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CAHNR in the news

newspaper readersSome of CAHNR’s people, places and programs made the news recently. Select the bold text names to see the articles. The roman text links go to additional information.

The Methodist DeBakey Cardiovascular Journal (MDCVJ. 8-16-16. Reviewed a research article called “Coming of Age: Considerations In the Prescription of Exercise For Older Adults” and quoted the lead author, Amanda Zaleski, a graduate student in kinesiology. In addition to Zaleski, the Department of Kinesiology’s Associate Professor Beth Taylor and Distinguished Professor Linda Pescatello and graduate students Gregory Panza and Yin Wu were listed in the journal article‘s citation.

Live Science. 8-17-16. Included comments from Associate Professor Jennifer Harris where she was asked her opinion of including a fitness tracker in a fast food meal. Kids consume more calories on days when they eat fast food than on days when they do not, according to Harris, a member of the allied health sciences faculty. (more…)

Historical image of the week

Woman in horse-drawn cart

Woman in horse-drawn cart. 1884. Reproduction and copyright information regarding this image is available from The Graphics Collection, The Connecticut Historical Society, Hartford.

Meet alumnus Kyle Pretka

Kyle Pretka

Kyle Pretka is living his dream. He’s residing in sunny southern California designing skate parks. A graduate of the Department of Plant Science and Landscape Architecture, one of his recent projects was creating the skateboard course for the 2016 X Games in Austin, Texas. Here’s what he said in an interview.

What was your major in the College? When did you graduate? With what degree?

My major was landscape architecture (LA). I graduated in May 2015. I received a BS in landscape architecture with a minor in ornamental horticulture.

What class was most useful to you?

All of the design classes in the LA program were really useful to me. I use the skills I was taught from those classes every single day. If I had to pick one class that stood out, I would say the model building course I took in my junior year really taught me a lot about design and spatial relationships. It is crucial to everything I do now. The class was all about creating abstract designs that fit the guidelines of a given project. It forced you to be creative and think outside the box, which I believe is necessary if you want to be a successful designer. (more…)

Physical therapist studies risk and prevention of falling

Jeffrey Kinsella-Shaw

Jeffrey Kinsella-Shaw

According to the CDC, each year 2.5 million older people are treated in emergency departments for fall injuries.

“We are more prone to falls are we age,” says Jeffrey Kinsella-Shaw, associate professor in the Department of Kinesiology and director of the Doctor of Physical Therapy Program (DPT). “Keeping people from falling and hitting the ground is hugely important, as falls are the fourth biggest killer of Americans over the age of 65.”

While a physical therapist at Windham hospital, Kinsella-Shaw directed a fall risk reduction program and support group for patients with Parkinson’s disease and multiple sclerosis, as well as stroke survivors. Working with these patients gave him an insider’s view into living with balance issues.

His current research focuses on two areas. The first is looking at the biophysics of postural control, evaluating fall risks and examining how aging in the brain and other perceptual systems affect movement and balance.

His other area of interest is determining how exercise affects neurotrophic factors in the brain relating to aging, to improve short term and spatial memory as well as stave off major depressive disorders often seen in elderly patients. This research will be done at UConn’s newly constructed Brain Imaging Research Center (BIRC).

(more…)

Image of the week

Steve Rackliffe and students

Steve Rackliffe and students (UConn CAHNR photo)