Second-year UWF graduate student and research assistant Aaron Morton is working with Dr. Ludi Cosio-Lima on testing some new ways to stay cool in hot places. Morton is very thankful for the opportunity to assist Dr. Cosio-Lima, who is an associate professor in the Department of Health, Leisure and Exercise Science as well as an internationally award-winning triathlete. Dr. Cosio-Lima joined UWF in 2005 and conducts research in exercise science for both athletic and military applications.
Morton chose UWF as the place to pursue his M.S. after visiting the HLES facility. "When I was searching for a university with a master's program, UWF really stood out because of the facilities and equipment available. We can pretty much measure and analyze anything," Morton said. The project he is currently working on is of great interest to athletes and the military: how to reduce core body temperature during strenuous activity in high-heat and high-humidity environments.
In order to conduct their research, Morton and Dr. Cosio-Lima had to redesign the cooling chamber in the Health, Leisure, and Exercise Science's Physiology Lab. "The chamber was built to maintain temperatures down to -40°F," said Morton, "but we needed to create a tropical-like environment of 100°F and 85% humidity." Accomplishing this meant that the chamber had to be refitted with moisture-proof electronics and equipment. "Designing all of this was a challenge, but that is what makes research fun: you start with an initial problem that leads to another then another, and you solve all of these until you have a really solid research design."
Morton demonstrated the treadmills, fans and misters in the chamber that will expose the subjects to a very realistic, yet reliably stable simulation of what our soldiers might endure in field exercises. "The experiment consists of measuring core body temperature, heart rate, and respirations while the experimental and control subjects run on treadmills for an hour-and-a-half, with only 5 minute breaks every half hour." Even without the strenuous exercise, Morton reported his own resting heart rate increased to a tachycardic 136 beats per minute while in the hot, humid chamber.
"We are testing two types of cooling technologies," said Morton, "a hand-held device that circulates ice water during breaks from running, and a tight-fitting suit made of a carbon-based material." Eight hours prior to beginning the trials, test subjects swallow a capsule containing a thermometer that is monitored remotely with a hand-held receiver. This gives the researchers the most accurate readings possible of the subject's core temperature as it fluctuates throughout the experiment. While final analysis of the data is yet to be completed, subjects reported a lower perceived exertion rate in the first of the trials with the hand-held device.
The trials with the carbon suit will test the manufacturer's claims that the wearer will experience, among other benefits, a lower core body temperature during strenuous exercise. "If the evidence bears out these claims it could become the new physical training uniform for the military." Morton was careful to emphasize that neither he nor the university have any vested interest in the manufacturers of the products, stating that "we are simply recording data and analyzing it, we have no agenda other than science."
To learn more about the research going on in HLES and other departments in the College of Professional studies, visit uwf.edu/cops.
After completing his PhD at Michigan State University in sociology, anthropology, and criminal justice, Dr. John Smykla began his academic career 35 years ago at the University of Alabama. He spent 25 years there, serving as department chairperson for Criminal Justice and also serving on the faculty for the International Studies and Women's Studies Department. During his time at Alabama, he was named a Fulbright Scholar to Argentine and Uruguay, where he researched the prison system.
"Uruguay had just come out of a military coup and had its first democratic elections. It was a fascinating experience," said Dr. Smykla.
He visited UWF for the first time in 2005 after being invited by the department chairperson Dr. Cheryl Swanson to give a lecture on drug courts, and he also served as an external reviewer for a faculty member going up for tenure and promotion. He had met several of the UWF faculty at academic conferences, and he enjoyed his visit to the campus.
"There seemed to be something very special about the UWF campus and the balance and appreciation of teaching and research,"he said.
When the department decided to search for a new chairperson, Dr. Smykla decided to apply. After a national search was conducted, Dr. Smykla was offered the position of chairperson of the Department of Criminal Justice and Legal Studies, and he served in the position for three years before returning to a full-time faculty position, which he describes as "the best job in the world."
Currently Dr. Smykla, who was recently named UWF Distinguished University Professor for his years of exemplary service and scholarship, is planning a study-abroad trip for a group of criminal justice students this summer. He will take the students to Scotland from May 29 through June 11 to study Scotland's criminal justice system, and they will visit several prisons on their trip. Dr. Smykla has planned the trip for over two years, and is excited to give the students this unique opportunity.
"I want my students to know that we live in a global community and that makes it not only possible, but also necessary for us to learn from both the successes and mistakes of other countries around the world. While my primary goal is for my students to learn about the criminal justice policies of Scotland, I also hope our Scottish counterparts will glean some lessons from us as well," Dr. Smykla said.
