Volume 1, Number 1
Summer, 2006

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From the Dean
Editor's Comments
The Merge
College Dean Mike Nelson Retires
Former Dean Becomes President of Carroll College
Faculty Retirements
Focus On
  - Biology
  - ESS
  - HEHP
We Need Your Help
Web Links
UW-L Homepage
CSAH Homepage
Alumni Association


Mike Nelson, Dean, College of Science and Health

Welcome to the College of Science and Health (CSAH), the academic heart of the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse. Administrators, faculty and staff value our relationship with alumni and friends of the university and, therefore, have instituted this newsletter. We invite you to discover what CSAH has to offer, and to learn more about our exciting programs, innovative faculty, and quality students.


  Physics Nobel Laureate Horst Stormer and Mike Nelson enjoying a Wisconsin moment

The newly reorganized college is comprised of eleven academic units formally housed in the College of Science and Allied Health, and the College of Education, Exercise Science, Health and Recreation. In the reorganization process, the Department of Educational Studies was moved to the College of Liberal Studies.

The College of Science and Health is student centered with a focus on quality student learning. Our goal is to provide each student with an outstanding education through excellent teaching and advising, in a variety of undergraduate and graduate majors and minors. In addition, the college provides critical courses in the UW-L General Education Program.

Dedicated faculty and staff in the college have strong scholarship programs. In addition, many faculty members are interested in research, allowing students the opportunity to become vital participants in the scientific and computational process. The undergraduate research program in CSAH is recognized as a national model of excellence.

An area that binds the departments together is the variety of health programs, both undergraduate and graduate, available to students. The college is unique in being able to offer both preventative and care giving majors.

To learn more about the College of Science and Health, please examine our website at: www.uwlax.edu/sah/ or contact me at nelson.mich@uwlax.edu or 608-785-8218.

Phil Wilson, Editor, Professor Emeritus, Department of Exercise and Sport Science


We told you we would be back, at least we told some of you. Last winter, as the College of Education, Exercise Science, Health, and Recreation (EESHR), we forwarded our first newsletter in a number of years. Over the past years different attempts had been made for a newsletter. Sometime there was one, and sometimes, not. As we indicated when forwarded last winter, �we are back, and we are back to stay�. However, the College of Education, Exercise Science, Health, and Recreation has been merged into the College of Science and Health, (CSAH). So, this newsletter for some of you means �we are back�, and for those who were not in the EESHR college last year, or a graduate of education, exercise science (physical education), health, or recreation�. welcome to the �New CSAH Newsletter�.

Assisting in the development of this newsletter is an Editorial Board. The board is representative of the college and consists of the following:

Do not hesitate to contact any of the above editorial board members with your comments, suggestions, and ideas. The purpose of this newsletter is to share with you activities of our current students, staff, and faculty. In future issues, we also will have articles on retired faculty, past programs, facility items, and other topics of a historical nature.

We do hope you enjoy this newsletter. It is about you and your college. Please feel free to contact me at any time with suggestions for topics and other ways you feel the newsletter can serve your needs. I can be contacted at 608-782-8350 or pkwilson@centurytel.net.

George Arimond, Department Chair, Recreation Management and Therapeutic Recreation


Restructuring a university�s administration must take place from time to time. Part of this process sometimes involves the creation of a new college, and occasionally the elimination of a college. With a college elimination there is usually a merging of academic units into existing colleges. Last summer the university downsized its academic college structure from four colleges to three. The College of Education, Exercise Science, Health and Recreation was closed. Many of you will recall that prior to Education joining this college it was called the College of Health, Physical Education and Recreation (HPER). As part of the university�s increased focus on the health professions, the health, exercise science (physical education) and recreation programs were merged with health professions, sciences, and math programs to form the university�s newest college, College of Science and Health (CSAH).

Restructuring a university�s college structure is a major undertaking and is only done when the current college structures are not meeting the university�s changing vision. On rare occasions a combination of budgetary deficits and major changes in academic program causes the perfect storm. This type of campus climate condition forces the university to reevaluate its current college structure. The university�s recent budgetary challenges and increased focus on health professions meant finding creative ways to reduce costs while preserving the quality of its current academic programs. The college merger was the first step in this process. To better understand the new college and its evolution, it is helpful to review where its academic programs came from.

In the early years of the university�s inception biology, math, physics and physical education teaching were all a part of what was then called the Normal School. In the 1950�s and 60�s undergraduate majors in Biology, Chemistry, Recreation and Nuclear Medical Technology were formed along with an early graduate program in Biology.

