Another Update

After doing further research and work on both my article and project I have found my topics to be flourishing.

In the past week I have developed and finalized many of my sources for the research article. I was able to even find an article written by a former professor here at Plymouth State University. The article highlighted many of the differences and similarities between two elite female and male runners struggling with eating disorders. The article was written by Rebecca Busanich as well as two of her colleagues and titled: Comparing Elite Male and Female Distance Runner’s Experiences of Disordered Eating Through Narrative Analysis.  Another source I found was from the NCAA which highlighted and simplified what eating disorders are and what the NCAA can do to help be part of the solution.

This week I was able to put up a bulletin board as the first part of my project. This board highlighted key core workouts and suggested a specific core workout. This was an awesome way to help students out as well as show what I have learned in course work. I will be tracking how many workout forms are taken and hopefully need to refill the folder soon! Here is the link to part of the bulletin board that was posted this week in the Blair Fitness Facility! BB1-Core

Research Article Precis

Black, D. R. (1991). Eating disorders among athletes: Theory, issues, and research. Reston, VA: Association for the Advancement of Health Education and National Association for Girls and Women in Sport, Associations of the American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation, and Dance.

David R. Black in the book, Eating Disorders Among Athletes (1991) explains the many different key words and issues amongst athletes with eating disorders. Black supports his claims by describing the history and factors of eating disorders. The author’s purpose is to inform so the reader has a better understanding of athletes with eating disorders. The author writes in a formal tone for researchers and those looking to get a higher understanding of the topic.

Parry, J. W. (2017). The athletes dilemma: Sacrificing health for wealth and fame. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield.

John Weston Parry in the book, The Athlete’s Dilemma: Sacrificing Health for Wealth and Fame (2017), describes the recent issues in sport regarding eating disorders, blood doping, and other issues. Parry supports his claims by illustrating the flaws of athletics starting at the youth level. The author’s purpose is to point out the flaws and struggles of those in athletics in order to educate about current events. The author writes in an earnest tone for young adults eager to learn more about the struggles in athletics.

Busanich, R., McGannon, K. R., & Schinke, R. J. (2014). Comparing elite male and female distance runner’s experiences of disordered eating through narrative analysis. Psychology of Sport & Exercise, 15(6), 705-712.

In the article, “Comparing Elite Male and Female Distance Runner’s Experiences of Disordered Eating Through Narrative Analysis” (2014), describes the experiences of two elite runners and their struggle with eating disorders. The authors support their conclusions by describing the experiences of the athletes through narrative analysis. The authors’ purpose is to show that elite athletes often have a unique experience when being confronted with an eating disorder. The author writes in a formal tone for researchers and other high-level learners.


Galli, N., Petrie, T., & Chatterton, J. (2017). Team weigh-ins and self-weighing: relations to body-related perceptions and disordered eating in collegiate male athletes. Psychology of Sport & Exercise, 2951-55.

Galli, Petrie, and Chatterton in the article, Team Weigh-Ins and Self-Weighing: Relations to Body-Related Perceptions and Disordered Eating in Collegiate Male Athletes (2017) suggests that male athletes generally get satisfaction when looking at physical appearance and not a scale. The authors support their claims by gathering data from multiple male college athletes. The author’s purpose is to point out that student athletes are all different and their ability to cope with eating disorders is also very different. The author writes in a formal tone for researchers and others eager to learn about eating disorders.

Disordered Eating in Student-Athletes: Understanding the Basics and What We Can Do About It. (2014, March 04). Retrieved March 15, 2017, from

The NCAA in the online article, Disordered Eating in Student-Athletes: Understanding the Basics and What We Can Do About it (2014) explains the basics of eating disorders and what the NCAA and general public can do about this issue. The NCAA supports their information by breaking down eating disorders into basic terms and ways to treat these disorders. The author’s purpose is to inform so that the NCAA is able to convey their message and prevention of eating disorders. The author writes in an informal tone for all readers to understand the NCAA information about eating disorders.

Diving Further into Research

This week I have done a lot research in relation to my research article project. I have shifted the focus of my research from all mental health issues for college student-athletes, which is a very broad topic to eating disorders for college student-athletes. I look to answer the questions of what physically and mentally do these athletes face every day as well as how can we treat these individuals? They face challenges every day and it is important to understand these challenges to best help the athletes.

