Infinite Opportunities: Health and Wellness (Season 2 Episode 8)


Pennsylvania’s State System of Higher
Education 14 universities Infinite Opportunities This week we’ll learn about programs that focus on health and wellness at universities
throughout the State System. But first we’ll hear from Jeff Lynn, Coordinator
of the Exercise Science program and Assistant to the Dean of the College of
Health, Environment and Science at Slippery Rock University. Hello I’m Frank
Brogan the chancellor of Pennsylvania’s State System of Higher Education, and
delighted that you joined us for another episode of Infinite Opportunities, our
opportunity to tell the people of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania a little bit
more about the 14 wonderful universities that make up our system and what the
over 100,000 undergraduate and graduate students are up to these days in
Pennsylvania’s State System of Higher Education. We really have a unique
opportunity today to talk about something that is literally important to
everyone watching this program, that’s the issue of health and wellness. But while we say that, it’s a very
complicated issue and it continues to evolve with the times and as times change. We’re really lucky today to have with us Doctor Jeffrey Lynn who is with
Slippery Rock University and Dr. Lynn you have a myriad title so I’m going to
read them for my sheet you are Associate Professor and Assistant Chairperson in
the Department of Exercise and Rehabilitative Services. You are also
Program Coordinator Exercise Science and Assistant to the Dean of the College of
Health, Environment and Science at Slippery Rock University. So we are very
happy to have you and also with those credentials give you the opportunity to
clarify for our viewers a little bit more about what is health and wellness
in the 21st century, and I’m gonna start there. It is a complicated issue, it’s
easy to think of health as doctor/ patient. That’s a very tiny part, as
important as it is, of all of health and wellness. Tell us a little bit Doctor, about health and wellness from your perspective in higher education. Happy to. To start out with just health and wellness, those definitions get kicked around
quite a bit and get used in a lot of, a lot of ways
especially probably in the last several years. Because the physical health that
you talked about is part of wellness. I’ll start with wellness because it’s an
umbrella term that has a lot of facets or components to it and physical health
is just one of those. So wellness is a multidimensional approach, it’s a holistic
approach to well-being. And so it includes physical health, but it includes
emotional well-being, intellectual well-being, occupational well-being, even
how you interact with the environment and your spiritual well-being, so it’s
very holistic. That being said, I would say that a lot of opportunistic folks
have hijacked the term wellness for profit. So that we have to be very
careful because everyone is able to hang up their single and say I’m a wellness
expert and in the name of profit make quite a bit of money on things that are
hocum, or let’s say non-scientific. So we do have the opportunity at Slippery
Rock University to spread the word of what wellness and health truly are and
to make inroads into the health and wellness of our students, because they’re
the ones that go out in every direction and take it from there. So
we’re fortunate to be able to share the truth on campus. Well at Slippery Rock, to that end, you
have a fascinating initiative that is called Exercise is Medicine. Can you tell
us a little bit about that? This is very exciting for us because we didn’t come up with it, this was an initiative that was a joint project between the
American Medical Association and the American College of Sports Medicine. And
we have decades and decades of research that show us that if exercise were a
medicine it would be the most powerful medicine, both as a preventive medicine
and as a treatment for dozens, if not hundreds of different you human ailments,
both physical and mental. And so the fact that we don’t use exercise as medicine
really makes little sense. So the initiative really was to try to put
exercise in the medical paradigm, such that when you go to physician’s
office they might, they’re still gonna take your blood pressure, they’re still
gonna take your heart rate, but maybe they would start asking you how much
physical activity do you get and why might it be important to you to stay
active and have physical health and wellness. And this isn’t common. I think
most people watching this program probably have not had that experience in
the doctor’s office, yet probably they should. So that was the initial idea for
Exercise is Medicine and then it really blossomed and spread out into many, many other initiatives, such as Exercise is Medicine on Campus and we are a strong
player at Slippery Rock in that game. And in fact have been have been