In the 70�s undergraduate majors in Computer Science, Health Education, Community Health, and Physical Therapy were formed. During this decade, there were also some master degree programs that were formed. These programs came from academic units that had strong undergraduate programs that were mature enough to now meet the growing demand for master degree programs within these academic disciplines. The graduate programs included Adult Fitness/Cardiac Rehabilitation, Health Education, Recreation Management and Therapeutic Recreation. In the 80�s and early 90�s the growth of programs slowed with only two new programs receiving approval in the 80�s and two more in the early 90�s. The programs in the 80�s were an undergraduate program in Microbiology and a graduate masters program in Human Performance. Then in the early 90�s a masters in Community Public Health was approved. At this point, in the university�s evolution, all of these programs were housed in one of two colleges. The allied health, math, physical sciences and computer science were housed in the College of Arts, Letters and Sciences and the general health, health education, physical education and recreation were housed in the College of Health, Physical Education and Recreation. At this point a major change was about to take place, which would have a significant influence on future college changes within the university.

In 1992 the University of Wisconsin System was concerned about health programs across the state system. Their concerns were two fold. First, were there sufficient academic programs across the UW campuses to meet the state�s need? There was concern that there may not be sufficient university programs and resources to meet the state�s growing need for young professionals in selected health professions. And the second question was whether any unnecessary duplication of health programs existed between the UW campuses. A lateral review of selected allied health programs was then conducted by the UW System. The review�s findings and recommendations played a pivotal role in UW-L�s decision to create a new college and make expansions in health profession programs on campus. The new college became the College of Science and Allied Health, and this became home for programs in math, computer science, physics, geography and earth science, chemistry, nuclear medical technology, biology, microbiology, and medical technology.

In the mid 90�s significant expansions in the allied health program area were carried out as part of the changing university vision to place more emphasis on health programs. The three new undergraduate programs of Physician Assistant, Occupational Therapy, and Radiation Therapy were then developed. During this same period Physical Therapy, Medical Technology and Nuclear Medical Technology were increased in size, and Physical Therapy changed from a Bachelor of Science degree to a master�s degree. The change from undergraduate to graduate degree has become a trend in the health professions. To keep up with this change, the university created master�s degree programs in Physician Assistant and Occupational Therapy in 2003 and 2004 and most recently, in 2005, the Physical Therapy program was approved as a Doctor of Physical Therapy Degree in coordination with UW-Milwaukee.

These expansions in the university�s health-related programs are all part of the university�s success with its allied health mission. This success is even more significant because much of this change took place during fiscally hard times. As part of the university�s fiscal management and continued improvements in the health professions, merging the science and allied health programs with health, exercise science and recreation was thought to be an appropriate move for two reasons. First, eliminating a college Dean�s office reduces management costs and avoids any fiscal impacts to the university�s all important academic programs. Secondly, several academic programs from the two colleges that were merged have some commonalities in the curriculums they teach. It was thought by merging these programs into one college it would increase collaboration and a sharing of resources between the academic units.

As the College of Science and Health moves into its second year of existence, the mission is to continue the current restructuring so students are better served in what has become a significant college on campus with highly respected academic programs.


After 36 years in higher education, Dr. Michael E. Nelson, Dean of the College of Science and Health since 1998, is retiring effective July 1, 2006. A native of Tescott, Kansas, he received his undergraduate degree in geology in 1965 from Fort Hays State University. In 1967 he received his Master of Arts degree in geology from the University of South Dakota and in 1971 his Ph.D. from the University of Utah. Mike joined the faculty of Fort Hays State University in 1970, became the Chair of the Department of Earth Sciences in 1973, and Interim Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences in 1991. Prior to being appointed the Dean of the College of Science and Health at UW-L in 1998, he had been Dean of the Division of Science at Truman State University, in Kirksville, Missouri (1991-98).

Dean Nelson has published over 90 professional articles and abstracts, with the major emphasis on descriptions of rocks and vertebrate fossils in the intermountain area of Utah, Wyoming, Idaho and Nevada. A highlight of his research was the study in the mid-seventies of extinct large mammals that inhabited the shoreline environments of ancient Lake Bonneville, which drained into western Utah and eastern Nevada. The mammals, which became extinct around 10,000 to 15,000 years ago, included mastodons, mammoths, camels, musk oxen, bison, wolves and horses. This project resulted in multiple publications and presentations at scientific meetings. He is also the author of over 20 unpublished technical articles on the salvage of vertebrate fossils along power lines and pipelines in Utah.

Nelson�s current interests involve promoting undergraduate science programs and research, and international education. He is currently a Governor on the Board of Directors of the National Conferences on Undergraduate Research and a Past President of the Council on Undergraduate Research. Regarding international education, his efforts hopefully will result in cooperative future undergraduate research programs with universities in the United Kingdom and Germany.

