Category Archives: Graduate Students

Kinesiology’s Madeleine Orr and Morgan Betker awarded wins at CEHD’s Three Minute Thesis competition

image of Morgan Betker and Madelleine Orr, winners at the CEHD 2017 Three Minute Thesis contest
Betker, left, and Orr at 3MT competition

Madeleine Orr and Morgan Betker, Kinesiology Ph.D. candidates and finalists in CEHD’s Research Day Three Minute Thesis (3MT) competition, won prizes in the Finalist Competition held today, March 28, at the McNamara Alumni Center.

Orr (sport management emphasis, advised by Dr. Yuhei Inoue) was awarded the $500 first prize for her presentation, “The Rhetoric vs. the Reality of Sport Event Legacies.” Betker (exercise physiology emphasis, advised by Dr. Eric Snyder) won the $250 People’s Choice award for her presentation, “Cardiovascular Health and Occupational Stress in Police Officers.”

The six finalists from five departments across the college had exactly 3 minutes to explain their research projects in an engaging and easy-to-understand format to a packed room in McNamara.

“Telling a compelling story about your research and its implications in less than 3 minutes is way harder than I thought it was going to be!” said Orr after the event. “But to represent Kinesiology with Morgan, and come away with such great results, was a great experience.”

Betker says, “As researchers, we don’t often get the opportunity to share our passion with people outside of our niche, nor hear others’ perspectives in their chosen emphasis. This competition was an excellent way to not only challenge ourselves and grow professionally, but to broaden our perspectives and find value in the work of fellow graduate students in other fields. I’m very grateful to have been a part of the experience.”

3MT is a worldwide competition that was introduced by the University of Queensland in 2008. This is the second year the college has held the event as part of CEHD Research Day. Judges for today’s event were Karen Kaler, University Associate; Mary Tjosvold, local entrepreneur, author, and humanitarian, and CEHD alumna; and Dr. John Wright, professor of African American and African Studies in the College of Liberal Arts.

Tianou Zhang, Kinesiology PhD candidate, to present at U’s Doctoral Research Showcase April 11

The University’s tenth annual Doctoral Research Showcase will include a presentation by Tianou Zhang, Kinesiology Ph.D. candidate and advisee of Li Li Ji, Ph.D., director of the School of Kinesiology.

The Showcase will be held Tuesday, April 11 from 12 p.m. – 2 p.m. in the Great Hall, Coffman Memorial Union.

The goal of the Doctoral Research Showcase is to help doctoral fellows develop their abilities to talk about their research to audiences outside of their disciplines and to gain exposure for their work with key stakeholders.

Mr. Zhang’s research presentation is “Dietary Antioxidant Protection Against Inflammation in Exercise and Obesity.” All Kinesiology colleagues are invited to attend and support Mr. Zhang.

For more information about the event or to view a list of all of this year’s participants, visit:

Ruth Rath, Kinesiology PhD student, and Wade to publish in EBioMedicine

Ruth Rath, Ph.D. student in Kinesiology,  and Michael Wade, Ph.D., professor in the School of Kinesiology, have written an article on posture and aging to be published in EBioMedicine, a journal that specializes in publishing research and commentary on translational medicine.

The title of the article is, “The two faces of postural control in older adults: Stability and Function.”

Wade is a research scientist in Kinesiology’s Affordance Perception-Action Laboratory (APAL) and Rath is a graduate assistant and graduate student researcher in the lab. She is advised by Wade and Kinesiology professor Tom Stoffregen, Ph.D.

Kinesiology Ph.D. candidate Kim will publish in Korean Journal of Sociology of Sport

Young Ho Kim, Ph.D. candidate in the School of Kinesiology, has had a paper accepted for publication in the Korean Journal of Sociology of Sport. The paper, entitled “The Normalization of Sport Corruption and Interdependence of the Factors: Symbiosis of Threefolding’s Organism,” examines 1) how sport corruption is normalized in certain sport organizations and societies, and 2) how sport corruption, through the process of normalization, is produced and reproduced in their organic system. Young is advised by Michael G. Wade, Ph.D., and Rayla Allison, JD.

HSCL colleagues’ article listed as one of most influential papers of 2016 by Veterinary Clinics: Equine Practice

The journal Veterinary Clinics: Equine Practice has published a summary of the most influential papers in equine medicine for 2016. One of these is by Human Sensorimotor Control Laboratory (HSCL) colleagues in collaboration with a group of equine veterinarians from the University of Minnesota/Michigan State University. The paper is entitled “The Equine Movement Disorder “Shivers” Is Associated with Selective Cerebellar Purkinje Cell Axonal Degeneration.”

