WBEZ | Northwestern University http://www.wbez.org/tags/northwestern-university Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en What it's like to be #BlackOnCampus http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift/2015-11-20/what-its-be-blackoncampus-113871 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/blackoncampus.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Two top officials at the University of Missouri stepped down last week after student protests broke out over racial discrimination. In the wake of what happened at Mizzou, some schools are adding a new position: Diversity Officer. Northwestern recently added someone in that role. Dr. Jabbar Bennett is Associate Provost for Diversity and Inclusion at NU, and talks about what he&rsquo;s doing to ensure that students are treated equally.</p><p>But in large part, the push for racial equality on college campuses this fall has been driven by students, not school administrations. Thousands have staged protests at schools across the country, and there&rsquo;s a hashtag where black students are talking about their experiences: <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/blackoncampus?ref_src=twsrc%5Egoogle%7Ctwcamp%5Eserp%7Ctwgr%5Ehashtag">#BlackOnCampus</a>. <a href="https://twitter.com/all_worn_out">Stephanie Greene</a> is a junior at the University of Chicago and president of the <a href="https://www.facebook.com/obs1.uchicago.edu/">Organization of Black Students</a>. Atrician Lumumba is a U of C sophomore and that OBS&#39;s vice president. They share their experiences with racial discrimination on campus.&nbsp;</p></p> Fri, 20 Nov 2015 11:59:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift/2015-11-20/what-its-be-blackoncampus-113871 Slow Wi-Fi? FM radio might help with that http://www.wbez.org/news/slow-wi-fi-fm-radio-might-help-113725 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/istock_000000064018_small-1c4453703e5a29448f90bdb6f8eb7ac8fcd09b6d-s1200.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>If you live in an apartment building or another densely populated area and your Wi-Fi is slow, your neighbors bingeing on Netflix may be to blame.</p><p>Your and your neighbors&#39; Wi-Fi networks have a limited number of wireless frequency channels to move your data. And when things get crowded and busy, Wi-Fi networks can overlap and bump into each other and slow down your Internet connection.</p><p>&quot;I&#39;m doing something, you&#39;re doing something, but none of us have a reference point about when the other party will do something or not,&quot; says Aleksandar Kuzmanovic,&nbsp;<a href="http://www.cs.northwestern.edu/~akuzma/" target="_blank">associate professor</a>&nbsp;of electrical engineering and computer science at Northwestern University, describing how Wi-Fi devices might operate.</p><p>&quot;There&#39;s no sense of timing, no sense of coordination. And hence, I listen a little bit, I don&#39;t hear, I send something. This may create trouble to you because you just sent something. And then we both back off. There could be time wasted before somebody grabs the airtime,&quot; he says.</p><p>Looking for a way to organize this common discord, Kuzmanovic and his colleagues Marcel Flores and Uri Klarman&nbsp;<a href="http://www.mccormick.northwestern.edu/news/articles/2015/11/using-fm-to-improve-wireless-networks.html" target="_blank">have found</a>&nbsp;an interesting aide: FM radio.</p><p>It&#39;s not a simple app to install on your phone, but the researchers say they&#39;ve developed the first system for Wi-Fi devices to coordinate for everyone&#39;s benefit without explicit communication or human involvement. And it comes over FM &mdash; strong enough to reliably travel through walls and ubiquitous enough that many devices are already geared to receive it.</p><p>Knowing that Wi-Fi devices already hear each other over Wi-Fi frequencies, the scientists looked for a way to help the devices harmonize.</p><p>That&#39;s where FM radio comes in.</p><p>When you&#39;re listening to the radio, say, in your car, your display may show the name of the artist and song playing on the station, or sometimes traffic and weather alerts. That information arrives over a digital signal, called the Radio Data System or RDS, which travels right beside the broadcast signal.</p><p>RDS data, Kuzmanovic explains, have a signal structure that delivers bits of information in a series that constantly repeats itself.</p><p>So if Wi-Fi networks can converge on the same RDS (by scanning the FM dial for the lowest-frequency radio station with a strong enough signal), they can use it to harmonize their time-telling.