CEHD News Physical Development & Sport

CEHD News Physical Development & Sport

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.

Tianou Zhang accepts tenure-track position at UTSA

Tianou Zhang, doctoral candidate in School of Kinesiology, has accepted a tenure-track position at the University of Texas-San Antonio (UTSA). Zhang will be an assistant professor in the Department of Kinesiology, Health, and Nutrition beginning this August. He will teach courses in Exercise and Nutrition, and continue his research on beneficial effects of phytochemicals supplementation in exercise and health. 

Zhang is advised by Li Li Ji, Ph.D., professor in the School and director of the Laboratory of Physiological Hygiene & Exercise Science (LPHES).

Zeng, Gao and Lee publish in Journal of Clinical Medicine

School of Kinesiology Ph.D. student Nan Zengassociate professor Zan Gao, Ph.D., and assistant professor Jung Eun Lee, Ph.D., from the University of Minnesota Duluth, recently published an article titled “Reliability of Using Motion Sensors to Measure Children’s Physical Activity Levels in Exergaming” in Journal of Clinical Medicine. Mr. Zeng is a current advisee and Dr. Lee is a former advisee of Prof. Gao.

The study examined the reliability of two objective measurement tools in assessing children’s physical activity levels in an exergaming setting. The findings suggested that the NL-1000 pedometers and ActiGraph GT3X accelerometers have low reliability in assessing elementary school children’s physical activity levels during exergaming. More research is warranted in determining the reliable and accurate measurement information regarding the use of modern devices in exergaming setting.

Nan Zeng
Dr. Zan Gao


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.



Grad student Michelle Harbin lead author of research publication

Michelle Harbin, M.S. and doctoral student in the School of Kinesiology and member of the Laboratory of Integrative Human Physiology (LIHP), is the lead author of a peer-reviewed article, entitled “Associations of sex, age and adiposity in endothelium-independent dilation in children“. The article is published in the journal Physiological Measurement and examines the association of age, sex and obesity on vascular smooth muscle function. It was observed that vascular smooth muscle function was significantly lower in male children and adolescents suggesting that impaired vascular smooth muscle function and increased cardiovascular disease risk among males may begin in childhood.

Co-authors of this publication in the School of Kinesiology are Hanan Zavala, a current graduate student and Donald R. Dengel, Ph.D., professor and LIHP director.

Michelle Harbin
Hanan Zavala
Donald R. Dengel, Ph.D.

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.


Dual degree M.Ed. student Yue Xue publishes in International Review of Sociology of Sport

Yue Xue

Yue Xue, Sport Management M.Ed. student, has published a paper in the journal, International Review of Sociology of Sport. She is the lead author on the article, “Media portrayal of sportswomen in East Asia: A systematic review.”

Xue is in the dual degree program for the M.Ed. in Sport Management, a collaboration between Shanghai Jiao Tong University (SJTU) and the School of Kinesiology. She and fellow student Shulin Li began the program last fall.  Xue was a student in KIN5511 Sport and Gender taught by Jo Ann Buysse, Ph.D., and Buysse encouraged her to publish the project/paper that she wrote for the class. “I really appreciate Dr. Buysse’s encouragement and help,” says Xue. “I also appreciate that the Kinesiology department provides such an amazing class.”

Xue and Li were highlighted in an article last fall in All Things Kinsidered.

Ph.D. candidate Katlyn Koepp receives research award from Mayo Clinic

Katlyn Koepp, Kinesiology doctoral candidate and member of the Laboratory of Integrative Human Physiology (LIHP), recently received the Department of Cardiovascular Disease Circulatory Failure Research Award from the Mayo Clinic. The grant project, titled “Exercise Capacity and Abdominal Visceral Adipose Tissue in non-HFpEF controls,” will examine the roles of aerobic capacity and abdominal visceral adipose tissue in heart failure patients.

Koepp is advised by Donald R. Dengel, Ph.D., professor of kinesiology and director of the LIHP.


