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New Mexico State University

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NMSU Rentfrow Gym shows off programs, labs

Have you ever wondered how strong you are or what is involved in playing wheelchair tennis? Two professors in New Mexico State University's Physical Education, Recreation and Dance Department will offer some insight by opening the doors to Rentfrow Gymnasium from 9 a.m. to noon Tuesday, April 12.

ly established Exercise Physiology Lab and the Adapted Physical Education (APE) Program will be highlighted at the open house.

"This is a great opportunity for the community to see demonstrations and learn more about the work being done by faculty in the PERD department," said Joe Berning, an exercise physiologist and assistant professor in the department.

Demonstrations during the open house will include power, strength, isokinetic and aerobic power testing. There also will be body composition analysis including demonstrations of hydrostatic weighing.

The Exercise Physiology Lab is used during exercise physiology classes, for independent studies and for ongoing research in strength and neuromuscular adaptation.

Berning, who joined the PERD faculty in 2003, also has developed a pictorial mural classroom in the lab - the only one in the nation, he said.

"We have a plethora of murals that provide students with graphic presentations that can be evaluated and studied without having to use overheads or PowerPoint," Berning said. "The murals provide for a holistic education, allowing students to see complete human systems and how they function together. This really makes NMSU's Physiology Lab unique."

Scott Pedersen, an assistant professor in the PERD department since 2003, will hold demonstrations of the APE Lab, which he has been using to study response time in children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.

Pedersen coordinates the APE program, which from 9 to 10 a.m. will have demonstrations of wheelchair sports such as basketball, indoor soccer and tennis. Goalball, bocce ball and Frisbee golf also will be demonstrated. APE is defined by Pedersen as physical education for people with disabilities.

Pedersen, one of only two people in the state of New Mexico certified in APE, said he is hoping that his students will consider other options when they work as physical education teachers. He wants them to be familiar with the Adapted Physical Education National Standards and become certified APE teachers.

"Why not teach all students a disabled sport instead of teaching disabled students an able-bodied sport?" he said.

Pedersen is coordinating a Wheelchair-Able Body Tennis League from 5 to 6 p.m. every Sunday until May 1 at the university tennis center. The league features a Wheelchair Division and a Wheelchair-Able Body Division that allows wheelchair-users to compete against able-bodied people.

For more information about the open house at Rentfrow Gym, contact Berning at jberning@nmsu.edu or Pedersen at pedersen@nmsu.edu.