Valberg SJ, Lewis SS, Shivers JL, Barnes NE, Konczak J, Draper AC, Armién AG. Vet Pathol. 2015 Nov;52(6):1087-98. doi: 10.1177/0300985815571668

Betker and Orr are finalists in CEHD Three Minute Thesis Competition

Morgan Betker
Madeleine Orr

Two Kinesiology doctoral candidates are finalists in CEHD’s Research Day competition, Three Minute Thesis (3MT), which will be held March 28  from 10-11 a.m. in the McNamara Alumni Center Johnson Room.

Morgan Betker (exercise physiology emphasis) and Madeleine Orr (sport management emphasis) will be competing with six doctoral students from across the college for the first prize of $500. Prizes of $250 will go to the runner-up and people’s choice. The finalists were chosen from a preliminary round competition held last week.

Ms. Betker’s presentation is “Cardiovascular Health and Occupational Stress in Police Officers” and Ms. Orr’s presentation is “The rhetoric vs. the reality of sport event legacies.”

3MT is an annual competition held in over 200 universities worldwide. It’s designed to challenge Ph.D. students to present their research in just three minutes in an engaging format that can be understood by an audience with no background in their discipline. The competition is intended to help students develop a presentation on their research and hone their academic communication skills to explain their work effectively to a general audience.

Judges in the CEHD competition are Karen Kaler, University Associate; Mary Tjosvold, local entrepreneur, author, and humanitarian, and CEHD alumna; and Dr. John Wright, professor of African-American and African Studies in the College of Liberal Arts.

Pope awarded $1200 COGS Travel Grant to present at SHAPE America’s national convention 

Zachary Pope, Ph.D. candidate in the School of Kinesiology, has been awarded a $1200 Council of Graduate Students (COGS) Travel Grant to present two posters and give one oral presentation at the Society for Health and Physical Educators (SHAPE) America National Convention held in Boston March 14-18. Pope is advised by Zan Gao, Ph.D., associate professor and director of the Physical Activity Epidemiology Laboratory.

COGS is a University-wide student organization that represents, advocates for, and supports graduate students at the U of M. The travel grant supports students who present original work at a conference with a poster, oral presentation, or other acceptable format.  The maximum award is $1200.

While at the SHAPE America Convention, Pope will also be awarded a 2017 Research Council Graduate Student Research Award by SHAPE America for his project, “Validity of Smartwatches in Assessing Energy Expenditure and Heart Rate.”

Russell, White, and Wiese-Bjornstal publish study in Sage Publications

School of Kinesiology alumna Hayley Russell, Ph.D. (2014), is the lead author on an article just released by Sage Publications. Co-authors are Andrew White, Kinesiology Ph.D. student, and their adviser, Diane Wiese-Bjornstal, Ph.D., Kinesiology professor. Dr. Russell is currently a faculty member at Gustavus Adolphus College in St. Peter, MN.

The complete citation is: Russell, H. C., White, A. C., & Wiese-Bjornstal, D. M. (2017). Physical and psychological changes during marathon training and running injuries: An interdisciplinary, repeated-measures approach. SAGE research methods cases. London, UK: Sage Publications.

HSC lab publishes on exercise and brain dysfunction

Y-Ting Tseng, Sanaz Khosravani, and Arash Mahnan, all graduate students in the Human Sensorimotor Control Laboratory (HSCL), together with their adviser Juergen Konczak, Ph.D., professor and lab director, published in the journal Kinesiology Review. Their review titled “Exercise as Medicine for the Treatment of Brain Dysfunction: Evidence for Cortical Stroke, Cerebellar Ataxia, and Parkinson’s Disease” addresses the role of exercise as an intervention for treating neurological disease. It focuses on three major neurological diseases that either present in acute or neurodegenerative forms—Parkinson’s disease, cerebellar ataxia, and cortical stroke.

The paper is part of a series of invited papers from the National Academy of Kinesiology that appear in Kinesiology Review. Maureen Weiss, Ph.D. serves as the current editor of the journal.

