ECU hosts scouting event

The East Carolina University Army ROTC program and Boy Scouts of America hosted Operation Scout Out on campus the weekend of Aug. 24-25.

Scouts from across the state participated in activities such as crossing a rope bridge to overcome fear of heights and pulling a Humvee to test their physical fitness. They learned about how soldiers eat in the field, warrior ethos, assisted liter carry and electronic weapons.

Scout leader Lacy Hobgood and Cadet Austin Faulkner led joint operation, designed to teach young scouts the importance of values. Organizers expect to hold the event annually.

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New health education and promotion chair selected

Dr. Don Chaney has been appointed the new chair of the Department of Health Education and Promotion following a national search.

Chaney

Chaney

Chaney comes to ECU from the University of Florida, where he served as the assistant dean for distance education and outreach and the associate director for the Center for Digital Health and Wellness in the College of Health and Human Performance. A former faculty member in ECU’s Department of Health Education and Promotion, he has also held appointments at Texas A&M University and the University of Alabama.

Chaney’s research interests include technology integration in health and online learning/professional development.  The majority of his publications are related to distance education course development and technological applications.

“I am honored to be back at East Carolina University and leading what I believe to be one of the best, if not the best, faculty in health education and promotion in the country,” said Chaney.  “Graduates from our programs in athletic training, school health education, community and worksite health promotion and environmental health are making a real difference in the health of Eastern North Carolinians,” he continued.

Chaney is the past editor-in-chief of the American Journal of Health Studies.  He earned a bachelor’s degree in 1999 in fitness management from the University of North Alabama.  In 2000 he received a master’s degree in health education and promotion from Mississippi State University and in 2003 he earned a doctorate in health education and promotion from the University of Alabama.

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ECU researchers uncover secrets related to fat, estrogen

Research by an East Carolina University professor and co-authors could generate ideas on how fat interacts with estrogen to cause problem areas for weight gain in women.

Hickner

Hickner

Dr. Bob Hickner, professor in the ECU Department of Kinesiology in the College of Health and Human Performance, worked with Kathleen Gavin, a post doc fellow at the University of Colorado in Denver; ECU alumnus Dustin Raymer and ECU graduate student Elizabeth Cooper.

The team determined that estrogen’s effect on fat depends on where the fat deposit is located. Those effects could explain why some premenopausal women have difficulty losing their pear shape even when they exercise. They could also help generate some new ideas on how estrogen in fat may influence why postmenopausal women tend to accumulate more fat in the abdomen.

The authors suggest that more research is necessary to better understand the mechanisms behind how and why estrogen acts in these differential ways.

The article is titled, “Estradiol Effects on Subcutaneous Adipose Tissue Lipolysis in Premenopausal Women are Adipose Tissue Depot Specific and Treatment Dependent.” It appears in the June edition of the American Journal of Physiology: Endocrinology and Metabolism, published by the American Physiological Society, and available at http://bit.ly/1aKKegY.

Hickner is director of the Ph.D. program in bioenergetics and exercise science at ECU and co-director of research at the Center for Health Disparities Research.

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ECU students win regional quiz bowl competition

ECU students Jacob Ridings, Beth Ackerman, and Jonathan Powell, left to right, were winners of the Southeast American College of Sports Medicine quiz bowl competition. (Contributed photo)

ECU students Jacob Ridings, Beth Ackerman, and Jonathan Powell, left to right, were winners of the Southeast American College of Sports Medicine quiz bowl competition. (Contributed photo)

 

Three East Carolina University students earned first place honors at the Southeast American College of Sports Medicine quiz bowl competition held February 14-16 in Greenville, S.C.

Three exercise physiology majors in the Department of Kinesiology in the College of Health and Human Performance made up the winning team. They were Jacob Ridings, Beth Ackerman and Jonathan Powell.

The ECU team defeated 19 other quiz bowl teams from across the region.  The quiz bowl is styled after the television show “Jeopardy” with teams of three undergraduate students. Competition questions test students’ knowledge in a wide variety of exercise science related topics.

“The team’s success is a reflection of the excellent exercise physiology program at ECU,” said Kandy Houmard, teaching instructor and faculty mentor for the team. She said she was proud of the students who were “academically prepared” for the competition.

The winning team will represent the regional chapter at the national American College of Sports Medicine meeting in Indianapolis in May.

 

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ECU student is role model in service, scholarship

Jordan Widgeon

Jordan Widgeon

By Kathy Muse
College of Health and Human Performance

When Jordan Widgeon left her home in Indian Trail, N.C. to attend East Carolina University, she wanted to enhance her time management skills and learn to make decisions independently.

Widgeon, exercise physiology major in the College of Health and Human Performance, not only mastered this skill, but also emerged as a leader in service because of it.

“I had to learn how to make the most of my free,” she said.

Widgeon accomplished this by becoming active in campus activities and organizations. She serves as a member of the Kinesiology Major’s Club, Pre-Physical Therapy Club and as a sister of Sigma Alpha Omega Christian Sorority.

“Maintaining a good agenda and writing down all of my assignments and events is essential,” said Widgeon.

In her role as teaching assistant in the student development and learning in higher education class, she became a mentor to students who needed to talk about transitions to college life. The class is designed for freshmen who are intended majors in pre-health professions.

“Since I shared the same major with the majority of these students, it was a joyful experience to give advice about challenges I faced only three years earlier,” said Widgeon.

This semester, Widgeon keeps busy with project MENTOR, a research project designed to help obese adolescents experience exercise success. She works three nights a week with one assigned child on campus.

“I love seeing all the kids improve their physical fitness and lose weight with their healthy lifestyle changes, she said.

Following graduation from ECU in May, Widgeon plans to pursue a doctorate in physical therapy at Western Carolina University in Cullowhee.

ECU academic advisor Jennifer Abbott said Widgeon has been an excellent and well-rounded student. She has “maintained a stellar GPA and been active in service to others,” Abbott said. “She is a role model for all students.”

Widgeon’s advice for student success is to get at least seven hours of sleep, go to class daily, get to know professors and always remember to bring an umbrella. She encourages getting involved, networking and helping others.

“It is well worth the time spent,” she said.

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