Category Archives: Departments

Pope hired as adjunct instructor for Exercise Physiology at Bethel University

Zachary Pope, Ph.D. candidate in the School of Kinesiology and advised by Kinesiology associate professor Zan Gao, Ph.D., was recently hired as an adjunct instructor at Bethel University teaching exercise physiology and assessment. Bethel University is a private Christian liberal arts institution with an enrollment of approximately 6,000 students.

While Pope’s current research interests center around the use of technology to promote physical activity and nutritious eating behaviors, with improved physiological and psychosocial health outcome the ultimate goal, Pope previously spent six years exclusively studying and/or teaching exercise physiology. Further, since 2012, Pope has been an American College of Sports Medicine Certified Exercise Physiologist and coordinated the Human Performance Laboratory at Boise State University while earning his master’s degree.

Christian Science Monitor quotes LaVoi on women coaches

Nicole M. LaVoi, Ph.D., Kinesiology senior lecturer and co-director of the Tucker Center, is quoted in a Christian Science Monitor piece, “Why there’s been a big drop in women coaches under Title IX” on the phenomena and its logical outcome.

 

Tucker Center benefactor, Dr. Dorothy McNeill Tucker, passes away

portrait image of Dorothy McNeill TuckerWe have recently learned of the passing of Dr. Dorothy McNeill Tucker, our founder and benefactor. The Tucker Center was established in 1993 due to her incredible and ongoing support and generosity. Dr. Tucker graduated from the University of Minnesota in 1945, majoring in Recreation Leadership. She went on to earn a doctorate in Counseling Pyschology at UCLA. As a pioneer in many aspects of her life, Dr. Tucker became the first woman to be tenured as a faculty member at California State Polytechnic University in Pomona.

“I am sure I have received more from the gift than has the University. The joy of giving is increased tremendously when you can see how your gift is being used during your lifetime.”
— Dr. Dorothy McNeill Tucker (December, 1996)

Because of her vision and commitment, the Tucker Center has conducted groundbreaking research and mentored the “best and the brightest” students from around the world who have come to the U of M to do their own research at the Tucker Center.

We have shared our research and educational initiatives with scholars, educators, policymakers, parents, administrators and female athletes. Dr. Tucker’s vision became a reality and, as a result, she truly made a difference in the lives of countless young girls and women, their families and communities.

Dr. Tucker’s contributions and commitments to the University of Minnesota extended beyond her support of the Tucker Center. She served with distinction for 12 years on the U of M Foundation’s Board of Trustees, and in 2006, she was named one of the 100 Most Distinguished Alumni of the College of Education and Human Development.

“Dr. Tucker’s commitment to and passion for the Tucker Center were unparalleled. We are able to achieve our goals and fulfill our mission because of her generous financial support and pioneering spirit. On behalf of every member of the Tucker Team, all of our Affiliated Scholars at the U of M and around the globe, as well as our current and former students, we are forever in her debt. Rest in peace, Dr. Tucker.”
— Professor Mary Jo Kane, Director

“I and so many others will be forever grateful to the vision and commitment of Dr. Tucker and for her founding gift to make the Tucker Center a reality. Her gift is an example of how one individual can truly have a remarkable impact, and the Tucker Team is privileged to carry on her legacy in making a difference in the lives of girls and women in sport.”
— Dr. Nicole M. LaVoi, Co-Director

“The School of Kinesiology is incredibly grateful for Dr. Tucker’s support of the Tucker Center.  Her tremendous gifts to the Tucker Center have been instrumental for conducting important research and community outreach on girls and women in sport.  I look forward to seeing the Tucker Center continue its great work for decades to come thanks to Dr. Tucker’s support.”
— Professor Beth Lewis, Director of the School of Kinesiology

 

National evaluation study of Girls on the Run by Kinesiology professor Maureen Weiss reveals the program transforms young girls’ lives

An independent evaluation study by Maureen Weiss, Ph.D., professor in the School of Kinesiology, shows that Girls on the Run, a national physical activity-based positive youth development program for elementary-age girls, has a profound and lasting positive impact on girls’ confidence, competence, connection to others, character, caring, and life skills.

Girls on the Run is a nonprofit organization that uses running as a vehicle for teaching life skills to girls in third through fifth grades. The intentional life skills curriculum and mandatory annual coach training set Girls on the Run apart from other activity programs. The three-part curriculum teaches understanding of self, valuing relationships and teamwork, and exploring one’s connection to the world.

