Speakers

Dr. Katherine Boyer, Keynote Speaker

Katherine Boyer is an assistant professor in the Musculoskeletal Orthopedic Biomechanics Lab at the UMass Amherst Kinesiology Department. She received her Ph.D. from the University of Calgary in 2006. Her primary research focus is in the area of the lower extremity mechanics during locomotion and the mechanisms for adaptations in ambulatory mechanics in aging, with overuse injury and in response to mechanical and pharmacological interventions.

Presenting: Staying Active with Osteoarthritis

Bob Bankert, Chef de Cuisine

Bob Bankert oversees all culinary operations at both Hampshire and Berkshire Dining Commons and takes pride in keeping menus fresh and in season. Bob is originally from New York, and grew up in his family’s restaurant. Through this, the love of cooking was instilled in him at a very young age, and inspired him to attend the New England Culinary Institute where he earned a BA in Food & Beverage Management. Bob most recently captured first place in the 2017 Culinary Challenge at the National Association of College and University Food Services Conference. Since coming to UMass in April, 2014 Bob has been responsible for monitoring recipes, production, and food cost.

Workshop: Health and Nutrition in Spices

Tony Jung, Chef de Cuisine

In 2000, Anthony became part of the UMass culinary staff at Hampshire Dining Commons, and progressed to the position of Sous Chef. Anthony has the distinction of being a ACF Certified Executive Chef, 2008 National NACUFS Culinary Challenge Champion, 10 time ACF Gold Medalist, 3 time Northeast Regional Champion, five time UMass Culinary Team Captain, 3 time “Taste of the World” Team Champions, current culinary chair for the NACUFS Northeast Regional Culinary Challenge, and 2014 first place International Student Iron Chef Coach.

Workshop: Health and Nutrition in Spices


Dr. Mark S. Miller, Keynote Speaker

Dr. Miller is an assistant Professor in the Kinesiology Department at UMass Amherst. His primary interest is investigating the effects of aging and exercise on human skeletal muscle in men and women at the whole body, tissue, single fiber and molecular levels. The goal is to understand how alterations at the molecular and single fiber levels affect whole muscle contraction in order to find potential sex-specific countermeasures to prevent the age-related loss of muscle performance. Dr. Miller received his Ph.D and completed his Post-Doctoral Fellowship from the University of Vermont.

Presenting: Aging and Exercise: Differences between Men and Women


Eleanor Cook

An editor and writer by trade, Ellie Cook has been practicing yoga since the 1970s with her husband, and began teaching in 2000. In 2001 she found the heart-centered Tantric practice taught at Yoga Sanctuary, and after a teacher training with YS director Sara Rose Page, became a teacher there in 2012. Ellie taught at the Yoga Studio in Haydenville and still teaches at Northampton Athletic Club. She is a registered E-RYT with Yoga Alliance.

Workshop: Yoga after 50


Justine Budrahm

Justine Budhram, owner and director of Ananda Yoga in Hadley, MA, completed her first 200 hour yoga certification at Core Power Yoga in Minneapolis, MN. She completed additional training at Bhava Yoga Center in 2009, and is currently training for a Movement and Mobility Specialist certificate from Dr. Kelly Starrett at mobilitywod.com. She continues to practice and explore on her own and is delighted to share her discoveries with her students.

Workshop: Chair Yoga


Dr. Tom St. Laurent

Tom St. Laurent is a lecturer in the department of Kinesiology at UMass Amherst. St. Laurent has a Bachelor’s degree from James Madison University, where he also received an M.S. in Exercise Physiology. He is certified as a Strength and Conditioning Specialist by the National Strength & Conditioning Association and a Sports Performance Coach by the USA Weightlifting Federation. Tom specializes in strength training, conditioning and mobility throughout the lifespan.

Presenting: Resistance, Balance and Backcare


Dr. Kate Becofsky

Katie Becofsky received her Ph.D. from the University of South Carolina and completed her Post-Doctoral Fellowship at the Miriam Hospital/Brown Medical School. Her research focuses on promoting physical activity and leveraging the human-animal bond to promote physical, mental and social well-being. She is particularly interested in the mental health and cognitive benefits of physical activity and exercise.

Presenting: Activity and Cognitive Function


Dr. Shalini Bahl

Dr. Shalini Bahl is the founder of Downtown Mindfulness in downtown Amherst and Affiliated Expert at the Isenberg School of Management, UMass, where she received her doctoral degree in marketing. Her research on mindful eating and the transformative potential of mindfulness for consumer, societal and environmental well-being has been published in reputable marketing journals. An advocate of mindfulness in business, higher ed, and society, Shalini designs and leads courses to develop the clarity and resilience needed for sustainable growth, innovation, and well-being. She has the ability to deeply listen to clients and customize years of mindfulness practice, international business experience, and a doctorate degree in business lends a deep knowledge has and authenticity to her teaching style that has been described as inspiring and transformative. She has received professional training in mindfulness and emotional intelligence from the Center for Mindfulness at UMass Medical School and the Search Inside Yourself Leadership Institute.

