CEHD News Students

CEHD News Students

Mraz presents on creating a network for new advisers at the U of M

Anna Mraz, academic adviser in CEHD Student Services, co-presented with CLA academic adviser Jacob Rudy, at the NACADA Region 6 Conference held this month. NACADA is the professional association for academic advisers in higher education.

Mraz and Rudy presented on the new adviser group they’ve implemented at the U of M to foster training, support, and networking for new advisers across the University. This group and its “Get To Know U” curriculum has helped advisers simultaneously build their knowledge base and professional network in a systematic and ongoing manner.

Kristin Wood named recipient of Kinesiology’s 2018-19 Doctoral Dissertation Award

Congratulations to Kinesiology Ph.D. candidate Kristin Wood, who has been chosen by the School’s Graduate Education Committee as recipient of the School of Kinesiology’s 2018-19 Doctoral Dissertation AwardThe award provides a 50% graduate assistantship for the coming academic year.

Wood is advised by Diane Wiese-Bjornstal, Ph.D., professor in the sport and exercise psychology emphasis. Her research interests are in psychology of injury, psychological interventions to increase rehabilitation adherence, and curriculum development in athletic training education programs. She has the following publication due out in June, 2018: Wiese-Bjornstal, D. M., White, A. C., Wood, K. N., & Russell, H. C., Sports medicine psychology. In T. S. Horn & A. L. Smith (Eds.), Advances in sport and exercise psychology (4th ed.) Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics

The Kinesiology Doctoral Dissertation Award provides the School’s most accomplished Ph.D candidates with an opportunity to devote efforts to an outstanding research project under the mentorship of the student’s primary faculty advisor. 

CAUSE researchers host NAAD webinar on propensity score matching

Researchers working on the First in the World project—run by CAUSE: Consortium for the Advancement of Underrepresented Student Engagement and made possible by the U.S. Department of Education and its programs—recently presented two propensity score matching (PSM) webinars for members of the National Association of Assessment Directors (NAAD). Professor and department chair Geoffrey Maruyama and Ph.D. students in the psychological foundations of education program—Anthony Schulzetenberg, Isabel Lopez, and Wei Song—along with Jason Johnson, a Ph.D. student in Organizational Leadership Policy (not pictured), presented to the group.

Propensity score matching (PSM) is a quasi-experimental statistical approach that attempts to create comparable treatment and control groups by controlling on background and other variables thought to be related to participation in programs and thereby allow better estimation of the effect of a treatment, policy, or other intervention.

“The experiences the students had in preparing the webinars provided an opportunity for them to consolidate their knowledge and think about how to explain the methods to people who were less knowledgeable,” says Maruyama. “We all will be repeating the webinars for all the recipients of First in The World grants this May.”

Dual degree M.Ed. student Yue Xue publishes in International Review of Sociology of Sport

Yue Xue

Yue Xue, Sport Management M.Ed. student, has published a paper in the journal, International Review of Sociology of Sport. She is the lead author on the article, “Media portrayal of sportswomen in East Asia: A systematic review.”

Xue is in the dual degree program for the M.Ed. in Sport Management, a collaboration between Shanghai Jiao Tong University (SJTU) and the School of Kinesiology. She and fellow student Shulin Li began the program last fall.  Xue was a student in KIN5511 Sport and Gender taught by Jo Ann Buysse, Ph.D., and Buysse encouraged her to publish the project/paper that she wrote for the class. “I really appreciate Dr. Buysse’s encouragement and help,” says Xue. “I also appreciate that the Kinesiology department provides such an amazing class.”

Xue and Li were highlighted in an article last fall in All Things Kinsidered.

Students research with Varma, present at Undergraduate Research Symposium

Language Differences by Environment in STEM Classroom Engagement Activities research team (L-R: Chanel Flower, Evan Son, Samuel Bullard, and Corissa Wurth)

Eight undergraduate student enrolled in Associate Professor Keisha Varma’s EPSY 5200 – Community Engaged Research Experiences for Undergraduate Students course presented their research projects at the University wide Undergraduate Research Symposium on April 20 at Northrop Auditorium. In addition to taking Varma’s class, the students are conducting research on her National Science Foundation (NSF) funded Project ESPRIT, and U of M grant-in-aid funded SciGames Project. 

