Category Archives: Physical Development & Sport

Wiese-Bjornstal, alumna Russell, publish in SAGE Research Methods


Diane Wiese-Bjornstal, Ph.D., professor in the School of Kinesiology, and Ph.D. alumna Hayley Russell, ’14, have published a research methods case study in SAGE Research Methods Cases. Russell is an assistant professor in the Department of Health and Exercise Science at Gustavus Adolphus College in St. Peter, MN. The case is titled “A Narrative Approach to Understanding Psychological Stories of Overuse Injuries Among Long-Distance Runners,” and it investigates the experiences of athletes with overuse injuries, specifically long-distance runners, by means of a narrative methodology.

Read the full study here.


InsideHigherEd cites just-released Tucker Center Women Coaches Report

Nicole M. LaVoi, Tucker Center Associate Director, 2013 imageAn article appearing on the InsideHigherEd online site, “Report: Hiring of Women’s Coaches Stagnates,” features a Tucker Center newly released report, “Head Coaches of Women’s Collegiate Teams: A Report on Select NCAA Division-I Institutions, 2016-17.” The report, one of several in the fifth year of the series, is authored by Tucker Center co-director and School of Kinesiology faculty Nicole M. LaVoi, Ph.D. The InsideHigherEd piece focuses on both the lack of decline but also the continued underrepresentation of women coaches of women’s sports in the collegiate arena.

Inoue and partners featured in The Japan Times

image of Yuhei InoueYuhei Inoue, Ph.D., assistant professor of Sport Management in the School of Kinesiology together with his partners from Temple University and the University of Tsukuba in Japan are featured in The Japan Times, Japan’s largest English-language newspaper.

The article discusses the project to reform Japanese college sports by establishing an athletic department that is modeled after US intercollegiate athletic departments. In the next two years, Dr. Inoue and his partners will study the first implementation of this structure at the University of Tsukuba.

Read the entire article titled “Researchers urge Japan to reform college sports system”.

LaVoi, Tucker Center’s Women Coaches Report Card featured on espnW

Nicole M. LaVoi, Tucker Center Associate Director, 2013 imageThe Tucker Center‘s “Women Coaches Research Series & Report Card,” authored by co-director and School of Kinesiology faculty Dr. Nicole M. LaVoi, is featured in an online espnW article, “Tucker Center report: Number of women college coaches still not making the grade.” The report is quoted multiple times within the article, discussing the impact women coaches have on the diversity and culture of sports.

Tucker Center announces 2016-17 NCAA Division I Women Coaches Report

Women coaches Report, NCAA DI 2016-17 cover with two women high-fiving over a golf bagIn honor of the February 1 National Girls and Women in Sports Day, the Tucker Center, in collaboration with the Alliance of Women Coaches, is proud to announce the release of “Head Coaches of Women’s Collegiate Teams: A Report on Select NCAA Division-I Institutions, 2016-17,” the latest in the Women Coaches Research Series and Report Card. Forty plus years after the passage of Title IX, female sport participation is at an all-time high but the percentage of women coaching women at the collegiate level is stagnant and near an all-time low of ~40% today.

To read the full report, discover the many ways the report is making a difference, and learn about interesting trends (including insight into which of the 86 select “big time” NCAA Division-I institutions, sports and conferences receive passing and failing grades), view the report here.

Gao and Lee publish paper in Computers in Human Behavior

Zan Gao, Ph.D
, associate professor in the School of Kinesiology and Director of the Physical Activity Epidemiology Lab, recently published a paper in Computers in Human Behavior. The first author, Jung Eun Lee, is Dr. Gao’s Ph.D. student and currently an assistant professor at the University of Minnesota Duluth.

The paper examined the acute effect of playing a single bout of active video games on children’s mood change and whether mood change differed by gender and age group. The researchers found that a short bout of active video games significantly reduced anger, depression and vigor, and fourth grade children had greater vigor than the third graders.

