LSSU kinesiology faculty, students conduct heart health research project

SPartners Students

HEART-HEALTHY RESEARCHERS –A Lake Superior State University School of Kinesiology professor joins her three students in presenting results of a state-wide study designed to encourage a heart-healthy lifestyle in kids. Joining professor Jody Susi – from left, behind research posters – are Breanne Seaton (from Sault Ste. Marie, Ont.), Emili Quevillon (Sault Ste. Marie, Ont.), and Olivia Heimforth (Sault Ste. Marie, Mich.). The outreach initiative and research opportunity is part of the (S)Partners Heart Health Project, started three years ago by Michigan State University. (LSSU/John Shibley)

Lake Superior State University kinesiology students and faculty wrapped up a large multi-disciplinary research project that researched and encouraged heart health in Eastern Upper Peninsula kids. LSSU educated fifth-graders on healthy habits, and then measured how that information affected health and choices regarding physical activity and nutrition.

The outreach initiative and research opportunity is part of the (S)Partners Heart Health Project, started three years ago by Michigan State University. LSSU came on board this past spring as an additional programming site for the program.

Lake State’s School of Kinesiology helped the MSU-based project gather a comprehensive understanding of children’s heart health. The research allowed LSSU students gain knowledge and training necessary for conducting reliable and valid cardiovascular disease risk factor assessments and behavior surveys.

Kinesiology Professors Jody Susi and Eric Statt served as the primary researchers for the project. They worked with ten kinesiology students including senior students Emily Ferroni, Olivia Heimforth, Katlin Martin, Emili Quevillon, Breanne Seaton (LSSU student coordinator), Brandon Vernelli, and Claire Woiderski. Three juniors – April Kahgee, Jeannette Kymes, and Aurora MacKenzie – also participated in the research project.

Kinesiology students visited two fifth-grade classrooms in Rudyard, Mich., each week to talk about nutrition and physical activity. The LSSU students were required to meet for five hours per week to research, design, prepare, and practice for the weekly lessons. Each student researcher also completed training and passed a certification evaluation that allowed them to deliver pre- and post-measurement testing on the fifth-grade students.