Category Archives: Labs & Centers

Wiese-Bjornstal and former advisee Hayley Russell publish article in Quest

Diane Wiese Bjornstal, Ph.D.Diane Wiese-Bjornstal, Ph.D., professor in the School of Kinesiology and director of the Sports Medicine Psychology Laboratory, and former advisee Hayley Russell, Ph.D., have published an article in Quest with two other colleagues.

Physical Activity in Former Competitive Athletes: The Physical and Psychological Impact of Musculoskeletal Injury”  investigates the impacts of injury on the physical activity of competitive athletes after retirement.

Dr. Russell, who received her Ph.D. in 2014, is assistant professor of Health and Exercise Science at Gustavus Adolphus College in St. Peter, MN.

 

 

Stoffregen and colleagues publish in Aerospace Medicine and Human Performance

School of Kinesiology professor Tom Stoffregen, Ph.D., and co-authors Chih-Hui Chang, Wei-Ching Kung, and Fu-Chen Chen, have published an article in Aerospace Medicine and Human Performance. The article, “Effects of Physical Driving Experience on Body Movement and Motion Sickness During Virtual Driving,” studied body movement and motion sickness reactions of individuals, separated by age/experience driving physical automobiles, during driving of virtual automobiles in a video game.

Dr. Chen and Dr. Chang are both School of Kinesiology Ph.D. graduates, and Dr. Change was a visiting scholar in the School in 2012.

 

 

Lewis and McAvoy are featured in December 2017 issue of Connect

Connect, the magazine of the College of Education and Human Development, features two School of Kinesiology faculty/emeritus faculty in the December 2017 issue.

Beth Lewis, Ph.D., School director and professor, is featured in “Healthy Moms,” a story about her research in the areas of motivational interventions for physical activity and the relationship between exercise and mental health, and her pivotal studies focused on the role of exercise in preventing postpartum depression. She is also working on a new research project on postpartum depression prevention beginning during pregnancy and continuing through the postpartum phase.

Leo McAvoy, Ph.D., professor emeritus of recreation, park, and leisure studies in the School, was presented the Outstanding Achievement Award last July, the highest honor presented to a University alumnus.  “Everybody outside!” recounts his many years as an inspiring, involved, and beloved professor and scholar, driven by deep commitment to and respect for the power of nature and his belief in the value of hands-on education.

East African Mother-Daughter study participants celebrate “graduation”

image of Muna Mohamed and Chelsey Thul
Muna Mohamed and Chelsey Thul

On December 1, the study, “Impact of an East African Mother-Daughter Physical Activity Program and Co-Designed Activewear” (a follow-up to Thul and colleagues’ 2013-15 study, “Impact of Culturally Sensitive Apparel Co-Design on the Physical Activity of East African Adolescent Girls”), held a “graduation party” at the Cedar Riverside Community School in Minneapolis to celebrate the completion of their year-long, ground-breaking study.  The study introduced young East African girls and their mothers to ways to engage in healthy living and included the design and production of culturally sensitive activewear.

The study was conducted by:

  • Chelsey Thul, Ph.D., lecturer in the School of Kinesiology, together with:
  • Muna Mohamed, kinesiology graduate student;
  • Elizabeth Bye, Ph.D., professor and department head of the Apparel Design Program in the College of Design;
  • Robin Carufel, apparel design graduate student;
  • Jennifer Weber, community partnership coordinator and student activities director, Cedar Riverside Community School; and
  • Mary Marczak, director of Urban Family Development and Evaluation, U of M Extension.

Beginning last January, East African daughters and their mothers in the Cedar-Riverside neighborhood met every Monday evening for 10 weeks at the People’s Center to participate in physical activities (e.g., basketball, yoga, strength training), learn about healthy eating, prepare and eat a healthy snack together, and design their own culturally appropriate physical activity outfit. They also learned sewing basics, including how to sew on a button, use sewing machines, and sew a bag to carry their activewear. After the weekly programming ended and while the activewear was being produced, the program facilitated every other month field trips to the Science Museum, Minnesota Zoo, and YWCA that continued to incorporate physical activity and healthy eating.

