Category Archives: Students

Gao and advisees publish in Journal of Orthopaedic & Sports Physical Therapy

LaVoi opinion piece on leadership in SportsBusiness Journal

Nicole M. LaVoi, Ph.D., Kinesiology senior lecturer and co-director of the Tucker Center, has written an opinion piece for the SportsBusiness Journal entitled, “Leadership on the sidelines should not be defined by gender” on women leaders and obstacles they face. The piece invites “leaders in athletics and business who are passionate about increasing the percentage of women in coaching to get involved.”

Christian Science Monitor quotes LaVoi on women coaches

Nicole M. LaVoi, Ph.D., Kinesiology senior lecturer and co-director of the Tucker Center, is quoted in a Christian Science Monitor piece, “Why there’s been a big drop in women coaches under Title IX” on the phenomena and its logical outcome.

 

National evaluation study of Girls on the Run by Kinesiology professor Maureen Weiss reveals the program transforms young girls’ lives

An independent evaluation study by Maureen Weiss, Ph.D., professor in the School of Kinesiology, shows that Girls on the Run, a national physical activity-based positive youth development program for elementary-age girls, has a profound and lasting positive impact on girls’ confidence, competence, connection to others, character, caring, and life skills.

Girls on the Run is a nonprofit organization that uses running as a vehicle for teaching life skills to girls in third through fifth grades. The intentional life skills curriculum and mandatory annual coach training set Girls on the Run apart from other activity programs. The three-part curriculum teaches understanding of self, valuing relationships and teamwork, and exploring one’s connection to the world.

Weiss’s study revealed that:

  • Girls on the Run participants were significantly more likely than girls in organized sport and physical education to learn and use life skills including managing emotions, resolving conflict, helping others or making intentional decisions.
  • 97% of girls said they learned critical life skills at Girls on the Run that they are using at home, at school and with their friends
  • Girls who began the program with below-average scores dramatically improved from pre- to post-season on all outcomes—competence, confidence, connection, character, and caring. This shows that girls who might need a positive youth development program benefited most from their participation.
  • Girls who were the least active before Girls on the Run increased their physical activity level by 40% from pre- to post-season and maintained this increased level beyond the program’s end.

The video and the website illuminate the study findings through an interactive format. The study has also been publicized on Globe Newswire.

“Girls on the Run participants scored higher in managing emotions, resolving conflict, helping others, and making intentional decisions than participants in organized sport or physical education,” said Weiss.  “Being able to generalize skills learned in the program to other situations such as at school or at home is a distinguishing feature of Girls on the Run compared to traditional youth sports and school PE, and suggests that the intentional life skills curriculum and coach-training program can serve as exemplars for other youth programs.”

This study got also mentioned in The Daily Iowan.

The Sportsman article quotes LaVoi on starting athletes at a young age

Nicole M. LaVoi, Ph.D., Kinesiology senior lecturer and co-director of the Tucker Center, is quoted in an article in The Sportsman, “How Other Sports Have Elevated Roger Federer And Rafael Nadal To The Top Of Their Game.” LaVoi speaks briefly on the efficacy of starting players at a young age.

Javen Ulambayer, Kinesiology B.S. alum, performs in “Moby Dick” in Chicago

A School of Kinesiology alumnus has led an adventurous life since graduating with a B.S. in Kinesiology in Spring 2012 . It’s been a somewhat dangerous one as well.

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.

LaVoi quoted on women coaches in collegiate sports in Online Athens

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.

 

 

Kinesiology doctoral student Arash Mahnan appointed to U’s Senate Information Technologies Committee

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.

U of M alum, coach, teacher, and pro basketball Hall of Famer John Kundla dies at 101

A U of M alumnus, coach, and physical education instructor, a basketball Hall of Fame member, and one of the top coaches in NBA history has died at age 101.

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.

 

 

 

Zeng, Pope, and adviser Gao publish in Liebert Open Access

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.

