2012 News

Undergraduate athletic training program re-accredited

Nov. 27—The undergraduate athletic training professional program received re-accreditation from the Commission on Accreditation for Athletic Training Education for 10 years.

1,000,000 clientOnline nutrition behavior change system reaches 1,000,000th WIC client

Oct. 29—On June 8, 2012, wichealth.org reached a major milestone. The 1,000,000th client lesson was completed by a participant associated with the U.S. Department of Agriculture Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC). That is one million lessons in just 10 years. At present pace, wichealth.org is expected to reach the next million mark in a little over 2.3 years. "This is a really exciting accomplishment," said Director Robert Bensley, a professor of Community Health Education at Western Michigan University. "To reach a 1,000,000 clients in any environment, especially one associated with behavior change, is an accomplishment few projects ever reach." Originally developed in partnership with the six Midwest region states, wichealth.org focuses on parent-child feeding behavior as part of the nutrition education component of the WIC program. This robust behavior change system is now being used in agencies located in 19 states across the country. Many agencies use the program as their primary form of secondary nutrition education contact. According to Jason Rivas, Creative and Technical Director for the project, "Our state partners have been extremely supportive in pursuing our visions. We truly have a unique working relationship with our funders." wichealth.org is based on the eHealth Behavior Management Model developed by Bensley, and uses unique tailoring techniques to provide individualized behavior change education to WIC clients across numerous parent-child feeding behaviors. Starting its 11th year, wichealth.org has consistently been found to be highly successful among WIC clients, especially in terms of impacting client beliefs associated with their likelihood to enhance parent-child feeding behaviors. To learn more about this initiative, visit www.joinwichealth.org

Graduate Student's Research to be Published

Oct. 29—The research paper completed by a graduate student in special (adapted) physical education, Andrew M. Colombo-Dougovito, was accepted to be published in the 2013 issue of Volume 70(3) in a nationwide recognized peer-reviewed journal, The Physical Educator. This research paper is titled Comparison of Physical Fitness Performance between Elementary-Age Students with and without Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. Andrew completed this research paper while he took the course HPHE 7100 - Independent Study under the direction of Dr. Jiabei Zhang, a professor in special (adapted) physical education, in the summer of 2011.

Health Education Students are Model Ambassadors of WMU at a National Conference

Oct. 25—At the recently concluded conference of the American School Health Association (ASHA) in San Antonio, six health education students were lauded for their representation of Western Michigan University and their presentation of an evaluation project in a poster presentation titled, Breathe Easy Broncos: Tobacco Free Policy Study on WMU Campuses.

The six student members of the WMU Gamma Mu chapter of Eta Sigma Gamma attended the 86th Conference of The American School Health Association between October 10 and 13, 2012. They were six of over 100 students and over one thousand members of ASHA at the conference. Accompanied by Dr. Amos Aduroja, the students attended networking and professional development sessions in health education. Sessions attended provided updated information in the area of education, service and research in the field of health Education. WMU students presented a poster presentation on an evaluation project they conducted on WMU students’ attitude towards Proposing Tobacco-free policy on campus. The study indicates an overwhelming accepting attitude to the proposing of tobacco-free policy on campus. Lauded by participants, many conferees asked if they could replicate the study on their campuses.

Students in attendance expressed having fun as they networked with professors, health professionals and students from around the country. In attendance are: Katie Rietkerk, Katie McDonald, Kirsten Henry, Katie Douglas, Ann Mergel and Katie Cowdery.

Ronald J. WinterJuly 26—Emeritus Ronald J. Winter appointed to state council.


Deb BerkeyJuly 25—Dr. Deb Berkey (Interim Michigan Department of Education physical education consultant) coordinated the Michigan Physical Education Summit on June 20 at the Easton Intermediate School District. Fifty professionals from across the state attended the event that focused on the delivery of quality physical education in the schools in Michigan. Teachers and representatives from Wayne State University, Eastern Michigan University, Grand Valley State University, Adrian College, Concordia and Olivet Colleges worked throughout the day to develop a common curriculum structure including student and teacher assessment strategies. The Department of Human Performance and Health Education provided lunch for the participants.

Jody BrylinskyJune 19—Jody Brylinsky (class of 1973), associate provost for institutional effectiveness, was inducted into the Ambridge Area School District Hall of Honor June 7, 2012, in Ambridge, Pennsylvania. The hall of honor was established to honor outstanding Ambridge Area School District graduates who have made significant community contributions and or career-related accomplishments. The purpose of the hall of honor is to recognize alumni who have achieved outstanding accomplishments and to establish a lasting relationship with the alma mater. The goal of the hall of honor is to provide a visual incentive to current students which may help them aspire to the greatness that honorees have achieved. A picture of each honoree is hung in the high school rotunda.