Weiss’s study revealed that:

  • Girls on the Run participants were significantly more likely than girls in organized sport and physical education to learn and use life skills including managing emotions, resolving conflict, helping others or making intentional decisions.
  • 97% of girls said they learned critical life skills at Girls on the Run that they are using at home, at school and with their friends
  • Girls who began the program with below-average scores dramatically improved from pre- to post-season on all outcomes—competence, confidence, connection, character, and caring. This shows that girls who might need a positive youth development program benefited most from their participation.
  • Girls who were the least active before Girls on the Run increased their physical activity level by 40% from pre- to post-season and maintained this increased level beyond the program’s end.

The video and the website illuminate the study findings through an interactive format. The study has also been publicized on Globe Newswire.

“Girls on the Run participants scored higher in managing emotions, resolving conflict, helping others, and making intentional decisions than participants in organized sport or physical education,” said Weiss.  “Being able to generalize skills learned in the program to other situations such as at school or at home is a distinguishing feature of Girls on the Run compared to traditional youth sports and school PE, and suggests that the intentional life skills curriculum and coach-training program can serve as exemplars for other youth programs.”

 

The Sportsman article quotes LaVoi on starting athletes at a young age

Nicole M. LaVoi, Ph.D., Kinesiology senior lecturer and co-director of the Tucker Center, is quoted in an article in The Sportsman, “How Other Sports Have Elevated Roger Federer And Rafael Nadal To The Top Of Their Game.” LaVoi speaks briefly on the efficacy of starting players at a young age.

Javen Ulambayer, Kinesiology B.S. alum, performs in “Moby Dick” in Chicago

A School of Kinesiology alumnus has led an adventurous life since graduating with a B.S. in Kinesiology in Spring 2012 . It’s been a somewhat dangerous one as well.

Javen Ulambayer has taken his education and experience to new heights as he performs in the Ensemble cast in an adaptation of  “Moby Dick” at the Lookingglass Theatre in Chicago. The native of Mongolia moved to the United States in 2005 with his mother, Oyunchimeg “Oyuna” Yadamjav, one of Mongolia’s most famous contortionists,  when she accepted a job at Circus Juventus in St. Paul. The school attracts elite circus performers from around the world to teach their craft. Ulambayer became interested in learning aerial gymnastics and circus arts at the school, and began his practice there. His fascinating story is featured in this Chicago Tribune article.

Kinesiology professor emeritus Leo McAvoy awarded U of M’s OAA

CEHD alumnus and professor emeritus Leo McAvoy received the University of Minnesota’s Outstanding Achievement Award (OAA) on July 31 at an evening reception at the Campus Club. Regent Abdul Omari presented the award, which recognizes McAvoy’s significant contributions to outdoor and adventure education. The OAA is the University of Minnesota’s highest award for its graduates.

McAvoy earned a Ph.D. in Recreation, Park, and Leisure Studies from the College of Education and Human Development, and spent more than 30 years as a professor in the School of Kinesiology. He directed the Recreation, Park, and Leisure Studies division for a total of 12 years, and served twice as acting director of the School. He has been honored nationally for his contributions to his field, including its highest honor, the Theodore and Franklin Roosevelt Award for Excellence in Recreation and Park Research.

What makes McAvoy’s work special is his focus on populations that are often overlooked in the literature. Much of his research concentrated on the notion of inclusive recreation. His groundbreaking work challenged long-held myths about the preferences of individuals with disabilities for outdoor environments and the extent of their participation in adventure activities. Throughout this career, McAvoy collaborated with nonprofit organizations such as Wilderness Inquiry, an inclusive outdoor program in Minneapolis, and consulted for schools and government agencies.

McAvoy was also recognized for his skills in the classroom. His classes included hands-on work, such as visiting a local YMCA camp to participate in a high ropes challenge. McAvoy is beloved by his former students, who remember his passion for the outdoors and his innovative syllabi. Many of his advisees attended the award ceremony.

McAvoy’s frequent research collaborator, former School of Kinesiology professor Stuart Schleien, shared in his nomination letter: “Leo’s work exemplified the ideals of integrating research with action, and I would regard him as one of our field’s outstanding scholars in his ability to share his knowledge, expertise, and experiences to multiple audiences.”

Congratulations, Professor Emeritus McAvoy!

