Maureen Weiss, Ph.D., professor in the School of Kinesiology, and 12 former and current graduate students presented research at the annual meeting of the North American Society for the Psychology of Sport and Physical Activity (NASPSPA) in Denver on June 21-23, 2018. Weiss also convened a symposium titled, “What, So What, and Now What? Translating Positive Youth Development (PYD) Research to Program Improvements in Curricula and Coach Training.” The photo shows Weiss with former students at the University of Minnesota—Nicole Bolter (Ph.D., 2010) and Lindsay Kipp (Ph.D., 2012), as well as other presenters. Symposium co-authors included Alison Phillips (Ph.D., 2015), Sarah Espinoza (Ph.D., 2020), and Hailee Moehnke (M.S., 2018). Weiss was Past President of NASPSPA in 2005-2006 and received the organization’s Distinguished Scholar Award in 2016.
The National AfterSchool Association (NAA), the lead organization for the advancement of the afterschool professional, has selected Maureen Weiss, Ph.D., professor in the School of Kinesiology, as one of NAA’s 2018 Most Influential in Research and Evaluation. Honorees are distinguished for their contributions to research and evaluation on youth and adolescent development.
In selecting their Most Influential in Research and Evaluation, the NAA seeks to honor individuals and organizations whose contributions to research and evaluation on afterschool and youth and adolescent development result in stronger practices, higher-quality programs and increased positive outcomes for children and youth. This year’s honorees were profiled in the Summer 2018 issue of NAA’s AfterSchool Today magazine (see also expanded article).
Weiss researches and evaluates the effectiveness of youth development programs, such as Girls on the Run and The First Tee, producing measurable outcomes enabling improved curricula, coach training, and developmental outcomes.
An estimated 10.2 million children participate in afterschool programs each year and the industry employs an estimated 850,000 professionals. The NAA is the membership association for professionals who work with children and youth in diverse school and community-based settings to provide a wide variety of extended learning opportunities and care during out-of-school hours.
One hundred attended the event and participated in an interactive discussion on Kihl’s presentation titled, “Corruption in sport: industry trends on the causes, consequences, and reform efforts.” The presentation gave an overview of the nature of corruption and current trends in the sport industry. Critical cases of different forms and types of sport corruption were discussed to help explain individual, organizational and environmental factors that contributed to the occurrence of corruption and resulting consequences.
A retirement celebration on May 30 in honor of Arthur S. Leon, M.D., professor in the School of Kinesiology, brought together current and former faculty and staff in the School of Kinesiology, Leon’s former graduate students and postdocs, and many of his fellow researchers and family members. Leon joined the University of Minnesota, School of Public Health in 1973 and moved his tenure line to the School of Health, Physical Education and Recreation (now School of Kinesiology) in 1992. Michael Wade, Ph.D., then director of the School, provided new space for Leon’s Laboratory of Physiological Hygiene and Exercise Science, the lab that was originally founded by Drs. Ancel Keys and Henry L. Taylor. In August, Dr. Leon will become professor emeritus.
Dr. Leon, who has held the the endowed Henry L. Taylor Professorship in Exercise Science and Health Enhancement since 1992, was recognized in several speeches for his transformative scholarly work in the field of exercise physiology, exercise nutrition and health. Several of Dr. Leon’s former graduate students attended the celebration, including Barbara Ainsworth, Ph.D., MPH, Regents’ Professor in Exercise Science and Health Promotion at Arizona State University, and Kathryn Schmitz, Ph.D., MPH, professor in the College of Medicine at Penn State University. Ainsworth and Schmitz also were attending the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) annual meeting held in Minneapolis. Ainsworth, past president of ACSM, received the ACSM Honor Award, and Schmitz is the president-elect of ACSM.
Beth Lewis, Ph.D., director of the School of Kinesiology, announced the College’s decision to rename the Henry L. Taylor Professorship. The Taylor-Leon Professorship in Exercise Science and Health Enhancement will honor and recognize Dr. Leon’s lifelong achievements.
