Missouri State Journal

Tuesday, 9:30 a.m.

The Missouri State Journal is a weekly program keeping you in touch with Missouri State University.

Growing up in Bangladesh, Sujash Purna was inspired by British literature, reading works by J.K. Rowling, Jane Austen and George Orwell. A love of language drew him to creative writing and brought him to America to further his studies.

Many runners find themselves drawn to races and long runs – like marathons. But how do you begin to tackle the intense physical and mental hurdles that come?  

Dr. Sara Powell, assistant professor of kinesiology at Missouri State University, says that the distance is just one of the challenges to crossing the finish line.

In addition to getting fitted for good footwear, Powell provides some tips for training:

Battling a sedentary mindset? Ready to get active?

Dr. Sara Powell is ready to help you set some goals. 

Powell, assistant professor in the kinesiology department at Missouri State University, encourages people to not take on too much too soon, as it’s a recipe for being discouraged.

Even if you’re working out with a partner, Powell emphasizes that you should set individual goals. Genetics, body type, physical abilities and diet are all unique to you, so you shouldn’t compare yourself, she says. 

To say that this past year and a half have been tough is an understatement. The COVID-19 pandemic has affected every facet of our lives and put a strain on our mental health.

One simple way to destress and rejuvenate yourself is to explore the outdoors. With summer here, now’s a great time to go outside.

Last year, Missouri State University’s Tent Theatre was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This summer, it’s back with its 59th season, featuring three shows – two live and one virtual. 

There will be a major change this year – the live shows will take place in Craig Hall Coger Theatre. This is due to the construction of Tent Theatre’s new permanent structure, the John Goodman Amphitheatre, scheduled to open in summer 2022.

Want to truly walk a mile in someone else’s shoes? Try an ethnographic field school. It’s an immersive experience where you live within another culture.

Dr. William Meadows, professor of anthropology and Native American studies at Missouri State University, leads a 6-week experience for his students, living with a Kiowa family. He also integrates them with members of the Plains Apache and Camanche tribes as well. He tells a bit about the experience.

Whether you’re a CEO, public relations professional, truck driver or preschool student, you are always communicating. Intentionally or not. Verbally or nonverbally. You have the skill the moment you enter the world.

Dr. Carrisa Hoelscher, director of graduate communication studies at Missouri State University, sets her target on competent communication to help others improve their skill.

A family with young kids sitting around a campfire.
LizRVS from Pixabay

Summer is just around the corner. With easing of restrictions and increased vaccination rates, many people around the country are ready to travel again.

What will summer travel look like? How can people enjoy taking trips safely? 

Dr. Stephanie Hein, department head of hospitality leadership at Missouri State University, answers these questions and more.

A plate of salad with a side of bread.
RitaE from Pixabay

Many people choose to follow a diet plan to lose weight and eat healthier.

But with so many diet plans available, from the DASH diet to the Keto diet to the Mediterranean diet and more, it can be a challenge to find one that’s effective and sustainable in the long term.

Society has developed into a difficult place for many individuals with autism. Socialization and communication are fundamental, and these skills can be a hurdle.

Dr. Megan Boyle, associate professor of special education at Missouri State University, is a board-certified behavior analyst. She runs a clinic for children with autism spectrum disorders and prepares the next generation of educators for behavior issues in the classroom.

Individuals with autism experience the world differently, and often have challenges with social situations or communication.

Dr. Megan Boyle, associate professor of special education at Missouri State University, is a board-certified behavior analyst. She runs a clinic for children with autism spectrum disorders and prepares the next generation of educators for behavior issues in the classroom.

How do kids build friendships and navigate bullying in schools? Dr. Leslie Echols, Missouri State University associate professor of psychology, is trying to find out with her latest research project.

Hip-hop is its own unique culture, complete with music, fashion and art.

Dr. Ashley Payne, assistant professor of psychology at Missouri State University, studies hip-hop based education and identity development of Black adolescent girls and college-aged women.

Runway models, social media influencers, pageant queens, celebrities and even Barbie support troubling body image ideals. They are almost unequivocally identified as beautiful, as evidenced by the money we spend and who we choose to idolize.

We all know that physical activity is good for us and necessary for a healthy lifestyle. So why do we let it falter?

Dr. Sara Powell focuses on sport and exercise psychology in the department of kinesiology at Missouri State University.

Even outside of the COVID-19 pandemic, individuals struggle with mental barriers to initiating and maintaining a physical activity routine, Powell noted.

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