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Archive for the ‘Health’ Category

Meet undergraduate Sarah Acerbo

Sarah Acerbo

Sarah Acerbo

Sarah Acerbo always pictured herself in some field of medicine and selected athletic training as a way to combine her interests. She played soccer as a youth and again in high school, where she also served as a coach and referee to a girls’ youth team. As a high school student, Acerbo tore her ACL and worked with an enthusiastic athletic trainer, sparking her interest in the field. She enjoys the diversity of athletic training, whether it’s working during an athletic event, assisting with rehabilitation, or helping an athlete through the emotional effect of an injury. Here is what she said about her experiences as a CAHNR student.

What attracted you to UConn? When I was applying to colleges, UConn was one of the colleges I was most familiar with since I lived so close to the main campus. When I was looking at the athletic training program at UConn, I discovered that it has one of the best kinesiology programs in the country. My high school athletic trainer, Anna, also graduated from the same athletic training program I am in now, and she spoke very highly of it. She also turned out to be a fantastic athletic trainer, and I thought, “Why not apply to a school that graduated such a highly respected health care professional? Maybe I can be as good an athletic trainer as she is.”

Why did you choose your particular major? I always knew I wanted to have some type of career in the medical field, and when I was in high school, I became very passionate and involved in the world of athletics. Athletic training is a career in the world of sports medicine that provided me with the perfect mix between healthcare and sports. (more…)

Awards and accolades for CAHNR

Awards and accoladesRecently, one of CAHNR’s students was selected for an awards that recognizes her accomplishments. The Individual Husky Pride Award is given to student leaders for their contributions to and leadership of the University community. Department of Allied Health Sciences student Marisol Gallo was a finalist for her involvement with the Office of Community Outreach as a leader in the Generations Connect program.

On April 26, 2017, the UConn Board of Trustees promoted the following faculty members.

Promoted to professor

Dr. Michael Copenhaver, Department of Allied Health Sciences

Dr. Julia Kuzovkina, Department of Plant Science and Landscape Architecture

Dr. Ji-Young Lee, Department of Nutritional Sciences

Promoted to associate professor and tenure

Dr. Tania Huedo-Medina, Department of Allied Health Sciences

Dr. Stephanie Mazerolle, Department of Kinesiology

Dr. Amy Mobley, Department of Nutritional Sciences

Dr. Charles Towe, Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics

Dr. Huanzhong Wang, Department of Plant Science and Landscape Architecture

By Patsy Evans


Meet undergraduate Christian Caceres


Christian doing research at UConn Health through the Health Career Opportunity Programs

Christian Caceres has an upbeat outlook on his experiences with UConn and a deep appreciation for the opportunities he has had here. With the help of his advisor, Dr. Hedley Freake, Christian was able to complete his honors, pre-med and degree requirements a semester early. He chose to spend his last semester studying abroad in Granada, Spain, where he completed a 240-hour medical internship. When Christian returns from Spain, he will be giving the student speech at the 2017 CAHNR commencement. Here is what Christian has to say.

What attracted you to UConn? I was attracted to UConn’s large size and student population. In my sophomore year of high school, I moved from San Diego, California to Essex, Connecticut, where my new school was a fraction of the size. Though it was a great high school, I found that the smaller population size produced social challenges, such as cliques. I knew that a word like “popular” wouldn’t exist at a larger school like UConn, so I had to go. (more…)

Researcher studies dietary bioactive compounds and their impact on chronic disease

IMG_2176Vitamins and minerals are well known for their essential role in maintaining health and wellness. Still, there are other, often less recognized, food components that can also make important contributions. These other components, known as dietary bioactive compounds, are present in food in small quantities, but may be making a big impact. Christopher Blesso, assistant professor in the Department of Nutritional Sciences, is studying the effects of these previously overlooked substances on low-grade inflammation in certain chronic diseases, such as heart disease, obesity and diabetes.

In his studies of lipid metabolism, Blesso examines the body’s processing of fats, cholesterol, phospholipids and other molecules. He is interested in the impact the compounds can have on lipid metabolism and the low-grade inflammation that is characteristic of these disease states. The hope is that, one day, these compounds could be used therapeutically to reduce inflammation and improve the quality of life in patients suffering from low-grade inflammatory states. Blesso focuses on high-density lipoprotein (HDL) metabolism and cholesterol, as well as dietary phospholipids, which are molecules that provide animal and plant cell membranes with structure. (more…)

Famed chef to address May graduates


David Bouley will be the CAHNR commencement speaker on May 6.

Award-winning New York chef and restaurateur, David Bouley, will speak at CAHNR’s May 6 undergraduate commencement ceremonies. Bouley’s rise to fame started near Storrs, where he was born and raised. “The values of New England became my early core of standards,” Bouley said in his acceptance letter to UConn’s President Susan Herbst.

Life on his grandparents’ farm and his French heritage gave Bouley an appreciation for healthful meals and fresh ingredients, which he retains to this day. The goals and results of his approach to food and health will figure prominently in his speech to about 1,000 CAHNR graduates and their guests.

In addition, Bouley will receive a doctorate of humane letters, honoris causa, from UConn at commencement. As an example of how Bouley meets the criteria of the honorary degree, Herbst said in her communication with him, “As a chef and catalyst for creative change in the kitchen, you have demonstrated the courage of your convictions to offer fresh foods that are culturally diverse and that can promote improved health.”

“The acceptance of an award like this from my hometown has deep confirming ties,” he said. This comment comes from a decorated man. Bouley’s restaurant ventures have garnered a Michelin Star, several James Beard Foundation awards, a 2015 best restaurant in (more…)