CEHD News Faculty & Staff

CEHD News Faculty & Staff

Stoffregen, Wade publish with co-authors in Human Movement Science

Thomas Stoffregen, Ph.D., and Michael G. Wade, Ph.D., are co-authors on an article published in Human Movement Science. Visual tasks and stance width influence the spatial magnitude and temporal dynamics of standing body sway in 6- to 12-year old children had study results consistent with the idea that effects of stance width and suprapostural visual tasks were well-established by the age of 6 years.

Co-authors are Roberto Izquierdo-Herrera, doctoral candidate at the University of Valencia (Spain), and Prof. Xavier Garcia-Masso and Prof. Luis-Millan Gonzalez, faculty at the University of Valencia. The research was conducted at the U of M under the supervision of  Stoffregen and Wade.


PAEL director, lab members present at SHAPE America 2018 and International Chinese Society for Physical Activities and Health (ICSPAH)

The School of Kinesiology’s Physical Activity Epidemiology Laboratory (PAEL) team had a strong presence at two conferences held in Nashville, TN, last month.

Lab members successfully presented five separate research studies at the SHAPE America 2018 Conference and Expo, March 20-24. Kinesiology associate professor and PAEL lab director Zan Gao, Ph.D., and current and former advisees June Lee, Ph.D., and Zachary Pope, Ph.D. candidate, each presented one first-author abstract.  Nan Zeng, Ph.D. candidate, presented two first-author abstracts.

The research covered an array of topics within the field of Physical Activity and Health, ranging from a longitudinal study investigating the 3-year trajectory of physical activity and weight status in school-aged children, to comparing the physiological effects between virtual reality and traditional exercise biking.

Full citations of the presentations at SHAPE America are below.

1. Gao, Z., Lee, J., Stodden, D., Xiang, P., & Zhang, P. (2018, March). Trajectory Changes of
Physical Activity and Weight Status in Children. Paper presented at the annual meeting of
SHAPE, Nashville, Tennessee.

2. Pope, Z., Zeng, N., & Gao, Z. (2018, March). Comparing physiological effects between
virtual reality and traditional exercise biking. Paper presented at the annual meeting of SHAPE,
Nashville, Tennessee

3. Lee, J., Zeng, N., Zhang, Y., & Gao, Z. (2018, March). Children’s psychosocial beliefs and
physical activity levels in physical education. Paper presented at the annual meeting of SHAPE,
Nashville, Tennessee.

4. Zeng, N., Pope, Z., &  Gao, Z. (2018, March). Acute effect of virtual reality on college
students’ psychological outcomes. Paper presented at the annual meeting of SHAPE, Nashville,

5. Zeng, N., Stodden, D., & Gao, Z. (2018, March). Dynamic relationship between perceived
competence and motor skills in children. Paper presented at the annual meeting of SHAPE,
Nashville, Tennessee.

At the International Chinese Society for Physical Activities and Health, Gao and lab members/advisees Nan Zeng,  Daniel (DJ) McDonough and Wenxi Liu, both first-year Ph.D. students, each presented one first-author abstract.  The presentations covered topics such as the examination of physiological and psychosocial health outcomes during various modes of exergaming and investigating physical activity correlates and behaviors from the perspective of the Social Ecological Model. Notably, Zeng and McDonough won first-place awards for best oral and poster presentations, respectively. Full citations are below.

1. Li, X., Liu, W., Xiong, S., Tao, K., Yang, Z., Zeng, N., & Gao, Z. (2018). Examining associations
among motivation, physical activity and health in Chinese college students. Paper presented at
2018 International Chinese Society for Physical Activities and Health (ICSPAH) annual meeting in
Nashville, TN.

2. Liu, W., Li, X., Xiong, S., Tao, K., Peng, Q., Zeng, N., & Gao, Z. (2018) Associations among
Chinese college students’ physical activity correlates and behaviors: A social ecological model.
Paper presented at 2018 International Chinese Society for Physical Activities and Health
(ICSPAH) annual meeting in Nashville, TN.

3. McDonough, D., Pope, Z., Zeng, N., Lee, J., &  Gao, Z. (2018). College students’
psychosocial outcomes and step counts during single- and double-player exergaming
conditions. Paper presented at 2018 International Chinese Society for Physical Activities and
Health (ICSPAH) annual meeting in Nashville, TN.

