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Center for Solutions Through Research in Diet & Exercise

Kinesiology Professor Conducts Research Through Simms/Mann Faculty Fellowship

STRIDE research associate, Ali Hernandez, measures an infant as part of Alison Ventura's work through the Simms/Mann Faculty fellowship.


Cartoons decals, a changing table, and rocking chairs. These fill a converted office in the kinesiology room, where researchers are observing feeding interactions between mothers and their infants.

Alison Ventura, a professor in the Kinesiology Department, is conducting the research through her 2015 Simms/Mann Faculty fellowship. The fellowship, sponsored by the Simms/Mann Institute for Education and Community Development, provides professional development to faculty from the California State University and California Community Colleges in the fields of early childhood education, psychology, and nursing. The selected Simms/Mann faculty members spend two years completing projects that translate neuroscience research into practical applications and integrate the latest research into their classrooms. 

Ventura is using the fellowship funding to better understand infants’ responses to various aspects of feeding interactions. Through the support of the fellowship, she has incorporated a measure of infants’ physiological responses to feeding interactions and she also has a number of student research assistants who are coding infants’ communication and behaviors during the feeding. This study is the first of its kind. Ventura anticipates it will provide insights into how to promote high-quality feeding interactions during early infancy.

Ventura says she is excited to incorporate her findings into her courses once she completes the research study.

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