Dr. Jodi Robledo: A Passionate Advocate for Special Education

By David Ogul

500_robledo-9

Ever since Dr. Jodi Robledo began tutoring students with disabilities as part of her high school service-learning program, she has been dedicated to understanding how individuals with disabilities learn and the most effective ways to teach them.

Today, Robledo – an associate professor in Special Education at Cal State San Marcos who also serves as coordinator of the Special Education Credential Program and Master’s Degree option – is passing on her knowledge and research to new generations of special education teachers.

“I am passionate about shaping future teachers to work with and support individuals with disabilities and their families within inclusive environments,” she said.

Robledo earned her Master’s of Education in Special Education and her Ph.D. in Educational Leadership, with a focus on autism spectrum disorder and developmental disabilities, from the University of San Diego, where she co-founded the university’s Autism Institute. She also worked for the San Diego Unified School District as a special education teacher and autism specialist before coming to CSUSM in 2011.

“Our teacher candidates are being employed in this region and are therefore directly impacting it,” she said. “School districts specifically recruit our candidates because of the experiences they receive in our program.”

Robledo, who has published extensively, said she is especially proud of presenting the voice of individuals with autism spectrum disorder in her research.

She came to CSUSM because of the reputation of its Special Education program. She hasn’t been disappointed.

“The support I have received from CSUSM has been amazing,” Robledo reflected. “Faculty, administration, everyone has made me feel like my work is important and valued.”

Advertisements

CSUSM hires first director for Public Health

Press Release | By Eric Breier

DSCN3010

Dr. Emmanuel Iyiegbuniwe, an educator with more than 25 years of experience in academic administration, teaching and research, has been appointed the first director for Public Health at California State University San Marcos. Iyiegbuniwe’s appointment began June 6, 2016.

As CSUSM’s director for Public Health, Iyiegbuniwe (pronounced E-yeah-bu-nee-wey) will provide vision, leadership and administrative direction for a new Master of Public Health program in the early stages of accreditation with the Council on Education for Public Health (CEPH). Among his key responsibilities will be faculty and staff recruitment, supervision, mentoring and evaluation, fostering research initiatives and coordinating accreditation applications, self-studies, site visits and reports.

The Master of Public Health degree at CSUSM will prepare graduates to be public health professionals and leaders in community organizations, government, the military, academia and private-sector businesses. CSUSM’s program offers students flexibility with full- and part-time options, including evening classes for working professionals.

“I strongly believe that research should inform public health practice and that research, public service delivery and public health policy should develop in a mutually reinforcing fashion for the benefit of all stakeholders, especially our students,” Iyiegbuniwe said. “I look forward to collaborating with students, faculty and staff at Cal State San Marcos as we strive to achieve our goals.”

Iyiegbuniwe has expertise in developing comprehensive environmental public health programs as well as fostering learning collaborations and research.

“Dr. Iyiegbuniwe’s commitment to public health and education fits in perfectly with the hallmarks of our college – passion, innovation and excellence,” said Janet Powell, dean of CSUSM’s College of Education, Health and Human Services. “We are impressed with Dr. Iyiegbuniwe’s accomplishments and we are excited to have him join our team at Cal State San Marcos.”

Iyiegbuniwe received his M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in environmental and occupational health sciences from the School of Public Health at the University of Illinois at Chicago. He also earned another M.S. and MBA degrees from the University of Lagos, Nigeria, and Western Kentucky University, respectively.

He collaborates on four major scientific journals in public health, environmental health sciences and nanotechnology, either as a member of the editorial board or as a reviewer.

Please visit www.csusm.edu/el/mph for more information on CSUSM’s Master of Public Health program.

DSCN3004

New Public Health Team!

About California State University San Marcos

Building on an innovative 25-year history, California State University San Marcos is a forward-focused institution, dedicated to preparing future leaders, building great communities and solving critical issues. Located on a 304-acre hillside overlooking the City of San Marcos, it is the only public four-year comprehensive university serving North San Diego, Southwest Riverside and South Orange Counties.

The University enrolls over 14,000 students. With approximately 2,000 employees, the institution is a Great College to Work For® (The Chronicle of Higher Education). As a recipient of the annual HEED Award since 2014—a national honor recognizing U.S. colleges and universities that demonstrate an outstanding commitment to diversity and inclusion—CSUSM is committed to creating a diverse and inclusive environment.