Workshop: Manage Your Mind for More Energy


Dave Madsen

2017 marks Dave Madsen’s 47th year in broadcasting and 25th anniversary with Western Mass News. Madsen came to Western Mass News in 1992 after spending twelve years with WWLP-TV. He began his broadcasting career in 1970 with WMAS in Springfield. Later that year he began a nine-year association with WHMP Radio in Northampton. Madsen serves as anchor of Western Mass News’ 5, 5:30, 6, 10 and 11 p.m. newscasts. He attended the University of Massachusetts in Amherst where he majored in Communications studies. In 2011, Madsen was inducted into the New England Chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts and Science’s Silver Circle for his accomplishments in broadcasting and his work in the community.

Dr. Ashley Mader

Dr. Mader earned both a Doctorate in Human Sexuality and Master’s in Social Work from Widener University in the Greater Philadelphia area. She leverages her research on older adults sexuality experiences and extensive knowledge in individual therapy, group therapy, and addiction groups to provide focused private and class-size support. Her efforts in leading and promoting care within senior centers, nursing homes, assisted living facilities, and at national conferences forged a sex positive approach towards championing sexual health in later life.

Presenting: Sex Over 50


Rachel Walker, Ph.D., RN

Rachel Walker is an Assistant Professor in the UMass Amherst College of Nursing whose scholarship is grounded in her experiences as a rural emergency medical worker, Peace Corps Volunteer, and oncology-certified nurse. Her passion for addressing health disparities and the care of older adults with cancer and other serious illnesses and their support persons has been recognized with awards for research, leadership, and teaching excellence. Dr. Walker completed her PhD at Johns Hopkins School of Nursing and a Postdoctoral Fellowship in the Johns Hopkins Center for Innovative Care in Aging. She is currently a Susan G. Komen Foundation for Breast Cancer Research CCR Scholar and lead faculty for the Independent Living think tank of the IALS Center for Personalized Health Monitoring, which focuses on person-centered and participatory approaches to promoting dignity, capability, and health equity over the life course. Dr. Walker works collaboratively with patient advocates and community leaders, clinicians, and scholars from a wide variety of disciplines, to develop and evaluate strategies for supporting activity, symptom self-management, sexual health and wellness during cancer survivorship.

Presenting: Aging, Exercise and Cancer

Dr. Moss, Moss Nutrition

Dr. Moss is a graduate of the University of Michigan Dental School. He practiced dentistry in Grand Rapids, Michigan, and began offering clinical nutrition to his patients after 5 years in practice. Retiring from dentistry after 10 years in practice, he moved to Hadley in 1985, taking a position as a salesman for a major professional supplement company. This career change enabled him to devote his full attention to the exciting field of Clinical Nutrition. He soon found that his customers had little time to stay current with new, clinically relevant research. In response, Dr. Moss began frequenting medical libraries and subscribing to medical journals. In 1987, he began writing a monthly newsletter, the “Moss Nutrition Report”, a review and commentary on controversial and cutting-edge issues in the practice of nutritional medicine. In 1992, Dr. Moss founded Moss Nutrition Products and, in partnership with his wife Joanne Goding, built Moss Nutrition into one of the country’s major distributors of nutritional supplements designed for health care professionals. In 2009, the company expanded to include its own Moss Nutrition professional supplement line. The ongoing development of these deeply researched, clinically relevant supplements is now the company’s main product focus. While functioning as the primary researcher for the Moss Nutrition line, Dr. Moss continues to publish his “Moss Nutrition Report”. In high demand by leading clinicians since its inception, this publication is now distributed globally, with archived copies available on the company website. Dr. Moss’s relentless pursuit of knowledge in clinical nutrition complements his primary passion, teaching. A faculty member of the University of Bridgeport Master of Science program in Human Nutrition, he currently teaches classes on clinical assessment, and vitamins and minerals. He established the popular online course “Expanded Organic Acids & Amino Acids Testing”, is a frequent speaker at teaching seminars across the country and has been a featured guest on various radio shows. His authentic enthusiasm and clear delivery of new insights and fresh, practical perspectives on the subject make him a well sought-after presenter. Dr. Moss maintains a small clinical practice where he assists chronically ill patients in addressing quality of life issues. He is also a Certified Nutrition Specialist, and a Diplomate of the American Clinical Board of Nutrition.

Presenting: Improving Quality of Life by Improving Muscle Mass and Function.

Dr. Mike Simmons

Dr. Mike Simmons graduated from Loma Linda University School of Medicine in Southern California in 1985. After completing an Emergency Medicine Residency he has practiced Emergency Medicine for more than 30 years and in more than 30 ER’s nationwide including time spent working in Indian Health Services in New Mexico. Always passionate about sports-especially mountain biking-a health scare a few years ago led to intensive study of fitness and a new career in coaching. Along with Coach Ayn Toppin he started the Masters Fitness Program at Pioneer Valley Crossfit: Fitness Prescribed is the only physician designed program in the Pioneer Valley dedicated to the fitness and vitality of valley residents over 40. The mission at Fitness Prescribed is to restore those who have lost their bloom and vigor due to their way of life, habits, injury or inactivity, to challenge those aspiring to top form in masters athletic pursuits and to nurture those who seek to increase their “healthspan”-remaining physically and mentally agile well into old age. He lives in Huntington Ma with his wife Jodi, an artist, and their 2 German Shepherds and 2 cats. He loves building mountain bike trails in his spare time.

Presenting: Fitness Prescribed: From ER Doc to Coach.