From the Dean
Here at the College of Health and Human Performance, we dream of possibilities. That, after all, is really what our college is all about
- the possibility of making a difference in people's lives. We embrace that truth with a deep commitment and with the knowledge that
we can, indeed, help make the world a better place.
The College of Health and Human Performance is unique. Our name alone health and human performance suggests that our
mission is broad, that our disciplines are inclusive and sweeping and that our potential, like the human spirit itself, is limitless. Our
departments of research and teaching cover a large spectrum from Applied Physiology and Kinesiology, Health Education and
Behavior to Tourism, Recreation and Sport Management. Our research includes the study of substance abuse, obesity, leisure and recre-
ation issues, chronic diseases and other issues affecting the global society.
The idea that we together scientists, educators, students and philanthropists can make a lasting positive impact on the world
is exciting. Working in unison, we can help create a future that is bright for everyone. The University of Florida's Florida Tomorrow
campaign is an opportunity for us to continue to step forward in the right direction. The campaign will raise funds for scholarships,
professorships and advancement of programs. Those endeavors will make it possible to solve some of the greatest puzzles we are faced
with in society today, such as the obesity epidemic, Parkinson's disease, and substance abuse and prevention.
I invite you to take a close look at the work we are doing in UF's College of Health and Human Performance, and I ask you to con-
sider a financial gift to help us in our mission to improve tomorrow.
Dean, College of Health and Human Performance
The Promise of Tomorrow
The University of Florida holds the promise of the future:
Florida Tomorrow a place, a belief, a day. Florida Tomorrow is
filled with possibilities. Florida Tomorrow is for dreamers and
doers, for optimists and pragmatists, for scholars and entrepre-
neurs, all of whom are nurtured at Florida's flagship university:
the University of Florida, the foundation of the Gator Nation.
What is Florida Tomorrow? Here at the College of Health and
Human Performance, we believe it's an opportunity, one filled
with promise and hope. It's that belief that feeds the university's
capital campaign to raise more than $1 billion.
The Florida Tomorrow campaign will shape the university, cer-
tainly. But its ripple effect will also touch the state of Florida,
the nation and the entire world. Florida Tomorrow is pioneering
research and spirited academic programs. It's a fertile environment
for inquiry, teaching and learning. It's being at the forefront to
address the challenges facing all of us, both today and tomorrow.
College of Health and Human Performance
Florida Tomorrow Campaign Goals
TOTAL $7 million
TOTAL $7 million
Florida Tomorrow is a place
where the latest findings in heart disease and stroke prevention
Heart of the Matter
The key to good health for heart surgery patients whose prob-
lems recur might not be more surgery. Randy Braith, a researcher
in UF's College of Health and Human Performance, has found
that the secret could be in the legs.
Braith has spent two decades studying how patients recover
from heart bypass surgery and, especially, heart transplantation
surgery. The best hope for some of those patients, he says, is a
non-invasive procedure that "exercises" their legs.
The procedure conditions blood vessels in patients' legs, pri-
marily making arteries less stiff. The healthier blood vessels aid
circulation and reduce the workload of the heart, and patients
experience less chest pain.
During treatments, patients recline and cuffs are placed on
their calves and thighs. As the cuffs compress, blood is forced
up through blood vessels and coronary arteries. The cuffs stimu-
late blood flow in much the way aerobic exercise would if the
patients were able to exercise.
"This is good for people who aren't candidates for bypass sur-
gery," Braith says. "For some, it's the only painless, non-invasive
A normal, intact heart is a blood volume sensor, telling the
brain whether to increase or decrease circulation For heart trans-
plant recipients, that communication is cut, and patients retain
too much fluid, causing severe high blood pressure.
"The physiology of the transplanted heart is completely differ-
ent. It's not connected to the nervous system so it can't beat fast
during exercise," Braith says. "These patients go in and get their
heart, but they leave with severe hypertension."
Previous studies of American transplant patients showed their
hearts performed at 60 percent of normal capacity. Hearts of
French transplant patients, however, performed at a much higher
capacity, thanks to their post-transplant exercise regimen.
"Exercise brings the legs into the picture," Braith explains, "but
the legs become deconditioned during the months and years lead-
ing up to transplantation surgery."
With the leg treatment, blood vessel improvement occurs, pro-
viding passive exercise for heart surgery patients. Because it
improves circulation, it provides benefits for up to five years,
The procedure "is encouraging for patients because they find
they can do an exercise program afterward," he says.
"The target is the legs, but it benefits the heart."
Florida Tomorrow is a day
when youth are substance free and able to reach their
Telling students to "just say no" in elementary school works
fine. That same message loses appeal in middle school. By high
school, students mock it.
So how do you sell substance abuse prevention to these
toughest of customers? The same way marketers sell sneak-
ers or blue jeans, according to a College of Health and Human
"Advertisers use image all the time to motivate youth to buy
their products," explains Chad Werch, director of the Addictive
Behaviors Research Institute at the college. "We can use the same
images that youth value to motivate youth to make positive deci-
sions about health behaviors."
