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Our Commitment to You

We are committed to the highest standards of inclusion and equity through our education initiatives, innovative research, and multiple outreach and engagement programs. Our faculty and staff strive to uphold Colorado State’s Principles of Community, and work together to ensure we are providing opportunity and access to all of our students.

We are proud to have more than 250 first-generation students. With nearly a dozen faculty and staff that were also first-generation students, we are committed to supporting students on their journey and providing the necessary resources to help first-generation students succeed.

The Support Women in Science Need

We are proud to be a leading department in both research and education by supporting women in science. Over 60% of our student population self-identify as female. It is our mission to make this department THE place in our field to train women leaders in science.

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The Destination for Non-Traditional and Transfer Students

Our program is built with the workforce in mind, with many opportunities for students to engage directly with the field through research, internships, networking, and practicum while still in school. Our ability to fuse the educational environment with the real world aspects of our field make us uniquely equipped to work with non-traditional, transfer, and veteran students looking for hands on job training and to finish their degrees in a way that launches them into their careers.

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Committee for Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Justice

Teaching

This is a sampling of Health and Exercise Science teaching philosophies and courses with DEIJ content.

Chrissy Chard, associate professor and the recipient of the CSU Faculty Institute for Inclusive Excellence Diversity Impact Award, believes there are many opportunities to invite inclusion into education, starting with examining who are considered experts in the classroom. When it comes to curriculum, she considers which authors are being brought into the conversation, and what kinds of media, making sure there are a diverse set of voices represented. She also looks at how interactions and lessons with students convey inclusive principles, making sure to prioritize inclusive language, starting from the syllabus and carrying through in every communication that she has with students. Dr. Chard creates community agreements with students, something they can reflect on and use to guide them through deeper or tougher topics. She values students’ lived experience as a form of knowledge and expertise.

Molly Gutilla, assistant professor, teaches epidemiology, research methods, and data analysis courses in public health. Dr. Gutilla believes learning about health equity is central to public health education and working within a community is the key to making positive changes that support health for all. In the classroom, she works with students to co-create inclusive learning environments since students do their best learning in environments where they feel a sense of belonging. Here teaching and learning philosophy prioritizes the importance of the application of material to the larger system in which students are living, learning, and working. While much of the content within epidemiology is technical, her goal is for the micro to translate into the macro and be used to save and improve lives, illustrating that health is a human right.

Using the lens of social determinants of health to explore and discuss health inequity

Kathy Hutcheson, senior instructor, provides her students in HES 355 Integration of Health Behaviors the opportunity to learn about the different Social Determinants of Health, such as economic stability, education access and community. Social Determinant of Health are factors that impact the health of a community that is often beyond the control of their own personal choices. Students discuss how Social Determinants of Health influence health and health inequity for BIPOC (Black, Indigenous and People of Color) and people that are members of the LGTBQ+ community, who are often the most impacted by these factors.  They also discuss how individual and institutional discrimination can impact health behaviors and access to healthcare.

Research

Our faculty research interests include a focus on health disparities among minoritized populations as well as studying interventions for people with a wide variety of disabilities.

Shift workers are at much higher risk for many diseases, and Josiane Broussard, director of the Sleep and Metabolism laboratory, is looking into how these workers can support their bodies despite working non-traditional hours. The goals of this NIH-backed lab are to understand how sleep and circadian disruption increases risk for different diseases and to develop countermeasures when these behaviors are unavoidable. There are sex and race disparities within work schedule styles, as Blacks and Latinos disproportionately work during less traditional hours, as well as those with family incomes below the poverty level being more likely to work at nonstandard times. Through her research, Dr. Broussard and her team look at methods to understand why these work schedules impact their employees, and how to diminish or eliminate the deleterious effects through intervention.

Brett Fling is an associate professor who directs the Sensorimotor Neuroimaging Laboratory. One of the lab’s on-going studies, funded by the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, is determining how the two sides of the brain communicate with each other to coordinate the movement of the legs while walking in people with MS. “This work fits with our lab’s primary mission of improving mobility, independence, and quality of life for those living with neural injury or disease.” Dr. Fling also serves as the Graduate Program Director for the Department of Health and Exercise Science, where he places a specific emphasis on increasing diverse representation within the HES graduate student population and fostering an environment of inclusion and cohesion.

The Movement Neuroscience and Rehabilitation laboratory, directed by Assistant Professor Neha Lodha, studies driving and walking mobility in older adults. The lab is supported and funded by the National Institute of Aging and the American Heart Association. The current studies, the Come-Drive study and B-fast study, are in the data collection phase and are recruiting older adults, individuals with stroke and mild cognitive impairments. Due to high prevalence of cardiovascular disease and cognitive impairments in non-whites, the lab is particularly interested in inviting older adults from minority backgrounds such as Hispanics, Latinos, and African Americans to participate in these important studies. Having reflective study samples is important to the lab’s research as they strive to shed light on issues that impact underserved communities. The lab also offers screening for driving crash risk and fall risk for older adults in Larimer County in their summer mobility clinic.

Outreach

Our community outreach programs serve adults and youth of all backgrounds and abilities to lead healthy and active lives.

Kimberly Burke, an instructor in the Department of Health and Exercise Science and the director of the Adult Fitness Program, provides a student learning environment as well as health and fitness access for the community of CSU through Adult Fitness. Employees of CSU, as well as those in the greater Fort Collins area of all adult ages and backgrounds are welcome to join the program. As a dual outreach and educational program, students get hands-on experiences in their area of study, and members of the program get individualized exercise programs tailored to their needs and abilities created by the students, helping many underserved adults get access to quality personalized training.

Brian Butki is a senior teaching assistant professor, director of the department’s summer Youth Sport Camps, and a first-generation college graduate. Dr. Butki is interested in promoting health and well-being among children and families, especially as it relates to physical, emotional, and social wellness. The CSU Youth Sport Camps are the centerpiece of an inclusive, friendly, wellness-based program designed to promote lifelong wellness activities. Everyone is welcome. Children and families of all ethnicities and abilities can benefit from participation in healthy lifestyle activities, and we strive to help everyone experience the positive and diverse benefits of physical activity. A scholarship donation program ensures that youth from all socio-economic backgrounds can participate in the camps. The Commitment to Campus program offers discounts to CSU faculty and staff families.

Cameron Phillips, director of the Noon Hour Fitness program, assists staff, faculty, and retirees of CSU in discovering and achieving healthy lifestyles. The program strives to respect, honor, and value individual differences between its diverse clientele, and makes sure each person is treated with dignity, care, and respect. The Noon Hour program promotes on campus opportunities for all CSU employees and retirees to engage in lifelong activity and wellness, as well as creates a learning environment through the mentorship of HES practicum students and work study students from across campus. The program is also proud to mentor special needs community members to assist in obtaining job and life skills.

Get Involved

We value and encourage participation by students of diverse backgrounds in our department activities. Check out these opportunities for ways you can get involved.

  • 25% of HES students are Pell Grant eligible
  • 23% of HES students are first generation
  • 22% of HES students are transfers
  • 5% of HES students are veterans
  • 9% of HES students are non-traditional students
  • 1% of HES students are internationally based

HES Diversity News

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