Category Archives: Students

Tianou Zhang, Kinesiology PhD candidate, to present at U’s Doctoral Research Showcase April 11

The University’s tenth annual Doctoral Research Showcase will include a presentation by Tianou Zhang, Kinesiology Ph.D. candidate and advisee of Li Li Ji, Ph.D., director of the School of Kinesiology.

The Showcase will be held Tuesday, April 11 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.

Mr. Zhang’s research presentation is “Dietary Antioxidant Protection Against Inflammation in Exercise and Obesity.” All Kinesiology colleagues are invited to attend and support Mr. Zhang.

For more information about the event or to view a list of all of this year’s participants, visit: z.umn.edu/drs2017.

Betker and Orr are finalists in CEHD Three Minute Thesis Competition

Morgan Betker
Madeleine Orr

Two Kinesiology doctoral candidates are finalists in CEHD’s Research Day competition, Three Minute Thesis (3MT), which will be held March 28  from 10-11 a.m. in the McNamara Alumni Center Johnson Room.

Morgan Betker (exercise physiology emphasis) and Madeleine Orr (sport management emphasis) will be competing with six doctoral students from across the college for the first prize of $300. Prizes of $250 will go to the runner-up and people’s choice. The finalists were chosen from a preliminary round competition held last week.

Ms. Betker’s presentation is “Cardiovascular Health and Occupational Stress in Police Officers” and Ms. Orr’s presentation is “The rhetoric vs. the reality of sport event legacies.”

3MT is an annual competition held in over 200 universities worldwide. It’s designed to challenge Ph.D. students to present their research in just three minutes in an engaging format that can be understood by an audience with no background in their discipline. The competition is intended to help students develop a presentation on their research and hone their academic communication skills to explain their work effectively to a general audience.

Judges in the CEHD competition are Karen Kaler, University Associate; Mary Tjosovold, local entrepreneur, author, and humanitarian, and CEHD alumna; and Dr. John Wright, professor of African-American and African Studies in the College of Liberal Arts.

Rebecca Distefano awarded Interdisciplinary Doctoral Fellowship

Rebecca Distefano, a Ph.D. student in child psychology at the Institute of Child Development (ICD), was recently awarded the Interdisciplinary Doctoral Fellowship (IDF). The IDF is awarded to 21 outstanding Ph.D. students who take part in interdisciplinary research at the University of Minnesota.

The fellowship provides recipients with the opportunity to study and research with faculty at one interdisciplinary research center of their choice. The award includes a stipend of $25,000 for the academic year, tuition for up to 14 graduate credits each semester, and subsidized health insurance through the Graduate Assistant Health Plan.

Varma, student present research on the origins of numerical abilities to Royal Society

Sashank Varma, associate professor and coordinator for the Department of Educational Psychology’s psychological foundations of education program, and doctoral student, Soo-hyun Im, recently traveled to London for the Royal Society Meeting on the Origins of Numerical Abilities, a scientific discussion about how when humans acquire numerical competence, we build upon an inherited cognitive foundation. At the meeting, Varma and Im presented their research projects entitled Mathematical insight predicts mathematical achievement in college students1 and From number sense to arithmetic sense: A theoretical and empirical synthesis.2

Co-authors of Mathematical insight predicts mathematical achievement include: Purav Patel, a doctoral student in psychological foundations of education and Rachel Voit, a Macalester College student at the time of data collection and now a masters student in social work.

The Royal Society is a fellowship of many of the world’s most eminent scientists and is the oldest scientific academy in continuous existence.

  1.  Varma, S., Voit, R., Im, S.-h., & Patel, P. J. (2017, February). Mathematical insight predicts mathematical achievement in college students. Poster presented at the Royal Society Meeting on The Origins of Numerical Abilities, London, UK.
  1. Im, S.-h., & Varma, S. (2017, February). From number sense to arithmetic sense: A theoretical and empirical synthesis. Poster presented at the Royal Society Meeting on The Origins of Numerical Abilities, London, UK.

Natalie Low awarded Anne D. Pick Award for an Outstanding Child Psychology Major

Natalie Low receiving Anne D. Pick Award for an Outstanding Child Psychology Major

Every year, the Institute of Child Development (ICD) awards one undergraduate child psychology student with the Anne D. Pick Award for an Outstanding Child Psychology Major. The recipient demonstrates excellence in research and academics in the area of child development.

This year’s recipient is Natalie Low, who studies emotion regulation (ER) at ICD. Low currently conducts research in the Cognitive Development and Neuroimaging (CDN) Lab with ICD Professor Kathleen Thomas, Ph.D.,  on how children learn different strategies from the environment to help them regulate their emotions.