Nan Zeng
Zachary Pope
Zan Gao

 

Two OLPD graduate students awarded Spencer Dissertation Fellowship from National Academy of Education

Elisheva Cohen and Anna Kaiper, graduate students in the Department of Organizational Leadership, Policy, and Development (OLPD), have been awarded 2017 Spencer Dissertation Fellowships from the National Academy of Education. This fellowship “seeks to encourage a new generation of scholars from a wide range of disciplines and professional fields to undertake research relevant to the improvement of education. These $27,500 fellowships support individuals whose dissertations show potential for bringing fresh and constructive perspectives to the history, theory, analysis, or practice of formal or informal education anywhere in the world.”

Cohen and Kaiper are both Ph.D. candidates studying comparative and international development education. Cohen’s dissertation research, funded by a Fulbright Fellowship, employs ethnographic methods to examine the ways in which educational programs foster inclusive environments for Syrian refugees and country nationals in Jordan. Kaiper’s dissertation surrounds the English language learning of South African domestic workers drawing from both a postcolonial and poststructural framework.

Weiss and legacy of students present research at NASPSPA

image of Dr. Maureen Weiss and her students at NASPSPA 2017Maureen Weiss, Ph.D., professor in the School of Kinesiology, and 12 graduate students spanning 30 years and three institutions, presented research studies and convened for an “academic family dinner” at the annual meeting of the North American Society for the Psychology of Sport and Physical Activity (NASPSPA) in San Diego held on June 3-7, 2017.

The photo shows Weiss with former and current students at the University of Oregon, University of Virginia, and University of Minnesota. Students from the University of Minnesota include Alison Phillips (Ph.D., 2015) and Lindsay Kipp (Ph.D., 2012) in the front row, and Nicole Bolter (Ph.D., 2010), Hailee Moehnke (current M.S. student), and Sarah Espinoza (current Ph.D. student) in the back row. Weiss was president of NASPSPA in 2005-2006 and just completed a 5-year term on the Executive Committee as Past-President’s Liaison.

Hoffman receives professional development grant from U of M Foundation

Brandi Hoffman

Congratulations to Brandi Hoffman, director of the School of Kinesiology’s Physical Activity Program (PAP), who has been awarded a $1,000 professional development grant from the University of Minnesota Foundation.  The award, donated by Carrie Sampson-Moore, will be used to support Hoffman’s Physical Activity Program.

Sampson-Moore is the director for Physical Education at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and is an alumna of the School’s master’s program. She was part of a 2015 delegation to China led by School director Li Li Ji to discuss college/university instructional physical activity programs in the U.S. and China.

Suárez awarded the Spencer Dissertation Fellowship

Sarah SuárezSarah Suárez, a fourth year doctoral student in the Institute of Child Development, has been awarded the National Academy of Education/Spencer Dissertation Fellowship for the 2017 academic year.

The $27,500 fellowship supports individuals whose research may advance the field of education. Suárez is one of 35 researchers to receive the fellowship this year out of more than 400 applicants.

Suárez’s dissertation focuses on how children develop an understanding of knowledge and how it relates to critical thinking, social learning, and self-control.

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.

Kinesiology undergrads, Gopher track teammates are featured in local, national media

Two School of Kinesiology undergraduates are featured in this week’s online issue of City PagesBrad Neumann (left in photo) and Justin Rabon are friends and teammates on the Gopher track team, but their story is more than that — a gratifying tale of two people who had the good fortune to find each other at just the right time.

Learn more in Outsports (coming-out stories from Brad and Justin), the Pioneer Press, USATodayWCCO TVFox9, Kare11, and the Minnesota Daily.

 

Elsevier Connect features students’ article on effects of school sport participation on academic, social functioning

Minnesota Youth Development Research Group (MYDRG) members. Top (L-R): Carlos Chavez, Wei Song, Jose Palma, Kory Vue, and Rik Lamm. Bottom (L-R): Mireya Smith, Michael Rodriguez, Youngsoon Kang and Özge Erşan

Recently, Elsevier Connect highlighted research conducted by students in the Department of Educational Psychology at the University of Minnesota. The article, “The effects of participation in school sports on academic and social functioning,” was one of three featured in the piece, “Thriving or surviving? Taking a wide angle on mental health.”1 According to the Elsevier Connect, this free article collection explored what’s behind good mental health for Mental Health Awareness Week.

