El Papel de la FE en la curación de la enfermedad.

La medicina occidental nos educa a abordar la enfermedad desde un punto de vista occidental: enfermedad y tratamiento.  Que entendemos como enfermedad? La enfermedad es la ausencia de salud física, mental y emocional.  Que entendemos por tratamiento de enfermedad, lo resumiré fácil: uso de medicina!

La medicina occidental esta basada en tratamiento de enfermedades , diagnósticos médicos, pero que sucede cuando los diagnósticos no son solo diagnósticos?  en otras palabras porque no consideramos el aspecto espiritual-emocional-mental-socio-cultural y económico de una persona? En este post voy a tratar de hablar un poco del aspecto teológico (valores morales) y teleológico (Dios como poder supremo) del ser humano.

El ser cristiana me hace que me enfoque en la Santa Biblia para citar la importancia de la fe el proceso de sanación. “¿Está alguno entre vosotros enfermo? Que llame a los ancianos de la iglesia y que ellos oren por él, ungiéndolo con aceite en el nombre del Señor; y la oración de fe restaurará al enfermo, y el Señor lo levantará, y si ha cometido pecados le serán perdonados (Santiago 5:14-15). Ademas  de la Biblia (si para ustedes no es suficiente) existe literatura que habla del poder de la fe en el proceso de la sanación mental/emocional y física.

Ser una Medico-Cristiana me ha ayudado a presenciar milagros de vida y curación de enfermedades por medio de la oración y la FE en DIOS. Ser medico me ha ayudado a ver como la FE juega un papel importante en el proceso de curación, ya que FE conlleva a paz interior y disminuye ansiedad.


Posted in Chronic Disease Prevention- Prevención y control de las enfermedades crónicas

Prevención de enfermedades crónicas basado en estilo de vida: Cáncer

Ser un trabajador de Salud Publica abre un sin numero de posibilidades para ayudar a personas vulnerables y llenas de necesidades básicas.
Toda mi vida he tenido problemas aceptando la muerte por cosas que pueden ser previsibles. He trabajado mas de 12 years en prevención y control de diabetes pensando que era la mejor manera de tomar el toro por los cuernos . Pero que sucede cuando te das cuenta que lo que puede causar diabetes (factores socio-ecologicos) puede causar  cáncer? Peor aun cuando eres diagnosticada con cáncer? Ese es el principio de mi historia y mi lucha contra las enfermedades mortales que pueden ser previsibles.
 Lo primero que debemos entender es que cancer es una enfermedad multifactorial que conlleva a un crecimiento descontrolado de células. En otras palabras nuestro cuerpo produce descontroladamente células. Sin embargo podemos prevenir cáncer haciendo uso de un modelo socio-ecológico y teniendo como objetivo final el fortalecimiento del sistema inmune.

Posted in cancer, Chronic Disease Prevention- Prevención y control de las enfermedades crónicas, prevencion

Hawaii’s education system

Idyllic paradise? Check

Sunshine and rainbows? Check

Beautiful beaches? Check

Laid back lifestyle? Check

And the list goes on……..who wouldn’t want to move to Hawaii?  They say money makes the world go around.  Well not so in Hawaii.  Or at least, you need a lot of it to get anywhere.  Sure you can survive here with less, but that is easier said than done when you have a family to feed.  This is a major problem in Hawaii that is plaguing many in my field of wildlife biology.  You don’t see a lot off biologists here with families, and those you do see have a handful of other jobs up their sleeves to make ends meet.  It’s not just that the costs are higher here, it’s that there are less resources too.  It is difficult to find reliable daycare, and very difficult to find a reliable school.  So many of the public schools here are being plagued by the same problem.  People say the public schools are bad here.  I don’t think they are necessarily bad, they follow a similar curriculum compared to schools in the rest of the U.S.  And there are good teachers, I have personally met many of them.  But the problem is retaining those good teachers.  This article explaining why so many teachers bail on Hawaii public schools sums it up pretty nicely.   The bottom line?  Teachers simply aren’t getting paid enough.  How do you put a value on education?  Is private school really better than public school?  

