Lindsay DiStefano is the Athletic Training Program Director and an Associate Professor in the Department of Kinesiology at UConn. With a background in athletic training and sports medicine and an appreciation of working with children, DiStefano found that “working to prevent sport-related injury in a youth athlete population was a natural fit.” Her research is centered around the promotion of physical activity in children (through the prevention of childhood sport related injury and ensuring appropriate motor development). She believes preventing injury is at the core of encouraging physical activity because when children are susceptible to physical injury they are unable to develop the necessary skills, motivation, and confidence to be active. DiStefano leads school-based interventions that promote a more active classroom experience.
Involvement with CSCH
DiStefano finds that her work fits in very well with the CSCH mission and focus: “In order to truly make a difference in terms of exposing children to safe physical activity, we need to make sure that we are affecting every child. So the school based setting is the obvious platform to launch interventions and screenings for motor development issues that may make a child susceptible to injury as well as preclude them from future activity.”
DiStefano values the Collaboratory’s ability to facilitate the communication and dissemination of ideas as well as its opportunities for funding and collaboration. “I think it’s just a fantastic way to network and get to know a lot of different faculty across the university with similar efforts in an efficient way,” says DiStefano. “It’s very easy to get bogged down at the university in your own silo, doing your own thing, and not have that opportunity to connect with others. The CSCH serves as a meeting point to share ideas and help us all become more efficient with easier access to identifying future collaborators and reaching out to each other.”
DiStefano encourages others to join the Collaboratory: “At the university especially, it facilitates communication and quick dissemination of ideas, opportunities for funding, opportunities for collaboration. It helps all of us market ourselves within the university as well as externally, and work together to hopefully facilitate greater change and truly affect children’s lives.”
DiStefano likes to get moving with her three highly energetic sons.