Along with an inscribed plaque, Low will receive a scholarship of $500 and up to $250 in travel/ research funds. Below, Low discusses how she developed an interest in child psychology and her post-graduation plans.

What made you want to study child psychology? 

I came across the child psychology major by chance. While applying to transfer to the University of Minnesota, I was unsure of what I wanted to major in and as I was filling out my application, I chanced upon the major. I knew that I wanted to continue pursuing something related to the field of psychology or the social sciences and that I wanted to work with children. Looking back, this decision has been one filled with great reward and tremendous challenge, but it is something that I don’t regret.

What kind of research are you involved in? 

As an undergraduate research assistant in the CDN Lab, I investigated the role of early experience in brain development. As part of an independent study, I have developed a coding scheme, with the assistance of Dr. Thomas, to examine attentional strategies used by preschool children to regulate their emotions. I also have worked with ICD Associate Professor Melissa Koenig, Ph.D., in the Early Language and Experience Lab (ELEL), where I examined how preschool children reason about the intentions and actions of people. Currently, I am assisting Dr. Thomas in a separate study examining social and emotional development in children who have had a hemipherectomy (half of their brain removed).

What do you find most interesting about child development? 

You can never have two children who are exactly alike. Child development is continuously affected by biological factors, environmental factors, and even an amalgamation and interaction of both. I find it interesting how even under similar conditions, two children will be different from one another, especially in the research area I am interested in, emotional development, whereby children may use similar strategies for regulation.

What are your plans after graduation? 

My coursework, clinical experience and research experiences have inspired me to attend graduate school in developmental psychology. I have received numerous opportunities to study cognitive development in children, but still continue to find it intriguing, especially in its relation to emotional development. Ultimately, I hope to attend graduate school to attain the skills necessary for a career as a qualified and inquisitive developmental researcher and to continue to contribute and create greater awareness and understanding of child development.

PAEL researchers will present next week at SHAPE America National Convention

Researchers from the Physical Activity Epidemiology Laboratory (PAEL) in the School of Kinesiology will give six presentations and be included as coauthors on two other presentations at the Society for Health and Physical Educators (SHAPE) America National Convention in Boston, MA, from March 14th to 18th. PAEL Director Zan Gao, Ph.D., and Ph.D. candidates June Lee and Zachary Pope, Ph.D. student Nan Zeng, and undergraduate student Kalli Fautsch will be presenting. Their presentations are listed below.

Gao, Z., Leininger, B., Schulz, C., Bronfort, G., Evans, R., Pope, Z., Zeng, N., & Haas, M. (2017, March). Relationships between physical activity and low back pain in adolescents
Fautsch, K., Pope, Z., Zeng, N., Zhang, Y., & Gao, Z. (2017, March). Exercise modalities on physical activity and behavior in ASD children.
Lee, J., Pope, Z., Zeng, N., Zhang, Y., & Gao, Z. (2017, March). Effect of home-based Exergaming on preschool children’s cognitive function and cardiorespiratory fitness.
Li, X., Peng, Q., Tan, J., Yang, H., He, W., Zeng, N., & Gao, Z. (2017, March). Relationships among Chinese college children’s motives and physical activity behavior.
Peng, Q., Li, X., Tan, J., Yang, H., He, W., Zeng, N., & Gao, Z. (2017, March). Associations among college students’ physical activity, sedentary time and health.
Pope, Z., & Gao, Z., (2017, March). Effectiveness of smartphone-based physical activity intervention on college student health: Randomized-controlled trial.
Pope, Z., Lee, J., Zeng, N., & Gao, Z. (2017, March). Validity of smartwatches in assessing energy expenditure and heart rate.
Zeng, N., Lee, J., Pope, Z., & Gao, Z. (2017, March). Comparison of physiological and psychological outcomes between normal weight and overweight/obese college students during exergaming.

Kinesiology Student Council awarded grant monies to host Kinesiology Research Day

The Kinesiology Student Council has been awarded over $900 combined in grant monies to host the 2nd Annual Kinesiology Research Day on April 21, 2017, in 400 Suite Walter Library. These monies came from two sources: A Minnesota Student Association’s Event Grant and a CEHD GradSEHD Cohort Development Grant.
Kinesiology Research Day promises to be an opportunity for faculty members, staff, graduate students and undergraduate students from the School of Kinesiology and relevant departments to interact in an interdisciplinary forum, exchange ideas and present their achievements. Notably, this is the second consecutive year the Council has acquired funding for this annual event, with the Council intending to once again make Kinesiology Research Day a first-class affair.