The study

The students examined 2010 Minnesota Student Survey data and found 12th graders who participated in sports had higher GPAs, more favorable perceptions of school safety, and increased perceptions of family and teacher/community support. Psychological foundations of education student (now alumni), Martin Van Boekel, led the project. Quantitative methods in education students, Luke Stanke, Jose R. Palma Zamora, Yoojeong Jang, Youngsoon Kang, and Kyle Nickodem collaborated with Van Boekel on the study. Okan Bulut, assistant professor in the Department of Educational Psychology and member of the Centre for Research in Applied Measurement and Evaluation (CRAME) at the University of Alberta, helped guide the students’ work. 

The Minnesota Youth Development Research Group

The researchers met and began work on the project through the Minnesota Youth Development Research Group (MYDRG) which is led by Michael Rodriguez, Campbell Leadership Chair in Education and Human Development and professor in the Department of Educational Psychology at the University of Minnesota. MYDRG explores methodological and substantive challenges in youth development through positive psychology, ecological perspectives of youth development, and the translation of research to practice.

More information

Read the Elsevier Connect piece.

Read the full study, “The effects of participation in school sports on academic and social functioning.”

  1. Van Boekel, Martin, Bulut, Okan, Stanke, Luke, Palma Zamora, Jose R., Jang, Yoojeong, Kang, Youngsoon, Nickodem, Kyle. (2017). The effects of participation in school sports on academic and social functioning. Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology, Volume 46, September–October 2016, 31–40. doi: /10.1016/j.appdev.2016.05.002

School of Kinesiology Student Council announces 2017-18 officers and representatives

The Kinesiology Student Council recently announced their newly appointed officers/representatives for the 2017 – 2018 academic year.

Co-Presidents: Madeleine Orr and Anna Baeth
Secretary: Christiana Raymond
Treasurer: John Piekarski
Public Relations: Eydie Kramer and Arash Mahnan
Undergraduate Student Reps: Emily Groshens and Courtney Cashman

Zachary Pope, 2016 – 2017 School of Kinesiology Student Council President, said, “I have no doubt that under the leadership of the individuals listed above the Kinesiology Student Council will continue to grow and enhance the student experience within the University of Minnesota’s School of Kinesiology. Myself and the outgoing members of the Kinesiology Student Council Executive Team look forward to helping with a smooth transition of power that ensures the new Executive Team “hits the ground running.”

OLPD Ph.D. student wins NODA grant for rural student retention research

Keelin Yenney, a Ph.D. student studying higher education in the Department of Organizational Leadership, Policy, and Development (OLPD),  has been awarded a grant from the National Association for Orientation, Transfer, and Retention (NODA) for her research regarding the retention of rural students.

“Social Capital and Sense of Belonging: Exploring Assigned Academic Advising as a Retention Tool for Rural Students”
The purpose of this study is to explore how rural students experience assigned academic advising as a tool to develop social capital and sense of belonging in an urban college environment and the ways these experiences influence retention.

Sport Management Senior Seminar students collaborate with National Sports Center on projects

Young Ho Kim (second from right) and students at NSC.

Young Ho Kim, Kinesiology doctoral candidate and graduate assistant, and his students in SMGT 3881W Senior Seminar in Sport Management, took a tour of the National Sports Center (NSC) in Blaine in April to see the facility and meet with facility administrators. Kim and his students collaborated with the NSC on three projects this semester.

Students and NSC administrators at class presentations.

For the first, “Multi-National Corporations Based in Minnesota as Sponsors of USA CUP,” students researched and prepared a recommendation regarding sponsorship for the NSC premier soccer tournament, USA CUP, with the assistance of Steve Olson, Chief Operating Officer. For the second, “Indigenous/Native American Sports Tournaments and Events,” two groups researched and prepared a recommendation regarding development activities for The Star of the North Games (an Olympic-style, multi-sport event), focusing on adding events and Native populations, with the assistance of George Ellis, NSC’s Director of Sports Development. The third project was “Hosting a Girl’s and Women’s Wellness & Sports Expo at the NSC.” Students researched and prepared a recommendation for NSC to host the expo, focusing on sponsors and a topic series, with the assistance of Todd Johnson, Executive Director. On May 1, the NSC administrators visited Kim’s class and his students presented their projects.

Kim is co-advised by Kinesiology professor Michael Wade, Ph.D., and Rayla Allison, J.D.