Images of good health white teeth, a slim physique, a con-
fident attitude can provide a cornerstone for messages to
prevent smoking, drinking alcohol and using drugs. Werch's
research also finds there are benefits to combining all these risk
behaviors into one message. Prevention messages often focus just
on smoking or drug use, but it's unusual for someone to have just
one risk behavior.
Delivering the message requires capturing the audience, he
says. That's easy in elementary schools, but more difficult in mid-
dle school and high school. Pediatricians can assist in sharing
information with younger children; but as children reach middle
school pediatric appointments drop, Werch says.
"Their risk of substance abuse is increasing," he notes, "but
their visits to the doctor are decreasing."
Werch hit on the idea of using sports physical to deliver pre-
vention messages and found that even brief, goal-oriented
messages worked. He started with the benefits of physical activ-
ity and how alcohol interferes with that, and discovered that
students who took the alcohol-prevention message to heart
decreased their use of cigarettes and marijuana. Next, Werch is
working on materials that parents can use to boost the prevention
messages youths get outside the home.
Substance abuse behaviors present both an immediate and
future risk, says Werch, whose research has been supported by
more than $11.5 million in grants. Alcohol causes the majority of
deaths among young people, but cigarettes follow youths into
adulthood. That makes teen years a prime time for intervention.
"Youth is where risk behaviors begin," Werch says, "and
behaviors account for the greatest proportion of chronic disease
in our country."
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Florida Tomorrow is a belief ..
that our programs make a difference in the lives of students.
The Next Generation
As an undergraduate in England, Stephen Coombes began
looking for graduate schools. The Performance Psychology
Laboratory in UF's College of Health and Human Performance
was doing the kind of research that interested Coombes, so he
contacted its director, Christopher Janelle.
"Once you pick a good school, it's critical to pick a good super-
visor," Coombes says. "Everything lined up, and I ended up at
one of the top programs in the country."
He came for a master's degree, and stayed for his Ph.D. and
post-doctoral research. Coombes achieved a lot as a student,
including the respect of Janelle, his mentor, who supervised his
research and published journal articles with him.
"We expect our students from the minute they walk in the
door to hit the ground running," says Janelle, an associate pro-
fessor and graduate coordinator for the Department of Applied
Physiology and Kinesiology. "Our job here is to produce schol-
ars, future university professors and productive scientists, so it's
absolutely essential that students get involved."
In Janelle's laboratory, research focuses on understanding how
emotions influence the body's movements. One facet is perfor-
mance-related, touching on sport psychology and how people can
be influenced negatively or positively by emotions.
The other focus is more health-related and seeks to under-
stand how emotions influence movement and affective disorders.
Coombes and Janelle conducted preliminary work showing
that emotional state influences the quality of motor behavior.
Coombes wanted to see if that work could be applied in a clini-
cal setting to determine if it is possible to use emotion to prompt
stronger or faster movements in stroke patients whose movement
has been compromised. His work won a prestigious American
Heart Association predoctoral fellowship.
"This is novel research and could have potentially very high
impact," Janelle says. "This work represents a merger of what
Steve was doing with me and the ongoing emphasis of UF's Motor
Behavior Laboratory, where stroke rehabilitation is studied."
Coombes says support from the college has been crucial to
his success as a graduate student because it allowed him to do
research and present at conferences.
"You learn how much of a network there is by going to confer-
ences and end up in collaboration with people around the world,"
"Being here allows you to meet internationally recognized sci-
entists and exposes you to the world you're going into. You can
go from a master's student to spreading your wings and contrib-
uting to your field."
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Our Vision of Tomorrow
The University of Florida's College of Health and Human
Performance is unlike most academic colleges. In fact, you would
be hard pressed to find another college that can touch so many
people in so many different ways.
Research and teaching in the college has an impact on almost
every aspect of the human condition. The college's four centers
- the Florida Center for Health Promotion, Center for Exercise
Science, Addictive and Health Behaviors Research Institute,
and the Center for Tourism Research and Development as
well as its three primary departments Applied Physiology
and Kinesiology, Health Education and Behavior, and Tourism,
Recreation and Sport Management place the college firmly in
a position to influence and improve an array of societal problems
Our scientists are performing groundbreaking research in the
mysteries of addictive behavior and substance abuse. They are
investigating America's obesity epidemic from all perspectives,
and inquiring how to prevent adolescents from abusing substances.
Researchers are studying beneficial therapy techniques for individ-
uals with Parkinson's disease and cardiovascular disorders.
What makes us most proud is that our students graduate with
the tools, knowledge and confidence to fulfill their dreams -
and become remarkable assets to their communities. Our alumni
choose careers as therapists, clinicians, scientists, recreation and
event managers, tourism professionals and physicians. Each helps
to contribute to a healthier world for tomorrow.
We as a college have the talent and the ability to accomplish so
much more. We look forward to the challenges and opportunities
tomorrow will bring, and we embrace our role and our commit-
ment to set the standard in lifestyle wellness for the 21st century.
That aspiration, with your help, is in reach. Together, we can
make a positive impact now and continue to touch lives for gen-
erations to come. Your support of the
Florida Tomorrow campaign will create
professorships, scholarships, fellowships
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