recognized internationally as having an excellent prototype for bringing
exercise onto campus to help health and well-being of our students. And it’s all
right to brag a little bit, you want to tell us about some of the global
recognition that you’ve actually received to Slippery Rock for your
program. I’m happy to. I’ll be unapologetic about our success because
it’s taken a lot of hard work from the people that I work with and I’m happy to
be part of a a really strong and passionate team that had a great vision
is going after it. And what we did is we submitted to a call for active… it’s
called the Active You Challenge and the American College of Sports Medicine
sent us out to universities all over the world and said what are you doing on
your campus to make people healthier and more active. And we submitted everything
that we do and we won. We were considered to have the best plan in the
world for a campus to to be active and to be healthy. And so that was just a couple
of years ago and we continue to build off of that. What’s the profile of one of
your students? Do they come from any particular walk of life? Do they come
from any particular background? What do you find by way of interest for students
when they’re moving toward programs like yours where do they hail from? Well, everywhere. Because we are where we are Slippery Rock, we have to get most of our
students from within 50 and 100 miles, there’s no doubt about that. But our reputation
has been growing and we, whether you call it reputation or brand, it’s strong. And so
for that reason we’re seeing more students coming in from around the
country, so stretching out into the neighboring states and further. And for a
lot of reasons, but you know Slippery Rock is truly a powerhouse when it comes to health,
wellness, and fitness. It has been for a very, very long time. It
used to be physical education, but what happened is that that spun off athletic
training, and public health, and exercise science, and so on and now all of those
programs are doing amazingly well. And so we are drawing in students who are eager
to be healthy and well, but to also make that their career. Well another part of your resume includes status, and it is, as co-chair of the President’s Wellness
Commission. That not only brings prestige to the university, but to the Commonwealth
and very much, I would suppose, great attention to this issue. Tell us a little bit about your
experience in that regard. Well we knew that there were a lot of people on campus doing great things when it came to health and wellness, but sometimes in a slightly disjointed
fashion. So the idea was let’s get all of these experts together, call them
champions for health and wellness, put together a committee and let’s
coordinate our efforts and find synergies and see if we can put our
stake in the ground to say that Slippery Rock University is one of the, if not the,
most well healthy campuses in the country. And so we started to do that and
the president of our university saw pretty quickly that this is, this is more
than just a committee this needs to be a commission. So President Cheryl Norton
said ‘I want this to be a commission on wellness’ and then so it became that and
I became an early leader. And now what we’re doing is coordinating a lot of
initiatives on campus in order to create a culture that truly embraces wellness,
both in the students and faculty and staff. Because we don’t think that just aiming it
at the students alone is the right idea, they come and go, but we have a turnover
as you know every four years. But if we can create a culture that everyone on
campus embraces, we think it can live infinitely and we
can truly be that what we’re trying to be, which is the most well campus
in the country. Well first of all my hats off to all of
you at Slippery Rock and I want to commend you all for the attention you’re putting on this this issue. It is really,
I think, an ever-evolving, but a more important part of our daily lives, not
just the the ability to be healthy, but everything that contributes to that. And
I think rightfully said, as you did, all of the things that fall under that
rubric, including not only what we do, but how we feel and how we think, and I
really applaud you for it. We could talk so much more about your accomplishments
at Slippery Rock Dr. Lynn, but I just want to thank you very much for being a guest
on Infinite Opportunities and sharing with us some of these concepts, but more
importantly what you do for the students at Slippery Rock University. We all
appreciate, [Lynn:] Thanks for the opportunity. Thanks for being with us. Next we go to
Slippery Rock University to find out how the study of exercise science promotes
activity as a way of life. It’s very common for people not to know what Exercise Science is. From program to program, university to
university, it’s not the same. You’ve almost got a look at what is Exercise
Science at Slippery Rock? We are preparing scientists and what is science?