I was fortunate enough to attend both public and private schools, a total of 2 public and 2 private schools.  I have to say both private schools I attended focused a lot more on language instruction and creative writing, and challenged me by placing me in more advanced classes backed up with regular counseling sessions to keep me on track.  In contrast, it was actually hard for me to advance in public school.  I was put in the lowest level math class despite having near perfect test scores, and despite my requests to be moved up, was still put in just one level up (from lower remedial to remedial) the following year.  At that rate, I would have only reached the most advanced math class in my graduating year.  It was difficult for me to get a personal audience with the teachers at my public high school whereas I had a lot of personal communication with my teachers at my private high school.  This level of individual attention and personal connection with all my teachers at my private school made all the difference in my opinion, along with the heavy emphasis on very structured and rigorous language instruction which I think is one of the most relevant, transferable, and useful skills you can have.  The private schools I experienced constantly challenged and pushed students and I think this ultimately benefited me as well.  From my experience, I would favor private schools over public schools, but I would of course do my research beforehand.  Public schools vary greatly, and although Hawaii’s public schools may have a bad rep overall, there is obviously a spectrum of quality.  There are some really great public schools out there.

Ultimately, I think the decision lies in getting involved as a parent.  Doing your research, visiting schools, talking to other parents and teachers, and deciding what’s best for your child’s needs.

Inappropriate Citations – A Scholarly Integrity Issue

In our class before Thanksgiving Break we talked about scholarly integrity, particularly plagiarism. In reading the Office of Research Integrity’s guidelines on avoiding plagiarism, a few surprised me. They were related to a pet peeve of mine, inaccurate and inappropriate referencing! While I consider this certainly an issue of integrity, I didn’t think it would fall in to this list on plagiarism.

What do I mean by inaccurate or inappropriate citations. Ever read a line in a paper that has a reference to support it and think, “YES! Finally, I’ve been looking for evidence of this”, only to go that source and realize it doesn’t support the statement the authors of the previous paper made? I know I have, and it is irritating!

Example: I was reading a paper on nutrition recommendations for bodybuilders. Since I am doing some work in this area myself, I have been trying to find references for the increase in the interest and participation in this sport in recent years. I thought I hit the jackpot when the 1st line of the paper read: “The popularity of natural bodybuilding is increasing rapidly. In the United States, over 200 amateur natural (drug tested) bodybuilding contests occurred during 2013 and the number of contests is expected to increase in 2014 [1].”  Going to the reference list, you can imagine my disapointment when this is listed as the 1st citation: “Scott BR, Lockie RG, Knight TJ, Clark AC, De Jonge XAKJ: A comparison of methods to quantify the in-season training load of professional soccer players. Int J Sports Physiol Perform 2013, 8:195-202.” This is blatantly incorrect, and I’m confused as to how this was not caught by an author, reviewer, or editor before being officially published.

Usually the instances of incorrect citations are more subtle, and can’t always be detected from the title of the reference alone. These errors are typically only located after reading the abstract or entire paper referenced, which makes me think the authors never read the paper themselves before citing it! Examples: “…xyz has been shown in humans”, yet the author cites a rodent model; “a strong link has been found between abc and 123“, yet the author references a study which addressed abc, but did not link it to 123; and so on.

Here are the guidelines from the ORI related to inappropriate practices related to citations:

Guideline 14: Authors are strongly urged to double-check their citations. Specifically, authors should always ensure that each reference notation appearing in the body of the manuscript corresponds to the correct citation listed in the reference section and vice versa and that each source listed in the reference section has been cited at some point in the manuscript. In addition, authors should also ensure that all elements of a citation (e.g., spelling of authors’ names, volume number of journal, pagination) are derived directly from the original paper, rather than from a citation that appears on a secondary source. Finally, authors should ensure that credit is given to those authors who first reported the phenomenon being studied.

Guideline 15: The references used in a paper should only be those that are directly related to its contents. The intentional inclusion of references of questionable relevance for purposes of manipulating a journal’s or a paper’s impact factor or a paper’s chances of acceptance is an unacceptable practice.

Guideline 16: Authors should follow a simple rule: Strive to obtain the actual published paper. When the published paper cannot be obtained, cite the specific version of the material being used, whether it is conference presentation, abstract, or an unpublished manuscript.
What are your research related pet peeves?

