Interview of Barbara McCahan

Photo produced by Barbara McCahan

Introduction: The following information in this post reflects an interview I conducted for my course Interdisciplinary Studies. I chose Barbara McCahan as a subject to interview in order to get a better grasp on the health field and the possible connections it has to life outside of Plymouth State University. When I was told I needed to interview a professor I knew right then and there I wanted to interview Professor McCahan. The reason for this was because of her attitude towards a healthy lifestyle and her connections to many organizations in the field of health. In the interview, we discuss McCahan’s past before teaching as well as during. Along with this information we discussed Interdisciplinary Studies and possible opportunities in the future that could arise in the Health field.
Interview with Barbara McCahan at Plymouth State University
Barbara McCahan has been at Plymouth State for 28 years and began teaching Physical Education but has a degree in Biological Sciences and Biochemistry. She first began teaching Biology, Anatomy, and Physiology but morphed into physical activity because of a job opening. She had a young family at this time and loved teaching nutrition, health fitness, exercise physiology and many more courses. Professor McCahan has taught over fifty courses at Plymouth State. One aspect she loves about this field is that it is constantly changing and new information is brought into the picture and that makes this field so interesting. The entire industry of the health field has changed greatly from the past of bodybuilding to more of a healthy lifestyle outlook. Barbara McCahan is currently in the Health Education and Promotion major but considers herself a physical activity practitioner. This connects a lot of different areas together such as sociology, physiology, and phycology, which really forms McCahan’s base as a teacher and promoter. Barbara McCahan loves her position here at Plymouth State and lives an active life everyday. McCahan and her husband are very active; they swim, hike, ski, and bike. She also walks to work most of the time and really loves community-based research as well getting involved with the student body through health clubs. McCahan does a great amount of activities to stay healthy and fit for her own wellbeing, which is extremely important when promoting that lifestyle. She also grows her own food, has chickens, and recycles in order to benefit the community. McCahan teaches two classes a week and the rest of her time is spent with the center of active living and healthy communities. This incorporates many different organizations around the community and state. One of the organizations here a Plymouth State that Barbara McCahan has a lot to do with is Healthy PSU, which is a work cite wellness campaign. The campaign has worked with the local Common Man restaurants in the past and is very beneficial to the student life.
Barbara McCahan has her own business network outside of PSU that she keeps in her circle of work. She goes to many meetings for Association of Public Health and connects with many people on the lakes region level as well. She has connections within the region and has even been a keystone speaker at certain events. Promoting health is part of McCahan’s fabric of who she is; the idea of health and physical activity is just built into her. She has done a lot with the Circle Program and involving them in an active life. McCahan has also done many fitness programs such as dance classes, aerobic classes, jazzercise, and even more. When it comes to Interdisciplinary Studies McCahan also has had involvement.
Barbara McCahan is strong believer in the Interdisciplinary Studies and has been apart of the board. She see’s her position at PSU as almost an Interdisciplinary Study itself because of the different involvements each part of health really has to promote the overall picture. When it comes to collaboration with others and through departments McCahan believes more is always better in the sense of communication. Discussing and talking to others to form something is much better and will come out stronger at the end with more collaboration. Barbara McCahan gave great advice about being proficient in a few areas of my major and being functionally familiar with the rest. In other words gather as much information as possible but focus in on one or two areas. This concept really helped me understand the idea behind Interdisciplinary Studies as well as this entire interview. After a thirty-minute interview, I thanked Barbara McCahan greatly and we both went to class considering she is my professor for Physical Activity and Health. This interview was both beneficial to my major as well as to understanding the base of the Interdisciplinary Studies.


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