Lee, J., Xiang, P., & Gao, Z. (2017). Acute effect of active video games on older children’s mood change. Computers in Human Behavior, 70, 97-103. doi:10.1016/j.chb.2016.12.060 (impact factor: 2.69)

Inoue to publish in Journal of Business Research

A research paper by Yuhei Inoue,  Ph.D., assistant professor of Sport Management in the School of Kinesiology, has been accepted for publication in the Journal of Business Research.The study, titled “Predicting behavioral loyalty through corporate social responsibility: The mediating role of involvement and commitment“, examined whether consumers’ perceptions of corporate social responsibility (CSR) activities can predict behavioral loyalty, and how attitudinal constructs mediate this relationship. A field study of 634 customers of an Australian professional football team was conducted by combining attitudinal surveys with actual behavioral data collected one year later. The study’s findings indicate that the contribution of CSR initiatives to behavioral loyalty is not as robust as past research suggests, and is contingent upon specific psychological states activated by consumers’ perceptions of such initiatives.

Citation of this article: Inoue, Y., Funk, D.C., & McDonald, H. (in press). Predicting behavioral loyalty through corporate social responsibility: The mediating role of involvement and commitment. Journal of Business Research.

Konczak publishes in Journal of NeuroEngineering and Rehabilitation

Konczak-2012Together with colleagues from Italy and Singapore, Jürgen Konczak, Ph.D., professor in the School of Kinesiology and director of the Human Sensorimotor Control Lab,  published a paper that presents a new method to measure proprioception in children. Francesca Marini, a doctoral student at the Italian Institute of Technology, is the first author of the article, “Robot-aided developmental assessment of wrist proprioception in children.

Neurodevelopmental disorders and brain injuries in children have been associated with proprioceptive dysfunctions that will negatively affect their movements. Unfortunately, the knowledge of how proprioception evolves in typically developing children is still sparse due to the lack of reliable clinical examination protocols.

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.

LaVoi quoted in online publication row2k

Dr. Nicole M. LaVoiAn article in the online publication row2k takes on the issue of the number of women in head coaching positions in collegiate rowing programs. Nicole LaVoi, Ph.D., senior lecturer in the School of Kinesiology and co-director of the Tucker Center for Research on Girls and Women in Sport, is quoted on her research in the Tucker Center Report Card on women head coaches in collegiate sports, which shows that rowing has even fewer head coaches than many other women’s sports. LaVoi says:

“There really aren’t many women coaches in the big programs. We have record numbers of women participating in rowing, but we don’t see that translating into women coaching in rowing, and that’s a little concerning.”

Read the full story here.

Teen Innovator top prize winners present their project in KIN 1871

Hamsa Osman, Charly, Sayed, and Dr. Thul in KIN 1871

Three eighth-graders from Cedar Riverside Community School in Minneapolis who won a top national prize for their idea to provide kids access to sports and safety equipment have a School of Kinesiology connection.

Students Charly Tiempos, 13, Sayed Adan, 14, and Hamsa Osman Abdalah, 14, won the SAP Social Innovation Series Teen Innovator top prize with their winning idea, “Sports–Check It Out,” a system that allows kids to check out needed sports equipment, safety gear and winter clothing so they can be outside and active all year round. Their prize is $10,000 and an all-expense-paid trip to the Super Bowl next month in Houston.

The competition involved teams of 300 mostly high school students from 69  schools across the nation. Students were asked to develop a health and wellness program in their school or community and present it  to a panel of judges. Finalists then competed for the grand prize via a national online vote, which required public presentations in their communities. The Cedar Riverside Community School team presented their idea  December 8 in the sport ethics section of KIN 1871 Survey of Kinesiology, Recreation and Sport taught by Chelsey Thul, Ph.D., Kinesiology lecturer.

Read the full story in the StarTribune.

LaVoi quoted on female representation in collegiate sports in NCAA’s Champion magazine

Nicole LaVoi, Ph.D., lecturer in the School of Kinesiology and co-director of the Tucker Center, is one of a number of noted scholars featured in the Winter 2017 edition of the online NCAA publication, Champion magazine. The feature, “Where Are the Women?”, explores the continuing lack of female representation among coaches in collegiate sports. The article notes, “Female representation among coaches is highest at the most entry level of positions — graduate assistants, volunteer assistants — but drops as the level of the position rises. About half of paid assistant coaches for women’s teams are women, roughly 10 percent higher than the number of head coaches.”

“As the position becomes more visible and more powerful and more lucrative, we have fewer females,” says Nicole LaVoi, co-director of the Tucker Center for Research on Girls and Women in Sport and author of the book, Women in Sports Coaching. “They’re dropping out of the pipeline. And to me, that’s troubling.”

Read the full article here.