Mike Nelson and his wife Diana will be retiring to Colorado Springs, Colorado, where they will be enjoying hiking, fishing, boating, and biking. Both domestic and international travel is also in their plans. And, he will remain as Director of the NCUR/Lancy Research Grant Program.


Doug Hastad, current Chancellor, and former Dean of the College of Health, Physical Education, and Recreation, has accepted the position of President of Carroll College in Waukesha, Wisconsin. Hastad joined the faculty of UW-L in August of 1989 as the Dean of the College of Health, Physical Education, and Recreation. He continued in that position until November of 1997, when he was named Interim Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs. From June of 1999 to June of 2000 he was Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs and from June of 2000 until March of 2001 Interim Chancellor. In March of 2001 he was named Chancellor.

Prior to joining the faculty of UW-L, Hastad had taught in the Moorhead Public School System, and at Concordia College, Arizona State University and Northern Illinois University. Immediately prior to coming to La Crosse, he was the Chair of the Department of Physical Education and then Interim Dean of the School of Education at Texas Christian University. Hastad is a graduate of Concordia College in Moorhead, Minnesota, received his M.S. degree from Washington State University, and his Ed.D. from Arizona State University.

Hastad has been the author of four editions of a college text titled Measurement and Evaluation in Physical Education and Exercise Science. Additional publications include twelve books and manuals, 25 articles or book chapters, and 10 published research abstracts or proceedings papers.

Honors and distinctions received include the Illinois School Fitness Award in 1983, the American Heart Association- Wisconsin Service Award in 1992, a Bush Foundation Leadership Fellow in 1992, the Wisconsin AHPERD Service Award in 1996, and the James L. Loveless Award for leadership in the advancement of international education at UW-L in 2001.


Linda Host, Ph.D., 1983, Mathematics Department. Host states that first and foremost, she has enjoyed teaching. With lower level math courses, she enjoyed seeing students progress from worry and apprehension to a state of more relaxed confidence that they could indeed cope with math. With math majors it was a balancing act between providing information while challenging them to grow and discover on their own. Beyond teaching, Host was active in faculty governance both in the College of Science and Health and the University, often elected chair of the committee, and one term as chair of the University Faculty Senate.

Eric Garland, PA-C., 1995, Health Professions Department. Garland is taking early retirement from the University to return to full time clinical practice in the Orthopedic Surgery Department at Gundersen Lutheran. He has been with the UW-L-Gundersen-Mayo PA Program since it began in 1995 and was the first faculty member hired for the program. During his tenure with the program Garland served in many roles including Academic Coordinator, Clinical Coordinator, lecturer, and undergraduate student advisor. He founded and advised the Pre-PA Club on campus. Although he greatly enjoyed his 11 years with the PA program, he is looking forward to returning to full time clinical practice helping patients with musculoskeletal conditions.

Ron McKelvey, Ph.D., 1978, Chemistry Department. McKelvey came to UW-L after six years at the Institute of Paper Chemistry, so he had �only� 28 years at the university. Nevertheless, he has served under about ten chancellors and deans. �It has been a great career and I have enjoyed the contact with students, faculty, and staff. I was never told no when there was something I wanted to do.� McKelvey is noted for his contributions to international education and travel, having taken four extended trips each to Japan, India, and Nepal. As an Emeritus Professor, he continues a research collaboration with Tribhuvan University in Katmandu, Nepal, and editorship of the newsletter for the local section of the American Chemical Society.

Rod Mowbray, Ph.D., 1972, Biology Department. Mowbray believes teaching undergraduates was the most important job during his 34 years at UW-L. He also was involved in teaching graduate level courses and directing graduate research. He developed and taught three new courses in the Biological Sciences. He was responsible for setting up the electron microscopy laboratory in Cowley Hall in 1978 and obtaining the first transmission and scanning electron microscopes. During his last six years he was Director of the Nuclear Radiation Center in Cowley Hall and served as the UW-L Radiation Safety Officer. He thoroughly enjoyed serving on advisory committees for Nuclear Medicine and Radiation Therapy and teaching students in these programs.

Barry Schockmel, M.S., 1969, Exercise and Sport Science Department. Schockmel has served in a variety of roles while at UW-L. He served as advisor to Phi Epsilon Kappa, chaired and served on numerous departmental and university committees, coordinated the coaching concentration, coached football, swimming and diving, and track and field, along with his teaching duties in the Exercise and Sport Science Department. He was named the WIAC assistant football coach of the year for the 2002 season, and in 2003 the AFLAC national assistant coach of the year. Besides coaching three national football championships and a national champion in diving, his fondest memories involve working with both students and athletes and watching their progress and development.