Greg KirkJune 5—Alumnus Greg Kirk (physical education) is the president of Fitness Therapy Unlimited - a rehabilitation program that focuses on the whole body, not just the physical injury. Read article "Providing Unlimited Care"

Suzan AyersJune 4—Dr. Suzan F. Ayers, associate professor of human performance and health education, has been elected to the 2012-14 Executive Board of the WMU Faculty Senate. The Faculty Senate shares in governing WMU by formulating, reviewing and providing advice on policies and other matters of institutional concern. In addition to its governing members on the executive board, the organization's membership includes faculty senators and representatives from departments across campus as well as some administrators.

Timothy MichaelMay 4—The American College of Sports Medicine recently appointed Dr. Timothy Michael to the Professional Education Committee for a term of three years.

April 23—Dr. James Lewis, associate professor of human performance and health education, has received the 2012 President's Council on Fitness, Sports and Nutrition Community Leadership award.

Gamma MuApril 20—WMU Gamma Mu chapter of the National Health Education honorary, Eta Sigma Gamma, celebrated its 19th annual award ceremony in April. Gamma Mu members, their parents, spouses, loved ones and health education faculty members attended the ceremony.  The ceremony presented an opportunity to recall the prominent accomplishments of the group in the academic year 2011-12.  True to the ideals of Eta Sigma Gamma, the group engaged in education, service and advocacy on health education matters. Group activities included two professional development trips to Louisville, Kentucky, and Washington DC. Education and services on campus include planning on advocacy to make WMU a tobacco free campus, alcohol misuse education and services to various community agencies in Kalamazoo. Awards were presented to deserving students: Gamman of the year award and Scholarship Key awards both were presented to Holly Ferweda, the Distinguished Service Award went to Jared Badour, the Outstanding New Initiate Awards were given to Katie Rietkerk and Kirsten Henry.  Six graduating seniors were awarded the Eta Sigma Gamma cord of honor pending their completion and commencement ceremony this summer. In his brief presentation, Bensley encouraged the graduates to get involved and pursue their passion as good ambassadors of the University.

Alumni AcademyApril 9—The Department of Human Performance and Health Education recognized several of its alumni and students for their individual achievements during an event at the Fetzer Center in March. A main feature of the 2012 Academic Honor Academy Luncheon was the induction of seven alumni into the Academic Honor Academy. 

The academy recognizes the outstanding professional accomplishments, contributions and service of the department's alumni. The 2012 inductees were Tracy Daniel, Sean Fletcher, Christine Juszczyk, Stephen Keizer, Stephen “Rob” Little, Margaret “Peg” Parrott and Megan Rickard.

Pictured are Margaret “Peg” Parrott, Christine Juszczyk, Tracy Daniel, Stephen Zeizer, Sean Fletcher, Megan Rickard, Stephen “Rob” Little and department chair, Dr. Christopher Cheatham.

Yuanlong LiuApril 9—Dr. Yuanlong Liu, professor in the Department of Human Performance and Health Education, has been elected as the president of International Chinese Society of Physical Activities and Health, effective April 2012. ICSPAH is a nonprofit international professional association. The mission of ICSPAH is to facilitate professional growth and development among its members to promote healthy and physically active lifestyles through strengthening research and education throughout the world. Working with the American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance, ICSPAH’s current goal is to work with American and Chinese universities to face the challenges in higher education.

Liu has been with WMU since 1998. He is the recipient of the honor award of the Measurement and Evaluation Council of American Association for Physical Activity and Recreation. Liu has served a three year term as the editor-in-chief of Measurement in Physical Education and Exercise Science. He is now serving as the section editor in exercise science of MPEES (i.e., biomechanics, sport physiology and sports medicine). In the measurement field Liu has published numerous peer reviewed publications research presentations at national and international conventions.

Deb BerkeyApril 6—Physical education professor Dr. Deb Berkey has been elected as chair of the North American Society for the American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance.

PEK 2012March 27—Human performance and health education professor, Dr. Deb Berkey, traveled with seven student members of the Epsilon Alpha Chapter of Phi Epsilon Kappa to attend the National Conference of the American Alliance of Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance in Boston, Massachusetts, in mid-March.

The students are pictured with Dr. Al Stephan (midwest district president) and Dr. Deb Berkey, chapter adviser.  Students in the back row (left to right): Adam Carpp, Jason Schut, Trey Conner, Bobby Keller and Seth Weber. Front row: Stephanie Hoff and Carly Kirkpatrick. 