Kinesiology graduate student Kate Uithoven is lead author on article in Journal of Vascular Diagnostics and Interventions

Kate Uithoven, M.S./Ph.D. student in the School of Kinesiology, is the lead author of an article published in the Journal of Vascular Diagnostics and Interventions. The article entitled “Determination of bilateral symmetry of carotid artery structure and function in children and adolescents” examines symmetry of carotid arteries in youth using high-resolution ultrasound. Donald R. Dengel, Ph.D., Kinesiology professor and director of the Laboratory of Integrative Human Physiology, and Nicholas Evanoff, Ph.D. student in the School of Kinesiology, are co-authors on the article.

Lewis interviewed for online article, “2017’s Best and Worst Cities for an Active Lifestyle”

Beth Lewis, Ph.D., associate professor in the School of Kinesiology, is one of the experts interviewed for WalletHub’s online article, “2017’s Best and Worst Cities for an Active Lifestyle.” The article lists criteria used for evaluating the cities and ranks them. (Minneapolis received an overall ranking of 6 out of 100 cities.)

Dr. Lewis was one of a panel of experts who responded to questions about how people and their families can incorporate active lifestyle changes in their lives, and how to influence change at the policy level. Read the story and Dr. Lewis’s interview here.


Frayeh and Lewis publish in International Journal of Exercise Science

Former School of Kinesiology doctoral student Amanda Frayeh Ph.D., now assistant professor for sport studies at Lock Haven University, published a research article titled Sport Commitment Among Adult Recreational Soccer Players: Test of an Expanded Model” in the International Journal of Exercise ScienceCo-author of the article is Amanda’s former adviser Beth Lewis, Ph.D., associate professor in the School of Kinesiology.

The study expanded versions of an existing research model to explore psychosocial factors related to adults’ participation in recreational team sport. The purpose is to demonstrate that sport commitment is related to moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA).

Dengel publishes in Journal of Geriatric Cardiology and Pediatric Research

Donald R. Dengel, Ph.D., professor in the School of Kinesiology and director of the Laboratory of Integrative Human Physiology, has co-authored two recently published articles.

Submaximal oxygen uptake kinetics, functional mobility, and physical activity in older adults with heart failure and reduced ejection fraction” appeared in the Journal of Geriatric Cardiology.

The article  “Impaired cardiac autonomic nervous system function is associated with pediatric hypertension independent of adiposity” appeared in Pediatric Research and examined whether sympathetic nervous system activity influences hypertension status and blood pressure in children and adolescents. These data suggest that impaired cardiac autonomic nervous system function is associated with higher odds of being prehypertensive/hypertensive and may be independent of adiposity in children and adolescents.



Kane on Rousey loss and women’s MMA future

Dr. Mary Jo KaneMary Jo Kane, Ph.D., director of the Tucker Center and professor in the School of Kinesiology, is quoted in The Guardian’sWill Ronda Rousey’s downfall kill female UFC? Don’t panic just yet” on Rousey’s recent and second consecutive loss in women’s MMA to Amanda Nunes and what it means for the future of women’s mixed martial arts.

“The Founders”: Tucker Center Film Festival, February 8 at TCF Stadium DQ Room

The Tucker Center has selected the film “The Founders” for its 2017 Tucker Center Film Festival, to be held February 8 at 6:30pm in the TCF Stadium DQ Room. “The Founders” is “an iconic story of 13 women who together battled society, prejudice, and preconception to create a lasting, global sporting legacy in golf.” The screening is free and open to the public and, of course, there will be popcorn.


American Culture Center for Sport receives U.S. State Department grant

For the 5th consecutive year, the U.S. State Department will support the American Culture Center (ACC) for Sport in China administrated by the University of Minnesota. From September 2016 until August 2017, the funding will be $75,000 to Li Li Ji, Ph.D., professor and director of the School of Kinesiology, the PI of the grant.

The ACC focuses on the introduction and promotion of sport as an American heritage and value. The main activities include on-campus, year-round programs and featured lecture tours that visit various Chinese universities.

In January 2017, Ji, Zan Gao, Ph.D., associate professor and director of the Physical Activity Epidemiology Lab, and Gregory Welk, Ph.D., associate professor of health promotion and exercise at Iowa State University, will visit four universities. The goal is to introduce how mobile devices are being used to promote physical activity on U.S. campuses.