Pat Trokan, Ph.D., 1981, Recreation Management and Therapeutic Recreation Department. The primary courses taught by Trokan were Pool Facility Maintenance and Recreation Programming. He was also the UW-L Head Baseball Coach from 1985 through 1994. George Arimond, department chairman, says, �Dr. Trokan�s greatest legacy is his warm friendly demeanor. His message in the classroom was always positive and supportive. Students said he always painted a very optimistic picture of the recreation profession and provided encouragement while advising for internships and future employment. He won the hearts of everyone with his good humor and stories about the recreation profession.

Robert G. Wingate, Ph.D., 1965, Geography Department. Wingate served as the Geography Department Chair from 1983 to 1986 and as a Faculty Senate member for 17 years. He was also the Geography Club Advisor for 31 years and the advisor for Delta Sigma Phi Fraternity for over 41 years. Wingate has taught at five international campus locations including Austria, Denmark, Ireland, Scotland, and Switzerland. His other international achievements have included presenting professional papers in England, Gibraltar, Spain, and Russia. He has also led over 25 student fieldtrips to various parts of the world.


Biology: UW-L Hosts International Conference on Rivers and Civilization

University of Wisconsin-La Crosse and the National Mississippi River Museum and Aquarium will co-host a four day International Conference on Rivers and Civilization in La Crosse this June 25-28. The conference is the third in a series on major river basins of the world. The first conference was held at Dubna University (Russia), along the Volga River in July 2002. The second conference was at Assiut University (Egypt), along the Nile River in October 2003. This multidisciplinary event is targeted for an audience from the sciences, arts, humanities, other groups that manage and use river resources, and individuals with a general interest in learning. The faculty for the conference includes an impressive list of internationally recognized scholars, including Jared Diamond, Pulitzer Prize winning author of Guns, Germs and Steel, who will be delivering the keynote address entitled, �Why The World Runs on Water.� The conference includes 24 special sessions, and more than 175 presentations, with speakers from 23 countries. Diamond�s presentation and selected afternoon and evening sessions are open to the public at no charge. Major sponsors of the event include the UW-L Rivers Studies Center and the Office of International Education.

For additional information, visit the conference website www.rivers2006.org or contact Rob Tyser at 608-785-6992 or tyser.robi@uwlax.edu.

Exercise and Sport Science: Athletic Training Educational Program Goes International

Athletic Training as a profession is unique to the continent of North America. Athletic Trainers have become established as health care providers in the United States and Canada, (where they are known as Athletic Therapists). Due to interest from students enrolled in the athletic training educational program to have international experiences, Mark Gibson, Director of the Athletic Training Program, visited Frankfurt, Germany during the summer of 2004 to discuss potential internship sites for UW-L students. Gibson, Winfried Banzer, PhD, DO and Lutz Vogt, PhD, both of the Department of Sports Medicine in the Institute for Sport Sciences of Johann Wolfgang Goethe-University of Frankfurt, were able to establish groundwork for not only an internship but a faculty and curricular exchange.

During summer, 2005, Michael Koroch, an athletic training student at UW-L, completed an eight week internship at the reActiv Sports Medicine Center in Kronberg, Germany under the supervision of physiotherapists at the Center. In addition, Gibson taught a course in Prevention and Care of Athletic Injuries to 25 students in Frankfurt. Currently UW-L has one German student on campus and enrolled (Spring 2006) in several courses and clinical experiences. In addition, during the summer of 2006, the exchange will continue as Cordial Gillette, UW-L Assistant Athletic Trainer, will be teaching a course on Athletic Injury Assessment of the Upper Extremity at the University of Frankfurt.

The entire program is still currently under discussion, but coursework from each institution will be utilized to continue to develop the athletic training profession in Germany. For further information contact Mark Gibson at 608-785-8190 or gibson.mark@uwlax.edu.

Exercise and Sport Science: Undergraduate Strength and Conditioning Concentration

Functioning within the Department of Exercise and Sport Science, the Strength and Conditioning Concentration offers participating students the opportunity to learn how to implement appropriate conditioning programs for a variety of populations. Students learn correct lifting techniques and program design in an applicable environment. Students in the program have a wide range of interests, including wanting to become personal trainers, strength coaches, physical educators, athletic trainers, or physical therapists. Most are in the Exercise and Sport Science Department majoring in fitness, but some come from other academic related programs.

