Sunday, March 31, 2013

National Nutrition Month

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The month of March is National Nutrition Month. Nutrition plays a huge role in our daily lives. Proper nutrition gives us energy to keep moving and provides us with a balance of vitamins and minerals to sleep well at night. But that nagging question arises, “Am I eating the right foods to get the right nutrients?”
Here is how you can answer this, are you following your Food Guide Pyramid? The Food Guide Pyramid has changed over the years. The latest Food Guide Pyramid is tailored for you and your lifestyle. It is now named My Pyramid: Steps to a Healthier You. If you want to take a look to see what your pyramid looks, just click here. My Pyramid shows you how many servings of fruit, vegetables, protein, grains and fats that are needed in a daily diet based on age, gender and physical activity.
Another factor to having good nutrition is size of servings. Since our society has Super-Sized meals, we need to be cautioned on what portion sizes are correct for eating healthy. This “proportion distortion” has us consuming more calories that we actually require, which eventually those extra calories are converted into fat.  For example, a portion of chicken should be the size of a deck of cards. A medium sized fruit that is the size of your fist or a baseball is the correct portion size. A cup of raw vegetables, which is one serving size, is about the size of a tennis ball.  If you need more information about portion control, label reading and other helpful resources click here.
Nutrition does not only pertain to food, but to physical activity as well. Did you know that you are supposed to exercise for 60 minutes a day? Don’t worry; you can add lawn work or dancing into your exercise routine. If you need help calculating how long you need to work out to burn a certain amount of calories, find a calorie calculator. The link provided has all kinds of options for exercising that you might enjoy.
Since nutrition is such a large component of our lives, we should make it fun. Enjoy trying new foods or new recipes. Go out dancing, dig a few holes in the garden, walk your dog or play a game of chase with the kids. The point is to like those physical activities so you want to do them daily. So join us in the month of March for National Nutrition Month.

What are you doing to maintain proper nutrition?

You might also enjoy Back to School Health Tips

This post was written by Amanda Hinson-Enslin, PhD student.

Friday, March 1, 2013

State of the Department 2012

State of the Department 2012

Each year the President of the United States gives a State of the Union address. Following that tradition we would like to share some significant events in TWU Health Studies.  Here is a small glimpse of what took place in 2012.

Grant Participation:

Assistant Professor, Dr. Mandy Golman is serving as the program evaluator of a teen pregnancy prevention program with Girls Inc. in Dallas. This health intervention study received a $720,000 federal grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Administration for Children and Families. The grant will fund a three year health promotion project entitled “Girls Get Ready.” We look forward to learning of the progress Dr. Golman makes with the health intervention and the pursuit for finding evidence-based model for decreasing adolescent pregnancy.

Alumni Success:

Allyse Severn is one of our alums. She graduated in August 2011 with her BS and passed the Certified Health Education Specialist Exam the following October. She works for Reliant Rehabilitation as the Wellness Director in Plano, TX. She is creating a program for chronic disease management to educate therapists about chronic diseases so they will be equipped to teach patients. The main focus of the first program is Type 2 Diabetes Management. She is currently working on applying for a Health and Human Services grant for her job as well. What great achievements she has accomplished.

Dena Jackson, Ph.D.
Dena Jackson, Ph.D. is one of our doctoral alumni. After graduating from TWU she held a variety of positions and later became the Assistant VP of Research Development for The University of Texas at Dallas. Dr. Jackson helped coordinate multi-institutional and multi-national grant submissions for National Institutes of Health, National Science Foundation, and Department of Justice. She is currently the Vice President for Grants and Research at the Dallas Women’s Foundation. In her current role, one of her tasks is to evaluate the processes of the grantees and the foundation mission activities overall. To read the entire interview with Dr. Jackson click here.

Fellowship Gift:

Dr. Janice C. Williams graduated from TWU with a Ph.D. in health studies in 1973. After she graduated, she taught public school in Texas and Louisiana. She developed health teaching programs for Texas State University, Virginia Tech University and Texas A&M-Kingsville. Dr. Williams passed away in 2011. She graciously left $340,000 to the Department of Health Studies and Dance Department to develop fellowships. The Williams Health Studies Fellowship will support doctoral students in the TWU Health Studies Department in a teaching fellowship. More information about the Williams Health Studies Fellowship will be available soon.

