Category Archives: Uncategorized

Rec Admin students develop report for Three Rivers Park District on barriers to underrepresented groups

Sara Hansen and Tyler Tegtmeier, both Recreation Administration students in the School of Kinesiology, have developed a report for the Three Rivers Park District to research recreation opportunities for underrepresented populations in the district’s public parks. The 27-page report of their findings provides recommendations to reduce barriers to parks and recreation facilities by underrepresented groups. The report was presented to the organizations involved in the study for their consideration and determination of next steps.

Hansen and Tegtmeier proceeded with the report under the guidance of Recreation Administration Director Connie Magnuson, Ph.D., along with Alex McKinney, Recreation Supervisor at Three Rivers Park District.

Minnesota Legislative Office on the Economic Status of Women quotes Tucker Center’s Mary Jo Kane

Dr. Mary Jo KaneMary Jo Kane, Ph.D., director of the Tucker Center and professor in the School of Kinesiology, is quoted in the Women’s Sports & the Media and Legislative Update Newsletter from the Minnesota Legislative Office on the Economic Status of Women. In an analysis of the Minneapolis Star Tribune’s sports section’s percentage of men’s  vs. women’s article, Kane’s comments help interpret the data regarding media coverage.

Wiese-Bjornstal will present at Florida State University’s SPEAR conference

Wiese-BjornstalD-2015On February 9, Diane Wiese-Bjornstal, Ph.D., professor in the School of Kinesiology and director of the Sports Medicine Psychology Lab,  will be the keynote speaker at  Florida State University’s Sport Professionals’ Experience and Research (SPEAR) conference hosted by the student-led graduate organization, Sport Psychology Organization & Research Team (SPORT). Dr. Wiese-Bjornstal will be giving two invited lectures about evidence-based research and evidence-based practice in sports medicine psychology.

Cuevas wins EMERGE Villages Catalyst Award

Cuevas photoFaustina Cuevas, senior academic adviser in CEHD Student Services, was awarded the EMERGE Villages Catalyst Award.  EMERGE is a Twin Cities community development agency that works to help people access jobs, financial coaching, supportive housing, and other key services. This award recognizes Cuevas for her time investment and contributions as a mentor to formerly homeless families, an ability to work with families to support stabilization and overcoming barriers, and whose positive effort supports the infrastructure in Emerge Villages.

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.

Vavrus and colleague publish book “Rethinking Case Study Research: A Comparative Approach”

Dr. Frances VavrusFrances Vavrus, professor in the Department of Organizational Leadership, Policy, and Development (OLPD), and colleague Lesley Bartlett (University of Wisconsin-Madison) have recently published the book Rethinking Case Study Research: A Comparative Approach with relevance across the fields of education and human development. The book is designed as a textbook for graduate students and other researchers seeking a more holistic approach to case study research, especially research with a focus on policy, and it has exercises in every chapter that guide readers through the research process.

The book is available at (use the following promo code for a 20% discount: IRK69) or at Professor Vavrus will also be available in the fall term to speak in classes that might want to use the book.

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.

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.

Ardichvili delivered keynote at ASAIHL in Malaysia

Alexandre  Ardichvili, professor in the Department of Organizational Leadership, Policy,  and Development (OLPD), delivered a keynote at the Association of South East Asian Institutions of Higher Learning in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. He also conducted external evaluation of graduate and undergraduate programs in HRD at the University Putra Malaysia.

Physical Activity Epidemiology Laboratory researchers publish in Journal of Sport and Health Science and Preventive Medicine 

Doctoral students Nan Zeng, Zachary Pope, June Lee, and associate professor Zan Gao, Ph.D., from the School of Kinesiology, recently published an article titled “A systematic review of active video games on rehabilitative outcomes among older patients” in Journal of Sport and Health Science. Mr. Zeng is the lead author on the article. The study systematically reviewed literature, summarized findings, and evaluated the effectiveness of Active Video Games (AVGs) as a therapeutic tool in improving physical, psychological, and cognitive rehabilitative outcomes among older adults with chronic diseases. The study found AVGs have potential in rehabilitation for older patients, though more research is warranted to make more definitive conclusions.

In addition, Zachary Pope published “The effects of active video games on patients’ rehabilitative outcomes: A meta-analysis” recently in Preventive Medicine. Co-authors are Nan Zeng and Zan Gao, Ph.D. The review examined the effectiveness of active video games in rehabilitation settings. When compared to traditional rehabilitation methods, findings indicated active video games to have a large positive effect on balance control in youth/young adults and a moderate positive effect on older adults’ falls efficacy. More research is needed, however, particularly as pertains to the use of active video gaming in cognitive rehabilitation.

