Schmitt Russell Research Lecture to focus on women in sports

February 12, 2021

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Mary Jane De Souza, professor of kinesiology and physiology, will deliver the 2021 Pauline Schmitt Russell Research Lecture, “Her Life Depends on It: Lessons Learned about Keeping Exercising Women Healthy,” at 3:30 p.m. on March 3, via Zoom Webinar.

De Souza’s presentation will focus on the increased performance standards on many female athletes, which have pushed limits that sometimes challenge their health. Since Title IX passed, the number of girls and women participating in sport has dramatically increased — 990% at the high school level and 545% at the collegiate level, as well as an increase in female athletes participating in Olympic events.

This surge in performance standards has resulted in female athletes straddling a thin line between maximizing their training stimulus and maintaining health and nutrition necessary for optimal performance, according to De Souza. Many athletes fail to meet their energetic needs and train in an energy deficient state that compromises health, including reproductive disturbances and bone health problems that may not be reversible.

Sponsored by the College of Health and Human Development, the lecture is open to the public, no registration required.

Each year, the Schmitt Russell Research Lecture is presented by the most recent recipient of the Pauline Schmitt Russell Distinguished Research Achievement Award, recognizing the contributions of a distinguished faculty member whose career-long research has had a profound impact on a specific field of study.

The award honors Pauline Schmitt Russell, who graduated from Penn State in 1948 with a degree in home economics. It was established by her husband, Leo P. Russell, a 1941 industrial engineering graduate.

(Media Contacts)

Last Updated February 12, 2021