Acceptance to the program is competitive, with only 12 students admitted per semester. The average number of applicants is 20, with selection based on attitude, initiative, and aptitude for the field. Upper level strength and conditioning students act as mentors for students recently admitted to the program, in a comfortable, peer to peer manner. This arrangement allows upper level students to experience teaching lifting techniques and principles, while exposing the younger students to strength and conditioning concepts in a casual, non-structured manner.

Following the volunteer experience, students take two �hands on� courses, and two lecture based courses that explore program design and the application of biomechanics, muscle physiology, and principles of motor control to strength and power development.

Students in this concentration also provide a valuable service to the UW-L community by staffing the strength centers, assuring the safety of its participants, and providing sound lifting advice. For further information, contact Travis Erickson at 608-785-6546 or erickson.trav@uwlax.edu.

Health Education and Health Promotion: Partnership for Health


Kristi Kotecki, School Health major.

Professional Development Schools (PDS), a new partnership between the UW-L Department of Health Education and Health Promotion and the Onalaska School District, has created opportunities for more teaching experience for UW-L school health majors, and health education for Onalaska students. PDS joins a university and a K-12 school district to accomplish common educational goals. The school district students are learning about health and the university students are benefiting from observing and practicing exemplary teaching.

Onalaska has long been proud of it�s K-12 health education, but failed referendums has resulted in the cutting of non-required elementary health specialists. A partnership was formed, and now health instruction exists for Onalaska elementary school students, and a quality experience has been created for upper level UW-L health education students. After three semesters of the PDS partnership, evaluation comments from the UW-L students have included: �feel better about classroom management�, �prepared me for the demands of student teaching�, �now I know what interactive teaching is�, �weekly feedback on teaching helps�, �re-teaching lessons was great learning experience�, and �great to be teaching real students�. Onalaska teachers say: �children look forward to them coming�, �my students are learning something�, �we want to help the new teachers learn�, �lessons are fun�, and �they do a great job�.

Is it better? Definitely, for UW-L students. However, four week rounds of different students rotating in and then leaving, and varied skill level of the university students, still offer a challenge for Onalaska. These challenges are being addressed, and solutions are being explored. Universities and school districts can have a collaborative relationship built on mutual trust, respect, and a shared belief that together students can be better prepared for the world of tomorrow.

For more information about School Health Education or Professional Development Schools contact J. Leslie Oganowski at 608-785-6790 or oganowsk.joan@uwlax.edu.


Pura Vida! Biology J-term Course in Costa Rica

  Red-Eyed Green Tree Frog   Blue Morpho Butterfly

The leatherback turtle heaved her massive body upon the moonlit Costa Rican beach to lay her eggs. After she dug her nest, students scrambled to take biological measurements from the turtle before she completed her task and returned to the sea. This learning activity was just one of the many experiences enjoyed by UW-L students enrolled in the J-term course �Tropical Ecology and Conservation.� Twelve students traveled to Costa Rica with Biology Department faculty members Rob Tyser and Mark Sandheinrich for two weeks in January, 2006. After three days living in a shack on the beach and assisting park guards with sea turtle research and conservation, the class traveled to Palo Verde National Park to learn about the ecology of tropical dry forests, which are one of the most threatened ecosystems on the globe. The park is also home to a large marsh complex that is an important feeding, breeding, and nursery area for more than 30,000 waterfowl. Howler monkeys, white throated capuchin monkeys, and wild pigs were also common sights on daily trips into the forest. The last week of the course was spent at Tirimbina Rainforest Center where biodiversity, conservation, and indigenous human cultures were emphasized. Each day brought an amazing array of discoveries, such as leaf cutter ants, poison dart frogs, three-toed sloths, and blue morpho butterflies. A banana plantation, coffee plantation, and ecotourism facilities were also visited to learn about the importance of agriculture and tourism to the economy of this Central American country. J-term courses offer unique opportunities to learn outside the classroom and engage students in once in a lifetime experiences that might be best described by the Costa Rican phrase �Pura Vida!��pure life!

For more information, contact Mark Sandheinrich at 608-785-8261 or sandhein.mark@uwlax.edu.

Chemistry/Biology Major Named Conference Cross Country Scholar Athlete

In November, William Walkowicz was named the 2005 Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (WIAC) Max Sparger Men's Cross Country Scholar-Athlete. Walkowicz, a senior from Waukesha, WI (West H.S.), completes his double major in Chemistry and Biology (with a minor in Philosophy) this spring. He was a four-time selection on the WIAC Scholastic Honor Roll, having maintained a 3.76 gpa, and received the Wisconsin Academic Excellence Scholarship award from 2001-2004. Walkowicz was a cross country team captain this season and helped the Eagles to their second straight conference title by placing 11th at the conference meet. His 11th place standing netted all-WIAC second team status. The 2005 team were also the NCAA Midwest Regional and NCAA Division III National Champions.