</p><p>&quot;Devices are able detect that there is this particular repeating structure and hence they are all able to independently come to the conclusion that hey, this must the beginning of this particular RDS signal sequence that&#39;s repeating in time,&quot; Kuzmanovic tells All Tech.</p><p>&quot;And then once they come to that particular point ... they divide the time into particular time slots and then they listen to how others are behaving relative to these time slots and that further determines their own behavior &mdash; when will they send data, when they will not send data,&quot; he says.</p><p>Put simply, the RDS signal acts as a clock for Wi-Fi devices to time the quietest slot &mdash; and we&#39;re talking milliseconds &mdash; during which to send data.</p><p>The researchers dub this technique Wi-FM, describing it in&nbsp;<a href="http://networks.cs.northwestern.edu/publications/wifm/icnp2015-flores.pdf" target="_blank">a new paper</a>&nbsp;presented on Tuesday at the&nbsp;<a href="http://icnp15.cs.ucr.edu/" target="_blank">IEEE International Conference on Network Protocols</a>&nbsp;in San Francisco.</p><p>The paper outlines one possible scheduling algorithm that would help Wi-Fi devices coordinate by using an FM signal. But as with many things in the industry, Kuzmanovic says others could come up with alternative approaches to reach the same goals with some universal parameters.</p><p>And while individually people could start adapting software on their Wi-Fi devices to adopt the Wi-FM technique, Kuzmanovic says the system would work best industrywide. His hope is for Google or Apple to spread the idea through its operating system, though he hasn&#39;t heard from the industry yet.</p><p>&mdash;<a href="http://www.npr.org/sections/alltechconsidered/2015/11/10/455386738/slow-wi-fi-fm-radio-might-help-with-that?ft=nprml&amp;f=455386738" target="_blank"><em> via NPR</em></a></p></p> Tue, 10 Nov 2015 12:54:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/news/slow-wi-fi-fm-radio-might-help-113725 Bring Out Your Dead...outdated technology http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift/2015-10-28/bring-out-your-deadoutdated-technology-113533 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/undead tech jason.png" alt="" /><p><p><a href="http://www.library.northwestern.edu/libraries-collections/evanston-campus/university-archives">Archivists at Northwestern University</a> want to gain access to digital archives, the stuff stored in old cellphones and computers. And they say it&rsquo;s more of a challenge than you think to find cables and cords that match up to that sort of equipment. They&#39;re asking for donations of old technology as they consider the importance of saving that old &lsquo;junk&rsquo; for future use in preserving the past.</p><p>So the Northwestern archivists have started a campaign called <a href="https://www.library.northwestern.edu/news-legacy/2015/october/undead-tech-drive#modal-show">#UndeadTech</a> to get a hold of cables and cords. <a href="https://twitter.com/Digitized_Laura">Laura Alagna</a>, NU&rsquo;s Digital Curation Assistant and Kevin Leonard, the school&rsquo;s Library Archivist, talk about how this idea and challenge came about.</p></p> Wed, 28 Oct 2015 11:00:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift/2015-10-28/bring-out-your-deadoutdated-technology-113533 Northwestern study minimizes racism one nap at a time http://www.wbez.org/news/northwestern-study-minimizes-racism-one-nap-time-113530 <p><p dir="ltr">I think of myself as a feminist. I actually have <a href="http://nerdettepodcast.com/">a podcast that celebrates women in science</a>.</p><p dir="ltr">So who knew even I could have an unconscious bias against women in science?</p><p dir="ltr">Well, <a href="http://faculty.wcas.northwestern.edu/~paller/">Ken Paller</a>, for one.</p><p dir="ltr">He&rsquo;s a psychology professor at Northwestern University, and he says no matter how open minded you think you are, you harbor unconscious stereotypes.</p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;We might use those stereotypes as a shortcut sometimes,&rdquo; Paller said.</p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;If you meet a new person, you don&#39;t know them yet, you might look at their external appearance and make judgment about what they might be and what their personality might be like. That can be a mistake. It can be a difficult shortcut, but yet it&#39;s a common shortcut that people make.&rdquo;</p><p dir="ltr">The official term for those shortcuts is implicit social bias, and Paller said we all have at least a little bit of it. Paller told me about <a href="https://implicit.harvard.edu/implicit/takeatest.html">a test you can take online to measure your own bias</a>.</p><p dir="ltr">So I took it.</p><p dir="ltr">And I found out that I have a moderate automatic preference for men in science over women in science.