Category Archives: International

Seashore gives keynote at Nordic Educational Conference

Karen Seashore, Regents professor in the Department of Organizational Leadership, Policy, and Development (OLPD), was in Norway last month, where she worked with school district leaders and school development agencies, gave a keynote presentation at the Nordic Educational Conference, and presented to 130 participants in a school leader preparation program.

 

McMaster delivers keynote at Korean Educational Psychology Association

McMaster delivers keynote at KEPA.

Kristen McMaster, professor in the Department of Educational Psychology’s special education program, keynoted the 50th anniversary conference of the Korean Educational Psychology Association (KEPA) on October 20. McMaster presented her research on “Using Peer-Assisted Learning Strategies to Promote Reading Achievement for Students at Risk.”

Congratulations to Dr. McMaster on this great honor!

2017-18 China Champions arrive at the U of M for a year of study and cultural experiences

Left to right: Fei Xie 谢菲 (Rhythmic Gymnastics), ShuJiao Jin 金淑娇 (Judo),  Wen Tong 佟文 (Judo), YiLin Yang 杨伊琳 (Gymnastics), and YaFei Chu 禇亚飞 (Race Walking)

The School of Kinesiology and the University of Minnesota welcome this year’s China Champions, the fourth cohort of world-class athletes from China traveling to the U.S. to experience a year of study at the University of Minnesota.

This year’s students include a gymnast, two judokas, a race walker, and a rhythmic gymnast. The athletes won championships spanning national, international and Olympic competitions. Most of the athletes have completed their competitive careers and now work in the China Sport Administration or are coaches.

During the year, the China Champions will attend specially designed courses in the School of Kinesiology, including academic seminars, workshops, and classes in English as a Learned Language. Athletes will also visit Minnesota cultural sites and become familiar with the Twin Cities. The China Champions are available to visit classes around the U and share their personal experiences in training and achieving elite world championship status in their sport.

“The China Champions Program has been a truly wonderful partnership between University of Minnesota and Beijing Sport University,” says Jean Quam, dean of the College of Education and Human Development. “With each year, the program strengthens our international relationships and the University’s global visibility and collaboration.”

The University of Minnesota hosts the annual China Champions Program (CCP) to foster an exchange of culture, education and sport. Led by the School of Kinesiology in collaboration with Beijing Sport University and supported by the China Scholarship Council, CCP is a unique global collaboration that provides mutual benefits for Chinese athletes and University faculty, staff and students.

Read about these China Champions accomplishments.

McMaster, Shin, and Jung present research on data-based instruction at ICER in South Korea

Kristen McMaster, professor in the Department of Educational Psychology’s special education program, Jaehyun Shin, a postdoctoral fellow working with McMaster, and Pyung-Gang Jung, an alumna of the special education Ph.D. program now working at EWHA Womans University, presented at the International Conference for Learning Research (ICER) in Seoul, South Korea on October 19.

The three scholars shared their research around data-based instruction. McMaster presented her work “Using Data-Based Instruction (DBI) to Support Students’ Early Writing Development.”  Shin shared his meta-analysis on “Relations between CRM (Oral Reading and Maze) and Reading Comprehension on State Achievement Tests.” Finally, Jung discussed the results of her meta-analysis on the “Effects of Data-Based Instruction for Students with Intensive Learning Needs.”

The ICER is an international conference, organized by Education Research Institute at Seoul National University, held annually for the purpose of disseminating and supporting research in education as well as of building academic networks within the Asia-Pacific region. ICER has become a special venue for international academics to share educational research outcomes and to discuss core educational issues in the region. Since the year of 2000, more than 4,000 people from more than twenty countries have attended the event.

Ji spends productive sabbatical month at University of Valencia, Spain

Dr. Ji and Dr. Viña

Li Li Ji, Ph.D., professor and director of the LPHES in the School of Kinesiology, has finished a one-month visit to the University of Valencia, Spain, as part of his planned sabbatical activity. During his stay, he met with the University’s Faculty of Medicine led by Dr. Josè Viña, and with Dr. Carmen Gomez, a visiting scholar in LPHES last summer, to discuss continuing collaborations on research in the field of muscle biology and aging.

