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.

Share

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.

 

Share

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.

Share

Knight Commission executive director to speak on leadership

Amy Perko, executive director of the Knight Commission on Intercollegiate Athletics, will present “The Role of Leadership in Moving College Athletics Forward,” for the Fourth Annual Sports Business Leadership Series, from 6:30 to 8 p.m. March 26 in the Multipurpose Room at the Murphy Center, East Carolina University.Amy Perko Flyer

Perko is a recognized leader on college sports issues, having served in various leadership positions in sports for more than 20 years. In January 2012, she received the NCAA’s prestigious Silver Anniversary Award, which is given to six former college athletes on the occasion of their 25th anniversary from college participation in recognition of their civic and professional contributions.  She was honored as an ACC Legend in 2005.

Perko serves as the Commission’s spokesperson, and has been quoted and interviewed by leading news media, including: USA Today, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg News, and numerous public radio stations.

The lecture is sponsored by the Department of Kinesiology in the College of Health and Human Performance.

The event is free and open to the public; tickets are not required.

Share

In Memoriam – Eva Price

Eva Price is pictured with her husband David and their three children. An ECU instructor in the Kinesiology Department, Price lost her battle with cancer Jan. 1. (Photo by Elaine Hughes, Department of Kinesiology)

East Carolina University physical education pedagogy instructor Eva Price died Jan. 1 at the age of 34, following a battle with a rare form of lymphoma.

A native of Cary, Price began teaching full time in 2005 in ECU’s Department of Kinesiology in the College of Health and Human Performance. She designed and implemented the home school physical education program operated by the department.

“Eva was an exceptional person and mother,” said Dr. Glen Gilbert, dean of the College of Health and Human Performance.  “In her short time with us she made a profound impact on students and colleagues…. If you knew her even briefly you would understand why her loss is felt so deeply by many in the HHP family,” he said.

Dr. Stacey Altman, chair of the Department of Kinesiology, said that Price easily developed productive relationships with others. She was “always willing to take on the duties asked of her and did so pleasantly and with plenty of enthusiasm,” Altman said.

A former student, Hannah Priest, remembered Price for her “way of making others feel calm and comfortable, even in stressful situations.

“Eva is one of the most special human beings I have ever known,” she said. “I was awed by her patience, compassion, and kind disposition.”

Academic advisor Jennifer Abbott agreed, noting Price’s “unique ability to see the best in people.”

“She was patient and incredibly giving of her time, her heart and her wisdom.  I very much enjoyed working with her and felt her a true partner working for students’ success,” Abbott said.

Price is survived by husband David, ECU assistant track and field coach, and three children – Lily, Willow and Rivers.

Colleagues are raising funds to offset medical care expenses and support the children’s college fund. Donations for medical expenses may be made through Jan. 15 at http://www.giveforward.com/theevavengers. Donations for the college fund may be made at http://evaprice.tumblr.com/college-fund.

For additional information, visit https://www.facebook.com/OurSuperheroEva or https://www.facebook.com/TheEvAvengersACommunitySupportingItsSuperhero.

By Kathy Muse, Health and Human Performance

Share