Project ESPRIT researchers

  • Social-media Learning Environments and Middle School Science Student Engagement, Celina Berndt, psychology major, College of Liberal Arts
  • Language Differences by Environment in STEM Classroom Engagement Activities, Chanel Flower, Evan Son, Samuel Bullard, and Corissa Wurth, psychology majors, College of Liberal Arts
  • The Effects of Familial Interaction on Students’ Science Scores, Haley Hauptman, psychology major, College of Liberal Arts
  • The Overall Exploration of Middle School Students’ Parental Involvement in STEM Education with Technology, Hao Liang, economics major, College of Liberal Arts

SciGames project researcher

  • Choice in Games: How Agency Affects Retention, Charlie Mackin, psychology major, College of Liberal Arts

Learn more about Varma’s research.

Social Work student selected as Congressional Intern

Ravyn Gibbs
Ravyn Gibbs

Ravyn Gibbs, an M.S.W./M.P.H. student, was selected for the 2018 Udall Foundation Native American Congressional Internship Program. She will be interning with the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs.

Gibbs is Anishinaabe. She is an enrolled member of the Bois Forte Band of Chippewa and a direct descendant of the Red Lake Nation. She holds a bachelor’s degree in criminology from the University of Minnesota Duluth and is enrolled the dual-degree master’s program in social work and public health at the University of Minnesota. She works at the American Indian Cancer Foundation as a graduate research assistant. After graduation, she intends to advocate for and develop policies that positively impact the health and well-being of American Indian communities. During the internship, Gibbs hopes to gain insight and better understanding of how federal policy is developed and its relationship with tribal sovereignty and tribal development.

The Udall interns will complete an intensive, 9-week internship in the summer of 2018 in Washington, D.C. Special enrichment activities will provide opportunities to meet with key decision makers. From 1996 through 2018, 267 Native American and Alaska Native students from 120 Tribes will have participated in the program. Seven Udall interns have been students at the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities.

Q&A with Diamonique Walker, QME student

As a teen mother, Diamonique Walker dropped out of high school. After struggling to find an educational path that suited her needs and allowed her to still provide for her daughter, Walker decided to get her GED at 19. She followed that up with a two-year degree at a local community college and, later, a B.A. in psychology at Augsburg University. During her time in undergrad, Walker became interested in the application of statistics to psychology.

With help through her participation in the McNair Scholars Program at Augsburg, she began looking for a graduate program with compelling faculty research and a commitment to supporting the communities around it. Walker wanted a program that involved education, psychology, and statistics and says, “I found just that in the QME (quantitative methods in education) program.”

Now a Ph.D. student in the Department of Educational Psychology, Walker’s research interests lie in standardized tests, specifically, making them more culturally sensitive and fair for nonwhite and low-income students. In addition, she wants to better understand the achievement gap through the use of statistical models.

We asked about her experience as a QME student and what insights she’d like to share with prospective students. Here’s what she said:

Q: What is most exciting about your work?

“I can confidently say that I love what I am learning. Although this is a challenging experience, it is molding me into being a critical thinker and the detail-oriented professional I want to be.”

Q: What have you enjoyed most about your experience in your program? Has anything surprised you?

“I feel like I am in the right place with my program because I am around people who I can ask questions, who have strikingly similar interests as me, and who are always willing to help! I am surprised with how fast this first year has gone by. I am almost through one year of graduate school and I can hardly believe it. I am one year closer to having my Ph.D. than I was last year and that is so amazing to me.”

Q: What would you like prospective students to know about your program? Any advice for them?

“Prospective students should know that this department is committed to students’ success. Students can get the support they need from faculty, through connecting with other students, and instructors. It’s a very supportive environment. I would advise them to take advantage of opportunities, whether that be as part of a research project, an internship, etc. This will help with professional development and build connections and common interests with faculty and staff. I’ve also found that this helps narrow your interests once you’ve exposed yourself to different opportunities.”

Q: Do you have hobbies or activities that you do outside of work?

“I enjoy spending time with my daughter, my partner, and my dog. I also love bicycling, baking and reading.”

Q: What’s next for you?

“This summer I am hoping to find an internship that relates to my field of study to get more relevant professional experience as a data analyst.”

