CEHD News Behavioral Science

CEHD News Behavioral Science

Kane, LaVoi publish on intercollegiate athletic director viewpoints on female coaches

Mary Jo Kane, Ph.D., director of the Tucker Center and professor in the School of Kinesiology, and  Nicole M. LaVoi, Ph.D., Tucker Center co-director and School of Kinesiology senior lecturer, have published an article in the Women in Sport and Physical Activity Journal. “An Examination of Intercollegiate Athletic Directors’ Attributions Regarding the Underrepresentation of Female Coaches in Women’s Sports” surveyed a nationwide sample of college athletic administrators to determine current-day perceptions regarding the underrepresentation of female head coaches with significant gender differences emerging.


Gao named to editorial board of Journal of Sport and Health Science

Zan Gao, Ph.D., School of Kinesiology associate professor and director of the Physical Activity Epidemiology Laboratory (PAEL), was recently appointed Editorial Board member by the Journal of Sport and Health Science (JSHS). JSHS is an international peer-reviewed journal founded by the Shanghai University of Sport, and co-published by Elsevier Publishing Group. JSHS is dedicated to the advancement of sport/exercise/health sciences including sport medicine, sport and exercise physiology, public health promotion, biomechanics, sport and exercise biochemistry and nutrition, sport and exercise psychology, motor behavior, coaching, physical education, traditional Chinese sports and wellbeing, and growth and maturation. JSHS has a current impact factor at 2.531.

LaVoi to serve three-year term on Faculty Senate

Nicole M. LaVoi, Ph.D., senior lecturer in the School of Kinesiology and co-director of the Tucker Center for Research on Girls & Women in Sport was chosen to serve as representative to the University Faculty Senate for a three-year term beginning July 1, 2018.  

The Faculty Senate at the University of Minnesota is comprised of faculty and faculty-like academic professional representatives from the all University of Minnesota campuses and concerns itself with faculty welfare, educational, and research matters.


Barr-Anderson featured on School of Public Health and ASPPH websites

Daheia Barr-Anderson, Ph.D., associate professor in the School of Kinesiology, is featured on the websites of the School of Public Health and the Association of Schools and Programs of Public Health.

Her research project, “Physical activity and sociodemographic correlates of adolescent exergamers,” was recently published in the Journal of Adolescent Health. The study was a collaboration between the School of Public Health’s program Project EAT and Barr-Anderson, and revealed that exergaming may have an influence on physical activity for girls. Barr-Anderson said the positive relationship between girls who are vigorously active and those who play exergames shows that gaming may play a role in increasing vigorous activity or help lead to such activity.


Gao and colleagues publish study on effect of preschoolers’ physical activity in BioMed Research International

Dr. Zan Gao

Zan Gao, Ph.D., School of Kinesiology associate professor, has published an article with colleagues in BioMedResearch International. The study, “Effect of Mini-Trampoline Physical Activity on Executive Functions in Preschool Children,” investigated the effect of mini-trampoline physical activity on the development of executive functions in Chinese preschool children. A sample of 57 children aged 3–5 enrolled in preschool was randomly assigned to an intervention group and control group for 10 weeks. All children had the same classes and care service, but children in the intervention group had an extra 20 minutes of trampoline training after school.

Findings indicated that a 10-week trampoline physical activity training may not be sufficient to trigger the improvement of preschool children’s executive functions, and future research with larger representative samples is warranted to discern the dose-response evidence in enhancing young children’s executive functions through physical activity.

BioMed Research International is a peer-reviewed, Open Access journal with a current Impact Factor of 2.476.

Barr-Anderson publishes with colleagues in two journals

Daheia Barr-Anderson, Ph.D., associate professor in the School of Kinesiology, has published a manuscript with colleagues titled “Worksite physical activity breaks: perspectives on feasibility of implementation” in Work: A Journal of Prevention, Assessment and Rehabilitation. The first author, Dr. Carolyn Bramante, completed this study as a part of her MPH/PhD program, and Barr-Anderson served as Dr. Bramante’s MPH thesis adviser.

In addition, Barr-Anderson, along with colleagues from the University of Massachusetts-Amherst, has published an article titled “Effect of a culturally-tailored mother-daughter physical activity intervention on pre-adolescent African-American girls’ physical activity levels” in Preventive Medicine Reports. The results determined that this pilot study was an important first step in designing culturally-tailored interventions to impact the physical activity of pre-adolescent African-American girls that includes the direct involvement of the girls’ mothers.



Barr-Anderson presents at Board of Regents’ May meeting

Daheia Barr-Anderson, Ph.D., associate professor in the School of Kinesiology, has been invited to give a presentation at the Board of Regents’ May meeting. She is one of four newly promoted University of Minnesota faculty members invited to the meeting to give a short presentation and answer questions about their work.