Walkowicz has been named to UW-L's Dean's List six times, including three semesters with a 4.0 gpa, and has been the recipient of numerous academic scholarships. He has served as a student liaison to the Dean of the College of Science and Health and as a member of UW-L's Leadership Council. Further, Walkowicz has worked as a research assistant, computer access consultant, and tutor in organic chemistry. Bill has also participated in research with Todd Weaver (chemistry) and with Mycophyte Discovery, a collaborative, interdepartmental research group focused on the discovery and development of new antibiotics. He presented the results of his research at the National Conferences on Undergraduate Research (NCUR) in Indianapolis, IN in 2005 and Asheville, NC in 2006. Bill intends to pursue a Ph.D. in chemical biology after spending the summer in Scotland and touring Europe.

The WIAC Scholar-Athlete Award is named after Max Sparger, who served as commissioner of the Wisconsin State University Conference from July, 1971 to July, 1993.

For further information, please contact Aaron Monte, Chair, Department of Chemistry, at 608-785-8260 or monte.aaro@uwlax.edu.

Statistical Consulting by Students at UW-L

What factors contribute the most to the success of the UW-L football team? What factors contribute the most to the health of alpine lakes? Does bullying affect academic engagement? How does road salt affect the marsh? Wouldn�t you like to know the answers to these questions? This is just a small sample of the exciting research projects brought by faculty and students (both graduate and undergraduate) to the Statistical Consulting Center (SCC). Students who have had the required courses and who have permission from the SCC Director can register for this one credit course (repeatable up to three credits) and apply what they have learned in class by working as a statistical consultant to faculty, graduate students, and undergraduate researchers at UW-L.

Statistical services are available to UW-L faculty and staff, master�s level students, and undergraduate researchers through the SCC. This may include advice and assistance in areas of research design, data modeling and analysis, and interpretation of results of any project that has a statistical foundation. The SCC gives students, under faculty supervision, hands on experience with data and statistical problems, while providing support for clients in the UW-L campus community.

In addition to gaining valuable, practical experience, student consultants in the SCC get a chance to collaborate with others in research, develop communication and technical writing skills, and help others while adding an important component to their resume. Former student consultant Tony Batzler writes, �I found my experience with the SCC to be very satisfying. It gave me the opportunity to expand on my understanding of statistics, as well as increasing my computer skills in designing a web survey.�

For more information or if you have any comments or suggestions, please contact Dave Reineke at 608-785-6607 or reineke.davi@uwlax.edu.

Former Therapeutic Recreation Student Katrina Hero

Hurricanes can devastate people�s lives. These situations however can also provide an opportunity where recreation comes to the forefront to help individuals suffering from increased stress. That�s what UW-L therapeutic recreation graduate Jeff Helminger did for many children caught in hurricane Katrina.

Jeff is a Certified Therapeutic Recreation Specialist that works for the Children�s Hospital in New Orleans. Jeff�s dedication to his profession and clients went above and beyond the call of duty. Hurricane Katrina devastated his hospital and forced sick children to be moved to other locations due to the unsafe conditions in New Orleans. Jeff heroically stayed behind with the more fragile children until arrangements were made for them to be taken to an airport, where military planes and personnel would fly them to Kansas City for medical attention. Jeff had difficulty having to be separated from the children so decided to travel to Kansas City on his own to meet them. On arrival, Jeff comforted the children with a familiar face, and was able to help hospital staff with the children�s diagnosis, as all of their medical records had been lost in the storm.

Jeff put into practice what research has demonstrated about the importance of leisure activities in times of stress. Participating in leisure activities has been shown to aid in coping with stress, and can be a buffer against negative consequences, both physically and psychologically.

The University of Wisconsin-La Crosse Therapeutic Recreation Club and students in the Innovative Activities Class also contributed to those affected by Katrina by organizing a drive for recreation materials. Received and forwarded to Mobile, Alabama were 800 books, 110 toys, over 600 games, and 100 art and craft supplies. This was a great experience on how to raise funds and organize an event.

For further information on these Katrina humanitarian efforts contact Jennifer at 608-301-1277 or fahey.jenn@students.uwlax.edu.



