Georgia State Adds Two University Research Centers

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This article is courtesy of PRWeb, please share your comments below…..

didyouknow?Georgia State University has created two new research centers—the Mark Chaffin Center for Healthy Development and the Center for Molecular and Translational Medicine—dedicated to health and medicine.

Researchers in the centers have already procured more than $55 million in external research funding.

“These new university-level research centers are tremendous resources for Georgia State to meet the health care challenges of the 21st century,” said James Weyhenmeyer, vice president for research and economic development at Georgia State. “These researchers will play a key role in bringing scientific innovations into the everyday practices and policies that directly affect people’s lives and the health of communities.”

The Mark Chaffin Center for Healthy Development will promote and produce the health, safety and well-being of children, adults and families with and without disabilities through research, service and advocacy.

“Our center’s multi-faceted work is focused on the prevention and treatment of child maltreatment, reduction in family violence and improvements in the lives of persons with disabilities and their families,” said John Lutzker, director of the Mark Chaffin Center for Healthy Development and associate dean of faculty development at Georgia State. “We will utilize the resources provided by the university research center model to build upon our existing capacity and infrastructure to catalyze existing programmatic research.”

The center is named in honor of the late Mark Chaffin, whose practice, teaching, research and publications focused mainly on the development, adaptation and implementation of evidence-based service models in youth-serving prevention and social services systems, such as child welfare, juvenile justice and early childhood developmental disabilities systems.

The Center for Molecular and Translational Medicine will transform information gained from biomedical research into knowledge improving the state of human health and disease. The research focus of the center is to dissect molecular insights of cardiovascular remodeling in obesity and obesity-related diseases, including diabetes, hypertension, heart diseases and stroke with special emphasis on the regulation of these processes.

“Our center meets healthcare needs by converting significant research findings into diagnostic tools and medicines to improve the health of individuals,” said Ming-Hui Zou, director of the Center for Molecular and Translational Medicine. “The center is designed to help millions of people suffering from heart disease, diabetes and other illnesses.

Both centers’ research agenda includes working with scientists across all disciplines and continuing to provide leadership at local, national and international levels.

For more information about the Mark Chaffin Center for Healthy Development, visit

For more information about the Center for Molecular and Translational Medicine, visit

Holiday Stress Tips To Private University And College Applicants

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universityAdding to holiday stress is the fact that many high school seniors throughout the country face a big deadline: completing their applications to private universities and colleges before the end of the year. Avoiding mistakes under such pressure will be key to their college admissions success, says Chelsea Watkins, founder and chief executive officer of College Application Training.

If students and their families avoid three big mistakes before the December 31, 2014 deadline for applications to many private universities and colleges, they’ll save money and improve their chances for success, says Chelsea Watkins, an authority on college admissions.

Founder and chief executive officer of College Application Training LLC, Watkins is an expert in understanding the academic, social, and financial needs of students and families she advises – and matching those needs to select colleges and universities.

“There’re three huge mistakes students and their families must avoid: procrastinating; unrealistic financial planning; and, forgetting to do a final review of the application. Taking great care throughout the application process will have a positive impact on a student’s future for years to come,” Watkins notes. “And, it’s predicted that competition for admissions and financial aid will be fiercer than eve, so every little detail counts.”

She estimates that thousands of college-bound high school seniors have not yet completed their personal statements and applications to private colleges and universities.

For students and families, she offers three additional tips for making the best of their applications and meeting the deadline with a minimum of last-minute chaos:

1. Create Authentic, Unique and Compelling Personal Statements: Most institutional merit scholarships are awarded based on the strength of a Common Application. There is no separate scholarship application for most private universities and colleges. The personal statement, as part of the Common Application, is the only way students can showcase their unique personalities and set themselves apart from all other applicants. The stronger the writing, the stronger the application, the more merit aid a student could potentially receive. Also, it is essential that students have met with their high school counselor before the winter break to complete the “Recommenders” section of the Common Application. High school teachers and counselors are usually not available over school vacations, and if there is a problem with that section (which only the counselor can fix), students will not be able to submit their application online.