At the graduation, the daughters and mothers had fun revealing and wearing their new outfits, enjoying a celebratory meal and cake, receiving program completion certifications, and opening their thank you gifts including an additional gym bag, athletic shoes, and a three-month family gym membership.

This project is supported by a grant from University of Minnesota Extension. Survey data was collected throughout the program. Additionally, focus groups were conducted with the daughters and mothers prior to the graduation to learn about their experiences with the program, as well as the impact the physical activity and nutrition lessons and experiences and new activewear have had on their healthy living. The data will be analyzed this spring…Stay tuned for the results!

See more photos here …

Elangovan, Konczak publish in Nature Scientific Reports

 Naveen Elangovan, Ph.D., post-doctorate researcher the Human Sensorimotor Control Laboratory (HSCL), is the first author of an article titled “A robot-aided visuo-motor training that improves proprioception and spatial accuracy of untrained movement” that is published in The Nature Scientific Reports.

The study examined to what extent a sensory training of body leads to improvements in motor function.  The study found that a short 45-min training is already sufficient to see changes in the accuracy of perceiving joint position and joint movement. This project was a collaboration with engineering colleagues at Nanyang Technological University of Singapore and Harvard University, USA. Co-authors are former HSCL member Joshua Aman, Ph.D. and lab director Jürgen Konczak,  Ph.D.

LaVoi participates in 43rd class of NCAA Women Coaches Academy

image of Nicole LaVoi and Missy Price smiling
Nicole Lavoi, Missy Price

Nicole LaVoi, Ph.D., senior lecturer in the School of Kinesiology and co-director of the Tucker Center, participated in the 43rd class of the NCAA Women Coaches Academy (WCA) and the inaugural master class of Academy 2.0 hosted by the Alliance of Women Coaches (AWC) in Englewood, CO, last week.

Forty-eight female coaches of all experience levels and sports from NCAA Divisions I, II and III gathered for four days of non-sport-specific educational training at the NCAA WCA. In response to a desire for additional growth opportunities from graduates of the NCAA Women Coaches Academy, the Alliance created Academy 2.0, a master class for WCA graduates. Class #1 of Academy 2.0 consisted of ten female coaches representing various sports across the country.

Missy Price, who received her Ph.D. from the University of Virginia in 2010 and was advised by the School of Kinesiology’s Maureen Weiss, Ph.D.,  was selected as the Cecile Reynaud Coaching Mastery Award winner for Academy 2.0 Class #1. Price is the head soccer coach at Wellesley College.

Dengel publishes article in the International Journal of Molecular Sciences

Donald Dengel, Ph.D., professor in the School of Kinesiology and director of the Laboratory of Integrative Human Physiology, is a co-author of an article recently published online in the International Journal of Molecular Sciences.

This article titled “The Carotid Intima-Media Thickness and Arterial Stiffness of Pediatric Mucopolysaccharidosis Patients Are Increased Compared to Both Pediatric and Adult Controls” examined vascular health in children with the genetic disease mucopolysaccharidoses (MPS). The data from this study suggested that children with mucopolysaccharidoses demonstrated a “structural vascular age” similar to adults who were 40 years older. Indicating the advanced development of cardiovascular disease.

 

Pope panelist at CEHD Doctoral Dissertation Fellowship workshop

Zachary Pope, Ph.D. candidate in the School of Kinesiology and advised by Kinesiology associate professor Zan Gao, Ph.D., was one of three current Doctoral Dissertation Fellowship recipients invited to speak at the CEHD Doctoral Dissertation Fellowship Workshop on November 17. Along with three CEHD faculty, Pope and the two other current Doctoral Dissertation Fellowship recipients discussed how to best construct a strong Doctoral Dissertation Fellowship application packet, with a large focus on drafting the associated research proposal to the 90 doctoral students in attendance. The workshop video is available on YouTube.

The Doctoral Dissertation Fellowship gives the University’s most accomplished Ph.D. candidates an opportunity to devote full-time effort to an outstanding research project by providing time to finalize and write a dissertation during the fellowship year. This award includes a stipend of $25,000 for the academic year (September-May), tuition for up to 14 thesis credits each semester (fall & spring), and subsidized health insurance through the Graduate Assistant Health Plan.

