Health initiative submitted as idea for SFA

By Donna McCollum - bio | email

NACOGDOCHES, TX (KTRE) - On the Stephen F. Austin State University campus you can find individuals exercising. At the stadium there is even a man walking and reading all at the same time. The book is working the brain, but what he might not realize , so is the legwork.

"There's a lot of research that when people are more healthy that they're going to perform better academically, as well as physically," Dr. Dean Kniss, SFA Health Sciences assistant professor said. Kniss is submitting to a steering committee a 'Healthy SFA' initiative, similar to the successful 'Healthy Nacogdoches' program.

The committee's assignment is to choose a specific plan for improving student learning on campus. "For example, some of those that have already been established at other institutions are things like critical thinking, fitness, reading across the curriculum, mathematics," Dr. James Standley, coordinator of institutional accreditation explained.

The Quality Enhancement Plan is a requirement for reaccreditation through the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. Standley is encouraging campus and community input. Suggestions can be made at

Health advocates point out a health initiative will benefit students, staff , faculty, and even future generations. "If people are sick,they can't come to class. They're not going to learn as well," Kiniss points out.

"The students of sfa are going to be either future residents of our surrounding areas and they're also going to be parents," Kinnie Parker, Healthy Nacogdoches leader said.  "That could help us address our future childhood obesity problem."

The jury is still out on what topic will be selected. A decision could come as early as December.

Perhaps if committee members take a walk, it will feed their brain to choose the topic a healthy community is willing to support.

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