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Exercise Physiology Faculty
Exercise Physiology Faculty: Scott Swanson
Associate Professor Scott Swanson enters his 17th year at Ohio Northern University (old enough to know better; young enough not to care). From 1998-2001, professor Swanson served a dual teaching role in the Biological Sciences and Allied Health department and Human Performance and Sport Sciences department, teaching anatomy and physiology and exercise physiology classes. Torn between two departments (and after lengthy and heated contract negotiations with his agent Drew Rosenhaus), Professor Swanson agreed to teach exclusively in the Exercise Physiology program in 2002 after being bribed by two full snickers bars (not the wimpy snack size you get on Halloween). Professor Swanson also serves as the Program Coordinator for the Exercise Physiology program.
Professor Swanson completed his undergraduate degree from Alma College (Alma, MI) with a major in Biology and minor in Chemistry. His undergraduate thesis examined pesticide levels and control in Tribolium Brevicornis (if you know what that organism is, you win a prize!). Professor Swanson completed his Masters in Exercise Physiology from Kent State University (Kent, OH), where his research focused on the role of protein metabolism during aerobic exercise. (And he has seen the grassy knoll and bullet hole in the sculpture depicted in the media, as well as the memorial erected in the early 90's to honor those killed in the incident). Professor Swanson completed his Ph.D. from THE Ohio State University (Columbus, OH)- not to be confused with the much smaller and less academically challenging Ohio State University. His doctoral thesis examined the effect of eccentric exercise muscle damage on muscle glycogen resynthesis (subtitled "If my legs hurt after this, I get to eat lots of sugary foods, right?"). After cramming 6 good years of college into a four year period, Professor Swanson finally graduated and his illustrious academic career began in earnest.
Professor Swanson teaches the following courses: Exercise Physiology, Exercise Testing and Prescription I/II, Exercise Biochemistry, and Introduction to Exercise and Health. He also coordinates the Exercise Physiology internships.
Professor Swanson enjoys watching the Buckeyes almost win national championships every year, recreation running and strength training (chicken legs rule!), trying to limit his sugary junk food intake, and hanging out with his incredibly awesome son, Bret.
Exercise Physiology Faculty: Dr. Edward S. Potkanowicz
Dr. Edward S. Potkanowicz is the newest addition (AY 2011-12) to the exercise physiology faculty at Ohio Northern. In addition to his teaching responsibilities at ONU, Dr. Potkanowicz is responsible for the development of new clinical experiences.
Dr. Potkanowicz completed his undergraduate work in Exercise Science at Youngstown State University (Fear the Penguin). After graduation, Dr. Potkanowicz accepted an internship at the White House Athletic Center in Washington D.C. While there, he served as an exercise specialist in the Executive Office of the President. After returning home to northeast Ohio, Dr. Potkanowicz accepted a position with the Cleveland Clinic Foundation serving as an exercise specialist at the employee fitness/wellness center. While working at the Cleveland Clinic, Dr. Potkanowicz began his graduate work at Kent State University eventually receiving both his Master’s and Doctorate degrees in 2002 and 2003, respectively.
In 2003, Dr. Potkanowicz moved to Chicago to accept a faculty position at Northeastern Illinois University teaching in the graduate exercise science program. In 2005, Dr. Potkanowicz accepted the position of graduate coordinator and continued in that position at Northeastern Illinois until his departure in 2006. In 2006, Dr. Potkanowicz accepted a position at Ohio University in Athens, Ohio. While there he was responsible for teaching a number of courses in the exercise physiology discipline, including exercise testing and prescription, ECG Analysis, and Special Topics in Exercise Physiology. Dr. Potkanowicz comes to Ohio Northern after 5 years at Ohio University and is enthusiastic for the opportunities that a selective, private, and comprehensive university has to offer.
Dr. Potkanowicz has two research agendas and has been fortunate enough to be able to combine them at times. The first is in the area of exercise and the physiology of aging, while the second is in the area of human thermoregulation and sports performance.
With regard to his interest in aging, Dr. Potkanowicz has, for a long time, had a desire to uncover and discover ways of improving the quality of life of the older adult population. More importantly, as a result of investigation and discovery, his research goals are to offer practical and applicable recommendations to the older adult population on how to improve and maintain their current and future quality of life. It is Dr. Potkanowicz’s belief that, through the inclusion of regular physical activity, the older adult can have a more fulfilling life experience and enjoy a much better quality of life.
His second research interest is in the area of human thermoregulation and sports performance, specifically the performance deficits that the athlete may experience when subjected to a significant hyperthermic or hypothermic environment. His most current project is called “The R.A.C.E.R. Project”. This is an acronym for The Real Assessment of Core and Environmental Responses. The project will examine the physiological responses exhibited by closed cockpit racecar drivers (i.e. Indy Car and Formula 1 drivers). The project’s goal is to design a new biometric sensor that will allow for the real-time assessment of the driver’s physiological response to the microenvironment of the cockpit during actual race events. With the expectations placed on athletes becoming ever greater, it is important to have a full and complete understanding of how the body responds to the environment. In the long-term the goal is to uncover and/or develop strategies for managing these physiological responses in an effort to improve performance and safety. While the R.A.C.E.R. Project has only taken the first of its many steps, Dr. Potkanowicz believes that R.A.C.E.R. will provide an exceptional research experience for the exercise physiology student.
On a more personal note, Dr. Potkanowicz and his wife Deanna are regular runners and have completed a number of 5k, 10K, and half marathons together. Dr. Potkanowicz is an avid fan of motorsports and has attended the Indy 500 (nearly) every year since 1985. Generally speaking if it goes fast, he likes it. Dr. Potkanowicz and his wife are looking forward to many years and many miles on the Green Monster and to becoming an integral part of the Ohio Northern University experience.