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Health Sciences Department Adds New Faculty

September 27, 2016
As Merrimack continues to expand its student body, the growing Health Sciences Department adds 4 new faculty members.

Dr. Sarah Benes earned an Ed.D. in curriculum and teaching and Ed.M in human movement from Boston University. She was most recently program director for physical and health education programs at Boston University. She has several published articles in peer reviewed journals as well as a recently published textbook. She also presents at local and national conferences regularly and is actively engaged in service to the physical and health education professions as well as to the community. Her research interests include skills-based health education, physical activity in schools, and enhancing school-based physical and health education programming.

Ms. April Bowling will earn her Sc.D. this fall in public health nutrition and obesity epidemiology at the T.H. Chan School of Public Health at Harvard University, where she served as a teaching fellow for undergraduate and graduate courses. She earned a master’s from Tufts University and a bachelor’s from Johns Hopkins University. Her research investigates the role of physical activity and nutrition in improving health among children with behavioral health challenges such as Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder. She was recently awarded the 2016 student award for outstanding research in child and family health from the Society of Behavioral Medicine. Prior to her doctoral program, she was an endurance sports coach, training triathletes, cyclocross racers and distance runners.  She also served as executive director of the TriROK Foundation. Ms. Bowling will join Merrimack in the Spring 2017 semester.

Dr. David Mandeville earned a Ph.D. in human physiology and a master’s in exercise movement science from the University of Oregon, and a bachelor’s in exercise science and a certificate in athletic training at Fort Lewis College. He has been an assistant professor at the College of Health and Human Services at California State University-Sacramento and a research assistant professor at the State University of New York-Buffalo. His research interests are describing the factors underlying the disproportionate prevalence of knee osteoporosis in women, and quantifying the effect of collaborative learning on undergraduate professional competency gains. He has published in peer-reviewed journals, including the Journal of College Science Teaching, and presented at international and national conferences.

Dr. Tunde Szivak earned a Ph.D. in kinesiology from The Ohio State University, a master’s. in kinesiology from University of Connecticut, and a bachelor’s in philosophy from the United States Military Academy. She is an officer in the U.S. Army Reserves. Prior to joining academia, Dr. Szivak served as an active duty Army officer, with two yearlong combat deployments to Iraq, in 2004 and 2007. Her research interests focus on stress physiology and performance optimization, particularly in military populations. Her dissertation research focused on the effects of Survival, Evasion, Resistance and Escape training on physical performance and biomarkers of stress. 

With the addition of these new and accomplished faculty members, the School of Science and Engineering is looking forward to a great year for the growing Health Sciences programs.

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