Going the Distance with Learning:

Our online program director, Heidi Ashbaugh and graduate academic advisor, Morgan O’Donnell both presented at the annual Texas Distance Learning Association meeting. Ms. Ashbaugh presented information on professors using electronic discussion boards in various formats to encourage collaborative learning. Ms. O’Donnell’s presentation focused on how to use humor to better engage distance students.

Go Red for Women:

February 2012, TWU Health Studies partnered with other departments and organizations to help launch the first Go Red for Women campaign to promote the awareness of heart disease among women. What a success! The Denton, Dallas and Houston campuses all participated. Students, faculty and staff wore red to show their support. Departments, dorms and apartments were decorated in red and heart health information to win a contest. A lunch along with a showing of “Just a Little Heart Attack” kicked off the event. Later a discussion panel about heart health was open to everyone who attended.

Several departments and staff gave feedback which made the 2013 Go Red for Women an even larger success! Each TWU campus had a photo taken of all of those who participated in the events.

New Member:

Our newest member of the TWU HS faculty and family is Assistant Professor, Dr. Julio Guerrero.  He started in August 2012 after completing his graduate studies in Health Education at Texas A&M.  He has taught several HS courses since and is working to establish his research agenda, which focuses on Latino health disparities and chronic disease prevention among Mexican-Americans.  Dr.  Guerrero also hopes to become engaged with organizations that promote professional development and academic advancement among Latinos. 

Outstanding Staff:

Our graduate advisor, Morgan O’Donnell was nominated by the staff for TWU’s Outstanding Achievement Award. A committee selected Morgan for one of two TWU employee awards. She received the Outstanding Achievement Award in 2012 because of her outstanding service to TWU and her outstanding achievements. Congratulations, Morgan, and thank you for all of your service in the Health Studies Department!

Faculty Publications and Pursuits:

Dr. Katie Crosslin and Dr. Dr. Kristin Wiginton published an article in Gender Medicine entitled "Sex Differences in Disease Severity Among Patients With Systemic Lupus Erythematosus" (Vol. 8, No. 6, 2011). To view their full abstract click here. You can also access the full article at the TWU Library.
Dr. Kimberly Parker was presented with a Resolution during the Dallas County Commissioner’s Court for the Community Mobilization and Empowerment Conference. During the Commissioner’s Court session, she spoke about the HIV/AIDS among African American women in the nation and in Dallas County. Dr. Parker’s purpose was to inform attendees that if the community provides necessary tools, skills and resources to mobilize around HIV/AIDS that the residents will address influence that increase HIV/AIDS transmission. To read more about Dr. Parker’s pursuit click here.

Student Achievements:

Dr. Shelby Garner (recent Ph.D. graduate in August 2012) & Dr. Mary Ann Faucher (Ph.D graduate in 2002) received a grant for $5000 from Baylor University's Undergraduate Research and Scholarly Achievement Program. The grant is to be used for a Photovoice study entitled "The Use of Photovoice to Illustrate Challenges and Supports of Caregivers of the Elderly:  A Qualitative Participatory Study".  The study began in fall 2012 with culmination of an art exhibition to show photos of the participants and analysis will occur in the spring of 2013. During the research process, Ms. Garner and Dr. Faucher will be mentoring four nursing students from Louise Herrington School of Nursing. To read more about the Photovoice study, click here.

Caroline Roffidal-Blanco is one of our doctoral students and the Registered Dietitian for Metro Health’s Communities Putting Prevention to Work grant. The grant was awarded to the 2011 San Antonio Recognized Young Dietitian of the Year Award by the San Antonio Dietetic Association. She effectively organized the Healthy Schools Initiative in alliance with First Lady Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move Salad Bars to Schools. Caroline also serves as a registered dietitian for ¡Por Vida! healthy restaurants program. To read more about Caroline and her journey, click here

The following students were selected for Who's Who among Students in American Universities and Colleges for 2012!

Ms. Carol Creech, PhD student in Health Studies
Ms. Cassity Gutierrez, PhD student in Health Studies
Ms. Kimberly Mory, PhD student in Health Studies
Ms. Lona Sandon, PhD student in Health Studies
Ms. Lindsey Peddicord, MS student in Health Studies

Congratulations to all of our students’ success stories!

Are you an HS student, faculty or alumni and have a success story or achievement you want to share? Want to contribute a post for the blog? Contact Morgan O’Donnell at modonnell @

Compiled and written by Amanda Hinson-Enslin