This week I watched a short documentary about a boy who is struggling with anorexia. The film follows Charles as he finishes his treatment and meets his old classmates again after being gone for about two years. Although this film is not about a college student, Charles is 18 years old as well as I thought it was important to understand the specific challenges males may face when it comes to eating disorders. Charles was hospitalized for nearly two years and was the only male present in the unit. Charles described many of the challenges he faced prior, during, and after treatment. One of the challenges he deeply discusses is having a target weight and that fear of reaching it. After weighing in, Charles experienced a panic attack due to the pressure of weighing in and getting closer to that goal. When Charles met with his classmates for the first time in two years one of the things Charles was open about was that he didn’t realize it was an eating disorder. I believe this is because there is so much stigma around anorexia especially and the idea that men cannot experience this challenge. Although that is not true, I believe many men fail to see their struggle because they see eating disorders, especially anorexia, as a “girl’s only issue”. Moving forward with my research I believe this will be very beneficial in providing reference and insight to the minds of many men struggling with anorexia.


Radio1Newsbeat. “Anorexia: A Boy in a Girl’s World | BBC Newsbeat.” YouTube, YouTube, 8 May 2016,

Applied Project Prospectus and Timeline

For my applied project I will be working with Residential Life to create a more well and wholesome experience for students utilizing the Blair Hall fitness facility. My project will be creating multiple projects as I provide students with workouts they are able to do in the fitness facility, office hours as a resource, research and data collection about gym usage and improvements to be made. My large question I will be looking to answer is what ways can we improve the mental and physical health of first-year students using the Blair Hall fitness facility? I want to do this project and explore this topic because I am passionate about exercise and mental health. I feel as though first year students have the hardest time adjusting and exercising during college. I am very passionate about Residential Life as I have worked in the department for four years and therefore I also want to explore ways to help these students. I also think this is an awesome opportunity to be a manager of a fitness facility, since there is no supervision or structure in this facility right now. Erica Burke, the Community Director, has given me the ability to do what I want with the space, so it is an awesome opportunity to really make this my own.

This project incorporates both exercise and psychological aspects of my IDS degree. I will obviously be coming up with a variety of different exercises and physical ways to help students but will also be using these strategies to improve the mental health of students. Offering other tips on self-care and the importance of a healthy mind will be targets of discussion throughout my project. During my time this semester I will be visiting the fitness facility quite often as well as doing a lot of little projects. Below I have a detailed outline of what I plan to accomplish during the semester. To document this project, I will be taking lots of pictures as well as posting data and research I am doing on my ePort. I believe this project will be able to evaluate this project by using feedback from Erica Burke as well as showing data trends throughout the semester (both qualitative and quantitative).

I will be using resources from the library databases as well as creating my own data. I will keep in contact with Erica Burke for this project as well as the Residential Life Director Chuck Crawford. There is a challenge of this project since this space is not widely advertised as well as many first-year students are hesitant to exercise especially without an exercise partner. No matter how this project ends up I know it will be successful because I am able to create my own path as well as help students.


Oct. 10 Inventory of Gym and Create Sign Up Sheet

Oct. 12 Bulletin Board 1

Oct. 17 Check in on Space

Oct. 24 Data Collection on Fitness Facility deadline and office hours in fitness facility

Oct. 26 Bulletin Board 2

Oct. 31 Check in on space

Nov. 7 Check in on space and office hours in fitness facility

Nov. 9 Bulletin Board 3

Nov. 14 Check in on space

Nov. 28 Program

Nov. 30 Final Bulletin Board 4

Dec. 3 Final Presentation at Frost House

RA Prospectus

I am working on the topic of mental health challenges faced amongst college student athletes because I want to find out the biggest issues in order to help my reader understand better the solutions, treatments, and experiences of these college student athletes. There are many reasons I am interested in this topic, however, the biggest being I am a college student-athlete who struggles with mental health. I think a lot of athletes are held to the expectation that they have to be mentally tough, however, struggle the most. Injuries are a huge part of sport and we often think about the physical effects of the injury, but neglect the mental effects. Other challenges student-athletes face include but are not limited to disordered eating, stress, and anxiety. I am interested in diving into these challenges to better understand what we can do to be part of the solution, what treatments are available to these athletes, and lastly inform the public of what student-athletes go through every day. I am writing to not only inform the general public, but to inform higher educators, coaches, and parents of the issues faced. I think it is extremely important that professors, coaches, and parents sending their students away to college knowing what can happen and what treatments are available.