New Professor Tackles Student Stress with Cogtoolz Planner

By Eric Breier1920_cogtoolzplannerpicture.horizontal

It is a sure bet that Christina Holub will be ready if “Shark Tank” ever comes calling.

Holub, recently hired as an assistant professor of public health at Cal State San Marcos, created a wellness-focused academic planner to help students better cope with school-life balance. She entered the planner in a contest that was set up similar to the reality TV show in which budding entrepreneurs present their business concepts to a panel.

christinaholub-coreinvestig-207x300

And she won.

 

Holub was working as a research assistant professor at San Diego State when she took first place in the social track category of the university’s Zahn Innovation Challenge in the spring of 2015. Her winning project used paper academic planners to help people manage their mental health through a variety of wellness tools.

“The contest was a really good intersection between public health and entrepreneurship,” Holub said. “It was really interesting to try something different. You could really think about, ‘There’s a health problem that’s normally addressed one-on-one through counseling and therapy. But how can we address that from a public health perspective?’ ”

Award money from the contest helped Holub found Cogtoolz to produce the planners for a wider audience. The planners were available in SDSU and UC San Diego bookstores during the 2015-16 academic year and sold out. They will be available in CSUSM’s bookstore before the start of the semester on Aug. 29.

Holub launched a Kickstarter campaign, running July 29-Aug. 27, with a goal of raising at least $2,000 to produce a smaller, 6-inch by 9-inch version of the planner in response to customer feedback from the first run.

While the digital age has led most students to rely on a computer device for their calendar planning in recent years, Holub noticed paper planners beginning to enjoy a resurgence. While she has a planner app undergoing beta testing, she likes that everything is in one easy-to-find place with the paper planner.

“If students are feeling overwhelmed or stressed, or if they are experiencing depression and anxiety, some of those tools are already implemented in the calendar format and they can practice them and have reminders,” she said.

Holub started the project with a general wellness planner, which focuses on issues like improving mood, measuring the severity of anxiety and stress-reducing tools and tips. She said one of the most popular tools is a self-care checklist called GRAPES — Gentle With Self, Relaxation, Accomplishment, Pleasure, Exercise and Social.

“A lot of times if you’re feeling anxious or depressed, you’re not doing a lot those things,” she said. “It can help remind you to take care of yourself.”

The student version includes all of the features in the wellness planner as well as additional tools specific to academics.

Holub said it’s important to note that the planner is not a replacement for a counselor, and CSUSM’s Student Health and Counseling Services is a great resource for any student who needs support.

While Holub continues work on the planners, she is also excited to be part of CSUSM’s Master of Public Health program at its inception. She has experience in public health programs at four other universities, earning her masters from Yale, her Ph.D. from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, working at SDSU and teaching classes at National University.

“It’s really nice to take all of that experience and figure out how we can build a great public health program here,” she said. “It’s very exciting.”

Holub has been transitioning to her new position over the summer, spending three days a week at CSUSM and two days at SDSU. She will be here full time in late August.

In addition to teaching public health courses, she is piloting an exercise program for Pacific Islanders called PIC Health.

“We work side by side with the Pacific Islander community from start to finish,” said Holub, who added that she is looking for interns at CSUSM who have an interest in exercise and health promotion.

Visit www.cogtoolz.com for more information on the planners or Holub’s Kickstarter campaign, and pichealth.org for information on her research.

Students making a difference at Speech-Language Clinic

DSCN8201

By Eric Breier

Alice and Norman Bishop had lived in Oceanside for just a week after relocating from Colorado when Norman suffered a stroke in April 2015.

Norman was in an intensive care unit for almost a month. He was eventually moved to a rehab center and suffered another stroke six weeks later.

The strokes left Norman with aphasia, a communication disorder that can cause speech and language difficulties, among other issues.

But the Bishops have found a measure of relief through Cal State San Marcos’ Speech-Language Clinic.

“It’s been a blessing,” Alice said. “Norman’s evaluation scores have really improved a lot.”

The Bishops found CSUSM’s Speech-Language Clinic through a recommendation from Norman’s speech therapist at an outpatient center in Oceanside.

CSUSM graduate students work with clients under the supervision of state-licensed and nationally certified speech-language pathologists. The free clinic provides services to people with neurological impairments to help improve speech, language and cognitive skills.

“The students are extremely well prepared,” Alice said. “They’re really positive and friendly and make you feel welcome. They do a great job.”

