Category Archives: Students

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:


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.



PAEL featured in CE+HD Connect Magazine


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.

Jitendra, colleagues publish article in Council for Exceptional Children’s Special Education Today

Asha Jitendra headshot
Asha Jitendra

Asha Jitendra, professor in the Department of Educational Psychology’s special education program, and four of her Ph.D. students, Gena Nelson, Alison Kiss, Sandra Pulles, and James Houseworth, recently were published in the Council for Exceptional Children’s Special Education Today publication. Their article, “Is mathematical representation of problems an evidence-based strategy for students with mathematics difficulties?” evaluates the quality of the research and evidence base for representation of problems (characters, images, or objects that symbolize an abstract idea) as a strategy to enhance the mathematical performance of students with learning disabilities and those at risk for math disabilities. Read the full article.

Telles presents at national student employee conference

tellesjJuan Telles, CEHD Student Services student employment development coordinator & front desk manager, presented this month at the National Student Employee Association conference in Pittsburgh, PA. The title of his presentation was “Connections Between Universal Instructional Design and Supervision of Student Workers.” His presentation focused on ways to develop student employees using a Universal Instructional Design (UID) approach. UID provides theories, tools, and approaches to teaching that caters to different learning styles. Using this type of an approach with student employee professional development caters to the different needs of students and also provides support for their holistic supervision.

TRIO programs celebrate anniversaries

50_40_25_logoThe U of M TRIO programs in CEHD are celebrating their anniversaries this year: Upward Bound, 50 years; Student Support Services, 40 years; McNair Scholars, 25 years. The federally funded programs ensure equal opportunity and equitable access to higher education for underrepresented students. Watch this video highlighting the impact of their work and a tribute video to Bruce and Sharyn Schelske, who worked with U of M TRIO programs for over 40 years.

C&I’s Bic Ngo receives $1.75 million grant to increase opportunities and services for Asian American students

Bic Ngo, Associate Professor in the Department of Curriculum & Instruction is co-leading a grant to provide increased access and educational opportunities to Asian American students.
Bic Ngo, associate professor in the Department of Curriculum & Instruction, is co-leading a grant to provide increased access and educational opportunities to Asian American students.

Bic Ngo, associate professor in the Department of Curriculum & Instruction, and Josephine Lee of the College of Liberal Arts received a five-year grant from the U.S. Department of Education to increase services for Asian American students at the University of Minnesota Twin Cities (UMTC) campus. The $1.75 million grant is specifically aimed at providing “assistance to Asian American and Native American Pacific Islander-serving institutions to enable such institutions to improve and expand their capacity to serve Asian Americans and Native American Pacific Islanders and low-income individuals,” according to the award letter.

“The project seeks to provide our Asian American students with culturally relevant learning environments and programs in ways that nurture cultural integrity and academic success,” said Ngo.

The implementation of the grant at UMTC will be called the “Asian American College Excellence (AACE) Project.”

Ngo and Lee plan to roll out the AACE Project via several avenues, including a resource center (with computer lab and tutoring space), a teaching and learning library, an increased number of Asian American Studies classes, a speaker series, a youth summit, a teaching pathways program, and a tutoring and mentoring program among others.

One of the major tasks for the first year of the grant is to establish the resource center that will provide a place for many of the project activities as well as a dedicated space for the students to study, hang out, and build community.

Dr. Ngo is committed to analyzing issues relating to educational equity and cultural identity in immigrant students’ education. She teaches in the Ph.D. program for Culture & Teaching.


Kim presents at 28th International Sport Science Congress

Young Ho Kim, a doctoral student in the field of sport management advised by Dr. Lisa Kihl, gave a presentation at the 28th International Sport Science Congress in commemoration of the 1988 Seoul Olympic Games. His presentation, “We are All Innocent, but Socialized into Being an Offender: Why Do We Believe School Violence Occurring in the Sport-Related Departments is a Form of Discipline?” consisted of preliminary data findings from his research on violence in schools. The purpose of the study was to examine how innocent freshmen may become offenders as time goes by, and how the practices of school violence are transferred with each grade. To analyze the collected data, multiple theoretical frames were applied, such as the Stanford prison experiment, obedience to authority theory, social learning theory, and differential association theory.


Sport Management senior Jayson Watkins to present research at McNair Scholars Poster Presentation & Reception Aug. 4

Jayson Watkins, a senior pursuing a dual major in Sport Management and Psychology,  will be presenting his research and poster this Thursday, August 4, at the 25th Annual McNair Scholars Poster Presentation & Reception. Jayson is one of seven CEHD students who are conducting research this summer under the direction of distinguished faculty research mentors as part of the TRIO/McNair Scholars Program.

The gathering provides an excellent forum to display the research efforts of these exceptional McNair Scholars along with their faculty mentors.

