Summer Synthesis

By: Kelsey Dubia

My IDS major is Health Science and it has the subcategories of Social Science and Athletic Training. Combining the two made it possible for me to be accepted into a graduate program as well as utilize a lot of my transfer credits.

Josh Fields CC BY-NC-ND https://flic.kr/p/5sGgg4

My applied project was to observe with a Physical Therapist throughout the semester to get an inside look at the real world of a human performance worker. I had already competed 50 hours of observation with various sports teams and Athletic Trainers at the school, so I wanted to do something outside of the college town and meet new people. This was beneficial for me because I was able to be in the real world and outside of school. Being able to see the day to day life of a working Physical Therapist gave me a glimpse into a similar future. Although Athletic Training is slightly different from Physical Therapy, they all intermingle and connect to achieve the same goal. Kind of what Interdisciplinary Studies strives for.

For my research article I looked into elite gymnasts and how their activity levels effect their child and adult development. I wanted to understand myself how overtraining can stunt your growth and cause injuries along the way. Doing this research helped me keep in mind overtraining with athletes and how this can effect them. As a future Athletic Trainer, overtraining is always something to take into consideration, especially with elite athletes.

CC BY-NC-ND Alice https://flic.kr/p/cgxkLw

This research and project gives a well rounded view of understanding the human body and how to work with athletes and the general population. I think a lot of us wish that we could get hands on experience in the fields we are interested in so that we can see if it is something we actually want to pursue. For all of our projects and research papers, that is something that we all have achieved. We were able to take control of our education which is what IDS is about essentially. That is the true impact for our future education and life. Now here we are, graduating and applying what we have learned out in the real world!

The Professional World of Human Performance (AP)

By: Kelsey Dubia

We can all relate on the fact that when we were given this task of a capstone project most of us had little to no idea of what we wanted to do. I am a fresh brand new face among the Interdisciplinary Studies major and for me I was thrown right into the Intro class and the Seminar class at the same time. To say this was a whirlwind is an understatement.

CC BY https://flic.kr/p/M6Tip Jim Clark

In one class, I was beginning the process of being an IDS major, and in the other I was being told to wrap up my major and work on my capstone. Now, this isn’t impossible! There are a couple students that get thrown into both courses at the same time. But because of this, coming up with this project wasn’t the easiest process.

After discussing my major with various students and professors, we came to the conclusion that I am very career oriented. Even though most disagree that this shouldn’t be my main focus in school, I am here to get the job and want to do all I can to work directly with people who can help me get that job. So, that is precisely what my applied project ended up being. Why not observe with a professional outside of the school and get that experience?

 

 

 

Ross Childs, PT, DPT, OCS, CSCS

 

 

 

 

 

Impact

The main struggle I had with this was how my project reflected on the community and the world. This project seems as though it was made just for me and it only benefits myself. But by sitting down and writing about this, I realize that by introducing myself to those in the human and health performance field, I am showing others that they have just as much access to these professionals as I do. Sometimes I feel like we think internships are the only way for us to get into the professional world and work side by side with them. But with this project, I was able to reach out and spend multiple days watching and learning from a Physical Therapist. Any student can reach out to a professional and try to gain insight and experience with them whether it is for a class or not. This observation project is showing students that you don’t have to be far into your degree to get an inside look at what you could potentially be doing.

By following through with this shadowing, I was able to apply what I was learning in my current classes and get a first hand look at how that knowledge is applied. By reading about this project of mine, students can realize that they too can connect with professionals early on to spend a day(s) in the life of them. Not only did doing this make me realize I am in the right major, but it also made me realize that I am excited to learn more. It brought me closer to that end goal of having a job whether that is at a clinic such as where I did my observations, or with a sports team/school.

My Major

So how does this project relate to my major? I came to Plymouth wanting to major in Athletic Training. As I was transferring in, I was told I should finish out my Bachelors Degree as an Interdisciplinary Studies Major and in turn apply for the Graduate Program for Athletic Training. My program is made up of Athletic Training and Social Sciences to create my major of Health Sciences. I have worked with various Athletic Trainers here at the school for observation hours and wanted to stray away from that a little bit. That is where observing with a Physical Therapist came about. I wanted to get an alternative profession that was still related to my major, but that could also teach me techniques I hadn’t been shown yet. In doing this, it made me realize that I have gained more insight and experience from these observations and shadowing than from the classroom. Yes, the classroom gives you the basic tools and skills that you need to accomplish and utilize the information you have been given. Receiving education outside of the classroom is a massive advantage that every student should try and incorporate into their educational careers.