UW-L Challenge Course Conference


Jeff Steffen, Ryan Olson, Ryan Hammes and Pat DiRocco of the Exercise and Sport Science Department have received funding from the University of Wisconsin System to host a Summer Institute at the UW-L Challenge Course. The primary goal of this program is to increase the teacher effectiveness of Challenge Course Facilitators in the university system, by teaching strategies utilizing technology to increase access for people with differing abilities. A challenge course or ropes course is a series of high and low elements where participants negotiate obstacles individually or as a group. UW-L operates one of the few totally �accessible� courses in the United States. Challenge courses which are accessible are designed to allow all students, regardless of their physical abilities or limitations, to participate in high and low challenge elements. Adaptations which increase access include specialized harnesses, pulley systems and ramps.

Adventure Education is a process of teaching people to go beyond previously believed self-imposed boundaries through participating in challenge course activities. Introducing new practices, modification of previous practices, and program and facility design will be the focus of the conference. The conference will also allow University of Wisconsin faculty from throughout the state to learn and share new ideas on how to create access to high and low elements, for people with varying ability levels. The conference is available to anyone interested in challenge course technology.

For more information contact the UW-L Adventure Office at 608-785- 6515, or Jeff Steffen at 608-785-6535, or steffen.jeff@uwlax.edu.

To see pictures of UWL students on the challenge course go to the following website: www.uwlax.edu/sah/ess/adventure/rc_photo_album.htm.

Active and Healthy Lifestyles for Children with Disabilities

  Abbey Warriner, Fitness Major with a Strength and Conditioning Concentration, working with 6 year old Craig Snider.

The Department of Exercise and Sport Science, in collaboration with Gundersen Lutheran, the School District of La Crosse, and youth service agencies, is making an impact on the lives of children with disabilities and their families. The project, Active and Healthy Lifestyles for Children with Disabilities is funded by a three year $440,490 grant from the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health, through the Wisconsin Partnership Fund for a Healthy Future

The major thrust of the grant is to design, implement, and evaluate physical activity and nutrition education programs for children with disabilities. Goals include: 1) increasing physical activity levels of children with disabilities; 2) decreasing overweight and obesity through physical activity and nutrition education; and 3) conducting and disseminating collaborative action-research and best practices in physical activity and nutrition education for children with disabilities. National recognition has already been received through an invitation to Garth Tymeson and Shelley Wetzel to serve on the �Expert Constituent Committee� for the �I Can Do It, You Can Do It� Physical Activity Mentoring Program sponsored by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Staff has been very active with initiatives. �This is a great way to enhance health and physical well being of children with disabilities while in programs in our community. This is the ideal time in a child�s life to make a difference� said Grant Coordinator Shelley Wetzel. Community-based programs have included baseball, soccer, YMCA Kids Marathon, a Physical Activity Mentoring Program that links college students with children, aquatics, outdoor winter activities, and the first ever sports program at the Boys and Girls Club for kids with disabilities. A nutritional education program, �Winning Weighs for Kids with Disabilities,� has been implemented with Gundersen Lutheran staff.

For more information, contact Shelley Wetzel, Grant Coordinator (608-785-8695; wetzel.shel@uwlax.edu) or Garth Tymeson, Grant Director, (608-785-5415; tymeson.gart@uwlax.edu, or http://www.uwlax.edu/activeandhealthylifestyles/.

Student Conducts Lumbar Training Study with Gymnastics Team


Dana Johansen with 2006 National Collegiate Gymnastics Association Division III Champions
From left to right: Cait May, Kait Haack, Dana Johansen, Mackenzie Howard, and Nicole Burda

Dana Johansen, an Exercise and Sport Science Fitness Major, who is also completing academic concentrations in Competitive Coaching, and Strength and Conditioning, recently conducted a study with the UW-L Women�s Gymnastics Team. Dana tested the endurance capabilities of the participating gymnasts� trunk musculature before and after ten-weeks of lumbar endurance training. The training was conducted twice per week and included a variety of lumbar specific floor exercises targeting the musculature of the trunk. When the results were compared to a control group that did not train, it was found that the ten weeks of training resulted in significant improvements (p < 0.05) in lumbar endurance capabilities that averaged nearly 55 percent across the targeted muscle groups. Dana also monitored low back injuries for the gymnastics team this season. There were no new low back injuries in the gymnasts this year, versus five low back injuries that required a physical examination by the UW-L Athletic Training staff last season.

Barb Gibson, the Head Gymnastics Coach, whose team just won their 6th consecutive national championship, said that the lumbar endurance training was very beneficial to her athletes. Dana presented her data at the UW-L Celebration for Undergraduate Research Day on March 31st and is also scheduled to present her study at the annual meeting of the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) in Denver, Colorado in June. After completing her study Dana said, �by conducting this undergraduate research project, I have really been able to challenge and test my own capabilities. Yes, projects like this are a lot of work, especially on top of three jobs and school, but it is all worth it when you are able to see your knowledge being applied and your talent being put to work�. Dana was supervised by Brian Udermann of the Department of Exercise and Sport Science.

