Mary Jo Kane, Ph.D., director of the Tucker Center and professor in the School of Kinesiology, is featured in a WiSP Sports “Talking Point” podcast discussing how sport can be a site of resistance and empowerment for women. The podcast and transcript, “How Women’s Status in Sport is Contained by Men,” is a discussion of Kane’s “perspectives on why women’s sports coverage is so limited and why the focus on women’s athletes tends towards sexual objectification instead of their physical and athletic capacities.” WiSP Sports Radio is the world’s largest podcast network for women’s sport featuring more than 760 episodes and 30 unique shows with a global reach of 1.6 million.
In an interdisciplinary collaboration with partners in veterinary medicine at the University of Minnesota and the Michigan State University, researchers in the Human Sensorimotor Control Laboratory examined horses with shivers disease.
An earlier study identified the previously unknown neuropathology of the disease – a degeneration of neurons in the cerebellum. Because the cerebellum is involved in coordinating the control of muscles during movement, the researchers wanted to find out how the loss of cerebellar function affects the muscle recruitment in these horses. Like humans, horses activate more muscle fibers if they want to run faster. However, these horses recruited more muscles and more muscle fibers than necessary, which led to a loss of movement coordination and problems in their balance.
Daheia Barr-Anderson, Ph.D., assistant professor and director of the Behavioral Physical Activity Laboratory (BPAL) in the School of Kinesiology, presented at Minne-College in Arizona held in Scottsdale, AZ, on February 10. The title of her presentation was “Move More to Weigh Less: The Importance of Physical Activity to Address Childhood Obesity.” Also attending were CEHD Dean Jean Quam, Serena Wright, CEHD Sr. Alumni Director, and a number of U of M alumni. Minne-College in Arizona is sponsored by the U of M Alumni Association.
Juergen Konczak, Ph.D., professor in the School of Kinesiology and director of the Human Sensorimotor Control Laboratory, gave a lecture on “Somatosensory training to overcome motor dysfunction in dystonia and Parkinson’s disease” to the University of Minnesota ataxia research group. The ataxia group is an interdisciplinary group of basic science and clinical researchers interested in understanding the neuropathology of ataxia and its treatment. Dr. Konczak spoke about how a sensory-based rehabilitation training can improve motor function in focal dystonia and Parkinson’s disease.
During winter break, Dengel led a course in London, England, about the impact of the 1908, 1948 and 2012 Olympics on the city, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, and on sport. He also taught Sport and Politics Collide: 1936 & 1972 German Olympics.
Maureen Weiss, Ph.D., professor in the School of Kinesiology, was recognized with the Legacy Award, the highest honor given by Girls on the Run International at its annual Summit in Austin, TX, in January. Girls on the Run is a 501(c)(3) organization and physical activity-based positive youth development (PA-PYD) program designed to enhance girls’ social, psychological, and physical skills and behaviors to successfully navigate life experiences. The program uses running and other physical activities as a platform for teaching life skills and promoting holistic health outcomes for girls in grades 3-8. The organization’s reach is national—in all 50 states with over 200 local community councils, 50,000 volunteer coaches, and over 1.5 million girls served since inception. The organization is committed to diversity—serving girls from all walks of life and backgrounds. Nearly 50% of girls receive subsidized registration fees to enable them to attain the psychosocial and behavioral benefits of participating in each season’s 10-week program.
Weiss’ Legacy Award was based on eight years and hundreds of hours devoted to serving this non-profit organization—as a board member, consultant, speaker, and contributor to curricular development and effective coach delivery—as well as conducting an independent longitudinal evaluation study that demonstrated strong and lasting positive impact of program participation on girls’ life skills learning and psychosocial and behavioral outcomes—confidence, competence, connection, caring, character, and contribution to community and society. The study received widespread attention in a press release last August and Weiss presented the study results at the Summit meeting in a presentation titled, “How and Why Girls on the Run is an Exemplary Positive Youth Development Program.”
Joey Kronzer, a current Kinesiology master’s student with an emphasis in sport and exercise psychology, and a member of the Sports Medicine Psychology Laboratory, has been named the Volunteer Assistant Coach of the Hamline University Men’s and Women’s Tennis Teams. The complete announcement is available here.
First author of the publication is Leon’s former doctoral student Ulf G. Bronas, Ph.D., ATC, associate professor in the Department of Biobehavioral Health Science, College of Nursing, at the University of Illinois, Chicago.