LIHP members publish in Clinical Physiology and Functional Imaging

Michelle Harbin, M.S. and doctoral student in the School of Kinesiology and member of the Laboratory of Integrative Human Physiology (LIHP), is the lead author of an article published in the Clinical Physiology and Functional Imaging. The article entitled “Intra- and inter-day reproducibility of low-flow mediated constriction response in young adults” examined the relationship of low-flow mediated constriction on maximal dilation during reactive hyperemia as well as the intra- and interday reproducibility of brachial low-flow mediated constriction. It was observed that low-flow mediated constriction did influence the maximal dilation during reactive hyperemia, however, low-flow mediated constriction was found to be variable limiting its potential as a marker of endothelia function.

Donald R. Dengel, Ph.D., professor in the School of Kinesiology and LIHP director, and Joe Ostrem, Ph.D., graduate of the School of Kinesiology are also co-authors on this article.

Michelle Harbin
Donald R. Dengel, Ph.D.
Joe Ostrem, Ph.D.

Curry awarded NSF-funded graduate fellowship

Christopher Curry, Ph.D. student in the School of Kinesiology, has been awarded an NSF-funded fellowship for 2018-19 through the Center for Cognitive Sciences and the Center for Applied and Translational Sensory Science, based on his strong interest in interdisciplinary research. The 12-month stipend of $34,000 provides comprehensive funding through the center’s training grant titled “NRT-UtB: Graduate training program in sensory science: Optimizing the information available for mind and brain“. Curry’s research focus is looking at ways that Augmented Reality/Virtual Reality devices could be used in rehabilitation settings for patients who may have sensory and motor deficits.

Thomas Stoffregen, Ph.D., professor of movement science in the School and Victoria Interrante, Ph.D., professor in the Department of Computer Science and Engineering are serving as Curry’s fellowship mentors.




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 alumna Lindsay Whalen hired as head coach of Gopher Women’s Basketball

School of Kinesiology alumna and beloved U of M and professional basketball player Lindsay Whalen has been hired as head coach of Gopher women’s basketball.

Whalen, who was starting point guard for the Gophers from 2000 to 2004, was a three-time All-America star. During her tenure, she was the program’s all-time scoring leader at 2,285 points, and her powerful presence propelled women’s basketball into the forefront at the University. Average attendance at Williams Arena increased more than 900% during her career as a Gopher.

After four years playing for the U of M, Whalen was drafted by the Connecticut Sun and played for six seasons before returning to Minnesota in 2010 to play for the Minnesota Lynx. She graduated from the School of Kinesiology in 2006 with a B.S. in Sport Science (now Sport Management). She will continue to play for the Lynx and coach for the Gophers.

A few of the many media reports, including Whalen’s press conference, are linked below.




2018 Kinesiology Research Day showcases work of students, faculty

2018 Kinesiology Research Day held Friday, April 13, was a resounding success, showcasing the projects or involvement of 58 members of the School of Kinesiology. Held in Walter Library, the collection of research included seven research briefs, four paper presentations, and 21 poster presentations, as well as seven lab talks.

The School of Kinesiology Research Day is held annually and sponsored and organized by the Kinesiology Student Council. It is designed to present an opportunity for faculty members, staff, graduate students and undergraduate students to interact in an interdisciplinary forum, exchange ideas, and present their achievements.

Awards were presented in a number of categories (serious and not-so serious):

For more photos of the event see our Flickr album.

Research Awards:

People’s Choice for Best Poster (Undergraduate) – Madeline Czeck, B.S. student
People’s Choice for Best Poster (Graduate) – Katie Bisch, M.S. student
Faculty Choice for Best Research Brief – Morgan Betker, Ph.D. candidate

Miscellaneous Awards
‘Die Hard Award’ – Assistant professor Sarah Greising, for attending the whole day and showing so much support to all student participants!
‘Harshest Questions Award’ – Professor Jürgen Konczak, for making everybody second-guess their work
‘Best Dressed’ Award – Joey Kronzer, M.S. student
‘Herding Cats Award’ – Eydie Kramer, Ph.D. student, for all her work with the high school tours!
‘Drill Sergeant Award’ – Arash Mahnan, Ph.D. student, for making sure the event ran on schedule all day!

“Kin Research Day is a fabulous celebration of all the work happening in Kinesiology, and a great opportunity to celebrate the diversity of research in our School,” says Madeleine Orr, co-chair of the Kinesiology Student Council. “We had a lot of fun putting it together and were very pleased with the turnout and energy at the event!”