Meet graduate student Greg Panza

Greg Panza
Greg Panza

Greg Panza is a doctoral candidate in kinesiology whose research focuses on physical activity behavior and performance. He was lead author on a recent study that revealed the positive cognitive effects of exercise on individuals at risk of or diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society. In acknowledgement of his work, he received the Graduate Student Research Award at the CAHNR Awards and Honors Event this past March. Here is what he said in an interview.

Where did you study as an undergraduate?  What was your major?

I received my undergraduate degree in exercise science from Central Connecticut State University (CCSU) and my master’s degree in kinesiology from UConn.

Why did you decide to go to graduate school?

I initially decided to go to graduate school following a semester-long internship in Dr. Linda Pescatello’s Health Fitness Research Laboratory. During my final semester as an undergraduate, I had the opportunity to work with graduate students in this lab on various ongoing research studies and eventually could see myself being a part of the research team as a graduate student. Following my master’s degree in 2011, I became an adjunct instructor at CCSU. In 2012, I began working as an exercise physiologist and clinical research associate at Hartford Hospital before returning to UConn in 2015 to pursue my PhD. I decided to return for my PhD to open additional career opportunities in the field and to challenge myself to continue to grow as a research scientist. Continue reading

Meet new faculty member Lisa Streff

Lisa Streff
Lisa Streff

Because she grew up in Rochester, New York, Lisa Streff knows about dealing with snow. She also cares about horses. In a combination of those traits, she found the fortitude to move to UConn in the middle of the winter in order to be the new animal science horse unit supervisor and academic assistant. Here is what she said in an interview.

Where did you get your degrees? I received a BS from Delaware Valley University (Doylestown, Pennsylvania) in equine science. My MS in animal science came from Colorado State University.

What did you do before you came to UConn? I took a year off after getting my undergraduate degree and worked in a commercial standardbred breeding facility.

After graduate school, I worked at Virginia Tech for four years as the manager of their undergraduate equine program. However, I was very interested in moving to a position in which I would be able to teach more while still managing horses. When the horse unit supervisor position opened at UConn it seemed like the perfect fit for me. I started at UConn on January 15, 2019. Continue reading

Image of the week

Camp DNACamp DNACamp DNACamp DNACamp DNA

Camp DNA is a two-week, hands-on biology program for Connecticut high school teachers developed by Professor Gerry Berkowitz, in the Department of Plant Science and Landscape Architecture. Hosted on the Storrs Campus in the Agricultural Biotechnology Teaching Laboratory, the program provides teachers with the training and tools necessary for integrating molecular biology into their high school science courses. A focus is to enable teachers to deliver experiential, hands-on DNA manipulation lab exercises to students. This is year’s camp ran from June 17 to June 28.

Awards and achievements for CAHNR

Defining Studios photo.

Kathleen Renna was one of the nine students selected for the inaugural cohort of UConn BOLD scholars. Renna is a diagnostic genetic sciences major in allied health sciences and is slated to graduate in 2020.

UConn’s BOLD program focuses on encouraging women’s leadership on campus.  A small group of students are selected to receive scholarships and work closely with program leadership and mentors to develop individualized projects for implementation during the summer between their junior and senior years.  Recipients are connected with women faculty, staff, philanthropists, entrepreneurs and alumni, according to the BOLD website.

By Patsy Evans

CAHNR in the news

students read newspapers
Photo from the CAHNR digital archive.

UConn Today announced that the UConn Waterbury campus will soon offer a bachelor’s degree program in allied health sciences. Students will be able to start and finish their degrees at that campus. See also a video with Department of Allied Health Sciences Department Head and Professor Justin Nash speaking.

Hartford Courant ran an op-ed piece about the disappearance of trees. Associate Extension Professor Tom Worthley was quoted as saying that Connecticut has suffered 80 to 90 thousand acres of severe tree canopy loss in the last few years. offered four tips for making a rain garden. It referred to a UConn rain garden sizing map, which will help the home gardener decide on what size of garden works best for the property.  The rain garden website is part of  Extension’s Center for Land Use Education and Research’s NEMO Program. Continue reading