For more information regarding this research project please contact Brian at udermann.bria@uwlax.edu or 608-785-8181.

La Crosse Foundation Funds �Arts for All� Workshop


A workshop participant demonstrates that there is no disability when it comes to art.


Children and adults with disabilities need creative outlets just like all of us. In January of 2006 the UW-L Therapeutic Recreation (TR) Program, in conjunction with CESA #4 (Cooperative Education Service Agency), presented a workshop on the philosophy of inclusion and use of specialized equipment with art programs, for people both with and with out disabilities.

One of the problems with �regular� group art sessions is the focus on individual skills or talents. This program eliminates that barrier in two ways: 1) products in this workshop are usually group efforts, not dependent on the skills of one individual, and 2) the specialized equipment equalizes the playing field. That is, whether or not an individual has a disability, the novelty and use of the equipment is the same.

Fifteen professionals (teachers, Therapeutic Recreation Specialists, and others), learned how to design tee shirts, posters, greeting cards and a variety of other art projects using large murals, wheelchairs that paint, pogo sticks that decorate, and smiles that are contagious. The skills and enthusiasm of these 15 professionals will enable many inclusive art programs to be offered in the future.

Therapeutic recreation graduate students in the Advanced Clinical Aspects in Therapeutic Recreation class acquired a $2000 grant from the La Crosse Foundation to fund this project. Therapeutic recreation graduate student Sue Weber coordinated the workshop with Dwayne Szot, founder of the Arts for All Program.

For further information contact Nancy Navar at 608-785-8213 or navar.nanc@uwlax.edu.



In December of 2005, the following graduate students of the College of Science and Health were notified of funding for their research project. The funding was approved by the Graduate Council and the Office of University Graduate Studies.

Jessica Andrew- �The Metabolic and Perceptual Responses of Indoor Cycling Bout�, $1,000, Exercise and Sport Science, faculty advisor, Rebecca Battista.

Alicia Ballweg- �Effects of Hypoxia and Hyperoxia on Pacing Strategy During Time Trials�, $600, Exercise and Sport Science, faculty advisor, Carl Foster.

Jennifer Berling- �The Effect of Handrail Support on Aerobic Demand During Steady State Treadmill Exercise�, $1,000, Exercise and Sport Science, faculty advisor, Carl Foster.

Maria Lee- �Proteomic Profiling of Dimorphism Penicillium Marneffei and Opportunistic Fungal Pathogen of Humans�, $700, Biology, faculty advisor, Tom Volk.

Nicole Magnuson- �The Energy Expenditure and Exercise Intensity of Walking with Strollers�, $1,600, Exercise and Sport Science, faculty advisor, John Porcari.

Kevin Miller- �Microbial Characterization of Nitrification and Denitrification in an Urban Wisconsin Marsh�, $700, Biology, faculty advisor, Bonnie Bratina.

Andrew Nore- �Heart Rate Responses Associated with Riding a Roller Coaster�, $1,000, Exercise and Sport Science, faculty advisor, John Porcari.

Jennifer Otto- �The Placebo Effect on Objective and Subjective Measurements of Exercise Performance�, $450, Exercise and Sport Science, faculty advisor, Carl Foster.

Jonathan Palmer- �Molecular Characterization of Mycorrhizal Fungi Associated with a Disjunct Stand of American Chestnut (Castanea Dentate) in Wisconsin�, $300, Biology, faculty advisor, Tom Volk.

Bridget Pfaff- �Water Water Everywhere: Medical Document Recovery Following Water Infiltration�, $1,600, Biology, faculty advisor, Tom Volk.

Courtney Salm- �Modeling Primary Production by Algae in Salt Lakes of the Great Plains�, $1,600, Biology, faculty advisor, Jasmine Saros.

Erik Sorenson- �The Placebo Effects on Acute Anaerobic Exercise Performance�, $1,000, Exercise and Sport Science, faculty advisor, Glenn Wright.

LeeAnne Thorson- �Identification of Cis-Acting Elements Controlling Replication in the Antigenomic Promoter of Human Parainfluenza Virus Type 3�, $1,300, Microbiology, faculty advisor, Michael Hoffman.

Brian Wallace- �A Comparison Between Back Squat Exercise and Vertical Jump Knee Kinematics and Kinetics�, $1,000, Health Professions, faculty advisor, Tom Kernozek.



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