Laura Coca, one of the clinical supervisors along with Decemna Tang, said the majority of the clinic’s clients are people who have had a stroke or traumatic brain injury, have gone through acute rehab and their insurance has run out.

“They usually have 10-15 speech therapy visits, and for someone who has had a major stroke 10-15 visits isn’t going to get you too far,” Coca said. “So they come to us and our students do a full assessment on them. Then the students do traditional speech therapy with them. It’s a great community service.”

Clients visit the clinic for two-hour sessions on Tuesdays and Thursdays during the fall and spring semesters and attend daily during the summer program.

Twelve students work in the clinic each semester during the academic year and six in the summer, each working 80 contact hours.

“So many clients really feel like they are giving back to the students,” Coca said. “They can participate in this community situation where they’re also giving back and helping the students learn.”

Chelsey Johnson is one of those students. She worked with Tony Munoz at the clinic during the summer session that recently ended.

Munoz suffered a brain injury in April 2009 when he was thrown from a horse and then kicked in the head. Marisol Munoz, Tony’s wife, said he has undergone 12 brain surgeries and been in multiple comas, including one that lasted five months.

“The students really are involved,” Marisol said. “Chelsey knew right away what he needed to do and the things he likes.”

The clients receive individual speech therapy at each visit followed by group sessions that include a variety of activities.

One of the summer session group activities included a series of art-healing workshops led by Marilyn Huerta, a public affairs communication specialist in CSUSM’s College of Education, Health and Human Services.

The art workshops were interactive projects that helped clients and students communicate with one another. Clients completed tasks and then reflected by addressing questions such as why they selected certain colors and what the artwork means to them.

The projects included a small personal painting, painting a mask that described how they felt and a group project in which they painted a canvas together.

“Art uses another area of the brain, so it’s another way for the clients to express themselves,” Coca said.

Alice Bishop said the sessions have had a positive impact on her husband. She said he also has benefited from the connections made through the clinic.

“Just through their knowledge with what’s happening in the community, it’s opened up a lot of things for us,” she said. “The socializing with other people who have been through the same type of things, they’re so understanding. It’s like a camaraderie within the group.”

The clinics are equally beneficial for the students.

“When you get to apply your knowledge and interact with the clients, that’s what makes it rewarding and makes all of the classwork worth it,” Chelsey said. “The whole environment of the program is really positive and supportive and helpful.”

Dr. Wendy Hansbrough: Training a New Generation of Nurses

1920_wendy2

By David Ogul

Dr. Wendy Hansbrough has long had a love for teaching. Over the years she helped train new nurses at the University of Colorado Hospital Burn Center and later at UC San Diego Health, where she worked from 1984 to 2007. Now she’s using her expertise and experience as an assistant professor at the Cal State San Marcos School of Nursing.

Hansbrough came to CSUSM as a part-time clinical faculty member in 2010. She is currently collaborating with colleagues at Veterans Administration centers in San Diego and Chicago to research the nurse-patient relationship and how it affects quality of patient care.

Teaching and research allows her to meld two major interests.

“I have always enjoyed teaching,” Hansbrough said. “I did that at the bedside with new nurses and nurses new to burn care for decades. I was involved with developing certification standards for burn care and worked with a burn research team. So when I decided to step away from direct health care on the service side, it made sense to move into academia where I could blend my teaching and research passions.”

She has no regrets about coming to CSUSM.

“Cal State San Marcos affords me the opportunity to work everyday doing what I love with wonderful colleagues,” said Hansbrough. “I appreciate being able to work with smart and enthusiastic students and hopefully influence them to be the next generation of professional nurses who will lead the ongoing changes that are needed in health care.”

Retired Navy Captain Serves Again . . . in a San Marcos Middle School Classroom

By Margaret Chantung

800px-us-navy-021209-n-5812w-002-transfer-ceremony-of-uss-frederick-lst-1184

“It was intimidating.”

That’s what Elliott Powell remembered feeling the moment he stepped into his classroom on his first day of teaching at San Marcos Middle School just two years ago. And it’s not like he hadn’t been in stressful situations before.

The 26-year Navy veteran had commanded four warships over the course of his military career, successfully leading them through a multitude of training exercises, operational readiness inspections and Battle Group Operations all over the world.

During Operation Desert Storm, Powell commanded the USS Leader (MSO 490), that destroyed 16 mines in the Northern Persian Gulf. During Operation Sharp Guard, he conducted embargo operations off the coast of Bosnia while in command of USS Robert G. Bradley (FFG-49).