Posted in additional blog post #10, citations, ORI, PFP15F, references, scholarly integrity

The Subtle Academic Bully

In our conversation on microaggressions in relation to race and gender, some of these subtle comments reminded me of subtle forms of bullying that occur in academia (and likely most workplaces). These instances of incivility generally fly under the radar, but can be just as damaging as overt bullying. In some instances, they may even be worse, since the perpetrator is often very sly and manipulative knowing they will not get caught officially “doing anything wrong” From conversations with friends and colleagues as well as personal experience, here are some of the common signs of a covert academic bully:

1. The Jokester

This person hides their jerk comments within a joke. This way, they can pull the “hey, I was just kidding” card if you actually speak up and tell them you are offended

Example: A text message that reads -“Hey slacker, I swung by your office this morning to say hi, but you weren’t there.” One time, from a friend…okay. Multiple instances from a non-friend. Back off bully!

2. The Frenemy

This person initially befriends their future victims, typically using them to meet the bullies needs, and creating a sense of trust which lowers the victims guard. Worse yet, this person is generally a suck-up, so bosses may be blind to their bullying behaviors.

3. The Blamer and the Credit Take

Something goes wrong, or not according to plan. This person will not take responsibility. Instead, they will place blame on others, usually those who are not there to defend themselves. This person may also be the perpetual credit taker. Was something a group or team effort? You can bet this person will up play their involvement, and downplay the contributions of others.

4. The Criticizer

Receiving corrections and critiques is part of the gig, and something we should all be able to handle. This type of bully takes it too far though, constantly criticizing their victim’s work, intelligence, effort, etc.

5. The Guilt Tripper

Did you happen to take a day off? This bully is going to make you feel like the biggest slacker ever for doing so.

Example: “Wow, you went out of town this weekend? I can’t imagine ever being able to take 2 days off with my schedule. It must be so nice to have so few responsibilities.”

6. The Gossip

This person is the one who could also be referred to as a “politician”. This bully often campaigns against their victim by spreading untrue rumors and talking poorly about this person to others in the work group.

Regardless of the form or context in which the bullying occurs, it is harmful and unacceptable. Unfortunately, given the subtle nature, it seems difficult to eliminate these types of behaviors from the academic environment.

Have you felt bullied in the course of your graduate career by a peer or boss? Do the above “types of bullies” seem familiar? What other types would you add? What ideas do you have for breaking this cycle in academia?



Posted in academic bullying, additional blog post #9, microaggressions, PFP15F

The Future of Higher Education Should Focus on K-12

One issue we have not yet discussed in Preparing the Future Professoriate is K-12 education. You may be thinking, “of course we haven’t talked about K-12 much, Tanya. This is a course on higher education!” However, this is an area that deserves our attention. Our discussions have focused a lot around access to higher education being an issue. However, without first ensuring that students are ready for college-level courses, increasing access to higher education will just lead to further issues of low graduation rates and the production of adults with Bachelor’s degrees ill-prepared for the workforce.

The National Center for Public Policy and Higher Education estimates that nearly 60% of 1st year college students are not adequately prepared for the demands of post secondary education. While the “readiness gap” is less at highly selective institutions, students attending less selective and open access institutions often need to take remedial courses before initiating their official degree-specific course work. Estimation of participation in remedial courses varies across surveys, but indicate that 28-40% of first year undergraduates enroll in at least 1 remedial course, and this number typically exceeds 50% when examining community colleges alone.

Readiness GapThe premise and rational for remedial courses is sound. Students who are not “ready” for college-level work will take courses designed to help them leap the chasm between their high-school/high-school equivalent training and freshmen-level introductory courses. However, in reality there are issues with this system that must be considered. First – remedial courses do not count towards official credits towards a students’ degree. This increases the cost of tuition and extends the time required to earn a degree. Second – racial and socioeconomic disparities exist. African American and lower-income students are more likely to be flagged for remedial courses than White students from wealthier families. This can lead to harmful stereotypes and assumptions regarding level of intelligence which could persist throughout a students’ educational career. Third – data indicate that remedial courses don’t work! Results compiled from Complete College America show that students in remedial courses are less likely to graduate than students who enter college without the need for these gateway courses.

