Exercise Physiology students and faculty with the Department of Health and Sport Sciences found a unique way to attend a national conference despite the tough economic times.
Dr. Dean Jacks provided his own RV as transportation to the Southeast American College of Sports Medicine. Assistant professors, Dr. Jacks and Dr. Charlie Lambert, and instructor Brian Jones with the Department of Health and Sport Sciences, along with nine students in the Exercise Physiology program, made the trip to Greenville, South Carolina in February.
“The conference is important for students as it gives them presentation experience and insight into the competitive nature of this business. The field of exercise physiology offers many career choices for graduates such as strength and performance training, strength conditioning, clinical and cardiac rehabilitation, teaching and research. The conference gives them more of an opportunity to explore those options,” stated Dr. Jacks.
He has been taking students to the conference for nearly 10 years.
“It also important for the University to have representation for our program since other colleges are competing for some of the same students. In addition, the graduate student fair is a great way to encourage students to pursue a doctoral program,” said Dr. Jacks.
All of the students participated in poster sessions and attended educational sessions at the conference. “It was my first visit to a conference and it was such a great experience. I got to see what other professionals are doing in the field and where my education is leading me. It was good to connect with other students, compare programs and learn how we overcome roadblocks along the way,” said Liza Ledford, a 2011 graduate.
Dr. Lambert conducted a symposium at the conference where he spoke about his research into the anti-inflammatory effects of exercise. His findings support the theory that exercise without weight loss can reduce inflammation. Inflammation has been found to contribute to a number of diseases such as Type II Diabetes, clogging of the arteries and age-related muscle wasting.
“This conference is very student-focused and they can hear first-hand about all the latest research in the field of exercise physiology,” stated Dr. Lambert.
When asked what it was like driving eight hours one-way with nine students and a couple of faculty, Dr. Jacks stated, “I think the students realized that faculty are human. We not such a bad bunch after all.”
Funds from an anonymous donor and a contribution from the Graduate Students Council made it possible for the students to cover hotel and conference expenses. If you would like to contribute to the student fund, please contact Paula Campbell at 502-852-0566, or e-mail email@example.com.