Health and Exercise Science students, faculty receive prestigious awards for research and excellence

The Department of Health and Exercise Science at Colorado State University has always believed their students and faculty are among the best in the country, but every day our students and faculty prove it by putting in the hard work. HES is excited to acknowledge the many awards and achievements that our students and faculty have earned in the Spring 2021 semester. 

2021 Celebrate Undergraduate Research and Creativity symposium

Andrea Shammas
Andrea Shammas. a Movement Neuroscience Rehabilitation lab member and the CURC College Honors awardee

Evan Mathias was awarded High Honors at the 2021 CSU Celebrate Undergraduate Research and Creativity (CURC) symposium, which took place virtually this spring.  CURC is an annual celebration of research and creative endeavors, where students can showcase their work in a variety of forms, from poetry and art to scientific posters and studies. Mathias presented his work with the Sensorimotor Neuroimaging Laboratory in a poster titled “Using virtual time-to-contact to identify balance differences between healthy adults and college athletes”.

Andrea Shammas, a researcher from the Movement Neuroscience Rehabilitation lab, won the College Honors award for her poster, entitled “Intraindividual Motor Variability and its Impact on Braking Time in Stroke”. Shammas’ and Mathias’ posters, along with other posters from the department can be viewed online through the 2021 CURC iPoster website.

Brett Fling
Brett Fling, Assistant Professor of Health and Exercise Science, and winner of the 2021 Provost Award for Faculty Excellence-Lincoln Laureate at Colorado State University

Celebrate! CSU Awards

The department is not only proud of the amazing work of our students, but we are also lucky to have excellent faculty that go above and beyond their duties, both in the laboratory and in the classroom.

This year, HES professor Dr. Brett Fling was awarded the Lincoln Laureate, one of the Provost’s Awards for Faculty Excellence. The Lincoln Laureate award is given to a faculty member who shows an exceptional ability to balance and display excellence across the realms of teaching, scholarly or creative activity as well as service in the spirit of the land grant university mission. Dr. Fling exemplifies this, as he is both a beloved professor and avid researcher. Dr. Fling is the head of the Sensorimotor Neuroimaging Laboratory, as well as the host for the yearly International Symposium on Gait and Balance in Multiple Sclerosis. He also is a beloved instructor and the newly elected Director of Graduate Affairs for the Department of Health and Exercise Science.

College of Health and Human Sciences Awards

Jordan Acosta
Jordan Acosta, CHHS Outstanding Senior and American Kinesiology Academy Undergraduate Scholar

Every year, the College of Health and Exercise Science sets out to recognize the many talented students, staff, and faculty that make the college a special place to learn and work. This year, Health and Exercise Science was excited to have our nominations be recognized for five of these awards.

Tami Boday, Assistant Director of HES Academic Advising and Academic Success coordinator, received the Outstanding Adviser Award for her amazing advocacy and support for undergraduate students.

Laurie Biela, the HPCRL Manager of Research Operations and overall jack-of-all-trades for HES, was awarded the Superior Staff Service Award for continuing to go above and beyond in her role to support all research, building, and learning operations so that the department can continue to run smoothly on all fronts.

Rick Perry, a faculty professor and a beloved undergraduate instructor, was recognized for the Non-Tenure-Track Faculty Early Career Teaching Award for his exciting and engaging learning style that keeps students interested by making lessons fun and memorable.

Chrissy Chard, an assistant professor for HES and the Colorado School of Public Health received the Non-Tenure-Track Faculty/AP Scholarly Excellence Award for her engaging work with students and her advocacy for diversity, inclusion, and equity initiatives both in and out of the classroom.

Jordan Acosta, a newly graduated HES senior and softball player, was awarded the Outstanding Senior Award for her excellence both in the department as well as on the field.

Rocky Mountain American College of Sports Medicine Conference

The Rocky Mountain American College of Sports Medicine is a Colorado and Wyoming coalition of students and researchers to promote research and education in the sports medicine field. Each year they hold an awards ceremony to acknowledge and honor the work of Colorado and Wyoming students who are participating in research that furthers the field and leads to new insights and breakthroughs.

