Message From The Director
School of Health and Kinesiology—Living the Mission
The mission statement for UNO states that we are an institution that “transforms and improves the quality of life locally, nationally, and globally.” The School of Health and Kinesiology (H&K) lives the mission of the university in everything that we do, including preparing students for meaningful careers, leading research to support childhood development, supporting our public and clinical health systems, and engaging communities throughout the state, nation, and world. Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, our scientists, practitioners, and students led the charge to adapt and ensure continuity in the provision of services, the protection of the public, and development of new knowledge.
Our diverse, yet cohesive, portfolio allows us to extend our impact to meet the needs of our constituents. We have the only undergraduate public health program in Nebraska, which is nationally accredited. Our public health graduates are the next generation of the Nebraska public health workforce, and throughout the pandemic both our graduates and current students demonstrated their knowledge and skills by participating in the COVID-19 mitigation response. Our accredited graduate program in Athletic Training also graduates licensed medical professionals who not only support athletes, but also provide front-line services in pediatrics, orthopedics, and emergency medicine.
We also work closely with both urban and rural schools and childcare providers across Nebraska. Our faculty and students conduct research to develop programs that are used by teaching professionals to train them in child development, particularly in the areas of nutrition and physical activity. Our faculty were among the first to produce an educational series to help teachers implement lessons either in classroom or virtual settings to respond to the pandemic. Additionally, we study infant movement behaviors to ensure that healthy children become health adults. Akin to our work in education, we also work closely with children with intellectual and physical disabilities. These children experienced some of the greatest negative impacts of the pandemic, facing issues like reduced access to care, high-risk status for negative health outcomes, and psychological and behavioral challenges. Our work directly addresses educational disparities through a dedicated focus on academic, social, emotional, and mental health needs.
Research from H&K supports our military through conducting applied and transnational research with the US Department of Defense. Our work focuses on optimizing the performance and safety of soldiers in the extreme environments, and addresses new concerns that continue to emerge about solider training, readiness, and safety. We fulfill the responsibility to optimize our national defense.
In H&K, we live the mission. The impact of our work transforms the quality of life for people. Our work contributes to directly to the workforce, health and education sectors, national defense, and to the economy. Undoubtedly, our school is an often under-recognized gem in the state of Nebraska, a hub of innovation, and a training ground for the future.