</p><p dir="ltr">When I think about it, that makes sense. I&rsquo;ve always considered the humanities to be more feminine, and the sciences to be more masculine.</p><p dir="ltr">I know that&rsquo;s irrational, but it&rsquo;s more common than we might think.</p><p dir="ltr"><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/implicit_gj_wbez.JPG" style="height: 227px; width: 320px; margin-left: 10px; margin-right: 10px; float: right;" title="Dana Bozeman in her office in downtown Chicago. (WBEZ/Greta Johnsen)" />One Sunday afternoon, I met up with Dana Bozeman, a friend of a friend who said she was willing to take the test with me and talk about her results.</p><p dir="ltr">Bozeman is African American. Like me, she was a little nervous to find out what her subconscious tendencies were.</p><p dir="ltr">But more than that, she was curious. She decided to find out how biased she might be about race.</p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;Ok, here we go,&rdquo; she said with a deep breath.</p><p dir="ltr">Ten minutes later, after a sort of matching game, Bozeman read me the outcome of her test.</p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;Your results: Your data suggest a moderate automatic preference for European Americans compared to African Americans,&rdquo; Bozeman read with narrowed eyes.</p><p dir="ltr">She shook her head. &ldquo;I&rsquo;m not terribly surprised.&rdquo;</p><p dir="ltr">Bozeman said she wasn&rsquo;t surprised because she sees negative media coverage of black people everywhere. And that sometimes makes her feel negative toward black people.</p><p dir="ltr">Feeling that way completely goes against her own values.</p><p dir="ltr">But Paller, the psychologist at Northwestern, says that kind of dissonance is also completely universal.</p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;Virtually everyone has an implicit social bias for race and gender,&rdquo; Paller said.</p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;We pick it up from the media, from our inculturation over many years. So these are longstanding habits. And we wouldn&rsquo;t expect to change them overnight.&rdquo;</p><p dir="ltr"><span style="font-size:24px;"><strong>Treating bias during sleep</strong></span></p><p dir="ltr">The thing is, Paller&rsquo;s team did change them overnight.</p><p dir="ltr">Or at least, during an afternoon nap.</p><p dir="ltr">Paller knew that all sorts of experts have been using the <a href="https://implicit.harvard.edu/implicit/takeatest.html">Implicit Association Test</a>, the same one Bozeman and I took, to reduce bias. What he wanted to find out was if he could help make somebody less biased on a long term basis by using sleep, and some very specific sounds.</p><p dir="ltr">Here&rsquo;s how he did it: First, he&rsquo;d measure people&rsquo;s bias by having them take the implicit association test. It&rsquo;s almost like a matching game.</p><p dir="ltr">When I visited the lab, I played around with it. It was NOT easy. You have to push certain keys as quickly as possible, and your response time is measured by the millisecond. Test subjects play the game over and over, trying to get faster at making the connections that defy their own stereotypes.</p><p dir="ltr">Paller and his team were testing for two stereotypes: gender bias, and racial bias. Every time subjects played the game for gender, and connected science words with women, &nbsp;they&rsquo;d hear a unique sound. When they connected positive words with the faces of African Americans, they&rsquo;d hear another tone. Then, while the subjects are curled up in a tiny room to take a 90-minute nap, Paller and his team reinforced the learning that just happened by playing one of those two sounds over and over again. A subject would hear the sound in his or her sleep more than 100 times.</p><p dir="ltr">The theory is, if people heard the same sound while they slept, they&rsquo;d better remember the training they just learned.</p><p dir="ltr">And it works.</p><p dir="ltr">Paller, whose expertise is memory storage during sleep, says when we&rsquo;re lying in bed, we might seem to be at rest, but our brains are still hard at work, filing away memories and ditching information we don&rsquo;t need.</p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;A lot of complicated brain processing is happening during sleep. It&rsquo;s not like your laptop, when you shut it off to sleep and nothing happens,&rdquo; Paller said.</p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;Instead, the brain is continually processing information and we&rsquo;re trying to understand what&rsquo;s happening when that memory processing is happening.