Seeger Chapel steeple against an orange sunset

Professor finds physical education improves test results

MILLIGAN COLLEGE, Tenn. (Jan. 15, 2020) — High stakes testing has become the norm in American public schools. As a result, educators continue to seek ways to improve students’ academic performance.

Leslie Hanneken, associate professor of human performance and exercise science at Milligan, has focused her research on how physical education can enhance academic achievement.

Hanneken’s current research focuses on the connection between the brain and body and the cognitive benefits of exercise. She will present this research during the college’s upcoming Faculty Lecture Series on Monday, Jan. 27, at 6 p.m. in the Derthick Lecture Hall. The event is free and open to the public.

Her presentation, “Quality Physical Education: A Positive Approach to Cognition,” will address the academic benefits of high-quality physical education programs.

“Positive health behaviors are essential to increase academic performance,” said Hanneken. “Body movement serves as a method to support the brain and aids executive function, increased cognition and retrieval of stored information.”

Hanneken holds both bachelor’s and master’s degrees in physical education from East Tennessee State University. She also received her Ed.S. in educational administration from Lincoln Memorial University. In addition to teaching at Milligan, Hanneken also serves as an educational consultant. Her professional experience includes corporate wellness, non-profit program development, cardiac rehabilitation, school administration, and public school teaching at the elementary and secondary levels.

The Faculty Lecture Series provides students and other members of the Milligan community a glimpse into the active world of academic research and writing at Milligan.

Posted by on January 15, 2020.