Assessment 

Strengths: This project helped me create connections I would not have had otherwise. I have gained confidence in approaching random strangers and creating those relationships that could potentially help me after graduation. It has also given me additional information on various techniques that Physical Therapists have that I can cross over into the Athletic Training field once I am certified.

Challenges: The only real challenge with this project was the timing and scheduling. I am a student who has had to overload on classes for the whole 2017-18 school year. So giving up what little free time I had made it a little difficult as well as coordinating with Dr. Childs on the various days I could come in and observe with him. The other challenge I had to overcome was being comfortable with going to his place of work and just meeting someone new and not knowing what I’m doing. I gained a lot of knowledge from this experience but I also was overwhelmed at times with all the information coming my way. I would be lying if I said I understood every piece of information that was thrown at me.

York College of PA CC BY-NC-ND https://flic.kr/p/dKJa8F

Outcomes: Over all I am very happy with the experience that I have obtained from this. In the beginning, I really wanted to observe with multiple professions that were related to the field of human and health performance. But after my first observation with Dr. Childs, I felt so comfortable asking questions and sounding dumb that I wanted to continuously go back to observe with him. So even though I preferred the observations with him and was happy with that, if I had to change something it would have been to try and observe with others as well. That change would have been more for the outcome of the project and to give more information to the reader, but selfishly I was content with how it turned out. This project has shown me that getting to where I want to be in the future is accessible and that all you need to do is reach out and use your resources to make it happen.

Final Thoughts

Going into this course, I had no idea what to expect. I transferred to Plymouth State in the Fall of 2017, and by the Spring semester of 2018 I was in the IDS major. I had never even heard of this major so I did not know that a custom Bachelors Degree even existed. Not had I ever heard the word interdisciplinary to be honest. That is how you know that I fully trusted my Advisors advice of switching to this major to finish out my degree. I was going in blind!

CC BY-NC-ND https://flic.kr/p/cpNe9d Josh Mazgelis

Over the course of this semester, I had an interesting experience being in both the intro class and seminar class at the same time. Here I am in one class, learning about the basics of being an IDS major, and then the following night I am being told to wrap you my IDS major for a capstone project before graduation…..seems weird, right? Although it is not suggested to take these at the same time, I actually am glad that I did. Not to sound selfish or not wanting to work hard, but it was nice to be able to kill two birds with one stone.

I now have a full understanding of what this major is all about and what it means to me and IDS student. I have been able to take multiple fields of study (Athletic Training & Social Sciences) to create my Bachelors Degree of Health Sciences. Being an interdisciplinarian has shown be that college doesn’t have to be black and white and straight forward. You don’t have to follow the same path as everyone else. You can create your own plan and be an individual instead of sticking to the typical mold that is placed in front of you.

CC BY https://flic.kr/p/dR1S35 Hobbies on a Budget

OER is a major benefit of a higher education. Having free access to educational resources can change the game. The hope is that more colleges will utilize this resource to help their students have a cheaper alternative. As a commuter, having resources online and not necessarily having to be at the school 24/7 to use them is beneficial.

This drilling down concept relates to my major and future career in the sense that I will need to be able to figure out someones injuries and problems by looking at and breaking down all the various problems that could be occurring. I will have to be a problem solver and that means looking at all the tiny pieces of information to rule each one out until I get to the real problem.

The reading on the benefits and challenges of interdisciplinarity related to all of us in this major. This reading talked about how for years and years, this typical mold has been put in place that puts us all in the same category. The structure of higher education is the same for everyone. This is a challenge for the IDS major. Every year, interdisciplinarity increases and becomes more popular. But because of the well known structure of education, it is hard to change it and make it more of a customizable experience. I think this is a challenge we all face, but yet when you go for a job interview they look for experience in multiple fields and educational subjects. This is also why this major matters. There won’t be one specific job interview that you go to where they will only want you to have experience in one field. They will gravitate towards those with multiple fields of study and experience because it shows that they are well rounded individuals.