Kinesiology alumna Lindsay Whalen hired as head coach of Gopher Women’s Basketball

School of Kinesiology alumna and beloved U of M and professional basketball player Lindsay Whalen has been hired as head coach of Gopher women’s basketball.

Whalen, who was starting point guard for the Gophers from 2000 to 2004, was a three-time All-America star. During her tenure, she was the program’s all-time scoring leader at 2,285 points, and her powerful presence propelled women’s basketball into the forefront at the University. Average attendance at Williams Arena increased more than 900% during her career as a Gopher.

After four years playing for the U of M, Whalen was drafted by the Connecticut Sun and played for six seasons before returning to Minnesota in 2010 to play for the Minnesota Lynx. She graduated from the School of Kinesiology in 2006 with a B.S. in Sport Science (now Sport Management). She will continue to play for the Lynx and coach for the Gophers.

A few of the many media reports, including Whalen’s press conference, are linked below.




2018 Kinesiology Research Day showcases work of students, faculty

2018 Kinesiology Research Day held Friday, April 13, was a resounding success, showcasing the projects or involvement of 58 members of the School of Kinesiology. Held in Walter Library, the collection of research included seven research briefs, four paper presentations, and 21 poster presentations, as well as seven lab talks.

The School of Kinesiology Research Day is held annually and sponsored and organized by the Kinesiology Student Council. It is designed to present an opportunity for faculty members, staff, graduate students and undergraduate students to interact in an interdisciplinary forum, exchange ideas, and present their achievements.

Awards were presented in a number of categories (serious and not-so serious):

For more photos of the event see our Flickr album.

Research Awards:

People’s Choice for Best Poster (Undergraduate) – Madeline Czeck, B.S. student
People’s Choice for Best Poster (Graduate) – Katie Bisch, M.S. student
Faculty Choice for Best Research Brief – Morgan Betker, Ph.D. candidate

Miscellaneous Awards
‘Die Hard Award’ – Assistant professor Sarah Greising, for attending the whole day and showing so much support to all student participants!
‘Harshest Questions Award’ – Professor Jürgen Konczak, for making everybody second-guess their work
‘Best Dressed’ Award – Joey Kronzer, M.S. student
‘Herding Cats Award’ – Eydie Kramer, Ph.D. student, for all her work with the high school tours!
‘Drill Sergeant Award’ – Arash Mahnan, Ph.D. student, for making sure the event ran on schedule all day!

“Kin Research Day is a fabulous celebration of all the work happening in Kinesiology, and a great opportunity to celebrate the diversity of research in our School,” says Madeleine Orr, co-chair of the Kinesiology Student Council. “We had a lot of fun putting it together and were very pleased with the turnout and energy at the event!”

Orr Is Top 6 Finalist in 3MT® Regional Championships

Madeleine Orr, Kinesiology Ph.D. candidate and 2017 winner of the University-wide Three-Minute Thesis Competition (3MT®), traveled to Grand Rapids, MI, for the 3MT® Regional Championships hosted by the Midwestern Association of Graduate Schools. She was accompanied by Scott Lanyon, Ph.D., U of M Vice-Provost and Dean of Graduate Education.

Contestants came from 39 different universities across the Midwest. Each had won their university’s competition. Orr advanced as a Regional Finalist (Top 6) and presented with the other finalists at the closing plenary of the event.

Orr will present at the U of M Board of Regents meeting in May, and will judge at the Natural Resource Science & Management 3MT® competition later this month. The U of M Graduate School will be using 3MT® training materials that Orr and Kinesiology Ph.D. candidate Morgan Betker developed to use in workshops for graduate students interested in public speaking and public scholarship.

Kinesiology well-represented at Sport Social Justice Symposium

The U of M was host to the Social Justice Through Sport and Exercise Psychology Symposium on April 5-7 at the Recreation and Wellness Center on the Twin Cities campus. A number of faculty, students, alumni, and associates from the School of Kinesiology (listed below) were involved in the program and presentations.

The symposium opened with welcoming remarks from the U of M’s Jean Quam, Ph.D., dean, CEHD; Nicole M. LaVoi, Ph.D., co-director, Tucker Center;  and Anna Baeth, doctoral student in kinesiology and member of the organization’s Conference Committee.


