|Meral Kucuk Yetgin|
With 15 years of experience in both nursing and physical education, Meral Kucuk Yetgin chose to continue her education earning both her Masters and PhD in Sports and Health through the Institute of Health Science, School of Physical Education and Sports, at Marmara University in Turkey in 2010. Bringing new and past experiences together, she began to focus on obesity and physical education, and began the development of a thesis entitled “Effects of resistance training on the basal metabolism rate and serum leptin levels in overweight and obese adolescents” to reflect this focus. Currently, she is working as a faculty member at Marmara University’s School of Physical Education and Sports in Turkey where she has been since 2006.
With the sponsorship of TÜBİTAK (The Scientific and Technical Research Council of Turkey), Meral opted to continue her research career and became a visiting scholar in the Department of Applied Health Science in the School of Public Health-Bloomington in December of 2013.
“My colleagues, who also worked as visiting scholars in past years, specifically recommended the Indiana University School of Public Health. Their positive experiences here were really appealing and they encouraged me to come,” she said.
Meral’s research interests specifically involve examining obesity and physical activity habits. She if focused on exploring the “…effects of obesity, obesity related diseases like diabetes and physical activity on public health, and exercising habits.”
Research at the School of Public Health-Bloomington
Meral’s research in the US is specifically focused on the effects of cross-cultural differences between the two countries (the US and Turkey) on obesity growth rates. She is currently participating in three projects, the first of which is entitled “Comparison of the Physical Activity Habits between American and Turkish College Students”, and is conducted under the advisement of Dr. Shahla Ray from the Department of Applied Health Science and Dr. Georgia Frey from the Department of Kinesiology. Her second project, working in conjunction with Dr. Shahla Ray and Dr. David Lohrmann of the Department of Applied Health Science, focuses on the cross-cultural analysis of physical activity and nutritional habits of children from the US and Turkey through a collaboration with a local student health and wellness project called “Energize”. Her final project, working in conjunction with Dr. Shahla Ray and Dr. David Koceja of the Department of Kinesiology, is named “ Effects of Rapid Body Weight Loss and Balance in Obese Individuals Before and After Laparoscopic Adjustable Gastric Banding Operation”.
Moving to Bloomington
Meral has enjoyed living in Bloomington with her family, where she feels the university has successfully united with the city. She appreciates the welcoming, friendly nature of those she’s met and all of the great cultural, artistic, recreational, educational, and fun experiences the city has to offer families with children. In addition to her research, Meral enjoys the opportunity to develop her English langauge skills and to make friends from different cultures through classes and conversation clubs common in the city. “Bloomington not only offers academic opportunities, but also helps you develop your social network to become a more global person. I consider myself really lucky to have this opportunity”.