CC BY-NC-ND https://flic.kr/p/oq3iv8
Simon Hadleigh-Sparks

I try not to plan out my future too far in advance because honestly in my own experiences, God laughs at the who plan. Whenever people ask me what my five year plan is I struggle to tell them because I don’t want to have something set in place that could change instantly. Clearly this is all just based off of my own personal experiences in life and for some people, having an “x” amount of years planned out works for them and keeps them motivated. Because I am graduating after I take a summer course, I already feel like this major has helped me with my future. It has given me the opportunity to apply to a Graduate Program and get accepted as well as shorten the amount of time it would have taken me to complete my Bachelors Degree had I not switched to IDS. My hopes for the program itself will be that it keeps growing at PSU, but also across the country as well. I think letting freshmen know that they can create their own major will be a massive resource for future employers as well as future programs those students may apply for.

 

PLN

A personal learning network (PLN) is a personalized space where you can share and create content from professionals, students, and even yourself that is related to your field/studies. This can be used on a social media platform such as Twitter or even Instagram. Anything platform that allows you to share information and follow those in your field builds your PLN.

Using Twitter, I created a PLN that is focused around Health Science. Athletic Training and Social Sciences are the two subjects that form my degree and PLN of Health Sciences. A lot of the professionals I followed are either Athletic Trainers, Personal Trainers, Doctors, Physical Therapists, and more related to the health field. I basically starting following people I already knew who were prominent in the industry, and from their page I would look at who they were following and that gave me great access to other individuals or organizations I did not know existed.

CC BY-NC-ND https://flic.kr/p/8Fozko Barbara Krawcowicz

A pedagogy is “a site of praxis, a place where theories about learning, teaching, technology, and social justice enter into a conversation with each other and inform the development of educational practices and structures.” For me,  this is a website where I can share content related to my major that isn’t necessarily controlled by anyone or any educational system. I have ownership of this domain and schools today are incorporating this more and more. OERs (open educational resources), provide free access to such domains or even textbooks, videos, and other educational resources. We already pay enough for our education, don’t we deserve some free resources such as textbooks to compensate for our accomplishments?

My PLN has helped give me access to others in my field that I plan to be involved with. Even though I’m still not an Athletic Trainer, I am still able to follow those who are and maybe even have them follow me back if they like my PLN and what it represents. This opens door to jobs and future careers that maybe wouldn’t be possible without that personal learning network.

The Professional World of Human Performance (Draft AP)

**Going to add more pictures and hyperlinks eventually

We can all relate on the fact that when we were given this task of a capstone project most of us had little to no idea of what we wanted to do. I am a fresh brand new face among the Interdisciplinary Studies major and for me I was thrown right into the Intro class and the Seminar class at the same time. To say this was a world win is an understatement.

In one class, I was beginning the process of being an IDS major, and in the other I was being told to wrap up my major and work on my capstone. Now, this isn’t impossible! There are a couple students that get thrown into both courses at the same time. But because of this, coming up with this project wasn’t the easiest process.

After discussing my major with various students and professors, we came to the conclusion that I am very career oriented. Even though most disagree that this shouldn’t be my main focus in school, I am here to get the job and want to do all I can to work directly with people who can help me get that job. So, that is precisely what my applied project ended up being. Why not observe with a professional outside of the school and get that experience?

 

 

 

 

Ross Childs, PT, DPT, OCS, CSCS

 

 

 

 

Impact

The main struggle I had with this was how my project reflected on the community and the world. This project seems as though it was made just for me and it only benefits myself. But by sitting down and writing about this, I realize that by introducing myself to those in the human and health performance field, I am showing others that they have just as much access to these professionals as I do. Sometimes I feel like we think internships are the only way for us to get into the professional world and work side by side with them. But with this project, I was able to reach out and spend multiple days watching and learning from a Physical Therapist.

By following through with this shadowing, I was able to apply what I was learning in my current classes and get a first hand look at how that knowledge is applied. By reading about this project of mine, students can realize that they too can connect with professionals early on to spend a day(s) in the life of them. Not only did doing this make me realize I am in the right major, but it also made me realize that I am excited to learn more. It brought me closer to that end goal of having a job whether that is at a clinic such as where I did my observations, or with a sports team/school.

