CEHD News Kinesiology

CEHD News Kinesiology

Weiss’s work with innovative program, Girls on the Run, featured in Connect

Maureen Weiss, Ph.D., professor in the School of Kinesiology, was featured along with her research in the Spring issue of Connect, the magazine of the College of Education and Human Development.

The article, Girls on the Run, focuses on Weiss’s work in determining the success of an innovative youth development program that uses running and other physical activities as a platform for teaching life skills and healthy habits. Girls on the Run was started in 1996 in Charlotte, NC, with a small group of 13 girls, and has grown to over 200 councils in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. Weiss’ study was designed to evaluate whether the organization was effective in achieving its goals. Her study results revealed that girls participating in the program compared favorably to a control group in their ability to manage emotions, resolve conflict, help others, and make intentional decisions. In addition, girls who started the program below the group average made
dramatic and lasting improvement in physical activity level, confidence, and connection to others.


LaVoi, Tucker Center report data cited in the Kansan

The University of Kansas’ Daily Kansan article, “Kansas athletes and coaches see importance in women leadership,” cites data available in the Tucker Center‘s Women Coaches Research Series & Report Card and quotes Tucker Center Co-director and School of Kinesiology senior lecturer Nicole M. LaVoi, Ph.D., with the Kansas’ low report card score and LaVoi speaking on what language such as “choosing the best coach” is actually code for.

Fourth China Champions cohort graduates

Wen Tong, Yilin Yang, Jill Griffiths, Yafei Chu, Fei Xie, Shujiao Jin

Participants in the fourth annual China Champions Program (CCP) were celebrated at their Graduation Celebration on Thursday, April 19, at Burton Hall Atrium. Jean Quam, dean of the College of Education and Human Development, Beth Lewis, director of the School of Kinesiology, Li Li Ji, professor and founder of the program, and Meredith McQuaid, associate vice president and dean for Global Programs and Strategy Alliance highlighted the importance of this cultural and educational exchange between the University of Minnesota and Beijing Sport University.

During the 2017-18 academic year, the five Chinese Olympic and world champion athletes in the China Champions Program (CCP) attended specially designed courses in the School of Kinesiology. CCP provides academic courses, seminars, workshops and English as a Second Language (ESL) classes to elite athletes from China as a collaborative educational project with Beijing Sport University (BSU).

Guests at the Graduation Celebration were impressed with a slideshow and a performance that highlighted the scholar-athlete’s experiences during their time in Minnesota. Special thanks goes to Jill Griffiths, director of the 2017-18 China Champions Program, who organized a comprehensive schedule of outreach opportunities and social events in addition to the educational program.

Congratulations to this year’s participants in the China Champions Program!

  • Fei Xie (Sophia), Rhythmic Gymnastics
  • Shujiao Jin (Caroline), Judo
  • Wen Tong (Wendy), Judo
  • Yafei Chu (Robert), Race Walking
  • Yilin Yang (Amy), Gymnastics

See Flickr photos and the performance video clip:



Inoue’s Fans of Health project featured in CEHD Connect magazine

Yuhei Inoue, Ph.D., assistant professor of sport management in the School of Kinesiology, is featured and profiled in the Spring/Summer 2018 issue of CEHD Connect. The article, Fans for Health, highlights Inoue’s research in ways that sports spectatorship can lead to a sense of belonging, specifically in older adults.

Inoue partnered with Daniel Wann, a psychology professor in Kentucky, and they won funding for a pilot study from the North American Society for Sport Management. Inoue and Wann collaborated with Minnetonka Senior Services, having half of the study participants attend University of Minnesota volleyball games. Participants were surveyed after attending the games, and the results found that participants felt a closer bond to the volleyball team and the senior services center. From the results, Inoue is currently developing an associated theory.

New Gopher asst coach, Kinesiology alumna Roysland Curry named CEHD Rising Alumni

Kelly Roysland Curry, School of Kinesiology alumna in Sport Management (B.S. in 2007) and Kinesiology (M.Ed. in 2009), was named a  2018 Rising Alumni this month by the CEHD Alumni Society, which recognizes “rising alumni from across our college who have achieved early distinction in their careers, demonstrated emerging leadership, or shown exceptional volunteer service in their communities.” On April 23, she became the new assistant coach for the Gopher Women’s Basketball team.