  • Cultural Competence in Sports Medicine Psychology: Mental Health Concerns and Religious Coping as Marginalized Topics of Research and Intervention with Injured Athletes

    • Mental Health Concerns Among Athletes Sustaining Sports Related Concussions, Kristin N. Wood and Diane Wiese-Bjornstal, Ph.D.
    • Mental Health Concerns Among Athletes Sustaining Musculoskeletal Injuries, Francesca Principe and Diane Wiese-Bjornstal, Ph.D.
    • A Thematic Analysis of Religiosity and Spirituality in Coping with Sport Injuries, Diane Wiese-Bjornstal, Ph.D., Kristin N. Wood, Andrew C. White, Ph.D., Amanda J. Wambach, and Victor J. Rubio, Ph.D. (Universidad Autónoma de Madrid)
  • International Social Justice Efforts
    • The What, How, and Why of Community-Based Participatory Research for Empowering Physical Activity for All: A Tale of Two Social Justice Projects, Chelsey Thul, Ph.D., and Muna Mohamed
    • Creating Safe Space in a Hostile Place: Exploring the Marathon of Afghanistan Through the Lens of Safe Space, Madeleine Orr and Anna Baeth
  • Access to Physical Activity as a Social Justice Issue
    • Physical Literacy as a Social Justice Issue, Jennifer Bhalla (Pacific University)


  • International Sport Management and Social ResponsibilityLisa A. Kihl, Ph.D.
  • Social Justice: The Role of the Sport CoachNicole M. LaVoi, Ph.D., and Maya Hamilton, Ph.D.
  • Creating Social Change for Girls & Women in Sport: Tucker Center Education, Research and Outreach ProjectsNicole M. LaVoi, Ph.D., Anna Baeth, Courtney Boucher, Mikinzee Salo, Veronica Rasmussen, Nicole Varichak, and Matea Wasend
  • The Paralympic Games: Who’s In and Who’s Left Out?, Jo Ann Buysse, Ph.D.

Kinesiology student and U of M athlete Sidney Peters receives 2018 Hockey Humanitarian Award

Sidney Peters, Gopher Women’s Hockey goaltender and senior in the School of Kinesiology,  was drawn to volunteer work from the very beginning of her college career. As a freshman, she became involved in M.A.G.I.C (Maroon And Gold Impacting the Community), a program designed to encourage student-athletes to get involved in community service, and she has continued volunteering her time and talents with organizations ever since.  On Friday, April 6, her commitment to helping others was recognized when she received the prestigious Hockey Humanitarian Award from the Hockey Humanitarian Award Foundation. The organization presented Peters with a check for $2,500 during a ceremony held at the NCAA Men’s Frozen Four tournament in St. Paul. The funds will be donated to her designated charity, Project Medishare.

The Hockey Humanitarian Award is given each year to college hockey’s finest citizen — a student-athlete who makes significant contributions not only to his or her team, but also to the community-at-large through leadership in volunteerism.

Peters was deeply affected by her experience in 2016 when she traveled to Haiti to work as a volunteer in a hospital there. She continued her service when she returned, volunteering as an EMT and getting involved with other community organizations.

The award is featured in multiple media:


Kinesiology senior Groshens presents at NASCM meeting

Emily Groshens, a fourth-year kinesiology undergraduate major graduating in May, will present a poster titled, “A Qualitative Assessment of Family Influence on Weight-Related Behaviors among African-Americans” at the Northland American College of Sports Medicine Regional Meeting (NASCM) at St. Catherine’s University in St. Paul on Friday, April 6.

Along with serving as an undergraduate research assistant with Daheia Barr-Anderson, Ph.D. and the Behavioral Physical Activity Laboratory (BPAL) for the past two years, Emily is a member of the Kinesiology Student Council and a familiar face in the School as Kinesiology as she is one of the student interns in the main office.

Baeth places second in CEHD 3MT® competition

Anna Baeth, School of Kinesiology Ph.D. student with a focus on sport sociology, finished second in this year’s 3-Minute Thesis competition, which is part of the CEHD research day. Her presentation titled “An Analysis of Women Coaches with Career Longevity in NCAA Division I Sport” described her research around the questions of “who are the women who stay in these positions?” and “what are the factors for this?” Watch the video below for the entire presentation.

Baeth is co-advised by Mary Jo Kane, Ph.D., and Nicole LaVoi, Ph.D. She currently is a research assistant in the Tucker Center for Research on Girls & Women n Sport.

