Dr. Kevin J. Finn, HPELS faculty member in the Physical Education Division has received a 2012-2013 J. William Fulbright Award. He will be conducting the research project titled “Monitoring Physical Activity Patterns of Inhabitants in West-Central of Hungary” in the fall 2012 as a U.S. Scholar hosted by the University of West Hungary (in Gyor). The award is granted in cooperation with the Hungarian-American Commission for Educational Education in Hungary and the Council for International Exchange of Scholars (CIES) in the United States.
The project will involve training Hungarian Health Promotion students on the objective and subjective techniques to assess physical activity levels using procedures reflective of the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) used in the United States. In addition, ten rural communities in the northwest region of Hungary will be studied using these techniques on adults. The information obtained from interviews and activity monitors will be used to compare the physical activity levels according to geographic location (community), age, gender, and socio-economic status. In addition, relationships between fitness, physical activity, and body size in the study population will be established. All of these project findings will be shared with the Hungarian Health Science Committee at their Annual Meeting.
Dr. Finn has research expertise in objective measures of physical activity in children and adults as well as identifying factors associated with obesity in children. His professional experience in Hungary extends nine years in which he has presented and chaired international sessions at two national conferences, conducted an English intensive training workshop in the area of Exercise Physiology, hosted a Hungarian colleague at UNI, mentored Hungarian students as part of the International Program at UNI, and sent students to Hungary as part of the Study Abroad Program.
“The award provides funding for travel and housing which enables me to spend a full semester engaged in the academic preparation of Hungarian students and the opportunity to gain better understanding of the Hungarian culture. I am very appreciative of this prestigious award and thank both the University of West Hungary for their invitation and the University of Northern Iowa for their support in the application process. “
Dr. Finn joined the faculty in the School of Health, Physical Education, and Leisure Services in 1999. As an Associate Professor and Director of the UNI Youth Fitness and Obesity Institute, he has been active in research and grant writing in the area of obesity prevention. He has also been active in seeking out opportunities for international study traveling to South Korea, Portugal, Finland, Slovakia, in addition to Hungary.