&rdquo;</p><p dir="ltr">By playing those sounds while a subject slept, Paller was able to reinforce the positive stereotypes. And there were signs that it could actually last.</p><p dir="ltr"><span style="font-size:24px;"><strong>Fighting bias in everyday life</strong></span></p><p dir="ltr">What all this means for real life is that we have to be more in tune with our own negative stereotypes, and then keep resetting them.</p><p dir="ltr">Dana Bozeman, the woman who took the bias test, says her results will make her reconsider her own thoughts and actions.</p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;I think I also think about it for my children,&rdquo; Bozeman said.</p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;I recognize that...they have a lot more positive images that I have&hellip;. I mean, my children were born in 2006 and 2008. So to them, the president&rsquo;s always been black.&rdquo;</p><p dir="ltr">Experts say you can think of implicit bias as a bad habit.</p><p dir="ltr">Every time you catch yourself thinking or behaving against your values, you have to stop yourself and try to correct it.</p><p dir="ltr">They say that means intentionally seeking out, and interacting with, people with different experiences and backgrounds from your own.</p><p dir="ltr"><em><span id="docs-internal-guid-820e66b6-aee0-f38c-fbfd-3968df600333"><a href="http://www.northwestern.edu/newscenter/stories/2015/05/unlearning-implicit-social-biases-during-sleep.html">The Northwestern study</a>, called Unlearning implicit social biases during sleep, was published in &nbsp;<a href="http://www.sciencemag.org/content/348/6238/1013.short">the journal Science</a> earlier this year. It was coauthored by Xiaoqing Hu, James Antony, Jessica Creery, Iliana Vargas, and Galen Bodenhausen.</span></em></p><p><em>Greta Johnsen is a reporter and host for WBEZ. Follow her <a href="https://twitter.com/gretamjohnsen">@gretamjohnsen</a>.</em></p></p> Tue, 27 Oct 2015 18:58:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/northwestern-study-minimizes-racism-one-nap-time-113530 Morning Shift: October 2, 2015 http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift/2015-10-02/morning-shift-october-2-2015-113158 <p><p>The Chicago hip hop artist Rhymefest has many things: fame, respect and a Grammy for his work writing songs for some of the biggest names in music. But as a kid growing up on the south side, he didn&rsquo;t have a dad. Che &ldquo;Rhymefest&rdquo; Smith talks about reuniting with his father. That emotional quest is chronicled in a <a href="http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift/2015-10-02/documentary-shows-rhymefest-reunite-his-father-113157">new documentary. </a></p><p>Then, the <a href="http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift/2015-10-02/preview-chicagos-architecture-biennial-113155">Chicago Biennial</a> kicks off this weekend. It&rsquo;s a celebration and exploration of architecture.</p><p>Plus two students at the U of I in Urbana-Champaign are broadcasting Illini <a href="http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift/2015-10-02/u-illinois-students-broadcasting-football-games-mandarin-113154">football games in Mandarin Chinese</a>.</p><p>And we talk about a <a href="http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift/2015-10-02/first-chicago-festival-highlight-modern-filipino-food-and-culture">new festival</a> to celebrate Filipino culture and food.</p></p> Fri, 02 Oct 2015 12:38:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift/2015-10-02/morning-shift-october-2-2015-113158 Northwestern football starts season strong http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift/2015-10-02/northwestern-football-starts-season-strong-113153 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/Northwestern football Flickr Terry Johnston.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Northwestern is 4 and 0 for the first time in a long time. The Wildcats head into Big 10 play this weekend ranked #16 in the AP poll and #17 in the USA Today Coaches Poll. After back-to-back 5 and 7 years, Pat Fitzgerald&rsquo;s team is looking to make some noise.</p><p>So what&rsquo;s going right, where are the holes, and what are the team&rsquo;s chances against Minnesota tomorrow? We speak with <a href="https://twitter.com/BobbyPillote?ref_src=twsrc%5Egoogle%7Ctwcamp%5Eserp%7Ctwgr%5Eauthor">Bobby Pillote</a>, editor of football coverage for <a href="http://dailynorthwestern.com/">The Daily Northwestern</a>.