Gao serves as corresponding author and first co-author on the article. He collaborated with doctoral advisees Zachary Pope and Nan Zeng, as well as colleagues Brent Leininger, DC, MS, Gert Bronfort, DC, PhD, and Roni Evans, DC, PhD, from the U of M’s Center for Spirituality and Healing, and Mitchell Haas, DC, MA, from the University of Western States.
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.”
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Two School of Kinesiology undergraduates are featured in this week’s online issue of City Pages. Brad 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.
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 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.
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
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.”
“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.
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.
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.