From the Desk of the Department Chair

Hawley Almstedt P0A0384 214x300 - From the Desk of the Department Chair
Hawley Almstedt, Ph.D., R.D.N., Department Chair

As we approach the end of the semester and prepare for graduation celebrations, it is a good time to reflect back on what a great year it has been.  One of the highlights of the spring semester is the LMU Undergraduate Research Symposium.  Again this year the Department of Health and Human Sciences (HHSC) was represented by a spectacular group of students presenting very impressive research.  We had 19 students present research on topics such as ankle taping and human performance, metabolic syndrome among survivors of cancer, weight-bearing activity and flexibility in people who are homeless, and loading patterns of resistance bands used in exercise training.  We are very proud of the students and the hard work they put into these projects.

Our students continue to amaze us with accolades!  HHSC rising seniors, LaShyra Nolen ‘17 and Marina Marmolejo ’17, have been elected ASLMU President and Vice President, respectively.  Lacey M. Smith (’16) has been awarded the Presidential Citation Award, one of just 21 graduating seniors at LMU to receive this award.  Program Scholars this year are Isabel Jones (’16) for Athletic Training and Jeanette Ricci (’16) for the Health and Human Sciences.  Service Award recipients for the academic year included Eilene Anderson (’16), Makda Medhanie (’17), LaShyra Nolen (’17), and Callie Taylor (’16).  Callie has been a stalwart on the LMU Women’s soccer team, and following a stellar season making it all the way to the NCAA Sweet 16, Callie received numerous awards including the LMU Student Athlete of the Year and two West Coast Conference honors.  Frank R. Seaver College of Science and Engineering students who are currently studying abroad in Bonn, Germany, including several HHSC majors, are keeping busy with a service restoration project (link to video).  Seaver College has an agreement with Academy for International Education in Bonn, Germany for study abroad. Many LMU engineering students spend their fall semester studying in Bonn, while the science students are there in the spring.   In addition, Seaver College also offers a summer program for science, math, and engineering students.

Our research efforts continue in full force, with HHSC faculty involved in the IMPAACT (Improving Physical Activity After Cancer Treatment) program at LMU.  Recently the group including Drs. Almstedt, Grote, Perez, Shoepe, Strand, and Tarleton published a paper titled, “Training-related improvements in musculoskeletal health and balance: A 13-week pilot study of female cancer survivors” in the European Journal of Cancer Care.  Drs. Todd Shoepe and Gustavo Vejarano (from Electrical Engineering) have teamed up to publish interdisciplinary work on use of wireless sensors in physical therapy and rehabilitation.   For more information on this research click here.   The National Institute of Health has funded an in-depth look at how lifestyle choices of college students impact bone mineral density.  We recently completed recruitment and testing of 180 students participating in the study and look forward to continuing this work for the next 12 months.  For more background information on this research study click here.  Our longevity study of the cross-country team continues, with findings from our first year’s work being presented at the upcoming American College of Sports Medicine conference in Boston.

The Department will hold its annual end of year celebration on April 29, from 5-7 pm on the 2nd Floor Rose Hills Terrace of the new Life Sciences Building.  If you can make it, please send us a note at  This is a great opportunity to see the building first hand, tour our labs, and enjoy some tasty treats among good company.

We hope that everyone has a fantastic summer and hope to see you around campus soon.  Please send us a note of what you have been doing since graduation; we want to share it with the other alumni from the department.  Should you be interested to learn of ways to financially support the Department of Health and Human Sciences, please contact Lynn Witherspoon, Director of Development (; 310 338-7856).  If you have any questions or want further information about the department, please do not hesitate to contact us at (310) 338-7885 or via email at

Hawley Signature - From the Desk of the Department Chair