Health and Exercise Science students honored at regional conference

CSU college bowl team: John-Michael Benson, Shannon Rivas, and Hondo Anderson. (Click picture to enlarge)

Colorado State University Department of Health and Exercise Science students excelled at the Rocky Mountain region’s American College of Sports Medicine meeting in Denver on March 27 and 28, bringing home multiple awards for their outstanding research and knowledge.

“It was so much fun to see and hear the quality of the research and the depth of the knowledge demonstrated by our graduate and undergraduate students. I really appreciate the hard work by students and their faculty mentors that clearly went into each poster and oral presentation,” HES Department Head Barry Braun said. “The students did a terrific job of representing the College of Health and Human Sciences and CSU. I felt an enormous sense of pride.”

Nate Ketelhut, who works under the direction of HES professor Thorsten Rudroff, received a 2015 Rocky Mountain ACSM Student Research Grant in the amount of $500. His research topic “Asymmetric Core Muscle Activity During Walking in Patients with Multiple Sclerosis” deals with early signs of MS: weakness on one side of the body, which may contribute to walking impairments experienced by more than 75 percent of patients with the illness. It was the third year in a row that a student from Rudroff’s lab received a research grant.

Erin Strutz came in first place with her presented poster topic “Exploring the Relationship Between Parent and Child Physical Activity” in the judged competition. Other winners of the poster presentations included John-Michael Benson (2nd), Kimberley Burke (4th), and Nate Ketelhut (6th), taking four of the top six places in the judged competition. As finishers in the top three, Strutz and Benson also gave oral presentations at the conference. John Kindred gave an oral presentation focused on his research on glucose metabolism in people with multiple sclerosis as a recipient of a 2014 Student Research Grant.

The CSU college bowl team of John-Michael Benson, Shannon Rivas, and Hondo Anderson took the first place trophy in the College Bowl competition, earning $1,000 from RMACSM toward a trip to San Diego to represent RMACSM in the competition at ACSM National in May. All three students work in the Rudroff laboratory.

In addition, HES Associate Professor Brian Tracy’s “Muscles Alive!” was represented by the enthusiastic and knowledgeable crew of Breonna Bost, Emily Cumler, Lindsey Jankowski and Kaitlynn Timroth. “Muscles Alive!” is a neuroscience educational outreach program that uses hands-on, kid-friendly equipment including an iPad to measure electrical activity in muscles. ChildrenĀ get to see the muscle activity on screen while generating a command to their muscles from their brain.

Altogether, 22 health and exercise science graduate and undergraduate students attended the conference.

The mission of the RMACSM is to advance and integrate scientific research to provide educational and practical applications of exercise science and sports medicine. The Rocky Mountain chapter consists of more than 200 academic, medical, professional, and student members in the Colorado and Wyoming area.

This article was written by Chance Johnson.