2. Discover Each School’s Percentage of Need Met: Not all schools are created equal when it comes to awarding need-based financial aid. The higher the percentage of need met, the more need-based financial aid a school will award. Some students do not even apply to certain private universities or colleges because they think it will be too expensive. What they do not realize is that oftentimes, a more expensive school also has a higher percentage of need met, which means it will be less expensive than the cheaper school, which has a lower percentage of need met. For many families, it means that Northwestern University (meets 100% of need) could potentially be less expensive than University of Illinois (meets 66% of need).

3. Calculate Estimated Family Contribution (EFC), Analyze Current Positioning and Re-position to Lower EFC: The EFC is the amount the federal government decides a family should be able to pay for college. It is an algorithm that takes into account several variables, mainly income and assets and assesses them at specific percentages. Many parents unknowingly have positioned themselves so that they will overpay for college. For example, money in a student’s savings account can be assessed up to 20%. Money in a parent’s savings account is assessed at 5.6%. Another example, credit card debt is not counted on the forms, even though it is a significant burden on cash flow. Many families have credit card debt, and they also have money in unprotected assets. If they use some of the assets to pay down the debts, they increase their cash flow and lower their potential college costs.

Watkins adds that students and parents should finish their college applications before Tuesday, December 30, 2014. “In that way, they have time to review, review, and review……and, believe me, during that window of time, they will find ways to strengthen their personal statements and to identity opportunities to save college costs,” she says. “If they take to heart these three tips, along with doing everything else on time, I’m confident there’ll be less anxiety and more hope.”

Watkins, a certified advisor for the National Association of College Funding Advisors (NACFA) and the College Planning Network (CPN), the largest and most reputable college admissions and financial aid servicing center has helped nearly 1,000 students prepare their college applications.

“The world of college admissions is so complicated for students and their families. It is anxiety-ridden and increasingly expensive, given all the tutors, test-prep companies, and psychologists competing for their time and money,” says Watkins. “Being practical, strategic, and wise is the only true solution during this major life-changing milestone in their lives.”

Physical Education Requirement At 4-Year Universities At All-Time Low

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From Your Health Journal…..”As I mentioned yesterday, when someone sends me a worthy press release, I will publish it (or parts of it) here. I did receive one today about physical education requirements dropping at colleges and universities. Almost every U.S. college student was required to take physical education and exercise requirements in the 1920s; today, that number is at an all-time low of 39 percent. With obesity on the rise, and young adults showing risk factors for heart disease, type 2 diabetes, cancers, weaker bones, and other health concerns, this is alarming. Students at colleges do need some form of physical activity in their busy schedules. The median physical education budget for schools in the United States is only $764 per school year in K-12 and 61 percent of physical education teachers report an annual budget of less than $1,000. Yet, obesity will cost the United States $344 billion in medical-related expenses by 2018, about 21 percent of the nation’s health-care spending. Please visit the link provided below to read the complete press release.”

From the article…..

Even as policy makers and health experts point to an increased need for exercise, more than half of four-year colleges and universities in the United States have dropped physical education requirements compared to historic levels.

Almost every U.S. college student was required to take physical education and exercise requirements in the 1920s; today, that number is at an all-time low of 39 percent, according to a new study.

Oregon State University researcher Brad Cardinal, lead author of the study, examined data from 354 randomly selected four-year universities and colleges going back to 1920, a peak year with 97 percent of students required to take physical education. The results are in the current issue of Research Quarterly for Exercise and Sport.

“We see more and more evidence about the benefit of physical activity, not just to our bodies, but to our minds, yet educational institutions are not embracing their own research,” Cardinal said. “It is alarming to see four-year institutions following the path that K-12 schools have already gone down, eliminating exercise as part of the curriculum even as obesity rates climb.”