Sato helps to edit new handbook on international teacher education

Professor Misty Sato in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction was part of the editorial team behind recently released SAGE Handbook of Research on Teacher Education. The handbook, co-edited by D. Jean Clandinin at the University of Alberta and Jukka Husu at the University of Turku, Finland, provides an international overview of the current landscape of teacher education, as well as insights about how research can influence future practices and policies.
Within the two-volume handbook, Sato edited “Section Nine: Learning with and from Assessments in Teacher Education.”

Watch a short description of the handbook and an interview with the co-editors:

Learn more about the teacher education degree programs and teacher education research in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction.

LaVoi quoted on women coaches in collegiate sports in Online Athens

Nicole LaVoi, Ph.D., Kinesiology senior lecturer and co-director of the Tucker Center, was quoted in an article in Online Athens discussing the South Carolina women’s basketball team, coached by Dawn Staley, which won this year’s national championship. “Female coaches are underrepresented in the power five,” she commented.  “That number has been very stagnant over the last 12 years.”

LaVoi went on to describe the challenges women coaches face in a field dominated by men in the Southeastern Conference and elsewhere.  Read the full article here.

 

 

Kinesiology doctoral student Arash Mahnan appointed to U’s Senate Information Technologies Committee

Arash Mahnan, Kinesiology Ph.D. student in Movement Science, has been appointed to the University’s Senate Information Technologies Committee (SITC). The committee represents the institution’s faculty, academic professional, civil service and student interests in the development, implementation, and distribution of information technologies at the U. The committee reports to the Senate and makes recommendations concerning policies and administration around information technologies.

The committee meets monthly and consists of eight faculty, four P&A, three students, and one civil service representative. The students include Mahnan, a representative from the Department of Engineering and one from the College of Continuing Education. The student representatives were chosen based on their background, experience and qualifications in the field of information technology. Mahnan will serve a two-year term on the committee.

LaVoi quoted in article on female coaches for The Atlantic

Nicole M. LaVoi, Ph.D., Kinesiology lecturer and co-director of the Tucker Center, was quoted in an online article in The Atlantic, “The Field Where Men Still Call the Shots,” on the reasoning behind the lack of female coaches in youth sports making lasting impressions on boys and girls.

The article discusses the decline of female coaches in both collegiate and youth sports, and how their absence affects youth that are involved. LaVoi is specifically quoted about research that has found that girls who are coached by men were less likely to pursue coaching careers than those led by women, saying, “When you only see men in positions of power, you conclude ‘sports are not for me.'” LaVoi organized and was a speaker at the 2017 Women Coaches Symposium.

 

 

Wiese-Bjornstal shares research in video interview with Halmstad University, Sweden

Diane Wiese-Bjornstal, Ph.D., professor and director of the Sports Medicine Psychology Lab (SMPL) in the School of Kinesiology, attended and presented at the International Society of Sport Psychology (ISSP) 14th World Congress Sevilla 2017, held July 10-14 in Seville, Spain. While attending the conference, Dr. Wiese-Bjornstal was interviewed by Sweden’s Halmstad University for a series of research chats.

In the interview, Wiese-Bjornstal discusses her SMPL research on religiosity and spirituality in coping with sport injuries.

Inoue, Heffernan publish in Sport Management Review

Yuhei Inoue, Ph.D., assistant professor of sport management, has published an article in the latest issue of Sport Management Review titled “Social and charitable impacts of a charity-affiliated sport event: A mixed methods study.” School of Kinesiology doctoral student Caroline Heffernan is second author on the article.

The paper is based on a study Inoue conducted at the Angkor Wat International Half Marathon in Siem Reap, Cambodia, and was supported by the Grant-in-Aid Program sponsored by the Office of the Vice President for Research at the U of M.

image of Yuhei Inoue
Yuhei Inoue
Caroline Heffernan

 

 

U of M alum, coach, teacher, and pro basketball Hall of Famer John Kundla dies at 101

A U of M alumnus, coach, and physical education instructor, a basketball Hall of Fame member, and one of the top coaches in NBA history has died at age 101.

John Kundla graduated from the U of M in 1939 and in 1941 became assistant basketball coach for the Gophers. Other pursuits intervened, including teaching and coaching at DeLaSalle High School, service in WWII, and coaching the Minneapolis Lakers professional basketball team, but Kundla returned to the U in the 1959-1960 season to become the first alumnus to serve as Gophers basketball coach.  He was the first U basketball coach to offer scholarships to African-Americans. Bobby Bell, who played on the Gophers football team that went to the Rose Bowl in 1961, became the first African-American to play for the basketball team. In the mid-1960s, future NBA All-Stars Archie Clark and Lou Hudson played for Kundla’s Gophers.