While serving in the Navy, Powell was the first African-American director of the White House Situation Room, overseeing the 24/7 operation of the President’s Operations Center and participating in over 50 presidential trips on Air Force One as the National Security Advisory’s representative from 1999 to 2001 during the Clinton and Bush presidencies.

After retiring from the Navy in 2004, Elliott joined the U.S. Bureau of Customs and Border Protection (CBP), where he spearheaded the development of the Operations Coordination Group that helped improve information sharing between the Departments of Defense and Homeland Security. Following his departure from CBP, he served as the director of the Federal Consulting Group where he led a group of government consultants that provided executive coaching, organizational development, performance measurement and customer satisfaction training to federal agencies throughout the Government.

But following this notable military and civil service career, Powell still wasn’t done—he had one thing that needed to do.

“I always wanted to be a teacher,” he said. “Throughout my life I have always considered myself a teacher. But that being said, I must admit to a bit of trepidation when I decided to take the plunge and make teaching my second career.”

After relocating from Washington, D.C., to San Marcos with his wife, who had retired from the Pentagon, to be closer to family, Powell enrolled in CSUSM’s School of Education middle-level credential program.

“I thought about what it’s like to be a middle school student, and I decided that if I can catch them now and get them on the right path, then I can truly make a difference,” he said.”

500_img-8478

An Uncommon Commitment

As a student at CSUSM, Powell became known as a mentor and role model for his peers, leading him to be named, in 2014, the Outstanding Graduate for the College of Education, Health and Human Services.

“Elliott was inquisitive and insightful,” said Erika Daniels, CSUSM professor of literacy education in his nomination letter. “He was always respectful and mindful of others’ opinions, helping to create a learning environment that operationalized the School of Education’s mission statement focusing on social justice and educational equity.”

If the U.S. military was his first calling, teaching quickly became his second. Following graduation from CSUSM, Powell was hired to teach seventh-grade English Language Arts and eighth-grade U.S. History at San Marcos Middle School.

And if that wasn’t enough, he now also teaches in the school’s after-hours AVID (Advancement Via Individual Determination) program, serves as the assistant coach of the junior varsity volleyball team and advises the Model United Nations club.

“It is amazing to me that after a very successful career in the Navy, he was willing to start again as a novice in a new career,” said Laurie Stowell, CSUSM professor of literacy. “He has the best attitude and just does what needs to be done to be the best teacher he can be.”

But even during his time in the military, Powell had a strong commitment to education. While directing the Situation Room, he ensured that his senior officers had the opportunity to earn their master’s degrees. He commanded three ships that received special recognition from Navy officials for their participation in the Navy’s Adopt-a-School program. Powell even created a Shipboard Learning Center to provide his crewmembers with a place to study and learn.

Powell sees a lot of parallels between teaching middle school and commanding a warship.

“Both have a lot to do with people skills and getting along with folks,” he said. “In the Navy, I hardly ever ordered people around because I worked to build trust.”

Respect, Remember, Achieve: A Motto for Education

The motto of Powell’s classroom at San Marcos Middle School is “Respect. Remember. Achieve.”—the words are boldly displayed above the whiteboard—and he makes it a point to greet students daily with a handshake, eye contact and a personal greeting.

He believes that teaching is 40 percent attending to the student and engaging them as a whole person and 60 percent actually imparting content.

“The challenge in teaching is to get the kids to be mindful of education,” Powell said. “You can’t just lecture to them. You have to be intentional, engage them, build a relationship and share your story. If you have an engaged student, you don’t have one with behavioral issues.

“At this age, they think it’s cool to be stupid, but in my classroom it’s cool to be smart. I tell them it’s OK to make mistakes. Here, each student gets an opportunity to be successful.

CSUSM Earns Accreditation for Master of Social Work

Press Release | By Eric Breier

California State University San Marcos announced this month that its Master of Social Work (MSW) program has been granted accreditation by the Council on Social Work Education, the national accrediting body for social work higher education.

Accreditation is a rigorous multiyear process to verify that social work degree programs meet high standards.

Blake Beecher, chair of CSUSM’s Department of Social Work, notes that accreditation is a recognition of the outstanding work of the faculty and staff and a reflection of the quality of the program.

Accreditation enables program graduates to be eligible for the state licensure process and provides greater access to professional opportunities which impact the quality of life for all populations.