Wiese-Bjornstal will present at Florida State University’s SPEAR conference

Wiese-BjornstalD-2015On February 9, Diane Wiese-Bjornstal, Ph.D., professor in the School of Kinesiology and director of the Sports Medicine Psychology Lab,  will be the keynote speaker at  Florida State University’s Sport Professionals’ Experience and Research (SPEAR) conference hosted by the student-led graduate organization, Sport Psychology Organization & Research Team (SPORT). Dr. Wiese-Bjornstal will be giving two invited lectures about evidence-based research and evidence-based practice in sports medicine psychology.

Wiese-Bjornstal, alumna Russell, publish in SAGE Research Methods


Diane Wiese-Bjornstal, Ph.D., professor in the School of Kinesiology, and Ph.D. alumna Hayley Russell, ’14, have published a research methods case study in SAGE Research Methods Cases. Russell is an assistant professor in the Department of Health and Exercise Science at Gustavus Adolphus College in St. Peter, MN. The case is titled “A Narrative Approach to Understanding Psychological Stories of Overuse Injuries Among Long-Distance Runners,” and it investigates the experiences of athletes with overuse injuries, specifically long-distance runners, by means of a narrative methodology.

Read the full study here.


Kinesiology graduate student Kate Uithoven is lead author on article in Journal of Vascular Diagnostics and Interventions

Kate Uithoven, M.S./Ph.D. student in the School of Kinesiology, is the lead author of an article published in the Journal of Vascular Diagnostics and Interventions. The article entitled “Determination of bilateral symmetry of carotid artery structure and function in children and adolescents” examines symmetry of carotid arteries in youth using high-resolution ultrasound. Donald R. Dengel, Ph.D., Kinesiology professor and director of the Laboratory of Integrative Human Physiology, and Nicholas Evanoff, Ph.D. student in the School of Kinesiology, are co-authors on the article.

Kinesiology doctoral student Kim to publish in Korean Journal of Sociology of Sport

Young Ho Kim, Ph.D. student in the School of Kinesiology, has had a paper accepted for publication in the Korean Journal of Sociology of Sport. The paper, “Conceptualization and Analysis of Interpretative Perspectives of Sport Corruption Through Literature Review: Agreement and Difference,” examines how sport corruption is conceptualized and analyzes the different interpretative perspectives of sport corruption in certain sport organizations and society. In order to conceptualize sport corruption, prefigured technical strategy, an analysis strategy discussed by Crabtree and Miller (1992), was used. Prefigured categories are classified as competition sport corruption and management sport corruption, discussed by Maenning (2006). In order to analyze how types of sport corruption in the prefigured categories are interpreted differently in sport organizations and society, Luo’s (2004) characteristics of corruption was used as a theoretical frame.

Young is advised by Michael G. Wade, Ph.D., and Rayla Allison, JD.

Physical Activity Epidemiology Laboratory researchers publish in Journal of Sport and Health Science and Preventive Medicine 

Doctoral students Nan Zeng, Zachary Pope, June Lee, and associate professor Zan Gao, Ph.D., from the School of Kinesiology, recently published an article titled “A systematic review of active video games on rehabilitative outcomes among older patients” in Journal of Sport and Health Science. Mr. Zeng is the lead author on the article. The study systematically reviewed literature, summarized findings, and evaluated the effectiveness of Active Video Games (AVGs) as a therapeutic tool in improving physical, psychological, and cognitive rehabilitative outcomes among older adults with chronic diseases. The study found AVGs have potential in rehabilitation for older patients, though more research is warranted to make more definitive conclusions.

In addition, Zachary Pope published “The effects of active video games on patients’ rehabilitative outcomes: A meta-analysis” recently in Preventive Medicine. Co-authors are Nan Zeng and Zan Gao, Ph.D. The review examined the effectiveness of active video games in rehabilitation settings. When compared to traditional rehabilitation methods, findings indicated active video games to have a large positive effect on balance control in youth/young adults and a moderate positive effect on older adults’ falls efficacy. More research is needed, however, particularly as pertains to the use of active video gaming in cognitive rehabilitation.

Dr. Zan Gao
Dr. Zan Gao
Nan Zeng
Nan Zeng
Zachary Pope
Zachary Pope
June Lee
June Lee

Pope awarded SHAPE America’s 2017 Research Council Graduate Student Research Award

Zach PopeZachary Pope, Ph.D. student and graduate assistant in the School of Kinesiology, was awarded a 2017 Research Council Graduate Student Research Award by SHAPE America for his project, “Validity of Smartwatches in Assessing Energy Expenditure and Heart Rate.” Pope is advised by Zan Gao, Ph.D., associate professor of physical activity and health in Kinesiology.
The Graduate Student Research Award is given to an outstanding author and presenter of a research program for the SHAPE America national convention. The award is intended to recognize and encourage graduate student scholarship.  Pope also was awarded a SHAPE America Graduate Student Grant in 2015 for his research project, “Promoting Physical Activity through Smartphone Apps in Overweight/Obese College Students.”