Intern TeachersMarch 14Eleven physical education intern teachers, accompanied by Dr. Deb Berkey, were among 100 professionals who participated in Legislative Education Day on Feb. 29, 2012.  The event was sponsored by the Michigan Fitness Foundation, the Comprehensive School Health Education Coordinator's Association and the Michigan Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance. The purpose of the event was to increase the visibility of the importance of physical education, health education and the Healthy Michigan Fund with schools and communities across the state. A total of 120 legislators were visited during the day. Intern teachers representing WMU included: T.J. Furco, Matt Smorch, Jake Culver (placed in Otsego Public Schools), Kevin Lillibridge, Ben Munselle, Shawn Larson (Gull Lake Community Schools), Drew McLaughlin (Bridgman Public Schools), Zach Mallarney, Brandon Carter (Mattawan Community Schools) and Leslie Angle (Lawton Community Schools). The picture was taken in State Representative Aric Nesbitt's office. From left to right: Dr. Deb Berkey, TJ Furco (WMU) Chris Furlong and Mike Maisner (Michigan Fitness Foundation), Leslie Angle (WMU), Rep. Nesbitt and Elaine Tomasi (Comprehensive School Health Coordinator's Association).

Bench Press CompetitionMarch 13A student in the College of Education and Human Development has successfully created and coordinated the Bench Press Contest for the past two years.

Myron Harrison, a senior in recreation management in the Department of Human Performance and Health Education, and four-year employee at the Student Recreation Center had a vision to establish a dynamic event for Western Michigan University students within the SRC.

After months of researching other university's campus recreation strongman and bench press contests, Harrison sat down and composed a bench press contest especially for WMU. From developing the rules and regulations, registration form, how the competition would be conducted, to the prizes, awards and promotion, Harrison planned the entire event with support from SRC professional staff members.

The first year's event in spring 2011 went well with a good turn out, but this year’s event saw a significant increase in participants. The Bench Press Contest presented awards to the top three winners of each weight class. There were four weight classes for the males and three for the females.

The SRC is looking forward to the event returning for many years to come. 

BrylinskyMarch 12Dr. Jody Brylinsky, professor of human performance and health education, has been appointed associate provost for institutional effectiveness, beginning April 1. WMU News article

Women SportsFeb. 22The Epsilon Alpha Chapter of Phi Epsilon Kappa hosted the Western Michigan University Girls and Women in Sport Day on Saturday, Feb. 4, at the Fetzer Center. The National Girls and Women in Sport Day, commemorated by an Act of Congress in 1988, was officially celebrated across the country on Feb. 1. Twenty-one local athletes, nominated by their athletic directors and coaches, were recognized at the breakfast event along with their parents. The theme this year was "Title IX Turns 40: In It For the Long Run." Dr. Deb Berkey, PEK adviser, served as host for the event. The keynote speaker was Jeanne Hess, professor of physical education at Kalamazoo College.

Mike MillerFeb. 21Dr. Michael Miller, professor in human performance and health education, was involved as contributing author for the recently released National Athletic Trainers' Association position statement: preventing sudden death in sports . This document will be used as a reference nation-wide to promote safe sport participation and preparation.

Gretchen MohneyFeb. 20Gretchen Mohney, instructor in human performance and health education, was invited to be a presenter at the Women in Sports Leadership conference in Lansing on Feb. 5, 2012. This conference is held once every two years by the Michigan High School Athletic Association. Approximately 640 female high school student athletes across the state of Michigan were in attendance. Mohney presented four modules on two separate topics, speed and agility for the female athlete, and nutrition for the female athlete. Mohney will also be the Michigan Athletic Trainers Society Public Relations Committee representative at the Michigan Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association state conference in March.

A group of studentsJan. 6Several students enrolled in HPER 2350: Theory of Coaching received their Michigan High School Athletic Association Coaches Advancement Program Level III Intermediate Level certificates. Students must pass three MHSAA CAP tests at 80% or above to earn certification. WMU annually is near the top in the state of Michigan in the number of students that receive the certificate.

Jody BrylinskyJan. 6Dr. Jody Brylinsky, professor in human performance and health education, was asked to serve as a technical advisor for United States Soccer Team by their coach education division in Los Angeles, California. In addition to giving two presentations, one on identifying elite coach competences and a second on evaluating top coaches, Brylinsky was also able to see the women's national team practice and work with several former World Cup players and current professional team coaches.