandemic and beyond.”

Gwyn Hamlin
master’s student
Tyler Hampton master’s student

Attending these conferences helped KIP graduate students gain valuable experience bridging the gap from classroom learning to a professional setting while sharing their ideas in a supportive environment. Moving forward, we plan to capture this momentum and include more graduate and undergraduate students in similar work. Finally, the graduate students would like to thank the KIP Department for their support, and specifically, Dr. Elmer for his guidance throughout the process.

November KIP Seminar: Women of KIP Symposium

Join us this Friday, November 4, from 3:00-4:30 pm in ATDC 101 for November’s KIP Seminar. 

This month’s seminar will be delivered as a mini-symposium and serve as an opportunity to highlight the great work our speakers are doing in the KIP Department. Our speakers are Carolyn Duncan, Kemmy Taylor, Xinqian (Sherry) Chen, and Tayler Haapapuro

October KIP Seminar

Join us Friday, October 14 (3:00-4:30pm), in ATDC 101 for our October KIP Seminar. The seminar will include a symposium focused on “Improving Community Health and Wellness” and continue to support our Promoting Women in Health Science, Medicine, and Physiology semester theme.


Symposium Speakers

  • Kelly Kamm, PhD – Portage Health Endowed Assistant Professor (Michigan Tech)
  • Jennifer Trilk, PhD – Associate Professor (University of South Carolina)
  • Nicole Keith, PhD – Associate Dean and Professor and Past-ACSM president (Indiana University)

Topics to be discussed

  • Community health needs in our rural Upper Peninsula of Michigan Region
  • Academic-clinical partnerships to improve the health of the community through physical activity as medicine
  • Physical activity programming, participation, and health outcomes while addressing health equity 

KIP Contributes to American Physiological Society “I Spy Physiology” Blog

Master’s student Isaac Lennox and Dr. Steve Elmer wrote a post for the American Physiological Society’s nationally circulated I Spy Physiology blog. The post, entitled “Why It’s Still Important to Stay Active to Reduce COVID-19 Severity,” was published on October 5, 2022.

KIP graduate students have authored COVID-19 physical activity posts for this blog targeted for the general public in 2020, 2021, and, now, 2022. 

To read the full blog post and to find previous posts from KIP’s graduate students and faculty, go to APS’s website for the I Spy Physiology blog.

KIP September Seminar

Join us Friday, September 30, at 3:00 pm in ATDC 101 for the Department of Kinesiology and Integrative Physiology’s September Seminar. The seminar theme this semester will focus on promoting “Women in Health Science, Medicine, and Physiology”  and includes a great line-up of local, regional, and national level speakers. 

Ida Fonkoue, MD, PhD (University of Minnesota) and Audrey Stone, PhD (University of Texas – Austin) will present as part of a symposium on “Autonomic Control of Circulation for Health and Disease”. There will be plenty of time for extra questions and socializing after the presentations. At the end, there will also be time for a few rounds of the semester cornhole challenge tournament. 

In addition to the seminar, we will be hosting a virtual lunch with the speakers from 12:30-1:30 pm on Zoom. This offers some additional time to meet the speakers, talk informally, receive career advice, and network.  Please contact Jess Barish at jebarish@mtu.edu for the Zoom meeting information.

See you this Friday!

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.

Upper Peninsula Medical Conference Featured in The Mining Journal

The Upper Peninsula Medical Conference was mentioned in The Mining Journal. Hosted by the Health Research Institute, the conference will take place at Michigan Tech August 26-28.

KIP faculty have assisted with the planning of the inaugural conference, and the department’s students and faculty will be participating in its events. More details can be read about in a press release featured on The Mining Journal’s website.

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.