Setting a Dream in Motion

A donor’s gift will establish a new movement sciences clinic at TC

A donor’s gift will establish a new movement sciences clinic at TC.

Carol Ewing Garber, Professor of Movement Sciences, has long had a vision for making Teachers College’s movement science laboratories the centerpiece of a clinic that provides testing and scientifically-based, individualized guidance on how to improve sports or exercise performance—not only to serious athletes, but also to people at all levels of fitness.

Now thanks to an anonymous donor—an alumna with a longstanding interest in movement science at TC—a generous gift to the College will establish a new Movement Science Clinic that is expected to lay the groundwork for a more comprehensive Movement Science Training Center. The Center will expand on the Clinic’s testing and counseling components and offer professional development and ongoing coursework for fitness trainers and help set standards for the field overall.

The gift will also contribute to an endowed scholarship fund named for Antoinette Gentile, Professor Emerita in Movement Sciences, and a giant in the field who inspired the donor’s decision to pursue a degree at TC.

Gentile, who taught at TC for 44 years, was an early champion of the notion of “neuroplasticity”—the concept that the brain can reorganize following trauma, shifting functions to new regions. She ushered in a new era of applying theories of brain function treatment of movement disorders. Previously, treatment had been shaped largely by defining the extent of damage to patients’ brains. Gentile also collaborated with TC colleague Joe Higgins to create the first graduate program in motor learning, now a major sub-discipline of physical education/kinesiology.

The Anne Gentile Scholarship Fund in Motor Learning was established in 2008, upon Gentile’s retirement after 44 years of teaching, by colleagues, friends and students.

Garber, an authority on the role of physical activity in the prevention and treatment of chronic diseases, has extended the legacy of TC pioneers such as Gentile and Josephine L. Rathbone, a physiologist who was the only woman involved in the founding of the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM). She herself has served as ACSM president, and this past spring she was elected a Fellow in the National Academy of Kinesiology. In 2011 with other TC researchers, Garber co-authored a widely publicized study on parameters of ideal exercise per week, including the novel finding that exercising more than 7.5 hours per week was associated with diminished mental health. In a first, the researchers also stated that a little exercising is better than none and urged people to minimize sedentary time.

“The clinic will both provide a needed service for athletes and others who exercise,” Garber says. “Unless you have something wrong with you, you don’t often have the opportunity to undergo these tests. We’ll be doing testing and counseling to enhance athletic performance, but also as ‘lifestyle medicine,’ to maintain and improve health. There has been little long-term success in interventions aimed at increasing physical activity, sometimes because the information is too complex. Our goal is to give people what they need to know.”

The Movement Science Clinic and Training Center will significantly advance TC’s legacy as the first College to offer a graduate degree in physical education. The Antoinette Gentile Scholarship will help others to study at the College. It’s a game plan that covers all the bases.

(Published 09/16/15)

Published Monday, Aug. 31, 2015

Setting a Dream in Motion

A donor’s gift will establish a new movement sciences clinic at TC.

Carol Ewing Garber, Professor of Movement Sciences, has long had a vision for making Teachers College’s movement science laboratories the centerpiece of a clinic that provides testing and scientifically-based, individualized guidance on how to improve sports or exercise performance—not only to serious athletes, but also to people at all levels of fitness.

Now thanks to an anonymous donor—an alumna with a longstanding interest in movement science at TC—a generous gift to the College will establish a new Movement Science Clinic that is expected to lay the groundwork for a more comprehensive Movement Science Training Center. The Center will expand on the Clinic’s testing and counseling components and offer professional development and ongoing coursework for fitness trainers and help set standards for the field overall.

The gift will also contribute to an endowed scholarship fund named for Antoinette Gentile, Professor Emerita in Movement Sciences, and a giant in the field who inspired the donor’s decision to pursue a degree at TC.

Gentile, who taught at TC for 44 years, was an early champion of the notion of “neuroplasticity”—the concept that the brain can reorganize following trauma, shifting functions to new regions. She ushered in a new era of applying theories of brain function treatment of movement disorders. Previously, treatment had been shaped largely by defining the extent of damage to patients’ brains. Gentile also collaborated with TC colleague Joe Higgins to create the first graduate program in motor learning, now a major sub-discipline of physical education/kinesiology.

The Anne Gentile Scholarship Fund in Motor Learning was established in 2008, upon Gentile’s retirement after 44 years of teaching, by colleagues, friends and students.

Garber, an authority on the role of physical activity in the prevention and treatment of chronic diseases, has extended the legacy of TC pioneers such as Gentile and Josephine L. Rathbone, a physiologist who was the only woman involved in the founding of the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM). She herself has served as ACSM president, and this past spring she was elected a Fellow in the National Academy of Kinesiology. In 2011 with other TC researchers, Garber co-authored a widely publicized study on parameters of ideal exercise per week, including the novel finding that exercising more than 7.5 hours per week was associated with diminished mental health. In a first, the researchers also stated that a little exercising is better than none and urged people to minimize sedentary time.

“The clinic will both provide a needed service for athletes and others who exercise,” Garber says. “Unless you have something wrong with you, you don’t often have the opportunity to undergo these tests. We’ll be doing testing and counseling to enhance athletic performance, but also as ‘lifestyle medicine,’ to maintain and improve health. There has been little long-term success in interventions aimed at increasing physical activity, sometimes because the information is too complex. Our goal is to give people what they need to know.”

The Movement Science Clinic and Training Center will significantly advance TC’s legacy as the first College to offer a graduate degree in physical education. The Antoinette Gentile Scholarship will help others to study at the College. It’s a game plan that covers all the bases.

(Published 09/16/15)

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