Richardson, Orr receive Mini Grant from the Institute on the Environment

Ms. Orr
portrait image of Tiffany Richardson taken in 2015
Dr. Richardson

Tiffany Richardson, Ph.D., Sport Management lecturer in the School of Kinesiology, and Madeleine Orr, Ph.D. student in Kinesiology (sport management emphasis) have been awarded a $3,000 Institute on the Environment (IonE) Mini Grant. The grant will be used for their research project, “Carless Tailgating: A Safe and Sustainable Alternative to a Sporting Tradition.” Carless tailgating is a highlight of the football season at the University of Colorado-Boulder, and has been shown to result in a more environmentally responsible and safer celebratory environment. Richardson and Orr are collaborating on the grant with Shane Stennes, Director of Sustainability at the U of M, and Dave Newport, Director of the Environmental Center at the University of Colorado-Boulder.

Andrew White presents at AASP conference, awarded COGS Travel Grant

whiteandrew-2016School of Kinesiology Ph.D. candidate Andrew White presented his research, “An applied behavior analysis approach to reducing poor sportsmanship and injury rates in youth football,” at the 31st Annual Association for Applied Sport Psychology Conference (AASP) held Sept. 28-Oct. 1 in Phoenix, AZ. White presented and attended the conference through a travel grant award from the Council of Graduate Students (COGS). He is an advisee of Prof. Diane Wiese-Bjornstal.

Gao, Lee, and Pope have study published in Games for Health Journal

Director of the School of Kinesiology’s Physical Activity Epidemiology Laboratory, Zan Gao,  Ph.D., and doctoral students/co-authors June Lee and Zachary Pope, had a recent study published in Games for Health Journal.

The study investigated the effect of school-based active video games on underserved minority children’s on-task classroom behavior, academic effort, and cardiovascular fitness over the course of a 6-week intervention. Findings indicated children’s on-task classroom behavior and academic effort to increase significantly over time. However, while improvements in cardiovascular fitness were seen over time, these improvements were not significant. Nonetheless, findings indicated that a school-based active video gaming program may be able to promote improved classroom behavior and academic effort–possibly by decreasing children’s self-stimulated behavior following gameplay. Read the full article here.

June Lee
Dr. Zan Gao
Dr. Zan Gao
Zachary Pope

Kinesiology students present research at Association of Applied Sport Psychology annual conference

The School of Kinesiology was well represented at the 2016 annual conference for the Association of Applied Sport Psychology held Sept 28-Oct 1 in Phoenix. AZ.

Ph.D. student Kristin Wood presented a talk on “Increasing Rehabilitation Adherence through Game-based Technology” and  Ph.D. candidate Andrew White presented a portion of his dissertation research on reducing poor sportsmanship and injury rates in youth football.  Kristin and Andrew are members of the Sports Medicine Psychology Lab and are advised by Diane Wiese-Bjornstal, Ph.D., professor of sport and exercise psychology.

Lauren Billing, Ph.D. student, presented “Understanding pre-performance routines in marathon runners: Focus groups on task-relevant thoughts” with adviser Beth Lewis, Ph.D., and Hailee Moehnke, M.S. student advised by Maureen Weiss, Ph.D.


Wiese-Bjornstal will present at Inaugural Global Congress on Sports and Christianity in York, England

Wiese-BjornstalD-2015Diane Wiese-Bjornstal, Ph.D., professor in the School of Kinesiology,  will be attending the Inaugural Global Congress on Sports and Christianity in York, England, August 24 – 28. She is one of the organizers of the thematic area, Sport, Psychology, and Christianity, and will be giving a presentation entitled “Sports Medicine Psychology and Christianity.” Her talk will represent Kinesiology’s Sports Medicine Psychology Lab (SMPL) research completed in collaboration with Kinesiology students Kristin Wood (PhD) , Andrew White (PhD), and Amanda Wambach (BS), and visiting Fulbright Scholar Professor Victor Rubio of the University of Autonoma Madrid.  Details about the congress can be found here.