My Major

So how does this project relate to my major? I came to Plymouth wanting to major in Athletic Training. As I was transferring in, I was told I should finish out my Bachelors Degree as an Interdisciplinary Studies Major and in turn apply for the Graduate Program for Athletic Training. My program is made up of Athletic Training and Social Sciences to create my major of Health Sciences. I have worked with various Athletic Trainers here at the school for observation hours and wanted to stray away from that a little bit. That is where observing with a Physical Therapist came about. I wanted to get an alternative profession that was still related to my major, but that could also teach me techniques I hadn’t been shown yet. In doing this, it made me realize that I have gained more insight and experience from these observations and shadowing than from the classroom. Yes, the classroom gives you the basic tools and skills that you need to accomplish and utilize the information you have been given. Receiving education outside of the classroom is a massive advantage that every student should try and incorporate into their educational careers.

Assessment 

Strengths: This project helped me create connections I would not have had otherwise. I have gained confidence in approaching random strangers and creating those relationships that could potentially help me after graduation. It has also given me additional information on various techniques that Physical Therapists have that I can cross over into the Athletic Training field once I am certified.

Challenges: The only real challenge with this project was the timing and scheduling. I am a student who has had to overload on classes for the whole 2017-18 school year. So giving up what little free time I had made it a little difficult as well as coordinating with Dr. Childs on the various days I could come in and observe with him. The other challenge I had to overcome was being comfortable with going to his place of work and just meeting someone new and not knowing what I’m doing. I gained a lot of knowledge from this experience but I also was overwhelmed at times with all the information coming my way. I would be lying if I said I understood every piece of information that was thrown at me.

Outcomes: Over all I am very happy with the experience that I have obtained from this. In the beginning, I really wanted to observe with multiple professions that were related to the field of human and health performance. But after my first observation with Dr. Childs, I felt so comfortable asking questions and sounding dumb that I wanted to continuously go back to observe with him. So even though I preferred the observations with him and was happy with that, if I had to change something it would have been to try and observe with others as well. That change would have been more for the outcome of the project and to give more information to the reader, but selfishly I was content with how it turned out.

Beyond Rough RA

Side Note: Although I did submit a lit search, when I write I like to gather sources as I go that way my sources match up with what I am currently writing at the moment. I also don’t have much on my research paper yet so I have much more to do!! I plan to go in at the end and insert photos, videos, hyperlinks and all that.

Gymnastics and Childhood Development

Have you ever noticed how elite athletes have the same kind of body type? How all runners grow to be lean and tall and gymnasts are short and muscular? I found that my curiosity about this peaked when we were brainstorming ideas for our own research topics. We got on the topic of child body builders and how scary that are. Then I started thinking to myself, “I wonder what that does to a child’s body? That can’t be good right? I mean look at gymnasts. They are so petite and strong but that can’t be good for child development can it?” Funny how I stumbled upon my research topic in casual conversation.

First, I wanted to refresh my mind on child development. Healthy childhood development means that a child can grow socially, emotionally, and educationally (“Childhood Development”). These developmental stages involve taking your first step, saying your first words, having your first growth spurt, and many more. But how are these various stages effected bye those who are thrown into a world of elite athletes and who are prodigies of it? Is speeding up your development as an athlete good or bad for you?

There are three distinct categories of puberty. Growth, Maturation, and Development (Baxter-Jones, et al). Growth is the actual body size increase, maturation refers to more of the hormonal change and change in sex organs. Lastly, development refers to the behavioral aspect of a growth spurt and the mental maturation. All of these processes occur simultaneously but also occur at different speeds (Baxter-Jones, et al).

Stunted growth can be caused by the over use of a gymnastics life style, or just in general an overly active life style for a child. Obviously for any person to excel in their sport, they have to start early. There is no getting around that. But this all takes place during, before, and after a normal development of puberty. The Female Athlete Triad is a syndrome that can be caused when three conditions occur together. One of the symptoms is a reduced percentage of body fat. For young girls this is very concerning as it can lead to amenorrhea which is the lack of a menstrual cycle. This can also occur do to a lack of caloric intake and unbalanced diet (“The Female Athlete Triad”).