4. Xiong, S., Zeng, N., Liu, W., Tao, K., Li, X., & Gao, Z. (2018). College Students’ physical
activity, cardiovascular fitness, body composition and health status in China: A cross-sectional
study. Paper presented at 2018 International Chinese Society for Physical Activities and Health
(ICSPAH) annual meeting in Nashville, TN.

5. Zeng, N., Pope, Z., Lee, J., & Gao, Z. (2018, March). College students’ enjoyment, self-
efficacy, and energy expenditure in exergaming and treadmill walking. Paper presented at 2018
International Chinese Society for Physical Activities and Health (ICSPAH) annual meeting in
Nashville, TN.


Stoffregen accepts 3-year appointment as Academic Editor at PLOS ONE

Thomas Stoffregen, Ph.D., professor in the School of Kinesiology and director of the Affordance Perception-Action Laboratory, has accepted a 3-year appointment as an Academic Editor at PLOS ONE, the world’s first multidisciplinary Open Access journal. It remains a high-impact leader in peer-reviewed Open Access scientific publishing.


Smith presents paper at U of M conference on public engagement

Thomas Smith, Ph.D., affiliated lecturer in the School of Kinesiology, presented a paper, “School District Community Ambassadors for Improving Student Academic Achievement,” at a conference held March 1.  The conference, “Advancing Publicly-Engaged Research, Teaching and Learning to Address Society’s Grand Challenges,” was sponsored by the University of Minnesota. Smith’s presentation advocates the development of a school community ambassador program aimed at supporting students’ academic performance by tightening school community integration. Evidence indicates that the socioeconomic status of a community is positively correlated with the academic performance of students in community

Masten receives 2018 Smith College Medal

Dr. Ann Masten
Dr. Ann Masten

Ann Masten, Ph.D., Regents Professor and Irving B. Harris Professor of Child Development in the Institute of Child Development, recently received a 2018 Smith College Medal, which recognizes extraordinary Smith College alumnae for their professional achievements and outstanding service.

The Smith College Medal was established in 1962 to recognize alumnae who exemplify in their lives and work “the true purpose” of a liberal arts education. More than 200 Smith alumnae have received the award, including journalist and activist Gloria Steinem and U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin (D-WI). Masten was one of four alumnae to receive the medal this year.

“[Dr. Masten’s] impact on the field is immeasurable. Over the arc of her academic career, Dr. Masten’s work has spanned the local (homeless families in Minnesota) to the global (immigrant youth in Greece and Cambodians who fled the Khmer Rouge and Pol Pot regime), closely observing the promotive and protective factors that characterize resilient youth and their ecosystems,” said Patricia Marten DiBartolo, Ph.D., associate dean of the faculty at Smith College. “Her multidisciplinary research, incorporating variables from the biological to the cultural, has nuanced and propelled resounding concepts in the discipline–resilience, pathways, developmental cascades, cumulative risk–that help weave together reproducible and predictive scientific knowledge with rich human narratives of triumph over adversity.”

Masten received the medal during Smith College’s Rally Day, which took place on Feb. 21, 2018. Watch Masten deliver her acceptance speech of the medal.

APAL graduate students, adviser publish in Experimental Brain Research

Kinesiology graduate students from the Affordance Perception-Action Laboratory (APAL) and their adviser, Tom Stoffregen, Ph.D., have published an online article in the journal, Experimental Brain Research. The citation is: Li, R., Walter, H., Curry, C., Rath, R., Peterson, N., & Stoffregen, T. A. (2018). Postural time-to-contact as a precursor of visually induced motion sickness. The results of the study they conducted provide a qualitatively new type of support for the postural instability theory of motion sickness.

Ruixuan Li is a Ph.D. candidate in the U of M doctoral program in Human Factors and Ergonomics and is a member of APAL, along with Kinesiology graduate students Hannah Walter, Chris Curry, Ruth Rath, and Nicolette Peterson.


Vavrus gives lecture on forthcoming book, Schooled in Uncertainty, at Autonomous University of Madrid

Dr. Frances VavrusFrances Vavrus, professor in the Department of Organizational Leadership, Policy, and Development (OLPD), was invited to the Autonomous University of Madrid to give a lecture on her forthcoming book, Schooled in Uncertainty. She spoke on March 14th to students and faculty members in the University’s Faculty of Teacher Training and Education.

Dengel presents on body composition analysis at George Mason University

Donald R. Dengel, Ph.D., professor in the School of Kinesiology and director of the Laboratory of Integrative Human Physiology, presented at George Mason University’s Department of Kinesiology on March 26, 2018. The title of Dr. Dengel’s talk was “Frontiers in Body Composition Analysis: From Infants to NFL Players.”

