Welcome to the Department of Health and Nutritional Sciences (HNS). The HNS Department provides undergraduate programs in Athletic Training, Nutrition & Dietetics, Exercise Science, Community & Public Health, Physical Education, and Sport and Recreation Management, as well as a number of supporting minors. The integration of academic programs, which focus on nutrition, health, recreation, exercise, and human performance, provides students and faculty with unique opportunities to collaborate and to promote interaction among students in different majors with a common focus on promoting health through proper nutrition and physical activity.
The course offerings help develop students with a strong foundation of knowledge, skills, and abilities to enter graduate school or employment within the health care field, industry, or education. Students learn how to critique and analyze research within their designated field and apply that knowledge. Students have access to state-of-the-art teaching and research laboratories, nationwide internship programs, and study abroad experiences. Our faculty are nationally recognized as experts in their field and are dedicated to student success.
We encourage students to get involved in one the many student organizations associated with each of the major areas of study. Students are able to attend regional and national professional meetings, participate in service projects and research projects.
To indicate your interest in one of our programs, contact our department. We would be happy to visit with you personally about your interests and career goals. We can arrange a campus and department tour, visit a class, or visit with one of our current students or faculty members.
Team South Dakota wins the National Athletic Trainers’ Association Student Quiz Bowl
Back in March, Team South Dakota (comprised of athletic training students from South Dakota State University, Dakota Wesleyan University, and Presentation College) won the Mid-America Athletic Trainers’ Association student quiz bowl down in Tulsa, OK. In doing so, they earned the right to represent District 5 (North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Iowa, Missouri, Kansas, and Oklahoma) at the National Athletic Trainers’ Association student quiz bowl held this past week in Las Vegas, NV. Team South Dakota competed against 9 other student teams from across the United States out in Las Vegas and came out victorious, correctly answering a final question related to Guillain-Barré Syndrome. Representing Team South Dakota (left to right) were Kaitlin Reece (SDSU), Maria Koenen (Dakota Wesleyan University), and Krystle Schweers (Presentation College). Advisor Dr. Trevor Roiger is pictured at the far right. The $1,000 dollar top prize will be split between the athletic training student clubs at each of the respective institutions. Congratulations Team South Dakota!
Dr. Weidauer Presented at ACSM
Dr. Lee Weidauer received positive comments for his thematic poster presentation on "Population Differences in the Associations Between IGF-1, Protein Consumption, and Lean Mass" at the American College of Sports Medicine Annual Meeting.
Helping Dogs and Helping People with Dr. Liz Droke
"When I am not working on my responsibilities for my faculty position in the department of Health and Nutritional Sciences, I like to spend my time training and competing with dogs. I have owned my own training business since 2007. For the last several years, I been an instructor for a large international online training program and I love the similarities between helping online dog training students and my online SDSU classes. Both have helped me grow as an educator.
I currently have 4 Border Collies ranging in age from 9 months to 8 years. We have trained and competed in nose work (similar to working detection dogs), agility, obedience, rally obedience, conformation, trick dog titles and herding. Jonesy has been coming to campus and helping to provide stress-relief since he was a puppy and is well known to students, faculty and staff. We have also visited long-term care facilities and a memory care unit. The benefits of animal-human interactions are well-known such as reducing blood pressure and heart rate, decreasing symptoms of anxiety, and encouraging interactions with others.
In addition, I am a volunteer certified trainer with Big Paws Canine Foundation in Sioux Falls. Big Paws is a nonprofit organization that provides service dogs and training to disabled veterans and former first responders (PTSD, TBI, anxiety, depression). This is a great fit with my research interest on the impact of diet on mental health. The power a bond with a dog can have and how it can help mitigate disabilities is an amazing thing to witness.
I have also served as a volunteer for the South Dakota 4H Dog Project for over 10 years. I have served as a judge, workshop trainer, and as a member of the state advisory committee that provides the expertise for the project. The 4H motto is to “Make the best better” and part of the pledge is “I pledge… My health to better living for my club, my community, my country and my world.” This is such a great fit with the mission of the department of Health and Nutritional Sciences and the College of Education and Human Sciences. When working with the 4Hers I am able to promote responsible dog ownership, which includes discussions on the impact of obesity on health, the benefits of a good diet and exercise, and the impacts of aging. There are many similarities between dogs and humans. We also work on developing leadership skills by encouraging the older 4Hers to take on training and mentorship roles in their local project. When working with animals you also learn how to work through frustrations, which can be challenging for these young people. I am thankful I have the opportunity to give back to 4H after being a member many years ago.
When I reflect back to almost 20 years ago, when I got a dog to help improve my exercise habits, I never envisioned this journey I would be on and the people I could help, all because of a love for dogs.
South Dakota State Wins Mascot Challenge
Exercise is Medicine® On Campus (EIM-OC) named South Dakota State University (SDSU) as the 2018 Mascot Challenge champion and Shenandoah University as this year's Fan Favorite.
Launched in October 2017, the EIM-OC Mascot Challenge celebrates EIM On Campus Month. Each registered campus is invited to submit a 90-second creative video of its mascot demonstrating campus efforts to activate the vision of EIM and increase physical activity among students, faculty and staff. This year, 16 campuses submitted entries.
As the winner, SDSU will be awarded a $1,000 grant to be used toward the development of an EIM-OC event or program on campus.