Gao delivers graduate course at Hunan University

Huan University graduate students participating in course lectured by Dr. Gao

Zan Gao, Ph.D., associate professor in the School of Kinesiology and director of the Physical Activity Epidemiology Laboratory, has been selected as the Foreign Outstanding Instructor by Hunan University in the People’s Republic of China in 2017. Hunan University is a top tier research university in China.

During his trip in November 2017, Gao delivered a graduate course titled “Emerging Technology in Physical Activity and Health Promotion” to approximately 30 graduate students at Hunan University (Changsha, China). This course was designed for graduate students to develop an in-depth and comprehensive understanding of what it means to introduce and apply emerging technologies in physical activity and healthcare settings. It demonstrated the important role emerging technologies play in a grand societal challenge – health/wellbeing – within the dramatically changing society. In addition, students were exposed to a variety of real-world physical activity and health care settings, as well as the related ethics, privacy, and research regulations working in the settings. They gained a user-centered understanding from the perspective of physical activity specialists, applied emerging technologies in promoting physical activity participation among various populations, and developed research skills to promote physical activity and health in these real-world settings.

Gao’s total accumulated lecture time was 32 hours, and the students received 2 credit hours toward their graduate degrees. Gao’s lectures have been well-received by the students and faculty members at Hunan University. 

 

Weiss gives invited presentation at The First Tee’s 20th anniversary network meeting

Maureen Weiss, Ph.D., professor in the School of Kinesiology, gave an invited presentation at the 20th anniversary network meeting of The First Tee on November 11 in Orlando, FL.

In her presentation titled, “How Research Informs Everything We Do,” Weiss shared findings from four years of longitudinal research that provide evidence of effectiveness of life skills learning, and how executive directors, board members, and chapter volunteers can use the data for marketing and fundraising purposes for their program.

The First Tee is a youth development organization whose curriculum and coach training program are designed to teach life skills and core values using golf as the vehicle. The organization impacts the lives of young people from all walks of life by reinforcing values like respect, integrity, confidence, and perseverance.

 

Panel discussion on challenges, future landscape of Twin Cities sports industry featured in Minneapolis Spokesman-Review

A November 8 panel discussion at TCF Bank Stadium, “Challenges and Future Landscape of the Twin Cities Sports Industry,” was covered by the Minneapolis Spokesman-Review. Lisa Kihl, Ph.D., associate professor in the School of Kinesiology and co-coordinator of the event, was quoted, along with representatives from local sports teams.

Their comments and concerns ranged from how the availability of big data drives the decision-making process to how social media has made information on players and teams available to fans instantly, making games “live events.” With six professional teams in the metropolitan area, the competition for attracting fans can be challenging. The Spokesman-Review reporter asked the panelists about efforts to increase fan diversity.  All pointed to efforts to improve outreach, but “there’s room for growth” said Bryan Donaldson, Minnesota Twins Senior Community Relations director.

 

Konczak, Tseng publish article in Frontiers in Human Neuroscience

Jürgen Konczak, Ph.D., professor in the School of Kinesiology and director of the Human Sensorimotor Control Laboratory, is a co-author on an article recently published in Frontiers in Human Neuroscience.  Age-Related Decline of Wrist Position Sense and its Relationship to Specific Physical Training” examines the effects of aging on proprioception (a person’s perception of their limb and body positions necessary for motor control) by comparing wrist acuity in older and younger populations, and explores the effects of  training or regular physical activity on preserved wrist proprioception.

Konczak’s former advisee Yu-Ting Tseng, Ph.D. (2017), is also an author on the article. She is currently a post-doc at the Division of Child Health Research, Institute of Population Health Sciences in the National Health Research Institutes (NHRI) in Zhunan, Taiwan.

 

Dengel speaks at Hamline University

Donald R. Dengel, Ph.D., professor in the School of Kinesiology and director of the Laboratory of Integrative Human Physiology, presented at Hamline University, Biology Department on November 10. The title of Dr. Dengel’s talk was, “Pediatric Vascular Health: Growing Up.”

Dengel gives talk at University of Maryland

On November 15, Donald R. Dengel, Ph.D., professor in the School of Kinesiology and director of the Laboratory of Integrative Human Physiology, presented at the University of Maryland’s School of Public Health. The title of Dr. Dengel’s talk was, “Obesity and Pediatric Vascular Dysfunction: What are the Solutions?”