The second aspect of the triad is osteoporosis. This is low bone mass and high fragility due to the lack of a menstrual cycle and other hormones such as a lack of estrogen.  During your adolescents, this is when you are growing the most, especially your bones. So being exposed to osteoporosis at such a young age can be detrimental. Stress fractures can be caused easily and that also makes it very difficult to heal (“The Female Athlete Triad”).

The last category of the triad is eating disorders. A decrease in caloric intake can lead to an eating disorder as well as the pressures of the sport itself. Young girls are growing up being told to look a certain way and if you want to be an elite athlete and want to be in the Olympics, you sometimes will do what you need to do to fit that mold. The key with this triad is being able to recognize that an athlete is suffering from this. Letting them know that proper nutrition as well as rest can enhance their performance can be the push that they need to make a change.

 

References

Baxter-Jones, Adam D. G., et al. “Growth and Maturation in Elite Young Female Athletes.” Sports Medicine and Arthroscopy Review, vol. 10, no. 1, 2002, pp. 42–49., doi:10.1097/00132585-200210010-00007.

“Child Development.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 22 Feb. 2018, www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/childdevelopment/facts.html.

“The Female Athlete Triad .” Acsm.org, www.acsm.org/docs/brochures/the-female-athlete-triad.pdf.

 

 

 

 

Semester Teachings

Over the last few semesters, I have taken classes that have challenged me in ways I never thought possible and has given me great work and study tools.

First off, I have taken six classes this semester, and also last semester. But focusing on right now, I would say this overload of classes has taught me how to prioritize my time and even multitask when needed. You can’t be taking that many classes and not learn how to schedule out your life. Between balancing work, school, homework, and a social life, I have figured out schedules that

CC BY-NC-ND Amanda Hawkins https://flic.kr/p/5R8gBP

work best for me in getting everything done. This applies to my major in the sense that as I go into the Graduate Program for Athletic Training and will be doing clinical, I will need to be able to focus on multiple tasks in front of me such as working with multiple athletes at one time. The courses that have taught me this have been Kinesiology and Exercise Physiology. Although all of my classes involve a lot of work and this has been a tough semester for me, those two courses relate directly to Athletic Training and Social Sciences which is what my major of Health Science is based around.

Within this semester I have also learned about what parts of the job and major that I like the least. Personally, Exercise Prescription is not my favorite class. I will be honest about that. I have discovered that personal training is just something that I do not enjoy carrying out. To some extent, Athletic Trainers have to know how to develop these plans for various athletes. But I know that personal training won’t be the main focus of the job.

CC BY-SA CollegeDegrees360 https://flic.kr/p/cEJya3

Taking these various courses that have related to my major has shown me that the reality is I am not going to absolutely love every aspect of the job. I hate personal training. To each their own! We aren’t always going to like all of the classes we take even if they pertain to our degree. But I understand that taking that class makes sense for my degree and it is something I should be knowledgeable of.  I still need to try my best even if it isn’t something I personally am connecting with.

Overall, I have acquired quite a bit of knowledge over the last year or two with my various courses and class schedules. But filling my books with all of the classes and hard work has paid off and soon enough I will have that Bachelors Degree and will be moving onto my Masters. I will be able to carry over all of the lessons I have learned into the program and use them to my benefit.

 

External Interdisciplinary Techniques

As we all have discovered, combining multiple fields of study can form to create our own personal degree and career. The educational field is changing rapidly and students are coming to find out that there isn’t one certain way to reach their goals.

“Perhaps this movement away from strictly disciplinary study is the inevitable reaction to an educational system which tends to break up “found” patterns of knowledge as they exist in application in the “real world” outside the classroom.”

CC BY Phil Roeder https://flic.kr/p/agLDmm

This article talks about the City-as-School approach. This is a school in New York City that allows juniors and seniors from the local public schools to finish their high school career with external courses in what they want to do. The example they used in the article was that someone who wants a degree in physical education can observe with a dance company within the city for credit. What I took away from this was that it is basically an internship program for high school students, but they can get the high school credit for it.

“The development and accreditation of the school’s external learning experience is the nearly any external experience can have educational validity if properly monitored so that the experience can be placed within a meaningful context for student study and participation.”