Complete College America’s Remediation Report

Therefore, I strongly support changes to K-12 education which will increase the number of students who are prepared to enter college. However, I do recognize that changes to the college curriculum that will help students ‘catch up’ are also needed. While improving the college readiness of students will not be a simple and easy task, the U.S. Secretary of Education, Arne Duncan, highlights a key factor: “It’s time to end the buck-passing and blame game, where college leaders blame high schools for sending ill-prepared students, where high school principals blame the elementary schools, where elementary school principals blame the preschool programs, and preschool teachers blame the parents.” [From the TIME Higher Education Summit]

Specific recommendations from Complete College America to change both K-12 and Higher Education systems to “close remediation exit ramps” are listed in detail in their report, Remediation: Higher Education’s Bridge to Nowhere. An overview is shared below:

Complete College America’s Remediation Report


How often do you find students in your courses unprepared for post-secondary classes?

Further Reading on this topic:


Posted in K-12, PFP15F, readiness gap, remedial courses, required blog post #5

Social Media and Higher Education


A bit of background: I belong to the “Pro Faculty Use of Social Media” camp. I have established a presence on various social media platforms over the years, and seen my use of these channels change as my career has taken shape. Six years ago, things looked a lot different. I was in the “anti-social media” camp and had actually deactivated my own personal Facebook profile for several months. However, in 2011 I came to realize the large impact appropriate use of social media could have on the dissemination of reliable and evidence-backed nutrition and exercise-related information. So – I started a blog (formerly Dine, Dash, and Deadlift, which is now in the process of being moved over to my new webpage tanyahalliday.com). Then I started writing a nutrition column for a running blog. Then I got on Twitter. And so on and so on. Cut to more recently and I am: encouraging my students to interact with course content via our course hashtag on Twitter; presenting on social media to dietitians and college educators; and even collecting data on social media use and perceptions in higher education. Clearly I became an enthusiastic convert!

Twitter example

In 2009, recognizing the growth of digital technologies and online and mobile communications, Pearson Learning Solutions and the Babson Survey Research Group began to survey faculty members about their awareness, use, and perceptions of social media. An infographic of the results from their most recent survey are displayed below. The full report goes in to greater detail on faculty perceptions of social media in general, personal & professional use of social media (broken down by age, discipline, and specific social media platforms), and barriers to social media use.


Faculty tend to use social media as a teaching tool less often that they use social media in their personal or professional lives. However, the percentage of faculty reporting use of social media in the classroom is steadily increasing. While concerns are noted, and should be addressed appropriately, incorporation of social media may enhance the learning environment, increase engagement with course content, and facilitate student-faculty interactions.

Interested in learning more about social media and higher education? Check out a joint blog post a colleague and I wrote to accompany a poster presentation at the 2015 NACTA conference. Another resource to consider is the Pearson Education blog which has case study examples for incorporating social media in to your courses.

Where on the social media in HigherEd spectrum (100% for <——> 100% against) would you place yourself and why?


Posted in higher education, PFP15F, required blog post #4, social media

Implicit Bias – Race and Obesity

I took two Implicit Attitudes Tests (IATs) on the Project Implicit website  listed in the PFP resources for the Diversity and Inclusion section. The first was the Race (Black-White) IAT, the second was the Weight (Thin-Fat) IAT.

For an explanation of how these Implicit Attitude Tests work, details are provided here. Briefly, “the IAT measures the strength of associations between concepts (e.g., black people…) and evaluations (e.g., good, bad)…The main idea is that making a response is easier when closely related items share the same response key…We would say that one has an implicit preference for thin people relative to fat people if they are faster to categorize words when Thin People and Good share a response key and Fat People and Bad share a response key, relative to the reverse.”

My results from the Race (Black-White) IAT are a bit surprising. My data suggested that I have a “moderate automatic preference for African Americans compared to European Americans.” I’m surprised at this result since it is not a typical result. While I would like to believe I don’t hold a racial bias in either direction, I’m not so sure that my immediate reaction is to prefer African Americans over European Americans.