OLPD graduate student receives Mestenhauser Student Award for Excellence

Takehito Kamata, a Ph.D. student (higher education track) in the Department of Organizational Leadership, Policy, and Development (OLPD), is a recipient of the Mestenhauser Student Award for Excellence in Campus Internationalization recognizing outstanding student contributions to international education. Kamata will receive his award at a ceremony held on March 3, 2017.

 

Read more and RSVP.

Health, sport and recreation career fair to be held Feb. 8

Career fair photoThe CEHD Health, Sport and Recreation Career Fair  on Feb. 8 at the U’s Recreation and Wellness Center is specifically designed for Kinesiology, Sport Management and Recreation, Park and Leisure Studies students looking for internships, full-time positions and graduate program information. Fifteen organizations from diverse areas such as Allina Health, U of M Athletics, and the YMCA and YWCA, will be there to recruit and share information about their organization. Visit GoldPASS to see all of the employers who will be attending. No registration is required.

REC students involved in Resilient Communities Project (RCP)

Under the leadership of Tony Brown, Ph.D., Recreation Administration instructor in the School of Kinesiology and associate director of the Department of Recreational Sports, students participated in this year’s Resilient Communities Project (RCP), working with the City of Brooklyn Park. The students enrolled in the Recreation Administration major applied their knowledge and skills to a real-world project with a community partner. They worked with the City’s in its effort to address nature-based recreation opportunities and equitable use of athletic fields.

The RCP is an organization dedicated to connecting communities in Minnesota with diverse expertise of University of Minnesota faculty and students to address pressing local issues in ways that advance sustainability and resilience.

Students in Sport Management class work with Forest Lake school on best practices for developing athletic program

Ryan Santoso (left) and Justin Juenemann presented their recommendations.

Students in a Sport Management course in the School of Kinesiology had a real-world opportunity to help a K-12 school in Forest Lake consider ways to develop and expand an athletic program for their students in grades 6-12.

The students in SMGT 3881W, a capstone course for undergraduates taught by Lisa Kihl, Ph.D., associate professor in the School, collaborated with Lakes International Language Academy (LILA) to come up with best practices for an athletics department operations manual that covered areas such as policies, recruiting and training coaches, facilities, and marketing. The students worked in groups and presented their plans to school director  Shannon Peterson and athletics and activities director Jenni Muras.

“This is the students’ opportunity to demonstrate that they are prepared academically and professionally as graduates to contribute meaningful work for real-world sports concerns,” said Kihl. “I set the expectations high. And every time, these students amaze me,.”

“We were thrilled to participate in this capstone project,” Muras said. “With Dr. Kihl’s expert guidance, the University students provided useful information that reflects our school’s mission, values, and International Baccalaureate focus. We’re looking forward to continuing the relationship with the U.”

LILA is a public K-12 Mandarin and Spanish language immersion school.

Upcoming spring 2017 career events

Career Services event photoAs the CEHD class of 2017 plans for their next steps after graduation, CEHD Career Services is there to support them with several career events planned during spring term.

In February, undergraduate and graduate students have the opportunity for top Twin Cities employers to review their resume. The Health, Sport, and Recreation Career Fair brings several employers to campus who are interested in hiring CEHD students. Students may also hone their interview skills in practice interviews with employers. This is great preparation for the U of M Job and Internship Fair at the end of February.

In March, employers from a variety of industries will be on campus to talk about careers related to youth studies and family social science majors.

In April, the annual MN Education Job Fair is the chance for teacher education students to meet and interview with districts across the state.

Global Seminar students blog from Kenya

Over winter break, Daheia Barr-Anderson, Ph.D., assistant professor in the School of Kinesiology, is teaching a Global Seminar course in Nairobi, Kenya, as part of the U of M’s Learning Abroad programs. The course, titled “Empowering Girls Through Sport,” explores how in the Kenyan culture physical activity is used as a gateway to many aspects of life and how it can empower youth, especially girls.

Students, who are traveling in Kenya from December 26, 2016, to January 16, 2017, are blogging about their experiences: www.umninkenya2017.edublogs.org

 

Muñoz featured in MPR news story on challenges Hispanic students face in graduating from college

Munoz photoMinerva Muñoz, director of TRIO Student Support Services, was recently featured in an MPR news piece on the barriers Hispanic students face in obtaining college degrees.

Read the full article. 

Sport Finance students present to Beyond Walls staff and board members

Students in Dr. Yuhei Inoue‘s KIN 5421 Sport Finance class presented their final Revenue Generation Projects to three staff members of the non-profit organization Beyond Walls: Jazmin Danielson, Executive Director; Sammy Loeks-Davis, Program Director; and Karen VanderBosch, Board Member. Each group presented research and recommendations about how the organization can spread awareness for its campaign and build revenue.