In addition to his teaching, Dr. Smykla is devoting his time to several different research projects, including working on the 6th edition of his nationally acclaimed textbook, Corrections in the 21st Century. First published 13 years ago, the book has since become one of the major textbooks in the field of corrections, and based on sales, is currently the number 2 textbook for corrections in the country.
The book has three themes - professionalism in corrections, evidence-based practices, and careers in corrections. Each of the 16 chapters opens with a high-profile face and case taken from today's headlines that provide timely corrections-related coverage and the background needed to understand the role of corrections in today's world.
"Sometimes if I am teaching a corrections course during the revision period, I'll ask my students for story ideas. In fact, when we were choosing a cover for the 5th edition, I took the five selections to class and my students voted on them," said Dr. Smykla.
The book, which is full color and about 600 pages, also takes care to provoke student interest in career opportunities. To do that, each chapter highlights a corrections professional who is close in age to the readership, with a profile that includes the individual's picture, past work experience, education, and advice.
In addition, an online learning center was created for students where web-based exercises, quizzes, links to articles and audio features, resources for careers in corrections and other materials can be found. For instructors, a password protected center includes lesson plans, an instructor's manual, a computerized test bank, PowerPoint presentation slides, and other teaching tools.
The 6th edition, which is published by McGraw-Hill, and is co-authored by Dr. Frank Schmalleger, is due to come out in January 2012. A paperback and brief version of the book is slated for publication in 2013.
Dr. Carla Thompson, Associate Professor & Director, UWF Community Outreach Research and Learning (CORAL) Center, has had a research paper accepted for presentation for the Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education World Conference in Lisbon, Portugal, June 25-July 3, 2011. Her research paper is a product of a community-based research study currently in progress with the UWF CORAL Center and Pensacola Catholic High School focused on examining the impact of the full integration of technology (one-on-one laptops) in the full high school curriculum. UWF doctoral students who have participated in the research project include: Project Director - H. Quincy Brown and researchers, Heather Green and Daniel Drost. The project is in the final stages of data collection and will be completed June 1, 2011. The abstract of the accepted research paper is provided.
Improving Instruction by Improving the Use of Data:
Using I-Pads for Classroom Observations
Carla J. Thompson
University of West Florida, USA
Abstract:Improving instruction by improving the use of data in decision-making incorporating I-Pads for classroom observations is the focus of this case study research effort in-progress (2010-2011). The investigation is empirically connecting classroom observational data (retrieved by external trained observers using I-Pad technology) to student cognitive/affective data and to teacher professional development data using a Relational Feedback Intervention (RFI) Database Model. The RFI Model utilizes Multiple Regression Analysis to determine the effectiveness of the use of technology in instruction (classroom observational data) on student outcomes, technology acceptance levels, and technology integration in a high school setting. The RFI Model provides formative and summative feedback regarding technology integration within three curriculum areas:(a) Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM); (b) Social Sciences(English, Humanities, and Related Subjects); and (c) Electives (Art, Music, Speech, Physical Education, and Related Subjects). Results and implications of the RFI Model for improving instruction will be presented.
For the past 6 years, Dr. Susie Jans-Thomas has been conducting research throughout Alabama, Mississippi, Tennessee, and Louisiana about the U.S. Civil Rights Era, poverty, race, and educational history. She has signed a book contract with Mellen Press for her book The Historical Highway to Selma: One Professor's Journey, which will be released within the next year.
She is also currently working on a book entitled Visual Abandonment: Mississippi's Vanishing Social History, which details her site-based research and photographic inquiry conducted throughout the state of Mississippi for the past five years. In the book, she examines the vanishing social history of African Americans in Mississippi. While she conducts her field research, she takes thousands of photographs each day to use in her books. In addition to using the photographs in her books, she also uses them in her academic courses to help students get a true understanding of the issues they study. Over spring break, Dr. Jans-Thomas traveled to numerous locations across the South to continue her work on her current research. She participated in the 46th Annual Bridge Crossing Jubilee in Selma, Alabama. She also conducted site-based research throughout North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia related to the civil rights era.
Dr. Stacie Whinnery enters the classroom at East Milton Elementary School with a cheerful, "Well, Good Morning, everyone!" Immediately, the students' eyes light up and she greets each one of them individually. "Watch out for Collette, she'll run over your feet," the teacher warns as the small girl races around the room in her pacer, a device designed specifically for the students. We've arrived just in time for a P.E. rotation, and Collette is ready to make her way down the hall.