Becoming a fellow in NAK, analogous to the National Academy of Sciences, is the highest recognition achieved by a scholar in Kinesiology. NAK is composed of national and international fellows who have made significant and sustained contributions to the field of kinesiology. To be inducted into membership, an individual must meet rigorous criteria for scientific research, professional scholarship, and service to the field. The dual purpose of NAK is to (a) encourage and promote the study and educational applications of the art and science of human movement and physical activity, and (b) honor by election to its membership persons who have contributed significantly to the study and application of the art and science of human movement and physical activity. Professor Wiese-Bjornstal will be formally inducted as a fellow of NAK in September at a special ceremony culminating the annual meeting in Chicago.
The travel award provides funding for travel expenses, but furthermore the opportunity to participate in the “Progress in Motor Control Student-Faculty Meet and Greet” workshop with scientific leaders in the field of neurorehabilitation.
Penn State University’s College of Health and Human Development hosts this conference, which serves as an interdisciplinary platform for researchers, practitioners, and educators to hear from top scholars on recent research and technological innovations, as well as practical challenges in integrating these advances into the field of neurorehabilitation.
“A Focus on Early Interventions in Skeletal Muscle Regeneration” describes the challenges that major traumatic injuries present in the healing of muscle tissue. While injuries caused by circumstances such as overexertion can normally heal without much intervention, in very large injuries, such as those incurred in combat, the muscle is unable to regenerate on its own, and poor muscle function and even amputation can result. Through her research, Greising is exploring new rehabilitation techniques that can provide better outcomes in major skeletal muscle injuries.
The article, “Diaphragm Plasticity in Aging and Disease: Therapies for Muscle Weakness go from Strength to Strength,” presents several topics involving diaphragm plasticity in aging and disease that were presented at the International Union of Physiological Sciences (IUPS) Conference in 2017. The purpose of the article is to maximize the broad and collective research impact on diaphragm muscle dysfunction in the search for transformative treatment approaches to improve the diaphragm muscle health during aging and disease.
Zachary Pope, Ph.D., recent graduate in the School of Kinesiology, has accepted a postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Minnesota’s School of Public Health. The fellowship is in the Division of Epidemiology and Community Health and focuses on cardiovascular disease epidemiology and prevention. Dr. Pope will begin his fellowship in July, 2018.
“Given my exercise physiology background and my current epidemiological research emphasis, this fellowship is a great fit and will provide opportunities for me to continue growing my research acumen,” says Pope.
The Faculty Senate at the University of Minnesota is comprised of faculty and faculty-like academic professional representatives from the all University of Minnesota campuses and concerns itself with faculty welfare, educational, and research matters.
Congratulations toJürgen Konczak, Ph.D., professor in the School of Kinesiology, who received the Marty and Jack Rossmann Faculty Development Award at the College of Education and Human Development assembly on April 30. The Rossmann Award recognizes a tenured faculty member who has demonstrated a truly exceptional level of creativity and productivity in scholarship, teaching and service, and who shows great promise of continuing such achievement. Konzak has instituted and directs the Human Sensorimotor Control Laboratory (HSCL) as well as the Center for Clinical Movement Science (CCMS), an interdisciplinary unit across the University. His research, currently supported by grants from NIH and the NSF, focuses on the study of neurological movement disorders, motor learning after brain injury, and motor development in infancy and childhood and collaborates with, among others, the School of Nursing, School of Veterinary Medicine, College of Engineering as well as with international research centers, primarily in Italy and Singapore. Since joining the faculty in 1999 he has served in leading roles on several Graduate School and College committees and has been the Director of Graduate Studies for the School.
Daheia Barr-Anderson, Ph.D., associate professor in the School of Kinesiology, has been invited to give a presentation at the Board of Regents’ May meeting. She is one of four newly promoted University of Minnesota faculty members invited to the meeting to give a short presentation and answer questions about their work.
Each year at their May meeting, the Board of Regents invite several recently promoted faculty from across the University who represent excellence in a variety of ways to participate in a panel. Barr-Anderson will discuss her scholarship and creative activities related to her research and community involvement.