Beyond Walls is a program that  supports students in finding and graduating from their best-fit post-secondary pursuit using squash, academics, mentoring and life skills development. Their goal is to become a Twin Cities leader in promoting academic excellence, healthy lifestyles, and access to meaningful opportunities for all youth.

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PAEL featured in CE+HD Connect Magazine

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Zan Gao, Ph.D., associate professor in the School of Kinesiology and director of the Physical Activity Epidemiology Lab (PAEL), is featured in the current issue of the College of Education and Human Develpment’s CE+HD Connect Magazine.

Gao and his research team use technology to increase health in children and adults by encouraging movement. Read the entire story titled “Motivation to Move!

 

 

 

 

 

Psych foundations students to present at annual AERA meeting

Psychological foundations of education students, Kelsey Will, Reese Butterfuss, Bader Moshen, and Nic VanMeerten—as well as post-doctoral researcher Gregory Trevors—will present at the 2017 American Educational Research Association (AERA) Annual Meeting April 27-May 1. The theme of this year’s event is Achieving the Promise of Equal Educational Opportunity. Presentation topics will include:

  • “Reducing Interference from Misconceptions: The Role of Inhibition in Knowledge Revision,” Reese Butterfuss
  • “Exploring Student Engagement in an Augmented Reality Game,” Nic VanMeerten
  • “The Role of Quality Explanations in Knowledge Revision,” Kelsey Will
  • “Refuting vaccine misconceptions,” Gregory Trevors

Learn more about AERA’s Annual Meeting.

 

Project LEEP trains school psychology students for faculty careers

The U.S. Department of Education Office of Special Education Programs recently awarded associate professors Robin Codding and  Amanda Sullivan with a $1,192,606 leadership development grant (over five years from 2016-2021). The project, Leaders Enhancing Evidence-based Practices (Project LEEP), funds fellowships designed to prepare future faculty in school psychology with expertise in applying and sustaining evidence-based practices to schools. Five students in the Department of Educational Psychology’s school psychology program were awarded LEEP fellowships: Jordan Thayer, Alaa Houri, Aria Fiat, Kourtney McNallan, and Madeline Larson.

Project LEEP fellows are trained in: data-based decision making; development and evaluation of evidence-based practices; prevention and intervention using evidence-based practices, and consultation and translation of interventions; as well as leadership competencies in instruction and mentoring in higher education, and research and dissemination. Students receiving the award must complete a variety of experiences—coursework in research methods and statistics, research related to multi tier systems of support (MTSS), and apprenticeships with faculty with related research interests.  

In addition, fellows attend monthly pro-seminars that provide professional development opportunities for pursuing a career as a faculty member. Past pro-seminar topics have included: finding your “fit” in a faculty position based on professional values and goals; types of faculty positions available in the field of school psychology; and what is tenure and how to successfully achieve it. Future Project LEEP pro-seminars will help fellows identify their professional goals and structure training plans to meet the benchmarks needed to obtain a faculty position upon graduation.

Learn more about the school psychology program.

Kinesiology’s Anna Solfest awarded UROP to perform research in LIPH lab

solfestanna-2016Anna Solfest, a undergraduate student in the School of Kinesiology, has received a U of M Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program (UROP) award. Anna’s UROP project will examine body composition, bone density, and visceral adipose tissue in male and female NCAA Division I basketball players. The project is under the direction of Donald R. Dengel, Ph.D., professor in the School of Kinesiology and director of the Laboratory of Integrative Human Physiology (LIPH).

The UROP Award offers financial awards to full-time undergraduates for quality research, scholarly, or creative projects that are judged to contribute to the student’s academic development and which are undertaken in collaboration with a faculty sponsor.

How ICD student Michelle Brown is working to close the opportunity gap

Headshot of Michelle Brown
Michelle Brown

Michelle Brown, a third year doctoral student at the Institute of Child Development, was featured in the University of Minnesota’s Driven to Discover campaign for her research on childhood adversity and resilience.

Experiencing negative events and living in a high-stress environment can inhibit a child’s brain development and lead to negative health consequences later in life. Through her research, Brown aims to uncover the factors that may help children overcome adversity and lead to positive long-term outcomes.

Brown is especially interested in research centered around children and their families. “Working with the entire family really opened my eyes to see why kids were acting in certain ways,” Brown says.

One of her goals is to inform researchers, advocates, and social support networks about the tools they can use to help victimized children and adolescents. “The experience that you have in childhood doesn’t have to define you for the rest of your life. You can overcome it, and you can emerge resilient,” Brown says.

Learn more about Brown’s work.