As I expected, my results for the Weight (Thin-Fat) IAT indicated that I have a “slight automatic preference for thin individuals compared to fat individuals”. I’m not saying I am proud of that bias or believe it is an appropriate one to hold, but it is in line with what is typically reported, even among nutrition professionals like myself.

I think what may have influenced my results is the order in which I received the two parts in each of these IATs.  “…The order in which the blocks are presented varies across participants, so some people will do the Fat People/Good, Thin People/Bad part first and other people will do the Fat People/Bad, Thin People/Good part first.” In the Race IAT I received the African American/Good and European American/Bad combination first. In the Weight IAT I received the “Thin People/Good and Fat People/Bad combination first. The creators of these implicit attitude tests note that the order may influence the overall results, but that the difference is likely to be small.

Regardless of the validity of my results it was an interesting exercise to participate in. I also appreciated that the site provided suggestions for altering an implicit preference that we do not want, as their research has shown that these preferences are malleable.

Their suggestions include:

1. Seek experiences that could reverse or undo the patterns that created the unwanted preference. (Examples include – avoid watching shows the promote negative stereotypes, or read materials that oppose your implicit preference.)

2. Work to remain alert to the existence of the unwanted implicit preference to make sure that it doesn’t influence your overt behavior.

3. Consciously plan actions that will compensate for your implicit preferences. (For example, if you have an implicit preference for young people you can try to be friendlier toward elderly people.)

Have you taken any of the Implicit Attitudes Tests? If so, were you surprised by your results? Why or why not?



Posted in implicit attitudes, implicit bias, PFP15F, race bias, weight bias

Battling Sexism with Humor?

In class on Monday evening, the discussion of discrimination and harassment focused primarily on race. One colleague did briefly bring up sexism, speaking about how she is often complimented on her appearance and dress, while males in her lab are complimented on their performance. While I have no answer for overcoming racism, sexism, ageism, etc. after Tim Wise’s presentation on 11/2/15 I’ve been thinking about the role of humor in bringing attention – and possibly change – to these issues.

The first example I have seen recently is a movement called #CoverTheAthlete. It’s purpose is to get media outlets to treat female athletes in a manner similar to their male counterparts, rather than focusing on their looks and love life. To get their point across, the group asked male athletes questions which are commonly posed to female athletes. Watch for yourself!

The second example is a parody account on Twitter called @manwhohasitall: “Top tips for men juggling a successful career and fatherhood.” This account turns advice given to women (sometimes exaggerated) around to be directed at men in order to make the point for how ridiculous it seems. It also re-frames common quotes about women in the workplace to be about men.

For instance:



What do you think – Will humor help, hurt, or do nothing to help decrease various -icisms?



Posted in PFP15F

“It’s Oxidation, Actually”

The New York Times article “Alan Alda’s Challenge to Make Science Easier to Understand” begins with a story. Young Alan asks his teacher, “What is a flame?” and is dissatisfied with her answer, “It’s oxidation”. This was a response that he did not comprehend.


The article goes on to provide an overview of Mr. Alda’s acting career and long-held interest in science. In recent years these two aspects of his identity have merged together with the formation of the Alan Alda Center for Communicating Science at Stony Brook University. The mission of this center is to use theater improv. techniques to train scientists to better communicate their work with people outside of their discipline. I agree wholeheartedly that this is important to do. However, I disagree with the notion which often emerges that ‘if someone doesn’t understand what an expert is saying, it’s because the person talking/teaching/etc didn’t explain it well enough’. Just because we don’t ‘get something’, doesn’t necessarily mean it wasn’t explained well, our teacher isn’t good, or so on. It just means we don’t get it! Could it have been explained differently? Possibly. But, perhaps we just don’t have enough knowledge at the time to fully understand the information presented. At a surface level, we can likely appreciate and comprehend the work of another researcher, or at least understand why it is important, just as young Alan could describe a flame and its properties. Can we understand the nuances of an experts’ work? Highly unlikely. Not because they did not explain it well, but because we don’t have much, if any, education in that area.

It seems that may have been the case with 11 year old Alan’s inquiry about a flame. At the end of this article the reporter asks how he would now answer his own question of “What is a flame?”. Mr. Alan’s response: “It’s oxidation, actually”.

Agree? Disagree?


Posted in communicating science, PFP15F