Ji gave two presentations to UV faculty, titled “Mechanism and prevention of muscle disuse atrophy via DNA transfection” and “Oat phytochemicals: Antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects.” The University of Valencia Medical College is a highly respected institution in Europe, and its former dean, Santiago Ramón y Cajal, shared the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1906. Ji’s visiting professorship was sponsored by a grant from the European Union.

Inoue quoted in The Japan Times on college sports

 image of Yuhei InoueYuhei Inoue, Ph.D., assistant professor of sport management in the School of Kinesiology, is quoted in an article in The Japan Times, Japan’s largest English-language newspaper.

Inoue helped to organize former U of M athletic director Joel Maturi’s visit to Japan, where Maturi talked about the pros and cons of collegiate athletics in the United States. In the article titled, “Former Minnesota athletics chief Joel Maturi says Japan can benefit from college sports overhaul,” Inoue mentions the positive role collegiate sport can have for student communities.

Konczak gives invited presentation at European workshop

On October 10, Juergen Konczak, Ph.D., professor in the School of Kinesiology and director of the Human Sensorimotor Control Laboratory, presented a lecture on robotic rehabilitation to the PACE network community in Genova, Italy.

PACE stands for Perception and Action in Complex Environments. The network is funded by the European Union and seeks to train predoctoral students with a background in engineering, mathematics, neuroscience, and psychology.

 

DeJaeghere conducts presentations on new book “Educating Entrepreneurial Citizens: Neoliberalism and Youth Livelihoods”

Joan DeJaeghere,  professor in the Department of Organizational Leadership, Policy, and Development (OLPD), recently presented her new book, Educating Entrepreneurial Citizens: Neoliberalism and Youth Livelihoods, a publication resulting from the MasterCard Foundation project on youth livelihoods, to several audiences in South Africa. She presented at an author meets critic session at the Human Development and Capability Approach annual conference in Cape Town. She then presented to a group of graduate students at Nelson Mandela University in Port Elizabeth, a group affiliated with the Chair for Youth Unemployment, Employability and Empowerment. Finally, she presented her work to graduate students at the Institute for Social Development at the University of Western Cape. The issue of entrepreneurship education that Joan critically takes up in the book is of great interest to scholars, practitioners and policymakers in South Africa because the government is engaging in many entrepreneurship initiatives to address unemployment and poverty.

Kihl presents research at the European Association for Sport Management Conference

Lisa A. Kihl, Ph.D., associate professor of sport management in the School of Kinesiology, attended and presented at the European Association for Sport Management held September 5-8 in Bern, Switzerland.

The title of Dr. Kihl’s presentation was “Examining the Dimensions of Athlete Representation in Sport Governance”. Vicki D. Schull, Ph.D., a 2014 graduate of the School of Kinesiology and current assistant professor at Minnesota State University, Mankato, and Caroline Heffernan, Ph.D. candidate were co-authors on the presentation.

Gao selected as Chinese high-end foreign expert and Foreign Outstanding Instructor for Hunan Province in summer 2017

Zan Gao, Ph.D., associate professor in the School of Kinesiology and director of the Physical Activity Epidemiology Lab (PAEL), was reappointed as a high-end foreign expert on Physical Activity and Health by the People’s Republic of China for summer 2017. During his appointment tenure, Gao was based at Hunan Normal University (Changsha, China) and stayed in China for one month over the summer.

Gao at Hunan Normal University

During his stay, Gao delivered a series of lectures on physical activity and health, helped the university establish the discipline in physical activity and health, offered a number of workshops to faculty and students, as well as trained the faculty and graduate students in conducting a cutting-edge research project. Gao is an alumnus of Hunan Normal University, where he received his bachelor’s degree in physical education.

In addition, Gao was selected as the Foreign Outstanding Instructor by Hunan Province of China in summer 2017. He was based at Huaihua University, where he delivered a course titled “Advances in Physical Activity and Health,” as well as mentored the faculty and students in conducting two research projects in the university and local rural communities. Gao’s lectures have been well-received by the students and faculty members at Huaihua University.

Gao lecturing at Huaihua University
Gao consulting on research project

 

 

 

 

 

Konczak lab receives NSF I-corps award

Jürgen Konczak, Ph.D., professor in the School of Kinesiology and director of the Human Sensorimotor Control Laboratory, is the PI on a grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) I-Corps program.