Roisman awarded Distinguished McKnight University Professorship

Headshot of Glenn Roisman, Ph.D.
Glenn Roisman, Ph.D.

Glenn Roisman, Ph.D., a professor in the Institute of Child Development, has been awarded the Distinguished McKnight University Professorship, which honors the University of Minnesota’s highest-achieving mid-career faculty. Roisman is an internationally recognized leader in the study of how early relationships impact social, cognitive, and biological development across the lifespan.

As a Distinguished McKnight University Professor, Roisman will receive a $100,000 grant for research and scholarly activities, and carry the title throughout his University career. Roisman is one of six University professors receiving the award in 2018. Four CEHD professors have earned the award previously, including Frank Symons of educational psychology, and Megan Gunnar, Ann Masten, and Stephanie Carlson, all of the Institute of Child Development.

At the Institute of Child Development, Roisman leads the Relationship Research Lab, which examines the legacy of early relationship experiences as an organizing force in social, cognitive, and biological development across the lifespan. Roisman also oversees the Minnesota Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children, which began in 1975 and primarily focuses on how people think about their social experiences, risk and protective factors, and issues of continuity and change.

Through his research, Roisman has used innovative statistical methods and the unique datasets provided by longitudinal studies to determine how early relationship experiences impact different individuals and how those experiences support or undermine their physical and psychological health as adults.

Roisman and the other winners of this year’s Distinguished McKnight University Professorships will be recognized at a Board of Regents meeting in Spring 2018 and honored at a celebratory dinner.

Greg Lais, instructor in the Recreation Administration program, honored by AACSB-International

Greg Lais, MBA, long-time instructor in the School of Kinesiology’s Recreation Administration undergraduate program, and integral contributor to the Outdoor Recreation  and Education minor, has been honored by the Association to Advance College Schools of Business (AACSB)-International for making an impact in his community and serving as a role model to future business leaders.

Lais graduated with his MBA in 1991 from the Carlson School of Management. He has taught Outdoor and Camp Leadership and advised students in the Senior Internship in Recreation Administration for 10 years for the School of Kinesiology. He is the founder and executive director of Minneapolis-based nonprofit outdoor adventure and education organization Wilderness Inquiry and is part of the 2018 class of the AACSB’s Influential Leaders Challenge.


Konczak gives talk at CCS Colloquium/Perception Lunch

Jürgen Konczak, Ph.D.professor in the School of Kinesiology and director of the HSC Laboratory, presented at the Center for Cognitive Science (CCS) Colloquium/Perception Lunch Talks on Tuesday, March 27.

The title of Konczak’s talk was “Proprioception – the silent sense: What happens, if it is no longer there?” He illustrated what happens if someone experiences complete or partial loss of proprioception by referring to classic clinical studies and showing data from the lab’s work in patients with dystonia, Parkinson’s disease and cortical stroke.

Christopher Curry, Kinesiology PhD student, has two posters at 2018 International Symposium on Human Factors and Ergonomics in Health Care

Christopher Curry, Ph.D. student in the School of Kinesiology, has two posters being presented at the 2018 International Symposium on Human Factors and Ergonomics in Health Care in Boston, MA, March 26-28. Curry is advised by Thomas Stoffregen, Ph.D., professor of movement science in the School and director of the Affordance Perception-Action Laboratory (APAL). Citations for the posters are below:

Curry, C., Abdelrahman, A., Lowndes, B., Morrow, M.,  & Hallbeck, S. (2018, March). Identifying Higher Ergonomic Risk during a Simulation Task.

Koenig, J., Abdelrahman, A., Curry, C., Mohan, A., Lemaine, V., Noland, S., Hallbeck, S., & Lowndes, B. (2018, March). Preliminary Analysis of Surgeon Body Posture and Musculoskeletal Risk Based on Patient Positioning During Microsurgical Breast Reconstruction.

Zeng, Pope, Lee, and Gao publish in Journal of Clinical Medicine

School of Kinesiology Ph.D. candidates Nan Zeng and Zachary Pope are first and second authors, respectively, on a recent article they published with their adviser, associate professor Zan Gao, Ph.D., in the Journal of Clinical Medicine.

Gao’s former advisee Jung Eun Lee, Ph.D., assistant professor at the University of Minnesota, Duluth, is third author. Gao is director of the School’s Physical Activity Epidemiology Laboratory.