More than 34 percent of adolescents and teens ages 12-19 are overweight and more than 17 percent are obese. These rates have roughly doubled since 1980, according to the 2012 Shape of the Nation Report.

Cardinal, who is a professor of exercise and sport science at OSU and a national expert on the benefits of physical activity, said research shows that exercise not only improves human health, but it also improves cognitive performance.

“Brain scans have shown that physical activity improves the area of the brain involved with high-level decision making,” he said. “In addition, we know employers often are concerned about employee health, in part because physically active employees attend work more and tend to perform better.”

Cardinal’s own university, Oregon State University, still requires physical education courses. He said requiring physical education sets the tone for students to understand that being active and healthy is as important as reading, writing and math. Cardinal believes even requiring just one or two exercise courses can at least jump-start a student into thinking about a healthy lifestyle as part of their overall college experience and later life.

“There is a remarkable disconnect in that we fund research as a nation showing that physical activity is absolutely critical to academic and life success, but we aren’t applying that knowledge to our own students,” he said.

To read the complete article…..Click here

Guest Post – Mariana Ashley, Attention College Freshmen: 4 Benefits Of “Regular” Exercise

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Guest Author Mariana Ashley Discusses The Benefits Of Exercise For Young Adults Entering College.

While you may be taking your first few weeks of school to get acclimated with your new extensive course load and get familiar with your new college town, there’s one more area that you should make sure you’ve included on your exploration list—the campus gymnasium. This cannot be stressed enough: regular exercise is crucial to your college success. To learn how, continue reading below.

Helps Combat the “Freshmen 15”

The Freshmen 15 might sound like it’s just some kind of urban legend made up to prompt students to eat more greens, but it’s real—in fact, you can gain far more than 15 pounds if you don’t make the right lifestyle choices. This shouldn’t come to a complete surprise either: students significantly increase


The Freshman 15 – Fact Or Fiction?

the number of times they eat out; cafeterias are really generous when it comes to portion sizes, beer-drinking becomes a popular activity-of-choice; and more students turn to empty calorie beverages like soda to help keep them awake. If dieting is not really your “thing” then at the very least exercising three to four times a week to counteract all of the bad eating choices and help you stay at a “steady” weight.

Helps Relieve Anxiety/Stress

College can be a very stressful experience, especially if you have a difficult professor. While some stress is natural, too much can be detrimental to your body. First of all, it can weaken your immune system. I know from firsthand experience getting sick in school is the absolute worst—missing only a single day can set you back for weeks. Not to mention getting sick on test days can significantly reduce your chances of performing your best because you’re weak and your head is cloudy. Too much stress can also contribute to emotional eating and additional weight gain which can cause you to develop body complex issues. But regular exercise can burn away stress-causing chemicals like cortisol and norepinephrine to make sure that you manage your stress levels better. It can also help release “happy” chemicals like endorphins which can make you feel euphoric during times of uncertainty or doubt, which is common in college.

Keeps You Alert

Regular exercise can also ensure that you have ample amounts of “natural” energy—something you need during early mornings as late nights.

Regular exercise can also ensure that you have ample amounts of “natural” energy—something you need during early mornings as late nights. This way, you can actually stay awake to properly absorb what your professor is saying. Caffeinated and sugary beverages don’t only wreak havoc on your waistline but they can also make you “crash” a lot sooner.

Boosts Brain Power

Last but certainly not least, exercising can help increase your cognitive thinking and analysis, which can really help you in your courses. That because exercise helps get more oxygen to your brain, and it helps with blood flow. Immediately after a workout blood rushes to your pre frontal cortex which scientists say is the best time for critical thinking. So if you want to get the most out of a study session try to do it following your workout.

– Mariana Ashley is a freelance education writer who covers both traditional and online schools. When she’s not writing, she can be found at the gym or planting roses in her garden. She welcomes your comments below.