Maureen Weiss, Ph.D., professor in the School of Kinesiology, was recognized with the Legacy Award, the highest honor given by Girls on the Run International at its annual Summit in Austin, TX, in January. Girls on the Run is a 501(c)(3) organization and physical activity-based positive youth development (PA-PYD) program designed to enhance girls’ social, psychological, and physical skills and behaviors to successfully navigate life experiences. The program uses running and other physical activities as a platform for teaching life skills and promoting holistic health outcomes for girls in grades 3-8. The organization’s reach is national—in all 50 states with over 200 local community councils, 50,000 volunteer coaches, and over 1.5 million girls served since inception. The organization is committed to diversity—serving girls from all walks of life and backgrounds. Nearly 50% of girls receive subsidized registration fees to enable them to attain the psychosocial and behavioral benefits of participating in each season’s 10-week program.
Weiss’ Legacy Award was based on eight years and hundreds of hours devoted to serving this non-profit organization—as a board member, consultant, speaker, and contributor to curricular development and effective coach delivery—as well as conducting an independent longitudinal evaluation study that demonstrated strong and lasting positive impact of program participation on girls’ life skills learning and psychosocial and behavioral outcomes—confidence, competence, connection, caring, character, and contribution to community and society. The study received widespread attention in a press release last August and Weiss presented the study results at the Summit meeting in a presentation titled, “How and Why Girls on the Run is an Exemplary Positive Youth Development Program.”
First author of the publication is Leon’s former doctoral student Ulf G. Bronas, Ph.D., ATC, associate professor in the Department of Biobehavioral Health Science, College of Nursing, at the University of Illinois, Chicago.
For the last two years, Inoue is part of the Japan College Sport Research program, where he and the project leads, Dr. Jermey Jordan and Dr. Daniel Funk at Temple University are assisting the University of Tsukuba, Japan with its effort to create a new athletic department and disseminate its newly adopted model of athletics administration to other universities across Japan. The project funds Inoue received as co-investigator will be used to deliver workshops for Japanese university administrators and to develop the organizational structure for the new athletic department at Tsukuba.
For the recent issue of the MomEnough parenting podcast, Nicole LaVoi, Ph.D., senior lecturer in the School of Kinesiology and co-director of the Tucker Center, discusses character development in sport, reflects on expectations, and parental issues. She also provides practical tips for supportive parenting.
The book is part of the Routledge Research in Sports Coaching series which provides a platform for leading experts and emerging academics to present ground-breaking work on the history, theory, practice, and contemporary issues of sports coaching.
A total of 24 titles (over 7,000 books are published by Taylor & Francis/Routledge) are selected by Routledge and CRC Press as Outstanding Academic Titles (OAT), awarded by Choice Magazine from 2012-2017.
The project titled “Measurement of glucose homeostasis in human brain by NMR” (2R01NS035192-17) will be led by Elizabeth Seaquist, M.D. and Gulin Oz, Ph.D., both professors in the School of Medicine. The goal of the study is to investigate how hypoglycemia leads to impaired awareness of hypoglycemia in individuals with type 1 diabetes using magnetic resonance spectroscopy and neurochemical approaches. Gao will serve as the physical activity specialist on the team to lead the measurement and analysis of patients’ physical activity behavior, sedentary behavior, and sleep patterns.
Nicole LaVoi, Ph.D., senior lecturer in the School of Kinesiology and co-director of the Tucker Center, spoke at the NCAA Convention Office of Inclusion Workshop & Sessions Women in Athletics: Initiatives for Progress. Her talk was titled, “Athletic Director Best Practices for Recruiting, Hiring and Retaining Women Coaches.” Her session examined women’s progress in athletics and focused on areas needing improvement, such as increasing the representation of women—particularly women of color—in coaching and administration. Dr. LaVoi spoke especially about research around recruiting, hiring and retaining women coaches.
The study finds an increased risk for depressive symptoms later in the postpartum phase if sleep problems with postpartum women worsen or show only minimal improvement over time. One conclusion recommends a six-week postpartum clinic visit to educate women about potential worsening of sleep patterns and to provide strategies for preventing sleep-related problems in order to decrease the risk of postpartum depression.
MAGS Excellence in Teaching Award recognizes and encourages graduate students for future service as college and university faculty. It supports the Council of Graduate Schools’ (CGS) efforts to promote Preparing Future Faculty to meet needs in academia.
Betker is pursuing her Ph.D. in Kinesiology with an emphasis in exercise physiology, advised by Dr. Beth Lewis.
Developmental coordination disorder (DCD) is a neurodevelopmental disorder that affects up to 6% of all school-age children. Children with DCD have problems with coordinating movements, may have balance problems and show poor motor skill learning. This study assessed wrist joint position sense in a cohort of Taiwanese middle school children with DCD and related it to the observable motor deficits. Results document that children with DCD is associated with proprioceptive dysfunction of the wrist/hand complex, which likely contributes to the motor problems in children with DCD.
Yu-ting Tseng 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.
Zan Gao, Ph.D., School of Kinesiology associate professor, has published an article with colleagues in BioMed Research International. This study synthesized literature concerning casual evidence of effects of various physical activity programs on motor skills and cognitive development in typically developed preschool children. Of the five studies, four (80%) showed significant and positive changes in language learning, academic achievement, attention, and working memory.
Nan Zeng, lead author on the article, is a Ph.D. candidate in Kinesiology and is advised by Dr. Gao.
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.