For the past ten years, Dr. Whinnery has consulted with the Santa Rosa County Exceptional Student Education on a variety of projects related to programming for students with severe disabilities. Over the past five years, she has helped to establish MOVE (Mobility Opportunities via Education) classrooms at the preschool level, the elementary level, and the high school level. Her work involves professional development training, in-classroom consultation, parent training, and support for program implementation and data collection. This school year, with Dr. Keith Whinnery, Terri Goebel and Jerry Goebel, she is training teachers, therapists and paraprofessionals in Santa Rosa County on the MOVE Curriculum.
The MOVE program is designed to enable individuals with physical disabilities to participate more fully in life by increasing their functional mobility skills in sitting, standing, walking, and transferring. But even more, according to Dr. Whinnery, "The program is about setting goals for each student based on what he or she should be able to do, and then helping them to achieve those goals."
Down the hall at the door to the P.E. room, Coach Tammy has placed a large red button with the word "Open" on the door. As Collette approaches the door she asks her what she would like to do. After a moment of hesitation, Collette reaches out and presses the button. Once inside, Collette and the other students are given choices for activities through pictures. "Do you want the ball or the piano?" Dr. Whinnery asks one student.
While the primary focus of the MOVE curriculum is the improvement of mobility skills, students experience a number of other benefits, such as relying less on bulky adaptive equipment which results in cost savings and greater access to the community. Soon after arriving in the P.E. room, one kindergarten age student chose the activity of crawling through a tunnel. Leaving her adaptive equipment, she lowered herself to the floor, crawled through, stood up and walked back to her pacer. Dr. Whinnery explained that she had been in the program for a couple of years. "That's wonderful progress," she says to Coach Tammy.
In addition to her consulting work at East Milton Elementary School, Dr. Whinnery's research studies in the area of functional mobility training for children and adults with significant physical disabilities has earned national and international recognition in Europe, New Zealand, Japan, Egypt, Brazil and Hong Kong. Because of this, the MOVE program has become recognized as an evidence-based approach to serving individuals with the most severe disabilities. She is also co-developer of the MOVE Curriculum Basic Provider Training and the MOVE Site Trainer Training, and is the solo developer of the MOVE for Adults Basic Provider Training, which serves as the official trainings of MOVE programming around the world. Her work has resulted in certification of over 500 MOVE trainers and over 18,000 MOVE Basic Providers in the United States (MOVE International database, 2009).
In 2007, Dr. Whinnery had the opportunity to serve as the interim Director of Program Development for MOVE International, serving as the content expert for MOVE Programming in the United States, Japan, Europe, New Zealand, and Egypt. For her research, she has been awarded a number of grants related to the MOVE programming including a $120,913 for MOVE International Program Development in Agust 2007 from MOVE International and Kern County Superintendent of Schools, which resulted in the MOVE for Adults Training Protocol and Manual.
Dr. Stacie Whinnery brings this applied research and expertise with her to classroom here at UWF, where she teaches future educators how to work with children and adults with disabilities.
Since arriving at UWF in 2005, Dr. Ludmila Cosio Lima has demonstrated a strong interest in conducting research that can help improve people's lives. Dr. Cosio Lima earned her PhD from Springfield College in Massachusetts. Before joining UWF, she worked in a cardiology unit where she helped patients with congestive heart failure.
She is now an associate professor in the UWF Department of Health, Leisure, and Exercise Science. She recently completed a research study of elite cyclists to determine whether protein drinks could help decrease inflammation markers that might impede performance and lead to injury. She found that the protein drinks, which consisted of 4:1 ratio of carbohydrates to proteins, improved the performance of the cyclists.
Dr. Cosio Lima wants to build on this research by applying the results to military settings, particularly in Afghanistan where soldiers face intense heat and humidity. She has always had a passion in helping the military. In fact, during graduate school, she worked for the military as a civilian. She is excited that her work could help decrease injuries that soldiers experience and states, "I think we should take care of the military because they take care of us."
Dr. Cosio Lima is interested in continuing to find ways to help decrease injuries to special forces troops. She and Dr. John Todorovich are planning to pursue a federal grant next year that focuses on how physical fitness can affect the impact of injuries on soldiers. She believes that UWF's connection to the military is especially strong, and she wants to use her research to continue to improve the relationship.
Learn more about the UWF Department of Health, Leisure, and Exercise Science by visiting their website.