Roysland Curry played for the Gophers from 2004-07, and coached both at the U of M and at Macalester College after graduation, demonstrating her skills and leadership on the court and with her work in the community. She will be assisting Lindsay Whalen, another Kinesiology alumna, who is new head coach of Gopher Women’s Basketball.


Dual degree M.Ed. student Yue Xue publishes in International Review of Sociology of Sport

Yue Xue

Yue Xue, Sport Management M.Ed. student, has published a paper in the journal, International Review of Sociology of Sport. She is the lead author on the article, “Media portrayal of sportswomen in East Asia: A systematic review.”

Xue is in the dual degree program for the M.Ed. in Sport Management, a collaboration between Shanghai Jiao Tong University (SJTU) and the School of Kinesiology. She and fellow student Shulin Li began the program last fall.  Xue was a student in KIN5511 Sport and Gender taught by Jo Ann Buysse, Ph.D., and Buysse encouraged her to publish the project/paper that she wrote for the class. “I really appreciate Dr. Buysse’s encouragement and help,” says Xue. “I also appreciate that the Kinesiology department provides such an amazing class.”

Xue and Li were highlighted in an article last fall in All Things Kinsidered.

Ph.D. candidate Katlyn Koepp receives research award from Mayo Clinic

Katlyn Koepp, Kinesiology doctoral candidate and member of the Laboratory of Integrative Human Physiology (LIHP), recently received the Department of Cardiovascular Disease Circulatory Failure Research Award from the Mayo Clinic. The grant project, titled “Exercise Capacity and Abdominal Visceral Adipose Tissue in non-HFpEF controls,” will examine the roles of aerobic capacity and abdominal visceral adipose tissue in heart failure patients.

Koepp is advised by Donald R. Dengel, Ph.D., professor of kinesiology and director of the LIHP.


HSC lab publishes in Neuroscience Letters

The Human Sensorimotor Control Laboratory (HSCL) directed by Juergen Konczak, Ph.D., professor in the School of Kinesiology, recently published in the journal Neuroscience Letters. Yu-Ting Tseng, Ph.D. a former lab member of HSCL, is the primary author of the article. Their study, titled “Wrist position sense acuity and its relation to motor dysfunction in children with developmental coordination disorder” is about developmental coordination disorder and examined the relationship of wrist proprioceptive impairment with fine motor and balance function.

Developmental coordination disorder (DCD) is a neurodevelopmental disorder that affects about 6% of school-age children. It is characterized by uncoordinated movements and poor motor skill learning. DCD significantly interferes with a child’s activities of daily living and academic performance. It has long been assumed that impaired body awareness (proprioception) is compromised in children with DCD and that proprioceptive deficits underlie the motor problems in children. This is the second study in a series that objectively assessed proprioceptive status in children with DCD and documents that DCD is indeed associated with a proprioceptive dysfunction, which likely contributes to the motor problems in children with DCD.

LIHP members publish in Clinical Physiology and Functional Imaging

Michelle Harbin, M.S. and doctoral student in the School of Kinesiology and member of the Laboratory of Integrative Human Physiology (LIHP), is the lead author of an article published in the Clinical Physiology and Functional Imaging. The article entitled “Intra- and inter-day reproducibility of low-flow mediated constriction response in young adults” examined the relationship of low-flow mediated constriction on maximal dilation during reactive hyperemia as well as the intra- and interday reproducibility of brachial low-flow mediated constriction. It was observed that low-flow mediated constriction did influence the maximal dilation during reactive hyperemia, however, low-flow mediated constriction was found to be variable limiting its potential as a marker of endothelia function.

Donald R. Dengel, Ph.D., professor in the School of Kinesiology and LIHP director, and Joe Ostrem, Ph.D., graduate of the School of Kinesiology are also co-authors on this article.

