UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — The College of Health and Human Development has funded several projects and initiatives to faculty members and researchers, made possible through four endowments that support undergraduate education and outreach programs.
“The endowments are an opportunity to support small projects and pilot programs that can improve teaching and learning, develop or expand initiatives that engage students with experiences outside the classroom, or address world campus program needs,” said Dennis Shea, associate dean for undergraduate studies and outreach and professor of health policy and administration.
The Mary Anna Mangino Community Service Endowment
Proceeds from the Mary Anna Mangino Community Service Endowment will help support three community outreach programs.
Amy Lorek, research and outreach associate at the Center for Healthy Aging, received funds from the endowment to enhance older adult programming. Specifically, Lorek will use the award to help support Face.Age: Perspectives on Aging programming and Story Circle, two projects used to engage and connect younger and older adults.
Christopher Bopp, kinesiology instructor and director of the Center for Fitness and Wellness, intends to use the funding to support continuing outreach projects between kinesiology students and students obtaining health professional certification at State College Area High School and the Lebanon County Career and Technology Center.
The Study of Healthy Aging and Applied Research Programs Laboratory (SHAARP), located in the Center for Healthy Aging, also received proceeds from the endowment. Lesley Ross, assistant professor of human development and family studies and SHAARP director, and SHAARP lab members will use the funds to continue their partnership with the Philipsburg Senior Resource Center, where they provide enhanced services to underserved population of rural, older adults.
Thomas W. and Jane Mason Tewskbury Endowment for Teaching Excellence
endowment promotes and enhances teaching excellence to inspire students to pursue careers as teaching professionals.
Amit Sharma, associate professor of hospitality management and finance and director of the Food Decisions Research Laboratory, will use the funds to add a blog feature to a smartphone app he previously developed to increase undergraduate student engagement and reading compliance for the course Financial Management in Hospitality Operations, HM 435.
The second recipient to receive support is David J. Vandenbergh, professor of biobehavioral health and associate director of the Penn State Institute of the Neurosciences, who will use the funds to purchase a one-year license for their VarSeq software, which will include a reduced-price offer for undergraduate students who purchase a license for the software.
Vandenbergh intends to use the software to guide students enrolled in Developmental & Health Genetics, BBH 410, to conduct both basic and advanced genetic analyses.
The Donald M. and Virginia Miller Cook Endowment for Teaching Excellence
Bopp also received funding from the Donald M. and Virginia Miller Cook Endowment for Teaching Excellence. He will use the funds to expand his skillset through additional training and certification, which will enhance his classroom teaching and allow him to stay relevant in the health and wellness fields.
Dr. Thomas M. Nardozzo Community Service Endowment Fund
The Dr. Thomas M. Nardozzo Community Service Endowment Fund is intended to help develop and deliver community outreach programs that promote human health and well-being and enhance the land grant responsibility of the University.
Bopp plans to use the funding to develop and implement a screening program for sarcopenia — muscle loss — in local retirement communities.
The project will provide undergraduate students in the Department of Kinesiology an opportunity to gain valuable firsthand experience working with older adults. The Village at Penn State has agreed to open their facility to students in the new Applied Exercise and Health option to perform these tests.
Additionally, Melissa Bopp, associate professor of kinesiology, plans to use the funding to provide students with a hands-on opportunity to apply what they learned in the classroom about policies that promote physical activity. Specifically, the funds will assist students enrolled in Physical Activity and Public Health, KINES 426, to attend Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., to garner support for federal legislation about physical activity.