Guiding my research is what is the best forms of treatment and what actually happens in the brain. Some databases that will be helpful are “Academic Search Premier” as well as “PsycINFO”. Some key terms are:

  • Intercollegiate Athletics
  • Brain and Spinal Injuries
  • Mental Illness
  • Disordered Eating
  • Rehabilitation

My timeline while still loose right now is on track. I plan to have research done by October 8th. Following the completion of research, I will complete one part of the paper (about a page and a half) every 4 days until November. This will allow for revision and editing to take place and completion of the paper by Thanksgiving break.

Ideas for Research and Project

5 Possible Article Topics

  1. I am working on the topic of concussions because I want to find out the impact on athletes in order to help my reader understand better treatment and rehabilitation.
    1. This is interesting as athletes often don’t think about side effects in the classroom and daily life. This topic targets the disciplines of neuroscience, psychology, and exercise science.
  2. I am working on the topic of daily exercise because I want to find out about the benefits in order to help my reader understand better mental health benefits.
    1. I am interested in seeing how daily exercise helps one’s mental health. This involves psychology, as well as exercise science, and sociology.
  3. I am working on the topic of higher education and exercise because I want to find out how college students benefit from exercise in order to help my reader understand better ways to help students.
    1. I think this is important as this population is often overlooked regarding health studies. This incorporates psychology, higher education, and exercise science.
  4. I am working on the topic of injury rehabilitation because I want to find out how it effects the brain in order to help my reader understand better the best course of treatment both mentally and physically.
    1. I think the connection between physical and mental injury is very interesting and important to my field. This involves the disciplines of exercise science, psychology, and athletic training.
  5. I am working on the topic of veterans care because I want to find out how PTSD and other mental illnesses effect veterans in order to help my reader understand better ways for caring and treating.
    1. I think veteran care is so important, but there is no real solution yet. This involves psychology, history, sociology, and exercise rehabilitation.


5 Possible Applied Project Ideas

  1. Post-Concussion Side Effects in Athletics
    1. I am interested in exploring this topic and how athletes are affected in their daily life from concussions. The idea of how the brain is affecting performance is often explored while classrooms effects are often forgotten.
  2. Exercise Amongst College Students
    1. I am interested in exploring how students get daily exercise as college students. I think it is important to promote health even during a busy time of life.
  3. Mental Illness Amongst Veterans
    1. I am interested in exploring the after care of veterans. Mental Illness is a major issue faced and am interested in being part of the solution.
  4. Healthy Habits Amongst College Students
    1. I am interested in studying the health habits of college students and how those affect daily life. I am also interested in seeing if unhealthy habits have the ability to change.
  5. Mental Health Amongst Athletes
    1. I am interested in studying the mental health of athletes and the rate of certain illnesses such as disordered eating and anxiety. With pressure of performance comes a lot of internal pressures and I am interested in studying this correlation.

My PLN Plan: Senior Year

My PLN Plan: Senior Year

Sport Psychology is an up and coming field of its own and the best way to connect with others in my field is through conferences, journals, and social media such as Twitter. There are many tools that are useful when learning more about sport psychology such as different magazines such as Psychology Today and studies that are constantly being shared with the world in a variety of journals. Other tools right here at Plymouth State is our library database which has a wealth of information. I feel as though LinkedIn would be a great way to connect with scholars and professors within my field. As part of my PLN I want to research more about how a LinkedIn works and what is the best way to connect with scholars. I think creating blog posts on my ePort is a great way to convey my ideas and thoughts regarding my field. This ePort can be used as a launchpad for discussion and hopefully increase my knowledge. While I am still young in my field I hope to learn from the experiences of others using my ePort. I want to encourage conversation amongst scholars and other young professionals, however, while I am still researching in my field I want to remain semi-private in my own thoughts. I am hoping that I will learn lots from others during this stage in my career and develop more comprehensive thoughts before being largely public. At least once a week I hope to be active on Twitter sharing ePort posts as well as other scholarly writings. I will be able to evaluate my PLN based on the discussions created from my posts as well as how many scholars, professors, and other young professionals I am able to engage with.