This program prepares scientists and engineers to extend their focus beyond the university laboratory and to accelerate basic-research projects that are ready to move toward commercialization. The aim of this grant is to move forward the lab’s robotic rehabilitation technology that is jointly developed with partners in Italy and Singapore. As part of this grant, a team consisting of postdoctoral researcher Naveen Elangovan (entrepreneurial lead), Jürgen Konczak and Pat Tarnowski as a business adviser is formed. Pat is a trained PT with an MBA and is currently the Senior Director of Clinical Health Solutions at BCBS of Minnesota. The team will work closely with NSF staff and advisers to explore and understand the U.S. market.

DeJaeghere presents on new book “Educating Entrepreneurial Citizens” in Tanzania

Joan DeJaeghere, associate professor in the Department of Organizational Leadership, Policy, and Development (OLPD), recently presented on her new book to faculty and graduate students of Agricultural Economics and Business Studies at Sokoine University of Agriculture in Morogoro, Tanzania. Morogoro is one of the sites for the study discussed in her book, Educating Entrepreneurial Citizens: Neoliberalism and Youth Livelihoods in Tanzania (Routledge). Her presentation and the book ask the question of how global discourses related to entrepreneurship education that aim to reduce youth unemployment and poverty get adapted and reshaped in local social and economic contexts of Tanzania. It examines how entrepreneurship education is reshaping the purpose of education for citizenship – that of engaging in work that allows youth to supposedly get out of poverty. But such entrepreneurship education doesn’t necessarily ensure these youth get out of poverty; however, additional education/training for marginalized youth can change the social relations that exclude them because they haven’t completed their education or worked in the formal labor market. We found in this study that it gives marginalized youth additional credentials to be “skilled people” and allows them to contribute, even minimally, to the economic wellbeing of the community. The book is based on research in partnership with the MasterCard Foundation’s Learn, Earn and Save Initiative, for which Joan serves as PI.

GIFTED program receives $35,000 grant from Newman’s Own Foundation

this year's GIFTED cohort
This year’s GIFTED cohort

The Ghanaian Institute for the Future of Teaching & Education (GIFTED) Women’s Fellowship Fostering program has been awarded a $35,000 grant from Newman’s Own Foundation, the independent foundation created by the late actor and philanthropist, Paul Newman. The award to the GIFTED program was made by Newman’s Own Foundation as part of its commitment to the empowerment of individuals.

The grant to GIFTED will be used to host a national educational conference in Accra, Ghana that showcases the leadership projects and impact the 36 GIFTED Fellows have made in their schools and communities. In addition, the funding will be used to continue to support the leadership network that is being overseen by the University of Education at Winneba.

Focused on strengthening the leadership capacity and visibility of female educators as leaders within the Ghanaian public education system, GIFTED provides professional development, ongoing support, and leadership training to 12 women educators per year. These GIFTED fellows participate in a year-long transformational leadership curriculum, where they develop and implement action projects that support educational outcomes in their schools.

GIFTED was started in June 2013 and is a collaboration between New York University (NYU), the University of Minnesota, the University of Education Winneba, and Mujeres por Africa and is sponsored by Banco Santander.

Dr. Rose Vukovic, director of undergraduate studies in the Department of Educational Psychology and associate professor in the special education program at the University of Minnesota is co-principal investigator on the project, which is led by Kristie Patten Koenig, co-principal investigator from NYU. Local partners are Sakina Aquah and Priscilla Yaaba Ackah from the University of Education, Winneba.

Vukovic, colleagues host leadership institute for Ghanaian female educators

this year's GIFTED cohort
This year’s GIFTED cohort

From May 29 to June 6, Rose Vukovic, director of undergraduate studies in the Department of Educational Psychology  and associate professor in the special education program at the University of Minnesota and Kristie Patten Koenig, associate professor and chair of Occupational Therapy at New York University (NYU)–Steinhardt—along with Sakina Aquah and Priscilla Yaaba Ackah from University of Education, Winneba—hosted a leadership institute for a group of female teachers from Ghana. The work is part of the Ghanaian Institute for the Future of Teaching and Education (GIFTED) which is supported by the larger Ghana Wins! project, a professional development program that aims to build capacity in women leaders in education.