Dr. Zan Gao
Dr. Zan Gao
Nan Zeng
Nan Zeng
Zachary Pope
Zachary Pope
June Lee
June Lee

Stebleton and Jehangir coauthor article about First-Year Inquiry Seminar

Michael Stebleton and Rashné Jehangir, associate professors in the Department of Organizational Leadership, Policy, and Development (OLPD), recently had a feature article published in the journal Learning Communities Research and Practice. “Creating Communities of Engaged Learners: An Analysis of a First-Year Inquiry Seminar” focuses on student engagement and the high-impact practices used in the First-Year Inquiry program in the college.

Development and Psychopathology Special Section from ITR 2015 symposium in print

A Special section in Development and Psychopathology, 28 (4 part 2), 2016, dedicated to topics presented at the Institute for Translational Research in Children’s Mental Health (ITR)’s Inaugural Symposium entitled “Epigenetics: Development, Psychopathology, Resilience and Preventive Intervention,” was recently published by Cambridge University Press.

The three-day symposium in May 2015 focused on epigenetics, the study of how DNA methylation affects gene expression and mental and physical health. The symposium featured leading researchers investigating topics ranging from the way experiences of parents can impact DNA methylation to how child maltreatment can affect how genes are expressed and lead to mental and physical health risks. Each presenter contributed an article to this Special Section of the Journal.

The 2015 symposium was the brainchild of ITR’s Director of Research, Dante Cicchetti. Dr. Cicchetti is a pioneer in the field of developmental psychopathology and is the founding and current editor of Development and Psychopathology. He is recognized by the National Institute of Health (NIH) as one of their top grantees, achieving an award rate in the 95th percentile for the past 25 years, and has published over 475 articles, books, and journal special issues. His research spans developmental psychopathology, child maltreatment, developmental neuroscience, gene-environment interactions, epigenetics, mood disorders, personality disorders, and multilevel Randomized Control Trial (RCT) preventive interventions to inform developmental theory.

Direction of the symposium rotates each year among ITR’s three core faculty. Our second annual symposium this fall was initiated by ITR Director of Training & Education, Dr. Gerry August, and focused on precision care; the 2017 event will be directed by ITR Director, Dr. Abi Gewirtz. Highlighting cutting edge research and connecting leading researchers and practitioners is one of the many ways ITR works to bridge the vast gap between research and practice in children’s mental health.

See the full list of articles in this Special Section here.

J.B. Mayo wins Josie Johnson Human Rights and Social Justice Award

mayojr-2011J.B. Mayo, associate professor in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction, received the Josie R. Johnson Human Rights and Social Justice Award at the University of Minnesota Equity and Diversity Breakfast on Nov. 17.

The Josie R. Johnson Award was established in honor of Dr. Josie R. Johnson in recognition of her lifelong contributions to human rights and social justice, which guided her work with the civil rights movement, years of community service, and tenure at the University. The award honors University faculty, staff, and students who, through their principles and practices, exemplify Dr. Johnson’s standard of excellence in creating respectful and inclusive living, learning, and working environments.

Mayo was recognized for his dedication to equity and social justice in schools. Colleagues noted, in particular, his scholarship and outreach related to LGBTQ youth and teachers and his support for LGBTQ communities of color in school and community settings. Read more about Dr. Mayo.

Learn more about past award recipients.

The latest in precision healthcare for children’s mental health

Close to 200 children’s mental health researchers and practitioners experienced an enlightening and inspiring three days at the fall symposium, “Moving Toward Precision Healthcare in Children’s Mental Health.” National experts in the emerging field of precision healthcare shared findings and perspectives about the growing body of research showing the effectiveness of highly personalized treatments.

Precision health care addresses the question, “What type of intervention design works best for whom? And why or how does it work to benefit individuals?” It draws from disciplines including pharmacogenetics, neuroscience, epigenetics, intervention science, research methodologies, and mobile technologies. Tailoring technologies can include things like smartphone apps, social media, wearables, and other unique delivery systems.

The approach has the potential to overcome barriers for families of varying economic and social circumstances who are addressing mental and behavioral health issues, including substance use disorders.