It’s, it’s a method of epistemology, it’s a way of thinking, it’s way of going
about building knowledge. And so we use exercise as medicine and we teach
people to think as scientists, to solve problems, including humans. So Exercise
Science at Slippery Rock University is a human science. I believe that the Exercise Science program at Slippery Rock University is among the best in the
country, because we have a group of faculty who all have a mission to make
this program the best program that can be. And what we did is, we went and found
people, not because of necessarily their expertise in the content, but because
they really wanted to work with undergraduate students, they had a
passion for it. And the other thing that we looked for that you had to have to
get hired in this program is competitiveness. And so when you got that
sort of culture in your program we’ve got these people that are enthusiastic,
they buy into the mission, they can’t stand to lose and they want the students
to do well, you end up with this energetic situation that creates a wave
that you just ride and we ride it to success. The faculty are also committed to
making themselves better teachers, so over winter break or summer we are
consistently trying to improve and change up our pedagogical strategies. We as a team in Slippery Rock Exercise Science have gotten together and we
continually meet to build into our program specific things that will make our students better problem solvers and critical thinkers. They really get engaged in
their learning and have opportunities at other students
at other institutions might not. Always using the students as advocates of what
we do and that’s what we tell them, you are the emerging experts, you’re the one
who’s going to carry the torch. We teach them early on how to be that
professional, how to engage others and how to make a difference in their
communities. We have developed a culture of rigor and it is not normally what
students are accustomed to when they come from high school. So they’ve got to make
an adjustment, quite frankly. And most of them do, because what we learned is that
if you set the bar high and you demand excellence most of the students will get
there. We have physical activity as a daily facet of life. That’s the kind of
culture were trying to create. So if you come to a university where there’s a major
focus on health and wellness, think that’s pretty powerful. So we’re saying
we’re not only interested in the academic success, we’re really concerned
about their health and wellness and we’re going to provide opportunities for
them to be more active and we’re also going to give them the behavioral tools necessary to adapt to those changes toward life-long fitness. We really take something that we stress in our own program and that is, we’re gonna, the faculty, are gonna hold the rigor very high for the students with the idea that
by the time they leave here they’re not going to accept anything less from
themselves than excellence and high rigor. I think it’s our duty to make sure
that we provide these opportunities for students, and faculty and staff, and
administrators, but also give them those tools, make it so that it becomes a part
of their daily life, beyond college. [music] We don’t just spark minds, we set them on fire. We build character. Character builds success. Celebrating 150 years Welcome back to Infinite Opportunities.
Next we go to East Stroudsburg University to see how health-related
programs at the university provide outreach in the local community. The mission of our College of Health Sciences is to educate future
practitioners in the fields of public health, health care delivery, health
education in order to make a contribution to improve the quality of
life, not only northeast Pennsylvania, but in the world. We educate our students
to become the best healthcare providers that they can be, and also with the sense of
giving back and being integrated into the community. So its a mission of both
education and service. Integrating students to communities, this idea of the
experiential pedagogy where students learn by doing and why not do that into the community and also providing a
service where students can learn about their community. So one of our bigger
programs we have on this is our health coaches program, where we work with
Pocono Medical Center. And actually teach them a semester course in chronic disease and chronic disease management, as well as patient interviewing, how to
motivate patients and change behaviors. And actually take them, after they
completed the course, and have them become health coaches by going out into the community and seeing patients in their homes. So here we are we have students who are learning from books, and slides, and lectures, but are also now also having to have that additional experience. It’s been very rewarding and I have been amazed how well the the program has done. I was in the first health coaches program at Pocono Medical Center and now I’m in my second year of medical school at the Commonwealth Medical College in Scranton. I thought the whole program was very
beneficial to me, because I got to see the big picture of health care, not from just what
I would see as a doctor, I get to see all the other aspects that influence the
