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Professor Patrick Harwood
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Timothy Scheett
Physical Education and Health

Photo Tim Scheet
Professor Timothy Scheett

Sick and Tired? Tim Scheett Knows Why!
By Leigh Ann Ziemke

A recent study conducted by Physical Education and Health Professor Tim Scheett found that among college age females who are not in college, female college students, and female college athletes, the most stressed out and immune deficient group were the female college students. The reason for this: they stopped exercising when they "had a lot to do." Results showed that if you take the time to go for a run or to the gym to exercise, even if you take your book or class notes with you, stress levels lower and immunities strengthen.

This study is one among many that C of C newcomer Dr. Scheett has conducted in the recent past. When taking a look at the long list of research projects he has participated in, one would not be surprised to find that he is, as he says, "in love with research."

Scheett, a native of North Dakota and a graduate of North Dakota State University, got his bachelor's degree in physical education and a minor in coaching. He then went on to Western Illinois University where he earned a master's in exercise science. Then it was to the University of Connecticut for his doctorate in kinesiology with specializations in exercise physiology, environmental physiology and statistics. There he became an avid UConn Huskies fan. He would then go on for further training at Ball State University where he worked as a research fellow.

Scheett loves research, and there are many reasons why. The aspects of research he really enjoys are collaboration, the control of being able to ask specific questions to discover new information about his interests and then being able to incorporate this information into his teaching.

Collaboration is one of his favorite aspects of research because more than one person benefits from it. "You can pull from five or six different fields of study that normally wouldn't work together and get and give invaluable information for research," he says.

Much of Scheett's research is based in how exercise and/or nutrition affect the immune system. He says immunology is "like a hub of a wheel, and all the different realms that I research are like the spokes." The different realms may not directly be related to each other, but they are connected in some way, which displays the idea of collaboration with different fields of study.

The second aspect of research that attracts him is control. Now this may seem a bit strange but as Dr. Scheett says jokingly, "Most researchers are control freaks." He says with research you get to decide what, when, and how. You can control what goes on and what questions you are looking at specifically.

Scheett also likes research because he gets to do it on topics he is truly interested in. He can pick a topic, research it thoroughly, answer specific questions and actually serve a purpose.

An additional aspect that Scheett enjoys about research is the opportunity it provides him to work more directly with students. He is continuously looking for ways to involve students in his research projects. He feels participating in research as a student provides an invaluable opportunity to make connections that the student may remember forever.

"I personally feel that if you want to be the most effective teacher you can be, you need to be involved in research," he says. "Any topic we're talking about in class, I can relate to research I've personally done."

"He cares about the students and he wants them to have a grasp of everything, not just memorize it," says Shyvonne Gallagher, a student in Scheettt's Concepts in Fitness Assessment and Exercise Prescription class.

Scheett feels that since new research is always proving old findings wrong, students deserve to know the new findings and what is true today, not what was true when the book was published. "At the end of the day, if they learned something, I am happy," he says.

With all this love of research, Scheett is fully behind the new requirement for physical education/exercise science majors to engage in research during their senior year. He is also looking for ways to involve underclassmen in his research projects as research assistants.

Currently, Scheett is attempting to secure funding that will be used to support part-time jobs for students interested in gaining this type of firsthand experience. He feels that research is nothing but beneficial and once you do research, your classes are much more meaningful. With these activities, he says the College should produce more experienced students who not only understand and can apply research to their work but also students who seek further academic work in research-related fields.