</p></p> Fri, 02 Oct 2015 12:21:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift/2015-10-02/northwestern-football-starts-season-strong-113153 How does the law adapt to new technology? http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift/2015-08-20/how-does-law-adapt-new-technology-112692 <p><p>Earlier this month, a Pennsylvania man was arrested for allegedly violating a restraining order when he &ldquo;liked&rdquo; 22 of his ex-girlfriend&rsquo;s photos and videos on Facebook. And in 2012 a British traveler was detained upon arriving in LA after he tweeted he was going to &ldquo;go and destroy America.&rdquo; He insists he meant destroy as British slang for &ldquo;party,&rdquo; but he spent the night in jail and was sent home.</p><p>Of course, the Internet and social media weren&rsquo;t around when restraining orders and terrorism laws were created...but the law is now being adapted to respond to these and other new technologies. Jim Speta joins us to talk about the changing landscape of the law. Jim&rsquo;s a professor at the Northwestern University School of Law and an expert on telecommunications and Internet policy, antitrust and administrative law. (Photo: Flickr/Jason Howie)</p></p> Thu, 20 Aug 2015 10:57:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift/2015-08-20/how-does-law-adapt-new-technology-112692 Board dismisses ruling to allow college athletes to unionize http://www.wbez.org/news/board-dismisses-ruling-allow-college-athletes-unionize-112669 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/NU NLRB Kain Colter.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>The National Labor Relations Board on Monday threw out a historic ruling that gave Northwestern University football players the go-ahead to form the nation&#39;s first college athletes&#39; union, saying the prospect of union and nonunion teams could throw off the competitive balance in college football.</p><p>The decision dismissed a March 2014 decision by a regional NLRB director in Chicago who said that the football players are effectively school employees and entitled to organize. Monday&#39;s decision did not directly address the question of whether the players are employees.</p><p>&quot;Although we do not decide the issue here, we acknowledge that whether such individuals meet the board&#39;s test for employee status is a question that does not have an obvious answer,&quot; the NLRB said.</p><p>The labor dispute goes to the heart of American college sports, where universities and conferences reap billions of dollars, mostly through broadcast contracts, by relying on amateurs who are not paid. In other countries, college sports are small-time club affairs, while elite youth athletes often turn pro as teens.</p><p>The unanimous ruling by the five-member National Labor Relations Board concludes that letting Northwestern football players unionize could lead to different standards at different schools &mdash; from the amount of money players receive to the amount of time they can practice. That would, it says, create the competitive imbalances.</p><p>The ruling applies to private schools like Northwestern, which is a member of the powerful Big Ten Conference. Public universities do not fall under the agency&#39;s jurisdiction, though union activists have said they hope Northwestern&#39;s example inspires unionization campaigns by athletes at state schools.</p><p>Northwestern became the focal point of the labor fight in January 2014, when a handful of football players called the NCAA a &quot;dictatorship&quot; and announced plans to form the first U.S. labor union for college athletes. Quarterback Kain Colter detailed the College Athletes Players Association at a news conference, flanked by leaders of the United Steelworkers union that has lent its organizing expertise and presumably will help bankroll the court fight.</p><p>Regional NLRB Director Peter Sung Ohr issued a stunning decision three months later, saying Northwestern football players who receive scholarships fit the definition of employees under federal law and therefore should be able to unionize. A month later, football players cast secret ballots on whether to unionize. Those ballots were sealed during the appeal and will now be destroyed.</p><p>Former Northwestern receiver Kyle Prater said he voted against the union proposal, saying that he and his teammates were well treated during their college years.</p><p>But, Prater, who now plays for the New Orleans Saints, said he still feels there are &quot;some things as far as the NCAA that need to be more structured. And I think by what we did, our voice out there really helped get things going forward.&quot;</p><p>He spoke Saturday from the team&#39;s training camp in White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia.</p><p>Monday&#39;s seven-page ruling cites federal law and contends that unionized football players at Northwestern would not promote the &quot;uniformity&quot; and &quot;stability&quot; between workers and management that it says is the goal of U.S. labor relations law.