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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Dahiea Barr-Anderson, Ph.D., assistant professor in the School of Kinesiology and director of the Behavioral Physical Activity Laboratory, is lead author 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, 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.
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.
The recent study, Gender, Race & LGBT Inclusion of Head Coaches of Women’s Teams: A Report on Select NCAA Division I Conferences for the 45th Anniversary of Title IX, June 2017, co-produced by LGBT SportSafe, The Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sport (TIDES) at the University of Central Florida, and the Tucker Center, was cited June 16 in the publication Diverse: Issues in Higher Education. The article, Women of Color Remain Invisible in Leading College Athletics, discusses the ongoing issue of the lack of diversity, particularly for women of color, in coaching college sports.
“A recent study of the eight major American collegiate sports conferences revealed that 88 percent of head coaches of women’s college teams are White and 57 percent are male,” the article points out. “For the NCAA athletic directors, this number is even more dismal as there are more than 1,200 collegiate schools across the nation.”
School of Kinesiology professor Tom Stoffregen, Ph.D., was interviewed on Take Care, a radio program on health and wellness that originates at station WRVO in Oswego, NY. Co-hosts Lorraine Rapp and Linda Lowen interviewed Stoffregen about his research related to motion sickness.
Daheia Barr-Anderson, Ph.D., Assistant Professor and Director of the Behavioral Physical Activity Lab, was quoted in two online magazine articles for Highlights Magazine online. Barr-Anderson’s research interests focus on physical activity, sedentary behaviors, and obesity prevention in children and adolescents, and she used her expertise to answer questions and advise parents on how to aid their children in living an active lifestyle and combat the couch-potato culture.
Barr-Anderson is cited in two articles, titled “Struggle-Free Tips to Get Your Couch-Potato Kid Moving,” and “Why’s My Kid a Couch Potato: Is he Lazy…or Something Else?“. These pieces are part of the journal’s series “Smart Answers to Parents’ Toughest Questions”, which offers insight on what keeps children from being active, and tips on how to be active together.
“You can’t underestimate the importance of going outside together to throw around a ball or start a garden,” says Barr-Anderson. “You get movement and activity, and time spent together.”
Hailee Moehnke, a graduate student in the School of Kinesiology and a recent recipient of the Edith Mueller Endowed Fund for Graduate Education in the Tucker Center scholarship, was noted in her hometown newspaper, The Katy News, of Katy, Texas.
Moehnke, who is advised by Professor Maureen R. Weiss, is pursuing her Masters of Science in Kinesiology, with an emphasis in Sport and Exercise Psychology. Her research focus is in Positive Youth Development, and she is interested in learning how participation in sport and physical activity affects youth psychological and social maturity.
The fund, administered by the Tucker Center for Research on Girls & Women in Sport, is used to support graduate education, including for graduate assistantships, research support, travel to conferences, and equipment.
Donald Dengel, Ph.D., professor in the School of Kinesiology and director of the Laboratory of Integrative Human Physiology, is the lead author of an article published in the American Journal of Lifestyle Medicine. The article, entitled “Impact of health status and lifestyle modifications on vascular structure and function in children and adolescents,” examined the effects of various lifestyle interventions (i.e., exercise, weight loss, etc.) on vascular structure and function in children and adolescents.
As part of a two-day visit to Budapest, Juergen Konczak, Ph.D., professor in the School of Kinesiology and director of the Human Sensorimotor Control Laboratory, presented his work on robotic rehabilitation to members of the Wigner Research Centre for Physics at the Hungarian Academy of Sciences and toured a new rehabilitation clinic.
His Hungarian hosts comprised researchers with backgrounds in mathematics, physics, and cognitive neuroscience with an interest in modeling human movement and translating this knowledge to help patients with spinal cord injuries to regain function. The Hungarian Academy of Sciences (Magyar Tudományos Akadémia) is the most important and prestigious academic society of Hungary. Its main responsibilities are the cultivation of science, dissemination of scientific findings, supporting research and development and representing Hungarian science domestically and around the world.
School of Kinesiology professors Juergen Konczak, Ph.D., Li Li Ji, Ph.D., and Michael Wade, Ph.D., gave invited lectures at one international conference and three Chinese universities from June 9 through June 15. Their talks centered broadly around a theme of exercise and healthy aging, and how age-related changes in older adults affect balance and posture.
Diane Wiese-Bjornstal, Ph.D., professor and director of the Sports Medicine Psychology Lab (SMPL) in the School of Kinesiology, will present a paper July 13 at the International Society of Sport Psychology (ISSP) 14th World Congress Sevilla 2017, held July 10-14 in Seville, Spain.
The paper represents Wiese-Bjornstal’s collaborative work with student authors from the U of M, including SMPL graduate students (Kristin Wood, Andrew White) and SMPL former undergraduate student (Amanda Wambach), as well as 2016 U of M visiting Fulbright scholar Professor Victor Rubio from the University of Autonoma, Madrid.
The paper being presented is: Wiese-Bjornstal, D. M., Wood, K. N., White, A. C., Wambach, A. J., & Rubio, V. J. (accepted for 2017, July). Exploring religiosity and spirituality in coping with sport injuries. In V. J. Rubio (Chair), Coping, resilience and personal growth following a sport injury.