Each year at their May meeting, the Board of Regents invite several recently promoted faculty from across the University who represent excellence in a variety of ways to participate in a panel. Barr-Anderson will discuss her scholarship and creative activities related to her research and community involvement.

Gao establishes Brain Gym Lab at LoveWorks Academy in Golden Valley

Dr. Zan Gao

Thanks to support from the administrators of the University of Minnesota and the principal and teachers at LoveWorks Academy in Golden Valley, Zan Gao, Ph.D., associate professor in the School of Kinesiology and director of the Physical Activity Epidemiology Laboratory (PAEL), recently established a Brain Gym Lab in the fitness room of LoveWorks Academy. Specifically, four Wii U exercise stations and four Xbox One Kinect exercise stations have been set up in the Brain Gym Lab, which promotes learning through movement.

Loveworks Academy is a public charter school located in a diverse neighborhood and works with a large number of low-income, underserved children ages 4 through 14. The school focuses on a strong academic program that personalizes learning for all students, helping develop independent, cooperative, responsible, and creative adults.

Thus far, the novel exercise program has been well received by teachers and students in the school. This is the third school-based lab Dr. Gao has established in the public schools in the state of Minnesota. Below are photos from the program.


Barr-Anderson publishes in Journal of Adolescent Health

Daheia Barr-Anderson, Ph.D., assistant professor in the School of Kinesiology and director of the Behavioral Physical Activity Laboratory, published along with colleagues from the School of Public Health a manuscript brief in the Journal of Adolescent Health (impact factor of 3.612).

The publication titled “Physical Activity and Sociodemographic Correlates of Adolescent Exergamers” examines demographic and behavioral characteristics of adolescents who engage in active video games, or exergamers.



Weiss’s work with innovative program, Girls on the Run, featured in Connect

Maureen Weiss, Ph.D., professor in the School of Kinesiology, was featured along with her research in the Spring issue of Connect, the magazine of the College of Education and Human Development.

The article, Girls on the Run, focuses on Weiss’s work in determining the success of an innovative youth development program that uses running and other physical activities as a platform for teaching life skills and healthy habits. Girls on the Run was started in 1996 in Charlotte, NC, with a small group of 13 girls, and has grown to over 200 councils in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. Weiss’ study was designed to evaluate whether the organization was effective in achieving its goals. Her study results revealed that girls participating in the program compared favorably to a control group in their ability to manage emotions, resolve conflict, help others, and make intentional decisions. In addition, girls who started the program below the group average made
dramatic and lasting improvement in physical activity level, confidence, and connection to others.


LaVoi, Tucker Center report data cited in the Kansan

The University of Kansas’ Daily Kansan article, “Kansas athletes and coaches see importance in women leadership,” cites data available in the Tucker Center‘s Women Coaches Research Series & Report Card and quotes Tucker Center Co-director and School of Kinesiology senior lecturer Nicole M. LaVoi, Ph.D., with the Kansas’ low report card score and LaVoi speaking on what language such as “choosing the best coach” is actually code for.

Lewis named Fellow by the Society of Behavioral Medicine

Beth Lewis, Ph.D., director and professor in the School of Kinesiology, was named Fellow by the Society of Behavioral Medicine (SBM) at their 39th annual conference held April 11-14 in New Orleans. The organization confers fellow status “in recognition of outstanding contributions to the advancement of the science and practice of behavioral medicine. Among the considerations for this distinction are academic, professional, clinical, legislative, or other meritorious accomplishments.”

At the conference, Lewis co-chaired a session, “How Do We Incentivize Physical Activity?” and presented a poster with postdoctoral fellow Katie Schuver, “The effect of exercise and wellness interventions on preventing postpartum depression and stress: The Healthy Mom II Trial.” She also presented another poster, “Effective and efficient email management in academic leadership roles.”

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’s Kramer presents, receives research award at NACSM Regional Meeting

Kinesiology Ph.D. candidate Eydie Kramer, who is advised by Daheia Barr-Anderson, Ph.D., Kinesiology assistant professor and director of the Behavioral Physical Activity Laboratory, presented a poster on Friday, April 6, at the Northland American College of Sports Medicine (NACSM) Regional Meeting at St. Catherine’s University in St. Paul. Her poster, “Brief Interventions Mitigate Weight-Dependent Exercise and Healthy Eater Disparities in Adolescent Girls,” was co-authored with Barr-Anderson and  describes a pilot study conducted in summer 2017 in youth health camps located in Colorado and Wisconsin. Their poster was selected for the Annual ACSM President’s Cup Award, and will be showcased at the ACSM Annual Meeting in Minneapolis on May 31st, 2018.