The 3-Minute Thesis (3MT®) is a research communication competition developed by The University of Queensland, Australia, in 2008 and is held in over 200 universities worldwide. It is open to Ph.D. students and challenges participants to present their research in just 180 seconds in an engaging form that can be understood by an audience with no background in the research area.

APAL graduate students, adviser publish in Experimental Brain Research

Kinesiology graduate students from the Affordance Perception-Action Laboratory (APAL) and their adviser, Tom Stoffregen, Ph.D., have published an online article in the journal, Experimental Brain Research. The citation is: Li, R., Walter, H., Curry, C., Rath, R., Peterson, N., & Stoffregen, T. A. (2018). Postural time-to-contact as a precursor of visually induced motion sickness. The results of the study they conducted provide a qualitatively new type of support for the postural instability theory of motion sickness.

Ruixuan Li is a Ph.D. candidate in the U of M doctoral program in Human Factors and Ergonomics and is a member of APAL, along with Kinesiology graduate students Hannah Walter, Chris Curry, Ruth Rath, and Nicolette Peterson.


Tayler Loiselle, psych foundations student featured as an emerging scholar

Tayler Loiselle head shot
Tayler Loiselle

Tayler Loiselle, Ph.D. student in the psychological foundations of education program, was recently acknowledged as an emerging scholar by the Society for Research on Adolescence. Loiselle, under the mentorship of faculty member Keisha Varmaexplores research regarding the relationship between scientific reasoning ability and motivation in middle school students.

In addition to research, Loiselle has had first-hand experience in the classroom. She has worked as a special educational assistant in an elementary school where she helped initiate the creation of their first after-school program. Loiselle has also been a part of teaching kids about science and engineering through her positions as assistant coach and program coordinator of GEMS and GISE. These experiences contributed to Loiselle’s continuation in pursuing community-engaged research.

Currently, Loiselle is a Graduate Research Assistant on the ESPRIT project, Fostering Equitable Science through Parental Involvement and Technology.  The ESPRIT Project is funded by the National Science Foundation (Award #1657088 ).  In her role on the project, Tayler is investigating how a social media learning environment can increase student engagement and parent involvement for middle school students from underserved communities.

You can read more about Tayler Loiselle and her recent accomplishment here.

Konczak gives talk at CCS Colloquium/Perception Lunch

Jürgen Konczak, Ph.D.professor in the School of Kinesiology and director of the HSC Laboratory, presented at the Center for Cognitive Science (CCS) Colloquium/Perception Lunch Talks on Tuesday, March 27.

The title of Konczak’s talk was “Proprioception – the silent sense: What happens, if it is no longer there?” He illustrated what happens if someone experiences complete or partial loss of proprioception by referring to classic clinical studies and showing data from the lab’s work in patients with dystonia, Parkinson’s disease and cortical stroke.

Zachary Pope, Kinesiology PhD candidate, to present at U’s Doctoral Research Showcase April 3

The University’s eleventh annual Doctoral Research Showcase will include a presentation by Zachary Pope, Kinesiology Ph.D. candidate and advisee of Zan Gao, Ph.D., associate professor in the School of Kinesiology and director of the Physical Activity Epidemiology Lab (PAEL).

The Showcase will be held Tuesday, April 3 from 12 p.m. – 2 p.m. in the Great Hall, Coffman Memorial Union.

The goal of the Doctoral Research Showcase is to help doctoral fellows develop their abilities to talk about their research to audiences outside of their disciplines and to gain exposure for their work with key stakeholders.

Pope’s research presentation is “Use of Wearable Technology to Improve Physical Activity and Eating Behaviors among College Students: A 12-week Randomized Pilot Study.” All Kinesiology colleagues are invited to attend and support Mr. Pope.

For more information about the event or to view a list of all of this year’s participants, visit: z.umn.edu/drs2018.

CSPP students, faculty participate in Minnesota School Counselor Association Day on the Hill

The Minnesota School Counselors Association held their annual Day on the Hill on March 15 at the state capital in St. Paul. Students and faculty in the Department of Educational Psychology’s counseling and student personnel psychology (CSPP) program met with legislators and senators to promote the important work that school counselors do for our students and school communities.