HES undergraduate students Rachelle Cannon and Olivia Cooper, mentored by Karyn Hamilton, tied for first place in the undergraduate presentation category for their joint presentation. Vicky Bandera, mentored by Heather Leach and Brett Fling, also won first place for the Master’s presentation category. Bandera was also awarded the President’s Cup, which allows her to present at the National American College of Sports Medicine Conference, as well as covers her registration for the event.

Mary Hidde, mentored by Heather Leach, was awarded second place in the Doctoral presentation category.

Victoria Bandera
Victoria Bandera, member of the Physical Activity for Treatment and Prevention Lab and the Sensorimotor Neuroimaging Lab, won awards from the American Kinesiology Academy, the Rocky Mountain American College of Sports Medicine Conference and Rocky Mountain American Society for Biomechanics

American Kinesiology Academy

The American Kinesiology Academy is a national organization that advocates and promotes kinesiology implementation and research across the country and supports and acknowledges research and work in the field from professors and students alike. Each year they ask faculty to recommend students who have outstanding work in the kinesiology field, in order to acknowledge and foster academic excellence in the field. This year, four HES students were recognized for awards from the academy. 

Jordan Acosta (Undergraduate Scholar) and Clayton Swanson, Ph.D., (Doctoral Scholar) were both recipients of the local scholar recognitions. Nate Bachman, MS, was also a local recipient of the Graduate Student Writing Award. All three local recipients received a medal and certificate for their outstanding achievements. 

Victoria Bandera has been named the 2021 National Winner for the Master’s Scholar Award (Doctoral Granting Institutions). As a national award winner, Bandera received a medal and certificate with a  $250 Human Kinetics gift certificate. 

Rocky Mountain American Society for Biomechanics

The Rocky Mountain American Society of Biomechanics is a local conference with only two goals: to get students comfortable with presenting research orally and through poster design, as well as to let students and staff of various biomechanics research groups commingle and interact in a space that celebrates their profession. Every year, the conference acknowledges some of these conference speakers with presentation awards for both podium and poster presentations.

This year’s RMASB conference acknowledged three HES members for their presentations. Diana Enzastiga (Undergraduate) Victoria Bandera, MS (Graduate) both received a Best Podium Presentation Award. Dr. Prakruti Patel, a post-doctoral fellow in the Movement Neuroscience and Rehabilitation lab, also was recognized for the Most Amazing Poster Presentation Award.

Mary Hidde
Mary Hidde, member of the Physical Activity for Treatment and Prevention Lab and the Promoting Healthy Aging and Families Research Lab, won awards from the CHHS Research Day and the Rocky Mountain American College of Sports Medicine

College of Health and Human Sciences Research Day

This year, the College of Health and Human Sciences held their second annual Research Day, a day to honor the creativity and research from within the walls of our own institution and acknowledge the everyday excellence of our staff, faculty and students. This year, two students were awarded honors from the CHHS Research Day.

Sarah McCarther, a member of the Movement Neuroscience and Rehabilitation laboratory and mentored by Dr. Neha Lodha, was awarded the Top Honors in Undergraduate Research and Creativity for her poster and presentation on Upper Limb Motor Impairments in Dexterity in MCI: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis.

Mary Hidde, a member of the Physical Activity for Treatment and Prevention Lab and the Promoting Healthy Aging and Families Research Lab, was awarded the Distinction in Graduate Research in the Clinical Science category for her poster and presentation of Effects of sedentary behavior on lipids and glucose among individuals at high risk for cancer. Mary has many mentors and colleagues guiding and contributing to her work, including Melanie Beale, Dr. Kate Lyden, Bridget Baxter, Dr. Elizabeth Ryan, and Dr. Heather Leach.

Colorado School of Public Health Awards

The Colorado School of Public Health is the only public health program in the Rocky Mountain region and works closely with the Department of Health and Exercise Science, as well as shares some faculty between the prestigious programs. Each year, the school nominates students, faculty, and staff to recognize and celebrate excellence and dedication to both educational and public health activities. This year, two Health and Exercise Science faculty members were nominated and awarded distinguished honors. Chrissy Chard, Ph.D., was recognized for the Faculty Excellence in Teaching award, and Molly Gutilla, DrPH, was recognized for Faculty Excellence in Public Health Practice.

Congratulations to our award winners, and thank you to the faculty and staff who continue to mentor their research, inform their teachings, and guide their learning.

The Department of Health and Exercise Science is part of CSU’s College of Health and Human Sciences.