As an interdisciplinary student, I think we all want that hands on experience in our fields of study that actually count for something. Time and time again, students put in effort to further themselves in their studies but credit isn’t given where it should be. Why shouldn’t I have access to the online book after the semester when I payed for it? Why does my pre-algebra class in college not count for credit because I am horrible at math and need a refresher? Why doesn’t this internship count for anything?

When I was in high school, our district had a Running Start Program. This was with the community colleges of New Hampshire and when you were in high

CC BY-NC-ND Alice https://flic.kr/p/cgxkLw

school, there were certain classes that you could take that were considered a college course and you would only have to pay $100 for each course. For me, that is how I relate to this article. I didn’t necessarily get hands on experience like the kids in the article,  but I was still able to make strides towards college before I was even done with high school. Programs such as these are beyond beneficial for students looking to get ahead.

Source: Greenberg, Arthur. “City-as-School: An Approach to External Interdisciplinary Education.” The English Journal, vol. 65, no. 7, 1976, pp. 60–62. JSTOR, JSTOR,   www.jstor.org/stable/814344

RA Sources

 

Ryan, Joan. Little Girls in Pretty Boxes: The Making and Breaking of Elite Gymnasts and Figure Skaters. Warner Books, 2000.

Discipline: Psychology, Physiology

            Focus: Training Regimens, mental/physical hardships

            Evaluation: Great book for interviews about mental and physical  toughness

 

Georgopoulos, N., et al. “Growth and Pubertal Development in Elite Female Rhythmic Gymnasts.” The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, vol. 84, no. 12, 1999, pp. 4525–4530., doi:10.1210/jcem.84.12.6177.

Discipline: Biology, Human Growth and Development

Focus: Stunted Growth/ cause and effect

Evaluation: Helpful with the science behind how we develop and how physical activity impacts that.

 

Malina, Robert M. et al. “Role of Intensive Training in the Growth and Maturation of Artistic Gymnasts.” Sports Medicine (Auckland, N.z.) 43.9 (2013): 783–802. PMC. Web. 5 Mar. 2018.

Discipline: Genetics, Exercise Prescription/Personal Training, Health Sciences, Biology

Focus: How genetics plays a role in athletic development and and the specifics on training.

Evaluation: Useful facts on genetics.

 

McDavitt, Allison, “PSYCHOLOGICAL ASPECTS OF GYMNASTICS AS PERCEIVED BY ATHLETIC TRAINERS” (2016). Masters of Education in Human Movement Sport and Leisure Studies, Masters Projects. Paper 29.

Discipline: Athletic Training, Psychology, Biology

Focus: Tips for how Athletic Trainers can respond to over training/ taking care of advanced athletes

Evaluation: Athletic Training ethical responses/care

 

Willenberg, Barbara, and Melinda Hemmelgarn. “Nutrient Needs of Young Athletes.” The Elementary School Journal, vol. 91, no. 5, 1991, pp. 445–456. JSTOR, JSTOR, www.jstor.org/stable/1001885.

Discipline: Nutrition, Human Development

Focus: This article talks about the nutritional needs for young athletes which helps them develop or not develop depending on their nutritional needs.

Evaluation: How diet effects the performance and growth of an athlete

 

Williams, J. G. P. “Musculoskeletal Injuries In Child Athletes.” BMJ: British Medical Journal, vol. 309, no. 6950, 1994, pp. 341–341. JSTOR, JSTOR, www.jstor.org/stable/29724349.

Discipline: Biology, Anatomy & Physiology, Kinesiology

Focus: Common injuries that occur in child athletes and gymnasts

Evaluation: Shows how aggressive athletics can be for kids and that it can effect their future in a sport or every day life.

Rotella, Robert J., et al. “Burnout in Youth Sports.” The Elementary School Journal, vol. 91, no. 5, 1991, pp. 421–428. JSTOR, JSTOR, www.jstor.org/stable/1001882.

Discipline: Psychology

Focus: This journal explains what burnout is and how common it is in young athletes. This is more of a mental health journal.

Evaluation: This can contribute to the mental health aspect of a young athlete and how they will carry this into their teenage/adult athletic career.