I Thought Dr. DeRosa was Lying When She Said Free Textbook

I’d like to start off by saying that I never expected to be in this course. I never expected to be an IDS major, I never expected to deviate from my plan. Since about first grade I have been the type of kid to plan every detail in my life. I always know exactly what the next step is, where I am going, and what I need to do. But, I can assure you that becoming an IDS student was never in first grade Kennedy’s plan and defiantly not college Kennedy’s plan, but I am so grateful I deviated away from my plan. I took a risk and it paid off in more ways than I could ever imagine. I learned that it is good to have a plan, but it is okay to stray away and live life more fully. The knowledge I am gaining is more full, comprehensive, and enriching than I could have ever hoped for and without taking this leap of faith I would have had no idea what I was missing out on.

When I signed up for this course I truly thought we were going to spend an entire semester creating our majors. Why I thought that would take 15 weeks, I don’t know, but that is what I thought. I figured this course would be boring for me since I already knew what courses I wanted to take and what my plan was (since I of course had to create an entirely new after jumping off my previous plan). Yet, again I was surprised and learned about a whole different way of thinking and educating students. I never expected to learn about all these different concepts and ideas that were so much larger than just a singular discipline or course. I learned about open textbooks, creative commons, what a PLN is, and so much more. I opened myself up to another dimension of engaged learning that can be innovative and exciting. Before taking this course I truly that the translation for interdisciplinarity was create your own major. As if you were to look it up in the dictionary that would be the definition given to the word. However, I learned that yes, it was creating your own program, but it was so much more. It is now a word I use to define learning that is breaking the barriers of disciplines and joining forces to solve real world problems. As time elapsed over the course, my thoughts changed and I quickly became fascinated with this idea of melting disciplines together to create a program that was specialized to the goals of the student.

As I went through this course there are three main concepts that I felt truly changed how I looked at my education and those are open textbooks, creative commons, and creating a PLN.


First, I had never even heard of an open textbook, so I thought Dr. DeRosa was lying when she said our textbook was free (thankfully she was not).This idea of creating an openly licensed textbook is genius. It allowed us as students of the IDS program to learn more about our peers, scholars in the field, what IDS is, and the purpose of an IDS education. The ability to take different articles that are openly licensed and compile them into one central location to share thoughts and ideas is innovative. This allows us as peers to learn from one another and get different perspectives on the same topic without paying hundreds of dollars. The next concept that I’d like to touch on is this idea of creative commons. Prior to this course I heard of the phrase, but really didn’t understand what it meant. However, it wasn’t long into the course that I learned there are different levels of creative commons and rule that apply to those licenses. I had heard of flickr before, but just knew it as a common place google images showed pictures from. Little did I know that not all pictures could not be used freely and that this also applied to our ePorts. I continued to learn throughout the semester how to post pictures from flickr and how to make my ePort posts free to the public.

CCBY: Jurgen Appelo

Lastly, we tackled the idea of a PLN. I was unfamiliar with this concept and quite frankly had no idea how to go about creating this PLN. But, with help from Dr. DeRosa and my fellow IDS peers, I quickly learned. I was new to twitter and thus extremely lost when it came to anything twitter related, but Dr. DeRosa simplified it by showing us Tweet Deck and other ways to target what we see on our feeds to make it beneficial to our education. I didn’t realize how much you can actually learn from Twitter and the research that by scholars that is often posted on social media. It was eye-opening to build my PLN throughout the semester and see all the different ideas I was learning about just by continuing to follow different scholars and organizations in the field.

Interdisciplinarity matters to our universities and our world in many ways. Interdisciplinarity allows students to build their own program in a way that will solve the world’s biggest issues. No problem in the world is one dimension so why is our education? Interdisciplinarity can draw students to those universities that offer those programs as well help retain students at the institutions. Interdisciplinarity pushes students to think outside of the box and outside of the traditional classroom. IDS creates innovators and motivators ready take on the world’s biggest challenges. In a world with constant change it is important to have thinkers who are striving to be the best every day and solve problems that didn’t occur 30 or even 5 years ago. We must prepare students to solve future problems when they might not even exist in today’s world.

CCBY: Josh Fields

As I move forward, I hope that I am able to inspire others who were like me, with a strict plan and saw no room for deviation. I hope that others consider an IDS education because the benefits are endless. My hopes are that IDS continues to grow at PSU and PSU encourages other departments on campus to use an open education like the one created here in the IDS department. I believe that this program will continue to benefit students for years to come and that more schools such adopt an open education model for students to feel pride and ownership in their own education. As for me, I hope that I can take this experience with me as I move onto graduate school and continue to learn and grow. I hope that I will be successful in the Occupational Therapy field and that I will be a leader in my field.