Kramer also was selected to receive a $1,000 NACSM Student Research Award to fund her study this summer, “S.P.L.A.S.H. (Swimming. Positive Perceptions. Lifestyle-Change. Activity. Strength. Healthy Habits.) Into Fitness! A Behavioral Swim Camp and eHealth Intervention for Overweight and Obese Adolescent Girls.”

Click poster for enlargement.



Gao to participate in Diversity Through the Disciplines Symposium 2018 on April 12

Dr. Zan Gao

On Thursday, April 12, Zan Gao, Ph.D., associate professor and director of the Physical Activity Epidemiology Laboratory in the School of Kinesiology, will be participating in the Diversity Through the Disciplines Symposium 2018 sponsored by the Institute for Diversity, Equity, and Advocacy. Gao will be joining fellow past Multicultural Award Recipients who are also presenting at the event. His presentation is titled “Feasibility of Smartphone Exercise Apps in Health Outcomes in Minority Breast Cancer Survivors.”

The symposium will be held in the Presidents Room, Coffman Memorial Union, at 12:15 p.m. (12:00 sign-in). The talks are free and open to the public. Lunch will be provided.

LaVoi featured in WCCO piece on Augusta National

WCCO/CBS Minnesota interviewed Nicole M. LaVoi, Ph.D., Tucker Center co-director and School of Kinesiology senior lecturer, for an online piece, “Augusta National Turns New Page With Women’s Tournament.” LaVoi talks about the importance of women becoming members of the Club and how it impacts young girls and boys.

Augusta National road sign and woman golfer with video play button

Borton Endowment for Promotion of Girls & Women in Sport Leadership receives $10k donation

image of Pam Borton, smiling with grey shirt and magenta scarfThe Pam Borton Endowment for the Promotion of Girls and Women in Sport Leadership fund, established in 2014 and housed in the Tucker Center for Girls & Women in Sport, recently received a $10,000 gift in support of the Borton Fellowship. The purpose of the Fellowship is to promote leadership among girls and women within a sports context. Since its inception, three outstanding Kinesiology and Sport Management graduate students have received the Fellowship: Marnie Kinnaird, Caroline Heffernan, and Matea Wasend.

The Fellowship is named after former University of Minnesota head women’s basketball coach, Pam Borton, who was named to the position in 2002. Borton created a culture of excellence within the women’s program both on and off the court. Averaging 20 wins per season in her 12-year tenure at the U of M, Borton guided the Golden Gophers to a Final Four, three Sweet Sixteens, six NCAA Tournament appearances and three seasons of 25 or more wins. She is the winningest head coach in the program’s history. Under Borton’s guidance, female student-athletes achieved unparalleled academic success: Her teams earned an overall 3.0 grade-point average every year of her tenure. Borton’s Gophers also garnered a league-best 88 Academic All-Big Ten honorees over the span of her coaching career.

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.

Kinesiology Ph.D. students McDonough and Peterson receive Professional Development Awards

Two School of Kinesiology graduate students have received Professional Development Awards for the 2017-2018 academic year.

Daniel McDonough, Ph.D. student in the Physical Activity and Health emphasis, and Nicolette Peterson, Ph.D. student in the Movement Science emphasis, will each receive $4,000 to help cover costs related to conference registration, travel, special research equipment and supplies, and technology items related to their studies.

McDonough is advised by Zan Gao, Ph.D., and is a member of the Physical Activity Epidemiology Laboratory (PAEL). Peterson is advised by Thomas Stoffregen, Ph.D., and is a member of the Affordance Perception-Action Laboratory (APAL).


Kane invited panelist for Lapchick lecture at Humphrey

Dr. Mary Jo KaneMary Jo Kane,  Ph.D., professor in the School of Kinesiology and co-director of the Tucker Center for Research on Girls and Women in Sport, is an invited panelist at an April 16 lecture by Dr. Richard Lapchick, author, human rights activist, pioneer for racial equality and internationally recognized expert on sports issues. Lapchick is a professor in the College of Business at the University of Central Florida, the founder and director of the Institute for Diversity and Ethics In Sport, and president and CEO of the National Consortium for Academics and Sport (NCAS). The event takes place from noon to 1:15 pm at the Humphrey Forum in the Humphrey School of Public Affairs on the U of M West Bank Campus, with the panel follows Lapchick’s lecture, “Sport as a Catalyst for Racial Progress & Gender Equity.” Both are sponsored by the Center for the Study of Politics and Governance (CSPG). With introductions by Dr. Larry Jacobs, the Walter F. and Joan Mondale Chair for Political Studies, Hubert H. Humphrey School of Public Affairs and professor in the Department of Political Science, and moderated by Dr. Doug Hartmann, professor and chair of the Department of Sociology, Kane will be joined on the panel by Lapchick and Dr. Leo Lewis, School of Kinesiology alumni and Sport Management program adjunct professor. Registration requested; the event is open to the public.