Jayson has been working with faculty mentor Douglas Hartmann, Ph.D., to present data from his project, “Parent Understanding of and Involvement in Organized, Out-of-School Activities.” The project is part of the Kids Involvement and Diversity Study (KIDS) in the Department of Sociology. Jason is advised by School of Kinesiology adviser Alyssa Maples and CEHD advisers Tracey Hammell and Chinh Truong.

All are invited to attend the event from 1:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. in Coffman Memorial Union – Mississippi Room. Refreshments will be served.


School of Kinesiology receives American Center for Cultural Exchange Network’s 2016 Excellence Award

ACCEX award 2016
l to r:  Dr. Li Li Ji;  Harvey Sernovitz, director of Office for Cultural Affairs; Dan Konold, executive coordinator at TUS; William Brashares, dean of international education at Arizona State University; Wang Yi, TUS.

The U.S. State Department has presented the School of Kinesiology and its partner, Tianjin University of Sport (TUS) in China, with the American Center for Cultural Exchange Network’s  2016 Excellence Award.

This is the first year of the award, created to recognize members of the American Cultural Center (ACC) for outstanding work in fulfilling the mission of the organization.

The ACC has twelve centers funded by the U.S. State Department, each focused on a particular area of American culture. The School of Kinesiology and  partner Tianjin University of Sport is the only ACC focused on sport. The partnership’s goal is to “foster and deepen the appreciation for American culture through sport among Chinese students and people in the Tianjin metropolitan area.” The partnership sponsored educational lectures and visits, on-site programs, and collaboration with other ACC network members. A number of School of Kinesiology faculty and staff as well as the U of M community were involved during 2012-2016 in presenting lectures, hosting visiting scholars and delegations, and providing consultation at Tianjin University and other member universities, funded through a grant from the State Department.

Li Li Ji, Ph.D., director of the School of Kinesiology, accepted the award. He says,
“We are truly honored to receive this inaugural award from the U.S. State Department. It is the result of years of dedicated and creative work done by over a dozen School of Kinesiology faculty and supporting staff, many who traveled to China to deliver the programs. TUS has shown tremendous commitment to support the ACC. We thank the U of M China Center and GPS Alliance for guidance and support and will continue to make the ACC a bridge for Sino-US cultural exchange.”
The award includes a $2500 prize to be used for ACC future programming.

KIN doctoral student receives AASP Grant

BillingL_webDoctoral student Lauren Billing has received a grant from the Association for Applied Sport Psychology to support her dissertation work.  Her research project is: “The Efficacy of Affective Behavioral Strategies for Increasing Physical Activity: Implications for Harnessing the Dual-Mode Model.”

The primary function of these awards is to provide support to early career professionals or students for their research endeavors. Her award totals $3,579, much of which will go towards incentives and mailing/equipment costs.

Billing is advised by associate professor Beth Lewis.

FSOS represented at the annual ACCI conference









The FSOS group in front of a statue of James Madison, at the Library of Congress. From left to right: Sarah Burcher, Dung Mao, Joyce Serido, and Veronica Deenanath.

In early June, several graduate students and one faculty member represented FSOS at the annual American Council on Consumer Interests (ACCI) conference in Arlington, Virginia.

The group of graduate students included Sarah Burcher, Dung Mao, and Veronica Deenanath. FSOS faculty member and ACCI president Joyce Serido also attended the conference.

The graduate students presented on the following research:

Sarah Burcher, ” “The Financial Behavior of Low-Income and Ethnically Diverse First-Year College Students: The Power of Parenting and Self-Beliefs”

Dung Mao, “Young Adults’ Financial Behavior, Financial Values, and Relationship Satisfaction: Do Perceptions of Partner’s Behavior or Shared Financial Values Matter?”

Veronica Deenanath, “High School Students’ Financial Behavior: The Role of Decision Context, and Access to Money”

Burcher also received a scholarship.

The group also attended a celebration at the Library of Congress for the 50th anniversary of the Journal of Consumer Affairs (JOCA), the academic journal published by the ACCI.


Professor Lori Helman Publishes Book on “Inclusive Literacy Teaching”

Lori Helman, associate professor of Literacy Education

Responding to the need to prepare elementary teachers for the increasing linguistic diversity in schools, associate professor in Literacy Education in the Department of Curriculum & Instruction and the director of the Minnesota Center for Reading Research, Lori Helman, co-authored Inclusive Literacy Teaching: Differentiating Approaches in Multilingual Elementary Classrooms, just out from the Teachers College Press. The book presents key foundational principles in language and literacy development for linguistically diverse students, providing access to a broad range of research-based approaches in teacher-friendly language.

Readers see these ideas enacted through the journeys of real students as they progress from 1st through 6th grade. What emerges is both a “big picture” and an “up-close and personal” look at the successes, obstacles, and developmental nuances for students learning to read and write in a new language in inclusive classrooms. Throughout, the authors provide crucial guidance to educators that will support them in taking conscious steps toward creating educational equity for linguistically diverse students.

To read the book visit Find out more about the Department of Curriculum & Instruction’s programs in Literacy Education.