“Cal State San Marcos’ accreditation in its Master of Social Work program is a credit to the hard work, commitment and dedication of Dr. Beecher and faculty in the department,” said Janet Powell, dean of CSUSM’s College of Education, Health and Human Services.

Under the umbrella of the College of Education, Health and Human Services, the Master of Social Work program helps to develop culturally competent, ethical and effective professionals for direct social work practice with diverse populations. The program prepares students for practice in a variety of settings, including public, private and nonprofit.

The Master of Social Work degree requires completion of 60 graduate units and may be completed in two or three years, depending on full- or part-time status. The MSW program at CSUSM has already been recognized as a high quality graduate social work program as indicated by its Top 10 ranking at graduateprograms.com.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, overall employment of social workers is projected to grow from 12-19 percent from 2014 to 2024, faster than the average for all occupations. Overall job prospects are particularly good for candidates with a MSW degree and state licensure.

Please visit www.csusm.edu/socialwork for more information.

Dr. Kenneth Gonzalez: Taking the Lead on Team Transformation

By David Ogul

1920_ken-gonzalez-010

Dr. Kenneth Gonzalez represents the essence of Cal State San Marcos.

The Director of CSUSM’s Joint Doctoral Program in Educational Leadership, Gonzalez has long worked with the broader community in a holistic approach at improving student success and college-going rates among underserved populations. He is a national consultant for more than 40 community colleges on institutional effectiveness, strategic planning and student learning outcomes assessment, and his latest project is the proposed Institute for Collective Impact at CSUSM, a regional effort aimed at improving conditions to affecting everything from health to education.

“We have incredible inequities in America that have been growing for the past two decades,” said Gonzalez. “I’m convinced that anything that perpetuates the status quo is endangering our future society—the society that my children will inherit. When I look around me, I see two types of individuals: those that are protecting the status quo and those that are working to transform the system around us. I’m on Team Transformation.”

Gonzalez came to CSUSM in the fall of 2015 from Cal State Fullerton, but spent most of his 15 years as a full-time faculty member at the University of San Diego. He has earned numerous national and institutional awards, including the Outstanding Teacher Award at USD in 2003 and 2010.

He sees CSUSM as playing a vital role in affecting change.

“Cal State San Marcos can be the people’s university by directly addressing the public’s needs related to education and health care,” he said. “We have the faculty, students, and leaders to transform not only the university, but the communities that we serve.”

 

http://news.csusm.edu/dr-kenneth-gonzalez-taking-the-lead-on-team-transformation/

On the Breaking Wave of Action Sports Research

By Margaret Chantung

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Surfing might just be the closest thing a person can get to walking on water. Those who practice the sport—and rough estimates place the number at about 20 million worldwide—cite the adrenaline rush, the escape from the daily grind and the earthy subculture with its own unique fashion, language and style, as reasons why they keep coming back to the ocean day after day.

First entering mainstream American culture in the 1950s and 60s, surfing and its many spinoff action boardsports—skateboarding and snowboarding to name a few—have come a long way. Today action sports are hugely popular among youth and adults of all ages, finding their place alongside baseball, soccer, tennis and volleyball in a billion-dollar global industry. Adding further credibility to the sports, the International Olympic Committee is looking at adding surfing and skateboarding to the 2020 Tokyo Games.

500_img-2532

However, unlike most other traditional sports, surfing has for decades been largely driven through experiential knowledge, gut feelings and anecdotal evidence. Experienced surfers pride themselves on their ability to read waves, analyze tide and wind conditions, and find the sweet spot on a dynamic playing field that is constantly changing and moving. While technology has certainly advanced surfing and other board sports from a materials perspective—manufacturers are creating faster, more maneuverable and durable boards—there is little scientific data to back up why new designs are actually better or how they might be impacting the human body.

But two Cal State San Marcos kinesiology researchers, Drs. Sean Newcomer and Jeff Nessler, are offering hard data on surfing and other action sports. Recently featured in Surfer Magazine, the professors are getting the attention of the surf and action sports industry, collaborating with companies to better understand how to help surfers increase performance and health. In fact, Newcomer and Nessler are the only scientists in the world that combine their expertise in physiology and mechanics to explore the sport of surfing from a multidisciplinary approach.

The Science of Surfing

Newcomer and Nessler, both lifelong surfers who grew up in North San Diego County, first teamed up and began delving into the science of surfing several years ago.