Tianou Zhang, doctoral candidate in School of Kinesiology, has accepted a tenure-track position at the University of Texas-San Antonio (UTSA). Zhang will be an assistant professor in the Department of Kinesiology, Health, and Nutrition beginning this August. He will teach courses in Exercise and Nutrition, and continue his research on beneficial effects of phytochemicals supplementation in exercise and health.
Thanks to support from the administrators of the University of Minnesota and the principal and teachers at LoveWorks Academy in Golden Valley,Zan Gao, Ph.D., associate professor in the School of Kinesiology and director of the Physical Activity Epidemiology Laboratory (PAEL), recently established a Brain Gym Lab in the fitness room of LoveWorks Academy. Specifically, four Wii U exercise stations and four Xbox One Kinect exercise stations have been set up in the Brain Gym Lab, which promotes learning through movement.
Loveworks Academy is a public charter school located in a diverse neighborhood and works with a large number of low-income, underserved children ages 4 through 14. The school focuses on a strong academic program that personalizes learning for all students, helping develop independent, cooperative, responsible, and creative adults.
Thus far, the novel exercise program has been well received by teachers and students in the school. This is the third school-based lab Dr. Gao has established in the public schools in the state of Minnesota. Below are photos from the program.
Daheia Barr-Anderson, Ph.D., associate professor in the School of Kinesiology, was honored with the Multicultural Recognition Awardfor Faculty. This award recognizes significant professional or extracurricular contributions to and promotion of multicultural relations and perspectives. Barr-Anderson’s research centers on increasing physical activity behavior and decreasing sedentary behavior among children, particularly African-American females. Her professionally and personally involvement in the community fuel her passion. These services, such as volunteering for two African-American female organizations committed to the empowerment and education of our youth, Barr-Anderson states, have influenced her research and most importantly allow her to use her privilege as an African-American academic researcher to share the voices from her community.
Jürgen Konczak, Ph.D., professor in the School of Kinesiology, received the Marty and Jack Rossmann Faculty Development Award. The Rossmann Award recognizes a tenured faculty member who has demonstrated a truly exceptional level of creativity and productivity in scholarship, teaching and service, and who shows great promise of continuing such achievement. Konzak has instituted and directs the Human Sensorimotor Control Laboratory (HSCL) as well as the Center for Clinical Movement Science (CCMS), an interdisciplinary unit across the University. His research, currently supported by grants from NIH and the NSF, focuses on the study of neurological movement disorders, motor learning after brain injury, and motor development in infancy and childhood and collaborates with, among others, the School of Nursing, School of Veterinary Medicine, College of Engineering as well as with international research centers, primarily in Italy and Singapore. Since joining the faculty in 1999 he has served in leading roles on several Graduate School and College committees and has been the Director of Graduate Studies for the School.
Carol Nielsen is the recipient of the Jeanne T. Lupton Civil Service/Bargaining Unit Outstanding Service Award. Named in honor of Jeanne T. Lupton, Dean of General College (1979-86), this award recognizes outstanding service to CEHD and to the University of Minnesota by a CEHD Civil Service/Bargaining Unit staff. Although Nielsen’s primary responsibilities focus on all aspects of course management, she also has been heavily involved in building management and securing a safe workplace for others. She has built an excellent relationship with Facilities Management (FM) and takes a proactive approach to find solutions that are financially in our best interests. Nielsen is a passionate advocate for students and works directly with advisors and instructors to ensure high 4-year graduation rates in the School. What truly sets her apart, however, is Carol’s positive impact on her staff and colleagues. Her kindness, consideration, and inspired leadership style makes people feel welcome and appreciated, causing very high morale and productivity among the department staff.
School of Kinesiology adviser Katie Koopmeiners has been nominated the co-chair of the U of M’s Academic Advisory Network (AAN) board for the 2018-19 academic year. The AAN fosters opportunities for professional growth, personal development, and community building for advisors and student services professionals from across the Twin Cities campus. It also provides a forum for discussion and the exchange of ideas and information regarding academic advising within the University community.
Koopmeiners advises undergraduate major students in recreation education and sport management, as well as minor students in coaching, health & wellness promotion, outdoor & recreation education, and sport management.
Kristin Farrell, the School’s honors program academic adviser, will be a member on the AAN board during the 2018-19 academic year.