The article, titled “Virtual Reality Exercise for Anxiety and Depression: A Preliminary Review of Current Research in an Emerging Field,” discusses the authors’ study, which synthesized literature concerning the effect of virtual reality (VR) exercise on anxiety and depression among various populations. The study concluded that existing evidence is insufficient to support the advantages of VR exercise as a stand-alone treatment over traditional therapy in the alleviation of anxiety and depression, and that more research is needed.

Nan Zeng
Zach Pope
Dr. Zan Gao
Dr. Lee

Bleacher Report quotes LaVoi on impact of UConn basketball success

Tucker Center co-director and School of Kinesiology senior lecturer Nicole M. LaVoi, Ph.D. is quoted in a BleacherReport.com article, “UConn Bad for Women’s Basketball? Not by a Long Shot.” LaVoi contends that the prevalent cultural narrative regarding sport is dominated by narrow media viewpoints that fail to take into account a broad enough spectrum of perspectives.

Shirazi and others to co-lead workshop for CIES

Roozbeh Shirazi, assistant professor in the Department of Organizational Leadership, Policy, and Development (OLPD), and Sara Musaifer (OLPD doctoral candidate) , Emily Morris (OLPD doctoral candidate), Maria Schwedhelm, and Richa Nagar will co-lead a pre-conference workshop on March 25 during the 2018 Annual Meeting of the Comparative and International Education Society in Mexico City.  The workshop is sponsored by the CIES Gender and Education Committee and challenges and deconstructs North/South colonial knowledge hierarchies and binaries through multi-sited dialogue and active, critical reflection on pedagogy and methodology.


Stebleton and Jahangir to create joint educational experience between CEHD and Universidad de San Andreas

Michael Stebleton and Rashne Jehangir, associate professors in the Department of Organizational Leadership, Policy, and Development (OLPD), were recently awarded 2018-19 GPS International Travel Grants. They aim to create a joint educational experience between the College of Education and Human Development (CEHD) and the Universidad de San Andres in Buenos Aires, Argentina. The working title of the project is “Examining Work and Career Issues in a Global Context.” The proposed collaboration will include Business and Marketing Education (BME) majors in OLPD and business program students at San Andres. The project will also explore how practitioners can best support first-generation students in higher education contexts in Argentina. Stebleton and Jehangir plan to make the initial trip to Buenos Aires this August.

Zachary Pope, Kinesiology PhD candidate, to present at U’s Doctoral Research Showcase April 3

The University’s eleventh annual Doctoral Research Showcase will include a presentation by Zachary Pope, Kinesiology Ph.D. candidate and advisee of Zan Gao, Ph.D., associate professor in the School of Kinesiology and director of the Physical Activity Epidemiology Lab (PAEL).

The Showcase will be held Tuesday, April 3 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.

Pope’s research presentation is “Use of Wearable Technology to Improve Physical Activity and Eating Behaviors among College Students: A 12-week Randomized Pilot Study.” All Kinesiology colleagues are invited to attend and support Mr. Pope.

For more information about the event or to view a list of all of this year’s participants, visit: z.umn.edu/drs2018.

Varma joins Search Institute board of directors

Keisha Varma

Keisha Varma, associate professor in the Department of Educational Psychology’s psychological foundations of education program, has been appointed to the board of directors of the Search Institute.

According to the Institute, Varma was selected for her “work with families which will be very helpful as we work together to positively impact the future for our youth.”

For more information on Varma’s research, including recent projects working with parents, visit her STEM Thinking, Reasoning, and Learning Lab page.

Tucker Center research cited in article in The Golf Business

Media Coverage & Female Athletes

A recent article in the publication The Golf Business cites research carried out by the Tucker Center for Research in Girls & Women in Sport. “Why positive media exposure is essential for women’s golf” discusses the current limited growth of women’s golf and the important impact that positive media exposure of women’s golf can have on recruitment and retention of women golfers. The 2013 documentary produced by the Tucker Center and tptMN public television station, “Media Coverage & Female Athletes,” was referenced.

Barr-Anderson elected to ACSM Board of Trustees

Congratulations to Daheia Barr-Anderson, Ph.D., assistant professor in the School of Kinesiology, who was elected to the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) Board of Trustees. She will serve a three-year term ending in 2021. Barr-Anderson is also director of the Behavioral Physical Activity Laboratory (BPAL) in the School.