patient’s health. I think it gives them a sense of how to have a relationship with a
patient and that’s always a learning curve. When you ever going into a health
science and it doesn’t matter whether you’re going to be a physician, a physician’s assistant, a nurse, a respiratory therapist, or radiology technician, you have to start to be able to have relationships with patients and deal with them. And this is a great segue to be able to start that program. I thought it was a big leg up on everybody else because here, especially at TCMC, we have that
patient-centered approach where we have to think about how this affects the patient. And when I was there visiting people in the home, like I said, I saw the bigger picture of what health care was, that this treatment with this patient is much bigger than just me being in a room talking to them. That might only be a small portion of the
entire health care plan. So we believe that it’s important for students to get educated and that an education is more than a classroom. It’s really about going beyond
the classroom and having them learn as they experience. I think the partnership between Pocono Medical Center and East Stroudsburg University has been a really great thing
and we’re even now exploring more things that we can do together in the future,
but this is one of the, I’d say, a cornerstone thing that we’ve developed with them,
with this health coaching program. We’re anchor institutions in this community that can really make an impact to improve our quality of life, so we have to be able to be collaborative partners at that level. It really has worked out unbelievably
well. The patients love it, the student really gets a good experience,
they seem to like it and they get credit for doing it. So it’s a really, it’s a
win-win for everybody. Focus… on success. Since 1837 Cheyney University has been preparing thousands of young men and women to become
successful leaders in the fields of business, arts and science, education and
professional studies. At Cheney University you’ll not only receive an affordable, quality college
education, but the attention you deserve from faculty who care about you and
your success. Focus on success at Cheyney University. Welcome back to Infinite Opportunities.
Next we go to West Chester University to discover how physical activity and
nutrition programs helped various groups throughout the community. All of my work deals with school age
youth. The Center for Healthy Schools started five years ago here at the university
and we are a core connector between public and non-public schools, community
groups, and our focus is healthy students and also linked academic success in
learning. In past, approaches have always been that health issues of kids stayed with the
typical health practitioner, a school nurse, a physician, like a sort of
traditional model. As kids health issues became really more complicated it was
really obvious that we had to look at the impact that was having on kids doing
well in schools. So the Center’s job is to merge the conversation. So that we’re talking
about a healthy school, we’re looking at health and wellness strategies as a
means to student test scores, improving kids being able to come to school and
not miss school, to increasing graduation rates. Healthy kids
we know are better learners, it’s like really simple idea. You know people talk about
legacies or making a difference and to me it’s always been making a difference
in somebody’s life in terms of their health and the impact that has on their
ability to be successful in school to graduate, have the career they want, the family,
whatever it is that they plan for their future. Health such a great determinant of your success in being able to do that. So it’s very personal. So for me it’s kind of easy to be motivated and feel rewarded just
because of the impact you know you’ve made. I’m a speech language pathologist before I
became a speech-language pathologist I was a singer. I actually took a course as
a senior called Care of the Professional Voice and it was taught by a speech
language pathologist and I said this is what I have to be doing. The largest
group of people who’ve been studied in my field are teachers and there’s a
large prevalence of teachers who have voice problems. And so there’s been
studies that looked at the societal impact, the economic impact, actually the
students learning abilities and how their impacted in the classroom. So I’m
actually looking at designing a telepractice model for voice
disorders related to teachers and I’m actually doing that here at West Chester
University with student teachers. And I’m going to compare that online model to a
traditional in-person model. You know the grant that I’ve applied for is an AREA R-15. That stands for the Academic Research Enhancement Award and that grant is
meant to encourage student involvement. The students are involved in helping me
to do the research, so I have undergraduate students as well as graduate students. In
the first year undergraduate students are helping me design the app, pilot
the app, test the app, put it all together. The second and third years of the grant
graduate, students are going to help me with the telepractice and the in-person model.
