Penn State York students to conduct research at Diabetes Fair on campus

Free event is from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on March 23
Diabetes Expo Penn State York

Amber Seidel, assistant professor of human development and family studies, right, talks with students Jessica Popp, left, and Mindy Gruzin, center, during the Diabetes Expo last year.  The free event is set to run from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, March 23, in the gym of the Joe and Rosie Ruhl Student Community Center at Penn State York.

Credit: Barbara Dennis

YORK, Pa. — Penn State York students in the human development and family studies (HDFS) program will be conducting research and helping at stations during the second annual Diabetes Expo from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, March 23, on campus. The free event, open to the public, is sponsored by the Diabetes Coalition of York and will be held in the gym in the Joe and Rosie Ruhl Student Community Center.

Individuals who attend the Diabetes Expo will receive a health card that can be filled out at the various booths. Participants can take the completed health card to their medical provider to show what their current numbers are in order to discuss health management.

Under the direction of Amber Seidel, assistant professor of human development and family studies at Penn State York and a certified family life educator, students have volunteered to assist with the research during the expo. Seidel includes research opportunities for students in her courses. She is a member of the Diabetes Coalition of York, so this event was the perfect opportunity to involve her in the expo.

“Penn State York hosts the event because we support community enrichment and education as a land-grant institution,” said Seidel. “It also supports a stream of research for the Community Health and Aging research team on campus to help understand the needs and state of our local community regarding diabetes management and family engagement."

Students in the Adulthood (HDFS 445) course will be running a balance booth taking measures of gait and sway using Smartgait technology. As individuals age, they are at an increased risk for falls and injuries. Additionally, for those with diabetes, neuropathy and numbness of feet is possible compromising balance as well. As part of the class, students have been training to use the technology.

Students taking Empirical Inquiry (HDFS 312W) will be assisting with a booth that administers a questionnaire about diabetes and family involvement. The surveys are anonymous, and the data produced is used in the class to teach students how to collect and analyze family research.

In addition, students taking Research Project (HDFS 494) will assist in a variety of aspects that day, including being scribes for other health screening stations. Students who took classes last year are returning to volunteer because they enjoyed the experience and are preparing for graduate school.

Other screenings at the Diabetes Expo include free glucose, cholesterol, BMI, and A1C testing. A variety of vendors will have information tables about community resources, and there will be door prizes and free food.

There is no registration for the Diabetes Expo.