“We initially sought to characterize activity and cardiovascular responses of recreational surfers during normal surfing sessions,” said Newcomer. “Specifically we were interested in the cardiovascular health benefits of participating in surfing and how the aging process impacted the cardiovascular system and performance in the water.”

For their initial studies, subjects were strapped with heart rate monitors, and a team of undergraduates monitored heart rate response to paddling and riding waves while also capturing the surfers’ moves on camera. The goal was to discover if a session in the water had the same exercise benefits as a session in the gym. In fact, they proved that paddling out is indeed a viable form of aerobic exercise.

Newcomer and Nessler then moved their research into a CSUSM kinesiology laboratory for more controlled experiments that examined, for example, balance, postural sway and lower extremity strength.

“And now we have transitioned our research endeavors to a flume where we are able to control water speed and temperature very precisely. This allows us to perform experiments in a very controlled environment which we have previously been unable to do during our field studies,” explained Newcomer. The flume, a 9-by-16-foot pool with a variable current, allows research participants to paddle in place at controlled speeds.

In this environment Newcomer and Nessler are now examining how the design, materials and construction of surf equipment and products, such as boards, wetsuits and vests, impact the human body and athletic performance with regard to paddling efficiency, oxygen uptake, heart rate, thermoregulation, muscle activity and mechanics.

“We are looking at how products made by the surf industry perform in different situations,” said Newcomer. “For instance, wetsuits have been historically manufactured with the sole purpose of insulating a surfer from cold water exposure, but it is important to remember that the insulating qualities of wetsuits come at a cost to paddling efficiency and wave riding performance. Therefore finding the balance between warmth and flexibility is a very important research question that we are trying to answer. In addition, we are working with surfboard manufacturers to better understand the relationship between surfboard paddling efficiency and maneuverability while wave riding.”

And the surf industry is taking note. Newcomer and Nessler began collaborating with surf industry giants Hurley and Firewire to test products, along with other smaller industry collaborators such as Todd McFarland Surfboards.

“Surf products are actually very subjective,” said Bruce Moore, vice president of Performance and Innovation for Hurley. “A board feels fast or a wetsuit feels cold. By being able to quantify these ideas and technologies, we can inform our decisions based on actual facts instead of opinions.”

Students Get Stoked on Research

Nessler and Newcomer are not only passionate about their work, but about bringing curriculum to life for their undergraduate students who work alongside them in the lab and field. They have incorporated research into the undergraduate curriculum with students responsible for all aspects of research protocol.

“One of the most unique things about what we are doing here is that undergraduates are getting to apply what they are learning in class to testing products for a number of action sport industry leaders,” explained Newcomer. “This is a win-win situation since we are able to keep costs down for our industry collaborators while engaging our students in this innovative curriculum. We have also observed students are more engaged in these classes since implementing these real life studies in our curriculum. This engagement likely is a result of the students connecting with these projects and buying into the pedagogical paradigm. Equally as important is the connection the students have with products they are testing and the companies they are testing them for.”

Jean Aguilar, a senior kinesiology major, is among the students collecting and analyzing data. Jean plans to apply to medical school but credits her mentor, Dr. Newcomer, with providing her with the chance to do research typically reserved at other universities for graduate-level students. This summer, she will co-author a paper on wetsuit design.

“Working on the surf study has been an invaluable experience,” she reflected. “Working with the latest technology, amazing collaborators and surf subjects pushed me out of my comfort zone and helped me grow to be a better student.”

On the Horizon: A Future CSUSM Action Sports Institute

Ideally situated in North San Diego County in the center of the booming surf and action sports industry, Newcomer and Nessler see Cal State San Marcos as the perfect location for a possible future Action Sports Institute.

“We see the Institute addressing board sports such as skateboarding and stand-up paddle boarding, as well as snow sports such as snowboarding,” said Nessler. “If we could grow an institute like this, we could do more research, be more productive, train more students and help more companies in our backyard.”

In fact, the professors are currently studying the health benefits of skateboarding in youth—data that will contribute to an overall understanding of how the sport positively affects weight management and cardiovascular health.

“There are other applications to this—not just surfing or action sports. We could learn some things about rehabilitation or learn some things about technology that could be used in other research studies or environments,” said Nessler. “While the story of surfing is cool and we enjoy what we are doing, there are ultimately farther reaching implications.”

http://news.csusm.edu/surf-research