It’s our job to, a speech language pathologist, to think about how we can
encourage community, people to use their voice to the best of their ability to
prevent problems. The desire to help people improve their voice, it’s prompted me to go into the field. I feel that my lot in life, if you want
to call it, is to help people become empowered through physical activity,
nutrition education, and wellness activities. When I graduated from college
I went right onto my masters and that’s when I realized I really wanted to help
people with disabilities, because they seemed like they were marginalized. And
when I started to look at people who were very successful, actually like maybe
in wheelchair sports, those people have much more control of their lives. They
felt empowered, they felt like they were self-determined and they were able to do
many more things because of their involvement in physical activity. That’s
kind of where we started the adaptive physical activity programs. And we started
Wednesday nights with nine children in the gym and nine graduate students. That
program has grown tremendously. We have 45 children with disabilities
and 45 West Chester students who come together for 75 minutes and we do cooperative games, fitness, motor
skills, pre-sports, sports skills, and then I kind of branched out. When one of my colleagues
Kat Ellis came on board about seven years ago, we started then a program on
Monday nights for transition age youth. Three or four years ago, we got our colleague
Jeanie Subach involved and what she does at the end of that night is she teaches a
nutrition lesson to twenty young people with cognitive disabilities. So we
brought in the nutrition piece, so we have a program on Monday nights with
twenty young adults with cognitive disabilities and 20 West Chester students.
Then Doctor Subach who comes in and does a nutrition lesson. She brings six or seven
of her nutrition majors and that’s really a pretty solid training ground for people
who are going into health and PE teacher cert, and then pre-physical therapy and pre-
occupational therapy. The programs have made a significant impact on West Chester
students lives, like nobody’s business, it’s really something. I think
that I’d like to attract more WCU students to take the classes, to be
volunteers in the program, and in general to transform more student’s lives. Every time at the end of every, every week, every program my students just have this glow about them that they were part of
something way bigger than themselves. [music] Welcome back to Infinite Opportunities. Next we go to California University of Pennsylvania to see how students take their love of an outdoor sport and turn it into a career opportunity. Professional Golf Management is a unique blend of taking a passion for the golf industry, combining it with the skills in business and sport management
to make sure that our students are truly the managers of an entire golf
operation. This program is not just about playing golf, it’s also about completing your college
degree. You take all the same courses in general education as other students on
campus. You will get an introduction to the business world, to golf, to sport management. You’ll learn about legal aspects of sports. You’ll learn about economics of sport. There’s way more to it than swinging clubs. It’s all about the business. It’s not all about playing golf. The golf industry has a total economic impact of over a hundred and seventy six
billion dollars.That come down to everything from facility acquisition,
supporting staff and hiring, to marketing, to budgeting, to looking at accounting statements,
to make sure our students can not only manage a golf facility, but they have
transferable skills in any business realm. My name’s Michael Cuscino, I’m a graduate of the program and I’m a golf professional at St. Clair Country Club. Every day I’ve drawn from what I’ve learned that CalU. I walked out the door knowing that I was gonna get a job in
the golf industry. Our facilities at CalU are literally
second to none. We’ve got an expansive indoor facilty with an indoor chipping and putting green. We have our golf club fitting and repair
studio where students can literally take a golf club apart into its components
and construct it back to exact specifications. We’ve got 3D analyzing equipment, 2D analyzing equipment, force plate and balance technology. It literally is a full realm and wealth of information available to our students. I feel like I’ve started to build a network of other professionals. Because our program is really the perfect size, we get to know each of our students on an individual basis, as do other students in the program. This allows our students to network with each other, for our alumni to stay heavily involved, and for our students have access to a broad range of opportunities once they graduate. Our program provides a wonderful return on investment for our students. Not only do we have a hundred percent job placement rate, but our students get internships at literally some of the best places in the world. My internships have paid off and that’s where I think we gain an advantage. Day one I was 100% ready because of the skill sets I learned at CalU and through my internship. I love this school. I love the individual attention. I love the student body. The Professional Golf Management Program at CalU is really an exciting blend that takes a
student’s passion for the game, combine it with a core in business, and
send our students out into the industry with the skills that they need to succeed. Come back next week to learn more of the
Infinite Opportunities at the State System’s 14 universities, or visit us online.

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