This year’s GIFTED cohort attended a week-long workshop in New York City to analyze the results of their leadership action projects to support educational outcomes in Ghanaian schools. They visited local schools and participated in “coffee talks” with NYU faculty on women and leadership. The educators also had the opportunity experience American culture by doing things like eating pizza, taking the subway, and visiting the Statue of Liberty.  The culmination of their training happened on June 2 when they sharing the resulted of their leadership action projects in an educational symposium at NYU –Steinhardt. Here are just a few examples of the work they are doing in Ghanaian schools.

  • Slimba, head teacher, Supporting Education for Muslim Girls: Slimba is engaging the community chief, the Imam, the Parent Teacher Association, parents and several local mosques to increase the enrollment of Muslim girls in her school.
  • Patience, primary school teacher, Market Day Attendance: Upper primary school students often miss school on market days to work at the market. To improve attendance, Patience is engaging these students through cultural dance and drama performances.
  • Serwaa, primary school teacher, Single Mothers Support Groups: Serwaa has created a social support network for single mothers in her school community. By organizing sessions that aim to build a supportive community for single mothers, she hopes to increase the school attendance of their children.

Read the GIFTED newsletter for more examples of leadership action projects.

Following the educational symposium, the University of Minnesota’s College of Education and Human Development hosted a reception honoring the achievements of the group.

Future work

This summer, Kristen McMaster, coordinator and professor in the special education program at the University of Minnesota, will travel to Ghana with the group to help the GIFTED fellows work on peer assisted leadership strategies (PALS). According to the Institute for Learning Sciences, PALS is a peer-tutoring instructional program that supplements the primary reading curriculum by pairing students who work together on reading activities intended to improve reading accuracy, fluency, and comprehension.

About GIFTED

Focused on strengthening the leadership capacity and visibility of female educators as leaders within the Ghanaian public education system, GIFTED provides professional development, on-going support, and leadership training to 12 women educators per year. These GIFTED fellows participate in a year-long transformational leadership curriculum, where they develop and implement action projects that support educational outcomes in their schools. GIFTED was started in June 2013 and is a collaboration between NYU, the University of Minnesota , the University of Education Winneba, and Mujeres por Africa and is sponsored by Banco Santander.

Vukovic is co-principal investigator on the project which led by Kristie Patten Koenig, principal investigator from NYU.  Local partners are Sakina Aquah and Priscilla Yaaba Ackahat from the University of Education, Winneba.

Aizawa has article accepted for publication in Sport Management Review

School of Kinesiology visiting scholar Kurumi Aizawa, Ph.D., has had an article accepted for publication in Sport Management Review. The article, “Long-Term Impact of the Tokyo 1964 Olympic Games on Sport Participation: A Cohort Analysis,” reports the findings that individuals who experienced the Tokyo 1964 Olympic Games during youth participated in sport more frequently than other generations.

Co-authors on the publication are Ji Wu, graduate student in Sport Management; Yuhei Inoue, Ph.D., assistant professor of Sport Management; and Mikihiro Sato, Ph.D., assistant professor at James Madison University, VA.

Chinese World Champion in sailboating cruises with U.S. Olympic sailing coach, students on Lake Minnetonka

Mr. Bowers and Ms. Ziyi Wang

Ms. Ziyi Wang, participant in the 2016-17 China Champions Program (CCP) and World Champion in sailboating, spent the afternoon of May 3 enjoying her sport at the Minnetonka Yacht Club. As a bonus, she had the chance to meet and sail with U.S. National and Olympic sailing coach Gordy Bowers, who is currently head coach of the Lake Minnetonka Sailing School, and Peter Wattson, president of the Minnetonka Yacht Club.

Ms. Wang was accompanied by Ms. Chunlu Wang, Olympic gold medalist in short track speed skating, and Ms. Jill Griffiths, a member of the CCP advisory board. The group also spent time sailing and interacting with high school students from the sailing school.

The China Champions Program is sponsored by the University’s School of Kinesiology, the College of Education and Human Development and the China Center.

China Champions Program celebrates third year of hosting students at Foundation Ceremony and Graduation Celebration

2016-17 China Champions
Graduates from left: Lu Xiudong, Haixia Liu, Xue Kong, Ziyi Wang, Chunlu Wang, Lin Meng, Di Mu

Participants in the third annual China Champions Program (CCP) were celebrated at their Graduation Celebration on Friday, April 28, at Burton Hall Atrium.

