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HD&E faculty, students publish, present and work with community

Published: 26 November 2012

Several College of Human Development and Education faculty members and students recently gave presentations, published research, coordinated projects and were named to boards of directors. 

The NDSU Extension Service is on the pulse of innovative obesity prevention methods with its participation in the Communities Preventing Childhood Obesity project. The USDA Agriculture and Food Research Initiative grant-funded research combines the efforts of Extension specialists across seven states in the areas of nutrition, physical activity, community development and family and youth development with a common goal of starting a community development intervention to prevent childhood obesity. The study’s design is guided by the Ecological Model of Childhood Overweight, which considers how environmental factors affect the weight status of preschool-aged children. Similar communitywide solutions have been proven to be the most effective approach to obesity prevention because efforts are sustainable. 

For this five-year project, two rural communities – one control and one intervention – in each state will receive $5,000 for each year they participate and a menu of possible nutrition and physical activity interventions to implement in their community. Only one community in each state will be assigned a community coach to help design a strategic plan to meet community needs for obesity prevention. Overall, the project aims to build community capacity to strengthen networks that support healthy lifestyles. 

Brandy Buro, a graduate student in the nutrition and exercise science program, is a research assistant working on the project. She serves as one of the main project representatives and contacts for communities participating in North Dakota. Buro also created the funding policy and various promotional and educational materials used among all seven states and will evaluate data of communitywide assessments and survey results. 

Emma Skumautz, a student in apparel studies, is a finalist in a design contest sponsored by, an online retailer based in Minnesota. Her costume design can be viewed at

Anita Welch, assistant professor in the School of Education, has been selected to receive a national Phi Kappa Phi Love of Learning Award. The awards help fund post-baccalaureate studies and/or career development for active Phi Kappa Phi members, including graduate or professional studies, doctoral dissertations, continuing education, career development or travel related to teaching or studies. Welch is president of the NDSU Phi Kappa Phi chapter and serves on the national board of directors. 

Denise K. Lajimodiere, assistant professor in the School of Education, was elected president of the National Native American Boarding School Healing Coalition. The coalition is working closely with Native American Rights Fund lawyers; National Indian Education Association; National Congress of American Indians; Francisco Cali, United Nations representative; and the Committee to Eliminate Racial Discrimination to bring to national and international attention the human rights abuses committed against Native American children at Native American Boarding Schools. Lajimodiere’s research has been key in documenting the abuses. 

Minot State University social work students started a branch of the Student Social Work Organization in Fargo. The students are in a dual degree program between the Social Work program at MSU and NDSU’s Human Development Family Relations program. The students participated in the Out of the Darkness Community Walk in Fargo for the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention and the “Take Back the Night” event, which is a sexual assault prevention program. They are working with the Fargo-Moorhead Coalition for Homeless during National Hunger and Homeless Awareness Week, Nov. 10-18. The students will help promote the end to hunger and homelessness in the Fargo-Moorhead community. Students also are organizing a drive to support the Minot community. The students will take money, supplies and food to Minot, where they will tour areas affected by the flood and rebuilding in the community. They will meet with service providers in the Minot area and tour the MSU campus. 

Deb DeWitz joined the National Association of Social Workers’ North Dakota board of directors as the Fargo representative. In the past, she has served on the national board of directors and several committees or task forces. 

Brad Strand, professor of health, nutrition and exercise sciences, and Jesse Barnacle and Amanda Kaldor had a manuscript, titled “Current Issues in K-12 Physical Education Curriculum,” published in the Missouri Journal of Physical Education, Recreation and Dance. Barnacle and Kaldor both earned their master’s degrees from NDSU. Barnacle is a physical education teacher in Dilworth-Glyndon-Felton Public Schools, and Kaldor is a physical education teacher in the Fargo Public Schools. 

Strand and Gale Wiedow of Dakota State University presented a paper, titled “Professionalism and Advocacy in Our Profession,” at the North Dakota Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance Convention in Bismarck. Strand and graduate student Tyler Tracy also presented a paper, titled “A Discussion on Punishment and Discipline in Physical Education and Sport.” 

Rebecca Woods, assistant professor of human development and family science, published a paper in Developmental Psychology, titled “Posture Support Facilitates Object Individuation in Infants.” 

Lori Scharmer, Ward County Extension Agent; Ken Hellevang, Extension specialist; and Debra Pankow, associate professor of human development and family sciences/Extension, received the Epsilon Sigma Phi Regional Award for Meritorious Distinguished Team for the project, Flooding Preparation and Recovery Education and Assistance, at an awards banquet Oct. 10 in Mobile, Ala. Epsilon Sigma Phi is the honorary fraternity for Extension professionals. 

NDSU is recognized as one of the nation's top 108 public and private universities by the Carnegie Commission on Higher Education.

Student Focused. Land Grant. Research University.

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Last Updated: Sunday, August 25, 2013