For 21 years, I have been teaching in the Integrative Physiology and Health Science Department at Alma College where I am a full professor. Prior to coming to Alma, I completed my training at the Graduate School of Public Health at the University of Pittsburgh. While at Pitt, I obtained a Masters in Public Health and a Ph.D. in Epidemiology. My interest has always focused around Preventive Health and Physical Activity, which is evident, as my BS was in Health and Physical Education and my MS was in Exercise Science. At Alma, I teach Health Promotion, Epidemiology, Research Methods in IPH, Global Issues in Women’s Health, School Health and Physical Education, and Community Health. In addition to these classes, I coordinate the Senior Fitness practicum program where I also instruct Aqua Exercise with community senior citizens. I am also Chair of the Institutional Review Board (IRB) for Alma College.
My research interests are quite varied. I am very interested in preventive cardiovascular health in children. For the past 18 years, my Spring Term class has conducted Heart Health Fairs in six Gratiot County School Districts in mid-Michigan. During these Heart Fairs, we educate 6th-grade students on developing healthy heart habits and we also collect cardiovascular risk factor data. To date, we have targeted over 7,000 children! In addition, for the past three years, we have teamed up with MSU to work in a local school on a yearlong, nutrition and physical activity project called SPartners for Heart Health.
At the other end of the age spectrum, I am also very interested in the health of senior citizens. The focus of this work has been in resistance training of the institutionalized elderly as well as in fitness programs for the community dwelling elderly. Most recently, I have become more involved with global public health outreach and have traveled to Uganda to teach both public health and women’s health issues. I have also supervised several undergraduate students as they have traveled and worked in many developing countries across the globe.
For the last thirteen years, my pet project has been helping to develop a linear trail system known as the Fred Meijer Heartland Trail. This former abandoned railroad is a 40+ mile paved trail which goes from the town of Alma to Greenville in central Michigan. Recently, the completion of the trail system has been a tremendous accomplishment for the dedicated group of friends that have persistently been working toward its completion despite continual obstacles and court battles. These many years of effort have been very worthwhile as we observe the daily use of the trail system, especially as entire families are recreating and playing together.
- Ph.D., Univ of Pittsburgh, 1993
- M.P.H., Univ of Pittsburgh, 1993
- M.S., Indiana Univ of Pennsylvania, 1988
- B.S., Indiana Univ of Pennsylvania, 1985