</p><p>While NLRB decisions are sometimes split, the three Democrats and two Republicans on the board all agreed.</p><p>Under U.S. law, an employee is regarded as someone who, among other things, receives compensation for a service and is under the direct control of managers. In Northwestern&#39;s case, Ohr concluded coaches are equivalent to business managers and scholarships are a form of pay.</p><p>The ruling was welcome news for the NCAA, the dominant umbrella organization for U.S. college athletics. The NCAA has been under increasing scrutiny over its amateurism rules and has been in court fighting lawsuits from former athletes over everything from head injuries to revenue earned based on the use of their likenesses in video games.</p><p>The NCAA recently cleared the way for the five biggest conferences, including the Big Ten, to add player stipends to help athletes defray some of their expenses. Southeastern Conference schools, for example, will give some athletes $3,000 to $5,500 each on top of a scholarship that pays for tuition, room, board and books.</p><p>Northwestern, the Big Ten and the NCAA all argued against the unionization effort, saying that lumping college athletes into the same category as factory workers would transform amateur athletics for the worse. At one point, Northwestern administrators sent a document to players outlining potential pitfalls, noting that player strikes could lead to the spectacle of replacement players.</p><p>The specific goals of the players association, or CAPA, include guaranteeing coverage of sports-related medical expenses for current and former players, reducing head injuries.</p></p> Mon, 17 Aug 2015 12:13:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/board-dismisses-ruling-allow-college-athletes-unionize-112669 Culturally-sensitive workouts yield health results for immigrants http://www.wbez.org/news/culturally-sensitive-workouts-yield-health-results-immigrants-111973 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/Asian-exercise.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>On a Sunday afternoon at a small martial arts studio in a Lincolnwood strip mall, a dozen or so South Asian women warm up by marching in step to a thumping merengue beat.</p><p>Some of them wear stretchy yoga pants and t-shirts, but several sport traditional headscarves, and long, colorful tunics over billowy pants. Most of them are recent immigrants to the U.S. from India and Pakistan. All of them are at risk of developing Type 2 Diabetes.</p><p>With flushed cheeks and glistening foreheads, they keep up with instructor Carolina Escrich as she barks out instructions. They jump, punch, squat, do push-ups and smile.</p><p>&ldquo;I feel happy &mdash; I&rsquo;m so happy,&rdquo; said Manisha Tailor giddily, after finishing the hour&rsquo;s workout right at the front of the class.</p><p>Tailor is one of thirty women recruited to participate in a 16-week study led by researchers at Northwestern University. She&rsquo;s been coming to the classes since February, and it was an entirely new experience for her.</p><p>&ldquo;I never danced before,&rdquo; she said. &ldquo;So, I like (to) dance. And I feel very comfortable.&rdquo; She adds that she also lost four pounds since coming to the class twice a week.</p><p>Tailor, like most of the participants, said she never exercised in her native India, and the thought of joining a gym was too intimidating. But now she&rsquo;s considering joining a women-only gym once the study finishes.</p><p>For Namratha Kandula, Principal Investigator of the Northwestern study, this is a breakthrough.</p><p>&ldquo;They have a lot of barriers to doing exercise,&rdquo; she said. &ldquo;South Asians uniformly are less physically active than other groups. This group has high rates of overweight and obesity, and high rates of physical inactivity.&rdquo;</p><p dir="ltr">Kandula said this directly relates to the prevalence of diabetes among South Asians. Nearly a quarter of these immigrants in the U.S. develop the disease &mdash; a rate higher than that of Caucasians, African Americans and Latinos.&nbsp;Kandula&rsquo;s research at Northwestern&rsquo;s Feinberg School of Medicine focuses on crafting effective interventions for communities who are underserved and unaware of best health practices.&nbsp;</p><p>Kandula said on top of sedentary lifestyles, South Asians are genetically predisposed to developing diabetes. Still, research has shown that individuals can improve their odds of avoiding the disease through healthy eating and exercise.