DSU intrigues governor with cutting-edge projects

In back from left, Dr. Chris Mason, Dr. Von Homer, Gov. John Carney and DSU President Wilma Mishoe talk about the Kinesiology Lab DSU while student Ashley Alston uses the Y Balance at Delaware State University. (Delaware State News/Marc Clery)

DOVER — There are some cutting-edge projects taking place at Delaware State University’s Department of Public and Allied Health’s Kinesiology Lab, a place where professors and students are working on finding ways to prevent hip, knee and ankle injuries before they occur.

Gov. John Carney joined DSU President Wilma Mishoe in visiting three different classrooms and labs around the Dover campus on Wednesday, including the Kinesiology Lab, where they learned more about the research pursuits and hands-on experiences taking place at the institution.

It was part of a day in which the governor also toured classrooms at Delaware Technical Community College’s Georgetown Campus and the University of Delaware on Wednesday, highlighting the innovative work taking place at each campus, and took the opportunity to discuss Delaware’s Higher Education Economic Development Fund. He met with students, faculty and administrations at all three institutions.

Gov. Carney’s visit to Delaware State University began with an afternoon stop at the Kinesiology Lab.

Dr. Chris Mason, department chair, and Dr. Von Homer, visiting assistant professor, shared information with the governor about their research on neuromuscular stability and muscle tension and the development of analysis that can predictively identify those with a higher possibility of injury.

Dr. Mason greeted the governor into his laboratory.

“This is an exciting time to have you at DSU and an even more exciting time in my opinion to have you right here in our world, which is the world of kinesiology, in our newly renovated exercise and rehabilitation laboratory,” Dr. Mason said, to Gov. Carney. “We have a brief demonstration for you that highlights some of the primary research that we are working on, which involves, in short, the prediction of risk level of an athlete suffering an injury to the knee, ankle or hip. Right now, we are focusing on the ankle joint.

Dr. Von Homer watches Gov. John Carney use the Y Balance in the Kinesiology Lab at Delaware State University. (Delaware State News/Marc Clery)

“What we have done is combine some modalities that have been commonly used in isolation by themselves and we’ve combined them together and added another layer of our research and allowed us to answer some questions related to why and how, instead of just identifying the injury.”

Gov. Carney’s legs shook slightly as he stood atop a Y Balance testing machine and offered up some of his yoga moves, frightening more than one onlooker as he balanced atop the wooden, sliding apparatus. He was able to safely get off the machine.

“I’m particularly interested in this because I’ve had a hip replacement procedure done,” Gov. Carney said. “I feel like I am lacking balance on one side, particularly when I am doing yoga.”

Dr. Von Homer showed the governor an insole that was the result of DSU working with a team of podiatrists in Miami, who took more than 200,000 scans to put into one footprint.

“Really, this is about creating an innovative sports performance program where we can utilize all the different sciences and medicines and collect more information from that,” Dr. Von Horner said. “We are hoping to use this information with the Strength and Conditioning Department, the Athletic Training Department, and the Department of Kinesiology.”

During his visit to DSU, Gov. Carney also toured the Department of Mass Communication’s radio and television studios, where he sat down for a five-minute on camera interview with senior Mass Comm major Morgan Poole.

During the interview, the governor discovered that the entire camera crew and control room technical crew were DSU Mass Comm students. He also received information from Renee Marine, program director, about the Mass Communications offerings at the school.

Gov. Carney ended his visit to DSU at the Optical Science Center for Applied Research, where he visited some labs.

He also heard from Dr. Melissa Harrington, university associate vice president for research, about the research expansion into the biomedical and psychology areas that would be possible if a second OSCAR building could be funded and built.

During his visit, Gov. Carney also saw the progress of the ongoing construction for the new residential hall on campus.

“It’s nice to see some of the terrific work that is taking place at Delaware State University,” he said. “A lot of these things are really next level, forward thinking projects.”

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