Michelle Harbin
Donald R. Dengel, Ph.D.
Joe Ostrem, Ph.D.

Curry awarded NSF-funded graduate fellowship

Christopher Curry, Ph.D. student in the School of Kinesiology, has been awarded an NSF-funded fellowship for 2018-19 through the Center for Cognitive Sciences and the Center for Applied and Translational Sensory Science, based on his strong interest in interdisciplinary research. The 12-month stipend of $34,000 provides comprehensive funding through the center’s training grant titled “NRT-UtB: Graduate training program in sensory science: Optimizing the information available for mind and brain“. Curry’s research focus is looking at ways that Augmented Reality/Virtual Reality devices could be used in rehabilitation settings for patients who may have sensory and motor deficits.

Thomas Stoffregen, Ph.D., professor of movement science in the School and Victoria Interrante, Ph.D., professor in the Department of Computer Science and Engineering are serving as Curry’s fellowship mentors.




UMD’s Mary Mullen celebration event on May 19

B&W image of Mary Muggs Mullen, smiling

A memorial event, “Celebrate the Life of Mary M. Mullen (February 1933 – December 2017)” will be held on May 19 from 11:30 am – 2:00 pm at the U of Minn/Duluth’s Bagley Nature Center. Mary M. (Muggs) Mullen was a pioneer of women’s athletics and outdoor education who changed the UMD educational experience. Her tremendous caring and generosity extended a reach to many in a way that changed their lives. In honor of Mary, the “UMD Mary M Mullen Scholarship Fund” was created and provides an opportunity for women in physical education or outdoor education. It is through this scholarship that the advancement of women in these fields will support Mary’s legacy of opening doors for women and girls. The celebratory event will feature stories of Mary and a Memorial Bench Dedication; lunch will be served. Please RSVP.

Lewis named Fellow by the Society of Behavioral Medicine

Beth Lewis, Ph.D., director and professor in the School of Kinesiology, was named Fellow by the Society of Behavioral Medicine (SBM) at their 39th annual conference held April 11-14 in New Orleans. The organization confers fellow status “in recognition of outstanding contributions to the advancement of the science and practice of behavioral medicine. Among the considerations for this distinction are academic, professional, clinical, legislative, or other meritorious accomplishments.”

At the conference, Lewis co-chaired a session, “How Do We Incentivize Physical Activity?” and presented a poster with postdoctoral fellow Katie Schuver, “The effect of exercise and wellness interventions on preventing postpartum depression and stress: The Healthy Mom II Trial.” She also presented another poster, “Effective and efficient email management in academic leadership roles.”

Kinesiology alumna Lindsay Whalen hired as head coach of Gopher Women’s Basketball

School of Kinesiology alumna and beloved U of M and professional basketball player Lindsay Whalen has been hired as head coach of Gopher women’s basketball.

Whalen, who was starting point guard for the Gophers from 2000 to 2004, was a three-time All-America star. During her tenure, she was the program’s all-time scoring leader at 2,285 points, and her powerful presence propelled women’s basketball into the forefront at the University. Average attendance at Williams Arena increased more than 900% during her career as a Gopher.

After four years playing for the U of M, Whalen was drafted by the Connecticut Sun and played for six seasons before returning to Minnesota in 2010 to play for the Minnesota Lynx. She graduated from the School of Kinesiology in 2006 with a B.S. in Sport Science (now Sport Management). She will continue to play for the Lynx and coach for the Gophers.

A few of the many media reports, including Whalen’s press conference, are linked below.




2018 Kinesiology Research Day showcases work of students, faculty

2018 Kinesiology Research Day held Friday, April 13, was a resounding success, showcasing the projects or involvement of 58 members of the School of Kinesiology. Held in Walter Library, the collection of research included seven research briefs, four paper presentations, and 21 poster presentations, as well as seven lab talks.

The School of Kinesiology Research Day is held annually and sponsored and organized by the Kinesiology Student Council. It is designed to present an opportunity for faculty members, staff, graduate students and undergraduate students to interact in an interdisciplinary forum, exchange ideas, and present their achievements.

