Picture walking into the new Science Complex, through a changing
room and into a huge open area lined with treadmills, bicycles and adjustable
weight machines. Theres a long running track with force platforms
built into it right before you, and a bio-mechanics room with cameras
peering out just next door.
Whether youre an athlete coming back from a knee injury, an elderly
lady recovering from a stroke or a student developing exercise programs
for either of the two, this training facility is a godsend.
Our program has been lacking in the actual space and opportunity
to practice developing and animating exercise programs, explained
Dr. William Sellers, chair of the Department of Exercise Science. This
facility will allow us to give more practical education to our students.
Take the track, for example. Students will be able to closely analyze
a subjects movement by coordinating force readings with slow-motion
With the departments present facilities, students are limited to
studying very static movements like jumping and simple steps, Sellers
said. Now, theyll be able to run, jog, sprint you could
do handsprings if you wanted to and measure the forces. They can
film, and see what muscles come into play at what time.
Since the department has never had a comprehensive training facility in
its 28 years at Loyola, most equipment will have to be purchased, and
the budget to do so is currently under discussion.
The complexs seven teaching and six research labs, meanwhile, have
already been designed under their occupants supervision. The anatomy
laboratory, for example, will have refrigerated storage areas and special
fume hoods so students working with cadaver specimens do so in a safe
and healthy environment.
Researchers in Exercise Science study everything from the benefits of
physical activity for stroke victims to identifying the mechanisms that
control blood flow into muscles during exercise, to the best way to brace
injured knees and ankles.
Sellers believes the Science Complex has created the perfect scenario
for research. He points out that Psychology faculty studying cognitive
aspects of aging and exercise have already expressed interest in the training
centre. He expects further collaborations maybe even joint research
grants with Departments of Psychology, Biology and Chemistry/Biochemistry.
Weve kind of felt divorced from the other sciences,
he said, pointing out that his is the only science department at Loyola
besides the component of the Psychology Department. I think its
going to be a big plus: a chance to collaborate and to share ideas. Thats
much better than being in an isolated situation.
Ive been here for almost 30 years and Ive heard many
times before that they were going to build a new science complex. Those
thoughts came and went, and no building.
But for roughly 350 students in Exercise Science, most studying athletic
therapy and clinical exercise physiology in the Drummond Science Building,
things are moving forward. The department is in the process of hiring
new professors and researchers. As we speak, Sellers is working on creating
the departments first masters program.
While the long-time professor and academic administrator is overjoyed
at the prospect of this fresh start, hes also slated to retire on
June 1, 2003 the same day the complex will become operational.
So Im working to get things in place, but unfortunately Im
not going to be the one thats going to benefit from all of this.
Its been 30 years and I just missed it by a little bit.