Articles from the conference will be published in a special edition of the Prevention Science Journal. In the meantime, slides from the presenters can be viewed on the event page.

The annual symposium is hosted by the Institute for Translational Research in Children’s Mental Health. It’s one of the ways the institute is bridging the vast gap between research and practice. A 2017 colloquia series will be announced soon.

Magnuson to present on Freshman Seminar Course

magnusonc-prefConnie Magnuson, Ph.D., director of the School of Kinesiology’s Recreation, Park, and Leisure Studies program, will present on her innovative and successful Freshman Seminar course, Go Outside and Playat The Association for Experiential Education International Conference from October 27-30 in Minneapolis.

Go Outside and Play is a course designed to introduce University of Minnesota freshmen to the great outdoors. Within the Twin Cities, outstanding agencies and numerous local, state, and national parks provide great resources for community engagement and enrichment right in our backyard. Through hiking, biking, standup paddle boarding and canoeing, students learn numerous ways to incorporate healthy, fun and life-long activities into their lives while understanding the importance of advocating for sustainable natural and environmental resources.


Tucker Center’s Kane quoted on WNBA social justice

Dr. Mary Jo KaneMary Jo Kane, Ph.D., director of the Tucker Center and professor in the School of Kinesiology, was quoted in Dick Sporting Good’s Good Sports in an article entitled “The WNBA’s Best Team Is A Social Justice Powerhouse,”  saying she sees the shift toward athletes speaking out on social issues as generational.


TRIO celebrates three major anniversaries


This year marks major anniversaries for three of TRIO’s best-known programs’ arrival in Minnesota—50 years of Upward Bound, 40 years of Student Support Services, and 25 years of McNair Scholars. On September 22, TRIO celebrated these Minnesota milestones with a gala held at TCF Bank Stadium, where 400 gathered to honor TRIO’s dedication to equity in higher education access with awards, entertainment, and stories from TRIO staff, students, and alumni.


Those recognized with awards included TRIO Achievers Joyce M. Bell, Courtney Bell, Maisue Xiong Thao, and Lois Vosika-Weir, all alumnae of U of M TRIO programs. Program leaders Bruce and Sharyn Schelske, who served the University for more than 40 years, were honored with the TRIO Legacy Award, and Congressman Keith Ellison received the TRIO Champion Award for his efforts to increase program funding at state and national levels.

Read more about the TRIO milestones on the Vision 2020 Blog.

New research shows health benefits of yoga for African American women

Daheia Barr-Anderson
Daheia Barr-Anderson

Potential health benefits of yoga were revealed in a pilot study of African American women by Daheia Barr-Anderson, assistant professor in CEHD’s School of Kinesiology.

African American women, as a demographic group, have serious health issues, according to Barr-Anderson. “Over 80 percent of us are overweight,” she said. “African American women have high rates of diabetes and 40 percent of African American women are hypertensive.”

Barr-Anderson, a certified yoga instructor, is introducing more African American women to yoga because of its potential to improve health outcomes, and she is studying the results.

This three-month study took several baseline measures of health in 59 African American women and divided them into an intervention group of 30 and control group of 29. The intervention group attended multiple yoga classes each week for three months; the control group did not.

The data is still being analyzed, but Barr-Anderson is “confident that we will see that yoga helped our participants enact some very powerful changes in their physical and mental health.” She noted that some of the most committed participants showed significant changes, including weight loss and improved blood pressure.

Read more about the study in Barr-Anderson’s Improving Lives blog post.

Magnuson to present at Internationalizing the Curriculum and Campus Conference

Connie MagnusonConnie Magnuson, Ph.D., director of the School of Kinesiology’s Recreation, Park, and Leisure Studies program, will present her poster Global Connectedness: Our Actions Matter at a conference on September 30, 2016 at the Humphrey School of Public Affairs on the U of M campus.

Internationalizing the Curriculum and Campus Conference: Preparing Global-Ready Students will showcase current programs, research, and initiatives to internationalize the curriculum and campus at the University of Minnesota. The conference is free and open to all University of Minnesota staff, faculty, and students.

In her presentation, Magnuson will underscore these points about internationalization: “Whether we are diving in Belize, climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro or surfing in Panama, a constant theme in all of these learning abroad courses is: how we choose to live, the resources we use and the actions we take, have a global impact. Students become immersed in the environment and the culture of these international locations and gain first hand knowledge of how interconnected we really are on this planet and what it means to be a global citizen.”