Six Chinese Olympic and world champion athletes and a coach enrolled in the China Champions Program (CCP) arrived last fall to attend specially designed courses in the School of Kinesiology. CCP provides academic courses, seminars, workshops and English as a Second Language (ESL) classes to accomplished athletes from China as a collaborative educational project with Beijing Sport University (BSU).

This year’s participants, the third class since 2014, enjoyed a wide range of educational, cultural and social activities in addition to their formal courses, such as meeting former Vice President Walter Mondale at Regent Peggy Lucas’ home, attending all major sporting events at UMN and in the Twin Cities area, and visiting local schools to share their experiences with students.

From left: Zhang Yanyang, Rayla Allison, Meredith McQuaid, Maud Meng, Ken Bartlett, Li Li Ji, He Wenyi

At the celebration, Ms. Maud Meng, President and CEO of Infinite Media Co. Ltd. in China, presented the University of Minnesota Foundation with a gift of $100,000 to benefit the CCP. Kinesiology Director Li Li Ji met with Ms. Meng on a recent trip to China and shared the CCP’s mission and goals. “Ms. Meng pledged to provide financial support to the CCP to expand the participants’ careers and to share their skills and experiences with Chinese society,” said Ji.  Ms. Meng’s generous support also helps to advance University, CEHD and School of Kinesiology international initiatives.

Participants in this year’s China Champions Program were: Lu Xiudong, national taekwondo coach and professor at BSU; Chunlu Wang,  Xue Kong and Lin Meng, all short track speed skating Olympic gold medalists; Haixia Liu, World Champion and record holder for weightlifting; Di Mu, World Champion in bicycling; and Ziyi Wang, World Champion in sailboating.

Link to Flickr slideshow

Vavrus gives talk at National Conference on Teacher Training in Tanzania

Dr. Frances VavrusFrances Vavrus, professor in the Department of Organizational Leadership, Policy, and Development (OLPD), participated in the National Conference on Teacher Training in Tanzania during the first week of April and gave a talk entitled The Local Picture: Contextual Considerations for Teacher Training in Tanzania. The conference was attended by representatives of the Tanzanian Ministry of Education, Science, and Technology, the World Bank, Save the Children, Peace Corps, and a number of Tanzanian universities and non-governmental organizations.  Dr. Vavrus has been involved in teacher professional development in Tanzania since 2006 as a facilitator and researcher studying the changing educational policy landscape in the country as it affects teachers’ lives.

Prof. Yuhei Inoue featured in The Japan Times

image of Yuhei InoueYuhei Inoue, Ph.D., assistant professor of Sport Management in the School of Kinesiology, is quoted in an article written for The Japan Times, Japan’s largest English language newspaper. The article, “Japanese collegiate sports study ends Phase 1,” recaps a symposium Inoue participated as a presenter and panel member. The symposium’s theme was the reform of Japanese college sports systems and took place on March 29 in Tokyo.
In the article, Inoue discusses his thoughts on changing the financial structures of college’s sports programs, explaining that by doing so, it would make sports teams more attractive properties for their respective institutions to invest in.

Varma, student present research on the origins of numerical abilities to Royal Society

Sashank Varma, associate professor and coordinator for the Department of Educational Psychology’s psychological foundations of education program, and doctoral student, Soo-hyun Im, recently traveled to London for the Royal Society Meeting on the Origins of Numerical Abilities, a scientific discussion about how when humans acquire numerical competence, we build upon an inherited cognitive foundation. At the meeting, Varma and Im presented their research projects entitled Mathematical insight predicts mathematical achievement in college students1 and From number sense to arithmetic sense: A theoretical and empirical synthesis.2

Co-authors of Mathematical insight predicts mathematical achievement include: Purav Patel, a doctoral student in psychological foundations of education and Rachel Voit, a Macalester College student at the time of data collection and now a masters student in social work.

The Royal Society is a fellowship of many of the world’s most eminent scientists and is the oldest scientific academy in continuous existence.

  1.  Varma, S., Voit, R., Im, S.-h., & Patel, P. J. (2017, February). Mathematical insight predicts mathematical achievement in college students. Poster presented at the Royal Society Meeting on The Origins of Numerical Abilities, London, UK.
  1. Im, S.-h., & Varma, S. (2017, February). From number sense to arithmetic sense: A theoretical and empirical synthesis. Poster presented at the Royal Society Meeting on The Origins of Numerical Abilities, London, UK.