After the 1967-68 season, Kundla stepped down.  He continued to teach in the U’s Physical Education Department (now the School of Kinesiology) until retiring in 1981.

Read the complete obituary here.

 

 

 

Zeng, Pope, and adviser Gao publish in Liebert Open Access

School of Kinesiology Ph.D. student Nan Zeng and Ph.D. candidate Zachary Pope have published the article “Acute Effect of Virtual Reality Exercise Bike Games on College Students’ Physiological and Psychological Outcomes” with their adviser, Zan Gao, Ph.D., in the online publication Liebert OpenAcess. Dr. Gao is associate professor of kinesiology and director of the Physical Activity Epidemiology Laboratory. The article discusses the results of a pilot study that compared physiological and psychological responses following exercise on a virtual reality-based exercise bike (VirZoom) and traditional stationary exercise bike.

Nan Zeng
Zachary Pope
Zan Gao

 

Barr-Anderson is lead author on article in Journal of Adolescent Health

Dahiea Barr-Anderson, Ph.D., assistant professor in the School of Kinesiology and director of the Behavioral Physical Activity Laboratory, is lead Daheia J Barr-Andersonauthor on an article published in the Journal of Adolescent Health. “The Modifying Effects of Race/Ethnicity and Socioeconomic Status on the Change in Physical Activity From Elementary to Middle School” examines whether the association between the change in individual, interpersonal, and environmental factors and the change in physical activity is modified by race/ethnicity or SES.

 

 

Nicholas Evanoff, doctoral student, presents at 2017 TBI Summit

Nicholas Evanoff
Kara Marlatt
Donald Dengel

Nicholas Evanoff, M.S., a kinesiology doctoral student in the School’s  Laboratory of Integrative Human Physiology, presented at the Big Ten/Ivy League Traumatic Brain Injury Research Collaboration’s 2017 TBI Summit held in Rosemont, Illinois, on July 19.

The title of Mr. Evanoff’s presentation was “Effects of Multiple Sports-Related Concussions on Neurocognition and Cerebral Vascular Function.” Donald Dengel, Ph.D., professor in the School of Kinesiology and director of the Laboratory of Integrative Human Physiology, and Kara Marlatt, Ph.D., a 2015 graduate of the School of Kinesiology, were co-authors on the presentation.

 

Learning Technologies Media Lab releases climate change documentary on PBS

Professor Aaron Doering and his team of explorers and educators trek across the unforgiving arctic landscape by dog sled in order to deliver a real-time educational program to millions of students who follow along on the adventure. Their efforts have been captured in a documentary, “The Changing Earth: Crossing the Arctic,” co-produced by the Department of Curriculum and Instruction’s Learning Technologies Media Lab (LTML) and Twin Cities’ Public Television (TPT).

The Changing Earth project was conceived and led by Doering as a way to engage students in a real-world adventure by broadcasting from wherever they find themselves along the journey—on sleds, in tents, and across frozen treks to Inuit villages. “We focus on a culture, we focus on an environmental issue, and now we focus on a social issue,” says Doering of each new adventure-learning expedition.

The first arctic expedition in 2004 took six months. By the end of the trip, Doering was excited to see that they had over three million learners watching from around the world. The program introduces students and viewers to the challenges of the Arctic and the impact of climate change on its indigenous people in a way that resonates with young learners.

The Changing Earth documentary is now available for free on PBS for anyone interested in learning more about the hardships and thrills of crossing the arctic.

Consider supporting the work of LTML to continue the work of documenting the impact of climate change for all learners.

Find out more about the degree programs available in Learning Technologies in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction, which houses the LT Media Lab.

Konczak presents at International Conference of Robotic Rehabilitation in London

 Juergen Konczak, Ph.D., professor in the School of Kinesiology and director of the Human Sensorimotor Control Laboratory, gave an invited presentation at a workshop at the 15th International Conference of Robotic Rehabilitation (ICORR) at the Queen Elizabeth II Centre in London, UK. The conference was a part of the London Rehab Week, where around a thousand attendees discussed the newest trends in neurorehabilitation. Konczak presented an overview on the current state of how robotic medical devices can be used to diagnose sensory and motor deficits of neurological diseases.