Awards were presented in a number of categories (serious and not-so serious):

For more photos of the event see our Flickr album.

Research Awards:

People’s Choice for Best Poster (Undergraduate) – Madeline Czeck, B.S. student
People’s Choice for Best Poster (Graduate) – Katie Bisch, M.S. student
Faculty Choice for Best Research Brief – Morgan Betker, Ph.D. candidate

Miscellaneous Awards
‘Die Hard Award’ – Assistant professor Sarah Greising, for attending the whole day and showing so much support to all student participants!
‘Harshest Questions Award’ – Professor Jürgen Konczak, for making everybody second-guess their work
‘Best Dressed’ Award – Joey Kronzer, M.S. student
‘Herding Cats Award’ – Eydie Kramer, Ph.D. student, for all her work with the high school tours!
‘Drill Sergeant Award’ – Arash Mahnan, Ph.D. student, for making sure the event ran on schedule all day!

“Kin Research Day is a fabulous celebration of all the work happening in Kinesiology, and a great opportunity to celebrate the diversity of research in our School,” says Madeleine Orr, co-chair of the Kinesiology Student Council. “We had a lot of fun putting it together and were very pleased with the turnout and energy at the event!”

High school and middle school students experience the School of Kinesiology first-hand

Students from a  Minneapolis high school and middle school visited the School of Kinesiology on April 13. Southwest High School and Venture Academy students toured the Recreation and Wellness Center, then the Southwest students visited Prof. Zan Gao’s Physical Activity Epidemiology Laboratory (PAEL), while Venture Academy students heard Prof. Daheia Barr-Anderson describe her community projects in the Behavioral Physical Activity Laboratory (BPAL). Later in the day, both groups stopped by to see the presentations at the 2018 Kinesiology Research Day, held in Walter Library.

The Southwest group was accompanied by Andrew Gross, a Kinesiology graduate of the Physical Education Licensure program, who teaches health and physical activity at the high school. The tour was arranged by Kinesiology undergraduate advisers Katie Koopmeiners and Colin Rogness, and assisted by Eydie Kramer, Kinesiology Ph.D. student and graduate assistant.

Orr Is Top 6 Finalist in 3MT® Regional Championships

Madeleine Orr, Kinesiology Ph.D. candidate and 2017 winner of the University-wide Three-Minute Thesis Competition (3MT®), traveled to Grand Rapids, MI, for the 3MT® Regional Championships hosted by the Midwestern Association of Graduate Schools. She was accompanied by Scott Lanyon, Ph.D., U of M Vice-Provost and Dean of Graduate Education.

Contestants came from 39 different universities across the Midwest. Each had won their university’s competition. Orr advanced as a Regional Finalist (Top 6) and presented with the other finalists at the closing plenary of the event.

Orr will present at the U of M Board of Regents meeting in May, and will judge at the Natural Resource Science & Management 3MT® competition later this month. The U of M Graduate School will be using 3MT® training materials that Orr and Kinesiology Ph.D. candidate Morgan Betker developed to use in workshops for graduate students interested in public speaking and public scholarship.

Stoffregen’s research highlighted in The Medical Republic


Thomas Stoffregen, Ph.D., professor in the School of Kinesiology and director of the Affordance Perception-Action Laboratory, was quoted in an article published in The Medical Republic about the consequences of humans’ predilection to motion sickness under various circumstances.

In “Ground Control to Major Vom,” the profound impact of motion sickness on astronauts in particular is explained and discussed. Stoffregen’s research on predicting an individual’s sensitivity to motion sickness based on body sway, called postural instability theory, is cited and Dr. Stoffregen is quoted. Based on his research, he describes his particular concerns regarding the impact of motion sickness on the virtual reality industry.

Kinesiology well-represented at Sport Social Justice Symposium

The U of M was host to the Social Justice Through Sport and Exercise Psychology Symposium on April 5-7 at the Recreation and Wellness Center on the Twin Cities campus. A number of faculty, students, alumni, and associates from the School of Kinesiology (listed below) were involved in the program and presentations.

