Category Archives: Students

LaVoi to speak at Gustavus Adolphus on Nov. 13

Gustavus Adolphus College alumna and School of Kinesiology senior lecturer Nicole LaVoi, Ph.D., will speak at her alma mater on Monday, November 13, on “Current Research on Girls and Women in Sport.” Her presentation will be held in Nobel Hall 201 at 5:30 p.m. Lavoi is also co-director of the School’s Tucker Center for Research on Girls and Women in Sport.

Kinesiology undergraduate Elisheva Savvateev receives UROP award

Elisheva Savvateev, an undergraduate research assistant in the Affordance Perception-Action Laboratory (APAL), has received a U of M Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program (UROP) award. Thomas Stoffregen, Ph. D., professor in the School of Kinesiology, supervises her project, “The driver passenger effect in head mounted virtual reality.” Continue reading

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.

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.

Koopmeiners to present at AAN’s Branding You professional development session

Katie Koopmeiners, undergraduate academic adviser for the School of Kinesiology, will be presenting at the Academic Advising Network’s first session in their professional development series, “Branding You.” The title of her presentation is “Creating an Advising Philosophy.”

Koopmeiners, who advises in the areas of Recreation Administration, Sport Management, and Coaching, will discuss the importance of an advising philosophy in a working session that will help new and seasoned advisers formalize their guiding principles in their advising practice. Participants will consider their advising style, strengths and theoretical basis to develop their own personal advising philosophy.

The session will be held Tuesday, October 24, from 10:30-noon in Nolte 140.

Mahnan featured in Global Programs and Strategy Alliance’s “Global U”

Arash Mahnan, Kinesiology Ph.D. student and IT Fellow, is one of three people featured in the Global Programs and Strategy Alliance online newsletter, Global U, promoting Driven: The University of Minnesota Campaign, the first system-wide fundraising campaign at the U of M in more than a decade. The Alliance has set a goal of raising $7 million to “Drive a Global U.”

Mahnan discusses his goal to fill the gap between engineering and clinical research, and the imperative to attract top students and faculty from around the world to come to the University of Minnesota. He is a student in the area of biomechanics and neural control and is advised by Juergen Konczak, Ph.D.

Read Mahnan’s feature here.

 

 

Kinesiology alum Mackenzie Havey will read from her new book, Mindful Running, at U of M Bookstores October 17

School of Kinesiology alumna Mackenzie Lobby Havey, M.A., will read her recently published book, Mindful Running: How Meditative Running Can Improve Performance and Make You a Happier, More Fulfilled Person, at the U of M Bookstore in Coffman Memorial Union on the Minneapolis campus on Tuesday, October 17, at 4 p.m.

In her book, Havey, who is a runner, coach, and fitness journalist, describes her personal experience with meditative running and the influence it has had on her life.

“I discovered that when I integrated the principles of mindfulness into my daily running practice, it boosted my joy in the process of training, as well as my performance, and I wanted to share that in this book,” she says. “As I began to deconstruct my own mindful running routine and talk to Olympians, paralympians, and researchers in the fields of contemplative neuroscience and sports psychology, I found that I wasn’t the only one who had experienced significant benefit from combining mindfulness with physical training. Mindful Running is all about learning to run the mile you are in and train smarter, not harder–to find new ways to relate to your body, mind, and environment to deal with things like discomfort, fatigue, and negative thinking with intentionality and ease. My hope is that some of the lessons learned on the run will find their way into other parts of your life as well.”

Havey graduated with her master’s degree in 2009 in the Sport and Exercise Psychology emphasis area and was advised by Prof. Diane Wiese-Bjornstal. She is currently teaching a Beginning Running class in the School’s Physical Activity Program.

Kinesiology B.S. student Andrew Stelter is semifinalist for 2017 William V. Campbell Trophy

Andrew Stelter, Kinesiology B.S. senior and defensive lineman for the Gopher football team, is a semifinalist for the 2017 William V. Campbell Trophy, a National Football Foundation (NFF) award. The award recognizes the most impressive group of scholar-athletes in college football. Stelter has a current cumulative GPA of 3.61 and serves on the Gopher’s football leadership council. He will graduate in December.

Finalists for the Trophy will be announced November 1. Each will receive an $18,000 postgraduate scholarship as a member of the NFF National Scholar-Athlete Class.

Read the full story here.

 

 

 

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.