In this essay, I reflect on my life and academic career, detailing my childhood, family background, education, and those who influenced me to study physical education and athletic training. My higher education started with a small college experience that had a transformative impact on my intellectual curiosity, leading to graduate degrees and, ultimately, a career in higher education. I chronicle my academic career trajectory as a non-tenure-track faculty member and clinician, tenured faculty member, department chair, dean, and provost. My personal and professional lives have been undergirded by a commitment to equity, diversity, and inclusion, with examples provided in this essay.
Thomas L. McKenzie
This essay describes how environmental conditions affected my unexpected evolution from farm life in a rural Canadian community to becoming a physical education specialist and multisport coach and eventually a U.S. kinesiology scholar with a public health focus. I first recount my life on the farm and initial education and then identify the importance of full- and part-time jobs relative to how they helped prepare me for a life in academia. Later, I summarize two main areas of academic work that extended beyond university campuses—the design and implementation of evidence-based physical activity programs and the development of systematic observation tools to assess physical activity and its associated contexts in diverse settings, including schools, parks, and playgrounds. I conclude with a section on people and locations to illustrate the importance of collaborations—essential components for doing field-based work. Without those connections, I would not have had such an extensive and diverse career.
Maureen R. Weiss
I adopt an autobiographical approach to chronicle the contexts, experiences, and individuals that shaped my academic and career choices, which resulted in finding kinesiology and, specifically, sport and exercise psychology. Consistent with the developmental perspective I employ in my research and practical applications, I trace my life’s work in youth development through sport using transitional career stages. My academic path has been strongly influenced by hardworking and caring mentors and a commitment to balancing theoretical knowledge, applied research, and professional practice. Based on my many years in higher education, I conclude with some reflections on the future of kinesiology given past and present trends in the field.
This article is organized around the idea that a person can be a part of kinesiology without being in kinesiology. Trained as a sociologist and never having a faculty appointment outside of a sociology department, I am an outsider in kinesiology. However, my participation in kinesiology and relationships with scholars in kinesiology departments have fostered my professional growth and my appreciation of interdisciplinary approaches to studying sports, physical activities, and the moving human body. The knowledge produced by scholars in kinesiology subdisciplines has provided a framework for situating and assessing my research, teaching, and professional service as a sociologist. The latter half of this article focuses on changes in higher education and how they are likely to negatively impact the social sciences and humanities subdisciplines in kinesiology. The survival of these subdisciplines will depend, in part, on how leaders in the field respond to the question, Kinesiology for whom?
Learn how sport influenced Rainer Martens’s life and his epiphany to become a physical educator and coach, which led him to study sport psychology. The author briefly recounts his work in sport psychology and coaching education. Next, the author describes how he stumbled into publishing, founding Human Kinetics, and describes how this company helped define kinesiology and influence the broad field of physical activity. The author concludes by reporting on his continued involvement in sport and the development of two community centers that focus on sport and physical activity.
As the title of this article suggests, I describe in this essay how my career has been shaped by specific events, such as not knowing the rules of the game I loved and played extensively, and significant mentors, such as the venerable Dr. Earl Zeigler and Dr. Garth Paton. I also explain how I been involved in the birth and growth of the field of sport management. More importantly, I show how the field has shaped my career and has opened up opportunities for me to travel the world in propagating the field around the globe.
William J. Morgan
This essay addresses four main questions. The first is devoted to how I became interested in the philosophy of sport. The second question concerns how my academic career has evolved over time in line with various developments in the field that privileged certain lines of study over others and which largely marginalized philosophy in particular and the humanities in general. The third question centers on what I take to be my own main contributions to the philosophy of sport and what, if any, impact they may have had on the larger field of kinesiology. Finally, I offer my own brief prognosis of what I think the future has in store for the relationship between sport philosophy and kinesiology.
Hal A. Lawson
Twentieth-Century Physical Education gave rise to Kinesiology. Today’s Kinesiology structures and influences Physical Education. Boundary crossing and bridge building facilitate analysis of their relations and have import for investigations of career pathways and outcomes. Decisions regarding boundaries and bridges will impact the futures of Kinesiology, Physical Education, and their relations in diverse, turbulent higher education environments.
David I. Anderson
I am not sure by what fortunate circumstance I was invited to contribute to this special issue of Kinesiology Review. However, I am deeply honored to be part of an issue with such esteemed scholars and colleagues. Like many, my introduction to the field of kinesiology was through sports, but my inspiration to pursue kinesiology as a career was the result of an injury that ended my sporting ambitions. My career is characterized by little planning, large amounts of dumb luck, a willingness to explore some paths that are less well trodden, and deep and enduring friendships that have resulted from a spirit of teamwork and collaboration. The work has been hard, the hours have been long, but the payoff has been enormously gratifying. The overarching lesson from my career for emerging scholars is to have an adventurous spirit and seek out excellent mentors and collaborators.
An examination of the kinds of questions we ask ourselves provides a window through which to interpret our history and imagine our future. I suggest that there are three kinds of questions—large ones, small ones, and leaky ones. Those that are identified as large and small map onto the value structures we have created for ourselves in higher education. I call these structures caste systems in which some subdisciplines are valued over others, and theoreticians stand above both practitioners and skill teachers. Leaky questions are those that cross boundaries because they cannot be effectively answered by those residing in any one area or at any one level. I argue that leaky questions generate humility, mutual respect, and incentives for collaboration. I trace my own attempts to address all three kinds of questions as a sport philosopher and conclude that our brighter future in kinesiology, including our attempts to address the harms created by the caste system, requires us to see that most of the questions we find interesting are, in fact, leaky in nature.