Exercise and Psychological Sciences PLN: At the Forefront of Research and Knowledge

A personal learning network, also known as a PLN, to me is a network of knowledge. It is a network you create as a rising professional to better your understanding within your field of study. Within my PLN, I have chosen to follow on Twitter different professionals within higher education as well as organizations, journals, and fellow classmates who will expand my understanding of exercise and psychological sciences. Within my PLN are different disciplines such as Occupational Therapy, Psychology, Sports Medicine, Higher Education, and Physical Therapy. I have chosen all these different fields to be included in my PLN since they all help me understand the human mind and body more fully. On Twitter I follow, retweet, and comment on a variety of professional pages such as Evidence in Motion, Robin DeRosa, Psychology Today, American Occupational Therapy Association, and the Korey Stringer Institute.

CC By: Xiaobin Liu

After a semester’s worth of work, of tweeting and reading and emerging myself within my PLN, I have compiled a file of my best tweets and most valuable information gained. These tweets were all hand selected as they gave me insight about the mind and body. Much of the mind comes from higher education and being able to think differently about the way we learn. I was able to follow some of the leaders in higher education as well as my classmates who show the same passion for education as I do. By following the link ( you are able to see all of the knowledge I was able to gain from this semester as well as organizations I can learn more from and hopefully use to help guide me in the future.

What I gained from my PLN was not just a twitter feed filled with articles, but a twitter feed filled with enriching literature that will help me have a more interdisciplinary view of my field. Being able to understand all aspects of the mind and body is extremely important to one’s rehabilitation and being able to see experts in all fields release their research and have the most up to date research is extremely beneficial. One of the most beneficial aspects of my PLN is having an insight on today’s biggest issues and how they are being dealt with such as the Flint Water Crisis and global warming. There is so much research being done on topics like these such as the effect climate change is having on both the mental and physical health of humans. As I built my PLN and continue to build my PLN, I am able to be at the forefront of this research to better understand my current and future studies.

Understanding Unity Between Mind and Body

As I began my Interdisciplinary Studies journey this semester I have explored many courses and expanded my knowledge with a comprehensive view. All courses in my contract were chosen to improve my future studies and work which was motivated by my involvement in the Center for Exceptional Families in Dearborn, MI. At the center, I was able to work with children of all ages, but for Sports Camp most campers fell between the ages of 10 and 16. Here I worked with the campers to improve their physical skills as well as social skills. To do so, I had to a lot of research about the different psychological factors that impact children in relation to exercise. Working with these children was an amazing experience and peaked my interest in Occupational Therapy as well as how rehabilitation and muscle strengthening can be fun and engaging for patients. This experience really drove my interest in the courses I have enrolled in this semester and the knowledge I have gained will help me assist other children in a fun and engaging way.

Working with a camper on proper throwing technique at Center for Exceptional Families, Dearborn, MI

My courses have focused on the core educational goal of my contract and that is to understand the connection between psychological aspects of a human and how it relates to the physical aspects. The two courses that have really helped me understand the relationship between mind and body are Exercise and Health Psychology as well as Adolescent Psychology.

Exercise and Health Psychology emphasizes the importance of exercising and how it effects the brain and one’s motivation.

Center for Exceptional Families, Dearborn, MI, Camp Counselor with campers who all had a variety of special needs

The idea that each person is motivated by a different factor or aspect of health is important when understanding how to help a person who may be trying to start exercising or overcoming injury. It is very interesting in this course to learn about the different models of motivation, self-esteem, and personality.

Adolescent Psychology focuses a lot on the different aspects of the adolescent period in life. In this class we dive deep into understanding the relationship between the physical changes in one’s body and how it changes a person’s mentality. There is a lot of pressure put on adolescents and this often will push them to make physical and mental changes.

Working with specific campers on frisbee throwing at Center for Exceptional Families, Dearborn, MI

Adolescents will change their interests and appearances just to fit in or give off a certain vibe. Adolescents will also deal with a lot of emotional changes and therefore will often make decision that are chaotic and not thought out. This course has helped me understand the idea that all physical changes impact a person mentally and vice versa.

From these courses, I hope to take with me a deeper understanding of the connection between the physical and mental aspects of the body. Understanding this unity will help me help future patients and clients as I work towards a career in Occupational Therapy.