HES sign at the HES Teaching Facility

Health and Exercise Science Newsletter
Fall 2021 Recap

The Health and Exercise Science newsletter publishes twice per year, in January and June.

From the Department Head Barry Braun

Barry Braun outdoorsDear Alumni and Friends,

As we transition to a new year, I share the universal hope that 2022 is what we hoped 2021 would be back in 2020. As I started to write this message, I immediately veered to talking about our response to the pandemic, a reflex honed over the past 21 months.

However, I’d like to put COVID-19 aside for a few minutes and talk about something we care about deeply but, like others, have struggled to make real progress on: creating a Department of Health and Exercise Science where everyone can thrive, succeed, and feel like a valuable part of the “family.” Statements expounding on a commitment to diversity, equity, inclusion, and social justice abound, of course, but making statements is easy, real progress is harder.

So, let’s start with things we all generally agree on: that having a diverse set of backgrounds and perspectives makes us stronger; that it is important for students to see and interact with people who share their backgrounds and experiences; that we must train our students to work and live in an increasingly diverse world. And because so many of us spent a lot of time playing sports as kids and/or adults, we have a visceral belief that the playing field should be level for everyone. Which it has not been.

Allow me to use another sports analogy – Canadian hockey players. In 2013, a study published in PLOS One identified a “relative-age” effect in Canadian NHL players: 36% of players drafted by NHL teams between 1980 and 2007 were born between January and March, compared to 14.5% of draftees born from October to December. The likely explanation is that drafts for youth hockey leagues use Jan. 1 as the cutoff – so that a kid with a January birthday is 11 months older than a kid born in December – not a big difference as adults but huge when kids start playing organized hockey when they are in early elementary school.

The kids with birthdays early in the year are more likely to be bigger and stronger than their younger counterparts. They stand out in tryouts and in practices, end up in more elite junior leagues where they get better coaching, attend more all-star camps, and get more recognition. Those early advantages accumulate over time so by the time they are eligible to be drafted to the NHL, they are valued more highly and drafted earlier and more frequently. Interestingly, they are not necessarily more successful as professional players; in fact, there is some evidence being born later in the year makes you more likely to have a successful NHL career – more on that later (if interested, you can see the study online: “Born at the Wrong Time: Selection Bias in the NHL Draft.”)

What does that have to do with the world of academia?

Continue Reading Dr. Braun’s Message

Barry Braun rappelling off of a structure.

CSU’s Barry Braun participates in select Army ROTC leadership symposium

Department Head Barry Braun was one of a select few to participate in the Army ROTC Cadet Summer Training Leadership Symposium’s Center of Influence, in which more than 200 universities compete for representatives.


Jordan Acosta smiling

HES student gains valuable research experience on campus

Jordan Acosta spent her summer interning in Professor Brett Fling’s lab in the Human Performance Clinical Research Laboratory on campus. Learn about her experience in this Q&A.

Chris Ao smiling in front of a science poster.

Outstanding Graduate Chris Ao turns tragic events into an exciting career path

“My brother, dad, mom, and my girlfriend are the driving factors that push me up my own Mt. Everest.”

Travis Amato holding onto a rock edge on the top of a mountain

Outstanding Graduate found a love for helping people through those who helped him

An active member of the community, Travis Amato has one goal in mind for after graduation – help more people.

Nick Ao smiling in front of a science poster

Outstanding Graduate Nick Ao finds his own path after persevering through tragedy

“My proudest accomplishment is figuring out who I am, the connections I made, and what path I want to take for the future.”


CSU professor and student walk on artificial turf indoors.

Tackling the ‘Turf Monster:’ CSU professor’s study aims to make artificial playing surfaces better and safer for everyone

Colorado State University professor Raoul Reiser II is studying the correlation between artificial turf and injury/performance.

Close-up picture of hands being washed

Study: Mask-wearing, hand-washing protected CSU essential workers early in pandemic

A team of CSU researchers set out to answer questions regarding COVID-19 health protocols by launching a study of more than 500 essential employees at CSU.

Portrait of Heather Leach

CSU Professor Leach researching metabolism as part of key initiative at CU Cancer Center

Metabolism is a fundamental function whose role in cancer is being explored by researchers across the CU Cancer Center, including Colorado State University’s Heather Leach.

Tiffany Lipsey running medical exams on a patient

CSU researcher part of study to evaluate, reduce cancer risk for wildland firefighters

CSU researcher, Tiffany Lipsey, is part of a 12-person team awarded a three-year, $1.5 million grant from the Federal Emergency Management Agency to study firefighters who battle forest fires.


Two runners smiling during the homecoming race

The 41st annual Homecoming 5k race brings runners back to campus

The Colorado State University Homecoming 5K race was a smashing hit as it made an exciting return for in-person runners after a successful virtual race the previous fall.

Kids in the Summer Youth Sport Camps playing soccer outside

Summer Youth Sport Camps provide physical activity and social connection for children

This summer, the 51st annual Colorado State University Youth Sport Camps hosted over 1,700 local youth to engage in movement and a healthy lifestyle through sports.

Four children smile together on a baseball field

Summer 2022 Youth Sport Camps: Registration now open

Join us for the 2022 season of Youth Sport Camps! See our website for camp info and schedule.

Alumni and Giving

Kamal Craig jumping over a hurdle during a track meet

Kamal-Craig Golaube: Leaving a legacy of inclusion and excellence

In just three years on campus, Kamal-Craig Golaube has been a powerful agent for positive change as well as leaving his name in the record books for track and field.

Lillian Grenne sitting on a bench next to a running track

Forerunner: CSU track pioneer receives national tribute

Lillian Greene-Chamberlain is an honored 1963 CSU alumna and a trailblazer in elite women’s track and field who is back on the podium highlighted as part of a new national initiative.

Members of a fraternity holding up a large pink check

Historic fraternity supports FitCancer and community survivors

For two years, the gentlemen of the Colorado State University Sigma Alpha Epsilon (SAE) fraternity have come together to support a worthy community cause.


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