Meet alumna Sarah Grossman

Sarah Grossman (left) with other JUMP! members
Sarah Grossman (left) poses with other JUMP! members.

A woman of many experiences, Sarah Grossman played four sports, including rugby, and studied physical therapy (PT) at UConn. Now, she works with students with special needs in a school and is trying to raise $300,000 for an accessible and inclusive playground. Here is what she said about her time at UConn and beyond.

What was your major in the College? When did you graduate? With what degree? I majored in PT, graduating in 1981 with a BS PT degree.

What class was most useful to you? I remember the people and instructors more than actual classes. For example, Joe Smey taught neuroanatomy with our cardboard constructed brain and spinal cord. Ronnie Leavitt shared her Bangladesh work, and Pamela Roberts taught pediatrics with enthusiasm. I also thought of Mike Zito, with his earnestness and fun, teaching clinical courses, and David Tiberio, one of the newer professors at the time.

Tell us some of your fond memories of UConn. I have lots of great sports-related memories from games and times with my teammates. I played varsity volleyball, rugby and intramural basketball and ran track one season. Continue reading

Evaluating e-cigarettes as a weight control tool for chronic smokers

e-cigarette device
An e-cigarette (or ENDS) device was distributed as part of the research study. Brittany Larsen photo

Many smokers have reported that one of the reasons they started to smoke tobacco cigarettes is for weight control. If they quit, they fear their weight will go up.

Nicotine has been shown in some studies to suppress appetite in the short-term and increase metabolism, but it seems that those who smoke the most cigarettes do not always end up being thinner, especially when they are chronic smokers.

Obtaining baseline data from chronic smokers

A National Institute of Health (NIH) study was published recently in Nutrients. In it, a master’s student in health promotion sciences, Brittany Larsen, and her mentors, Department of Allied Health Sciences Professor Valerie Duffy and UConn Health Professor Mark Litt, did a baseline study of 135 chronic smokers, who were defined as smoking 10 or more cigarettes per day for at least a year.

The research showed that about one-third of the participants were found to be obese in the baseline visit or prior to the intervention. Those obese chronic smokers reported a greater liking for foods that are rich in saturated fats, sugar/sweetness and refined carbohydrates. These participants were also more likely to say that they used cigarettes to control their appetite and eating. Continue reading

CAHNR in the news

newsprintMedicine News line reported that Assistant Professor Young Tang has identified a molecule that may factor into a new treatment for a pig infection that causes reproductive failure. Tang, who is using artificial technology in his work, is on the faculty of the Department of Animal Science.

Hartford Courant quoted Associate Extension Professor Tom Worthley about his concern for urban trees. He cited infestations of invasive insects, two years of drought, large storms and trees at the end of their natural life span as some of the causes of losing urban trees.

The Newtown Bee included a profile of UConn alumna Sheila Torres, who mentioned her daughter, Shaina Stamp. Torres reported that Stamp is studying resource economics, and she loves it. Continue reading

Awards and achievements for CAHNR

CAHNR_Alumni_Awards_131An environmental studies major with a minor in global studies, Wanjiku (Wawa) Gatheru, was named a 2019 Truman Scholar by The Harry S. Truman Scholarship Foundation. She is only the sixth UConn student in history to win this award, which is described as a “graduate fellowship in the United States for those pursuing careers as public service leaders” by the foundation website.

Gatheru will receive her $30,000 scholarship award in a ceremony at the Harry S. Truman Presidential Library and Museum on May 26. See media coverage of this honor at Associated Press,, UConn Today and Houston Chronicle.

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