Too busy to be healthy? Join the club


Program Description:

When was the last time you had someone tell you they had free time? Most likely it would be difficult to recall. As a nation, we are constantly telling each other how busy we are on a daily basis. We cannot imagine our forbearers two hundred years ago were less busy, but they had one advantage to our present generation. Their lifestyles were more active by nature and necessity. The adult obesity levels are climbing, our activity levels are declining, and diets are imbalanced at best. While this has become a global phenomenon, America has led the way. To address this problem there have been national initiatives, Healthy People 2010, among others. But to be successful in empowering a nation to lead healthy and active lives it has to start with the individual. Everyone can add more activity and make healthy dietary choices. In order for this lofty goal to be achieved it has to begin with a positive can do attitude and peer support. The goal of healthier lifestyles starts with small changes that can be maintained over a lifetime. We are all in this together and there is not one individual who should not be active or eat well. This goal can be achieved.


Patricia A. Halpin

Dr. Patricia A. Halpin earned her BS in Biology from Old Dominion University. After earning her B.S. she worked as a research assistant in the Department of Radiation Therapy at Harvard Medical School. This worked was followed by work as a Research Technician at MIT's Center for Environmental Health Sciences and then at the Center for Cancer Research. She earned her MS and PhD in Physiology from the University of Connecticut. After graduate school she completed an NIH postdoctoral research fellowship at Dartmouth Medical School. She been teaching at University of New Hampshire at Manchester (UNHM) since 2000, first as an Adjunct Instructor, then as a Lecturer and now as an Assistant Professor of Biology. She teach Principles of Biology, Cell Biology and Animal Physiology for Biology majors. Teaching this student population really reinforces their interest in science while adding depth to their knowledge. Dr. Halpin also teach Diseases of the 21st Century and Biotechnology & Society to non-science majors. She really enjoys this because these students bring their broad perspective to science. Engaging them in current scientific information and controversy increases their science literacy and stimulates their interest. As the first adopter of online learning at UNH she embraced new technologies and enjoys using them to teach science. She is currently teaching both hybrid accelerated and online classes. She is a full member of the American Physiological Society and participates in Physiology Understanding (PhUn) Week every year. As part of this outreach initiative of the American Physiological Society she has performed an exercise physiology experiment with elementary school children for the past five years. The elementary school students love science because they get to test their own hypotheses and gather their own data. Her outreach also includes teaching science labs with her undergraduates for the Excellence in Education for English Language Learners (EXCELL) program at UNHM for middle school ESOL students the past four summers. This summer she will also teach a lab for the EXCELL high school program. It is interesting to teach these students and learn more about their cultures and beliefs when discussing common science themes. Giving these students this enrichment helps to increase their science knowledge and improves their confidence in the laboratory setting. It is important that students gain this confidence early in their studies, so that they can begin to see themselves as upcoming science professionals who will be able to explore scientific questions and answers that affect us all in the future.

Other topics offered by Patricia A. Halpin