 

NYTimes quotes Kane on Thomas, Liberty sale

Dr. Mary Jo KaneMary Jo Kane,  Ph.D., professor in the School of Kinesiology and co-director of the Tucker Center for Research on Girls and Women in Sport, is quoted in a New York Times article, “With the Liberty for Sale, What’s Next for Isiah Thomas?” Kane “said that providing team stability and being committed to making the Liberty a world-class organization ‘does not excuse his past behavior.'”

Raymond-Pope, Dengel, and Bosch publish in Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research

Kinesiology doctoral student Christiana Raymond-Pope is lead author on an article written with kinesiology professor Donald Dengel, Ph.D., and Tyler Bosch, Ph.D., and published in The Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research. 

The article, “Total and Segmental Body Composition Examination in Collegiate Football Players Using Multifrequency Bia and Dxa,” examines the influence of player position on the agreement between two different means of measurement used in assessing total and segmental percent body fat.

Raymond-Pope is currently advised by Dengel, and Bosch is a former advisee who graduated with his Ph.D. in kinesiology in 2014. Dengel is the director of the Laboratory of Integrative Human Physiology in the School of Kinesiology.

 

LaVoi and Baeth publish in The Palgrave Handbook of Feminism and Sport, Leisure and Physical Education, 2018

Nicole LaVoi, Ph.D., senior lecturer and co-director of the Tucker Center for Research on Girls and Women in Sport in the School of Kinesiology, and Anna Baeth, Kinesiology Ph.D.student and advisee of Lavoi, have published a chapter in the The Palgrave Handbook of Feminism and Sport, Leisure and Physical Education, 2018. The article, “Women and Sports Coaching,” addresses the ways scholarship can be used to inform and influence the goal to increase the number of women coaching sports, currently in the minority around the world.

 

Stoffregen publishes with colleagues in PLOS ONE

Thomas Stoffregen, Ph.D., professor in the School of Kinesiology and director of the Affordance Perception-Action Laboratory (APAL) published the article “Effects of decades of physical driving on body movement and motion sickness during virtual driving”  in PLOS ONE, one of the premiere peer-reviewed open access scientific journals.

Co-authors are Chui-Hui Chang, Fu-Chen Chen, and Wei-Jhong Zeng, all researchers at the Department of Physical Education at the National Kaohsiung Normal University in Kaohsiung, Taiwan. Chui-Hui Chang and Fu-Chen Chen received their Ph.D. in kinesiology from the University of Minnesota, where they were co-advised by Dr. Michael Wade and Stoffregen.

Kinesiology master’s student Joey Kronzer presents at AASP conference through COGS Travel Grant award

Joey KronzerJoey Kronzer, a School of Kinesiology second year master’s student in the Sports Medicine Psychology Lab, presented his research, “Using E-Prime 2.0 to develop sport-specific video analysis training protocols,” at the 32nd Annual Association for Applied Sport Psychology Conference (AASP) held Oct. 18–Oct. 21 in Orlando, FL. Kronzer presented and attended at the conference through a travel grant award from the Council of Graduate Students (COGS).

Kronzer is an advisee of Diane Wiese-Bjornstal, Ph.D.

 

NIH awards grant to Konczak lab to develop technology for treating a voice disorder

Jürgen Konczk, Ph.D.
Arash Mahnan, Ph.D. student

Jürgen Konczak, Ph.D., professor in the School of Kinesiology is the principal investigator on an NIH funded grant program administered through the University’s Office of Discovery and Translation that seeks to promote new therapies for rare diseases. The project will design and build a device that will improve the symptoms of a voice disorder called spasmodic dysphonia (SD).

People with SD experience involuntary spasms of the laryngeal musculature that leads to a strained or choked speech. There is no cure for the disease and speech therapy is ineffective. The device will alter how it feels when one speaks. The idea behind the technology is that this sensory trick will help patients to improve their voice quality.  The device development and its testing will be conducted in Konczak’s Human Sensorimotor Control Laboratory.

Arash Mahnan, biomedical engineer and doctoral student in the HSC lab will serve as primary research assistant for this project.