</p><p>&ldquo;The problem is that that research was not reaching the South Asian community in the sense that they weren&rsquo;t necessarily hearing the same messages, they weren&rsquo;t getting more physically active,&rdquo; said Kandula. &ldquo;And we know that a lot of evidence-based programs &mdash; they don&rsquo;t reach some of the more disadvantaged communities or communities that are isolated because of culture or language or geographic location.&rdquo;</p><p>Kandula&rsquo;s team is monitoring the women&rsquo;s weight and blood sugar to see if they show any changes over the course of the program. They partnered with Metropolitan Asian Family Services, a social services agency that works with many South Asian immigrant families on Chicago&rsquo;s far North Side. MAFS recruited participants and provides them free transportation to and from the classes.</p><p>The study aims to educate immigrant women, in particular, about eating healthier and the importance of exercise. In crafting the workouts, Kandula had to consider cultural hurdles that stood in the way for many women who were most at-risk for developing diabetes.</p><p>&ldquo;Modesty is something that&rsquo;s really important,&rdquo; explained Kandula, &ldquo;and women didn&rsquo;t feel comfortable working out at a regular gym or recreational facility.&rdquo;</p><p>Additionally, many women told Kandula that they prioritized their families over their own health. So she worked that into the design of her program by offering free martial arts classes to their children once a week. The only condition was that the mothers had to come to their workouts at least twice a week.</p><p>In fact, many women attend three times a week &mdash; and on the days they show up, several will stay for two classes back-to-back.</p><p>Rehanna Patel, a 49-year old mother of four, said the class works for her because it is fun and there are no men.</p><p>&ldquo;It&rsquo;s important for it to be women&rsquo;s-only and having that secure space,&rdquo; she said through a translator.</p><p>Many other women echoed the thought, saying that they would feel less free to move about in the class if men were included, or if men could walk by and see them.</p><p>Patel said the class helped dispel her assumption that exercise is only for younger people.</p><p>&ldquo;I had always thought that these steps would only be done by a 20 or 25-year-old girl,&rdquo; she said, referring to the dance routine of the class. &ldquo;But the instructor did a great job.&rdquo;</p><p>Teaching these women was a new experience for instructor Carolina Escrich, too.</p><p>&ldquo;I needed to adjust the class and be careful with the type of music that I should use,<br />she said.</p><p>Escrich said it took two months to modify her usual Latin-inspired Zumba workouts into something more appropriate for her culturally conservative students. She modified the song selections to be less explicit, and has shifted the emphasis from sexy dance moves to more of an aerobics routine.</p><p>If the program shows significant health improvements, Namratha Kandula hopes they&rsquo;ll win funding for a wider study. But the women here have a more immediate concern.</p><p>&ldquo;I would feel really sad when the classes end,&rdquo; said Patel. &ldquo;The way we do it here, it&rsquo;s different, we enjoy it, I feel good and my body feels light.&rdquo;</p><p>Patel says even after the study ends she wants to keep exercising at home.</p><p><em>Odette Yousef is WBEZ&rsquo;s North Side Bureau reporter. Follow her </em><a href="https://twitter.com/oyousef"><em>@oyousef</em></a><em> and </em><a href="https://twitter.com/wbezoutloud"><em>@WBEZoutloud</em></a><em>.</em></p></p> Fri, 01 May 2015 10:32:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/culturally-sensitive-workouts-yield-health-results-immigrants-111973 Morning Shift: Is procrastination really a problem? http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift-tony-sarabia/2014-04-14/morning-shift-procrastination-really-problem-110017 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/by L-T-L.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>With tax day looming, we tackle the procrastination problem...or is it a problem? Plus, Malian musical guest Sidi Touré.&nbsp;</p><div class="storify"><iframe allowtransparency="true" frameborder="no" height="750" src="//storify.com/WBEZ/morning-shift-is-procrastination-really-a-problem/embed?header=false&amp;border=false" width="100%"></iframe><script src="//storify.com/WBEZ/morning-shift-is-procrastination-really-a-problem.js?header=false&border=false"></script><noscript>[<a href="//storify.com/WBEZ/morning-shift-is-procrastination-really-a-problem" target="_blank">View the story "Morning Shift: Is procrastination really a problem?" on Storify</a>]</noscript></div></p> Mon, 14 Apr 2014 08:40:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift-tony-sarabia/2014-04-14/morning-shift-procrastination-really-problem-110017