The symposium opened with welcoming remarks from the U of M’s Jean Quam, Ph.D., dean, CEHD; Nicole M. LaVoi, Ph.D., co-director, Tucker Center;  and Anna Baeth, doctoral student in kinesiology and member of the organization’s Conference Committee.


  • Cultural Competence in Sports Medicine Psychology: Mental Health Concerns and Religious Coping as Marginalized Topics of Research and Intervention with Injured Athletes

    • Mental Health Concerns Among Athletes Sustaining Sports Related Concussions, Kristin N. Wood and Diane Wiese-Bjornstal, Ph.D.
    • Mental Health Concerns Among Athletes Sustaining Musculoskeletal Injuries, Francesca Principe and Diane Wiese-Bjornstal, Ph.D.
    • A Thematic Analysis of Religiosity and Spirituality in Coping with Sport Injuries, Diane Wiese-Bjornstal, Ph.D., Kristin N. Wood, Andrew C. White, Ph.D., Amanda J. Wambach, and Victor J. Rubio, Ph.D. (Universidad Autónoma de Madrid)
  • International Social Justice Efforts
    • The What, How, and Why of Community-Based Participatory Research for Empowering Physical Activity for All: A Tale of Two Social Justice Projects, Chelsey Thul, Ph.D., and Muna Mohamed
    • Creating Safe Space in a Hostile Place: Exploring the Marathon of Afghanistan Through the Lens of Safe Space, Madeleine Orr and Anna Baeth
  • Access to Physical Activity as a Social Justice Issue
    • Physical Literacy as a Social Justice Issue, Jennifer Bhalla (Pacific University)


  • International Sport Management and Social ResponsibilityLisa A. Kihl, Ph.D.
  • Social Justice: The Role of the Sport CoachNicole M. LaVoi, Ph.D., and Maya Hamilton, Ph.D.
  • Creating Social Change for Girls & Women in Sport: Tucker Center Education, Research and Outreach ProjectsNicole M. LaVoi, Ph.D., Anna Baeth, Courtney Boucher, Mikinzee Salo, Veronica Rasmussen, Nicole Varichak, and Matea Wasend
  • The Paralympic Games: Who’s In and Who’s Left Out?, Jo Ann Buysse, Ph.D.

Kinesiology’s Kramer presents, receives research award at NACSM Regional Meeting

Kinesiology Ph.D. candidate Eydie Kramer, who is advised by Daheia Barr-Anderson, Ph.D., Kinesiology assistant professor and director of the Behavioral Physical Activity Laboratory, presented a poster on Friday, April 6, at the Northland American College of Sports Medicine (NACSM) Regional Meeting at St. Catherine’s University in St. Paul. Her poster, “Brief Interventions Mitigate Weight-Dependent Exercise and Healthy Eater Disparities in Adolescent Girls,” was co-authored with Barr-Anderson and  describes a pilot study conducted in summer 2017 in youth health camps located in Colorado and Wisconsin. Their poster was selected for the Annual ACSM President’s Cup Award, and will be showcased at the ACSM Annual Meeting in Minneapolis on May 31st, 2018.

Kramer also was selected to receive a $1,000 NACSM Student Research Award to fund her study this summer, “S.P.L.A.S.H. (Swimming. Positive Perceptions. Lifestyle-Change. Activity. Strength. Healthy Habits.) Into Fitness! A Behavioral Swim Camp and eHealth Intervention for Overweight and Obese Adolescent Girls.”

Click poster for enlargement.



MNDaily quotes Kihl on legislation for agent-student athlete protections

Lisa Kihl, Ph.D., sport management associate professor in the School of Kinesiology, was quoted in today’s Minnesota Daily on the new bill introduced in the Minnesota House of Representatives to establish protections for student athletes who enter agreements with agents. The bill expands on existing legislation, the Uniform Athlete Agents Act, which was passed by the legislature in 2002. Kihl says the proposed legislation also provides an opportunity for student athletes and their families to be informed while making decisions. “It’s a big decision to go the pro route,” Kihl said in the article. “It’s important you have time to sit down and talk with family members.”