Community engagement creates evidence-based, experiential learning opportunities for kinesiology programs seeking to enhance student experiences through meaningful connections. We argue that increasing community engagement through hands-on experiential learning opportunities should serve as a model for effectively creating a stronger sense of belonging among kinesiology students. Two cases explore kinesiology program initiatives at private universities emphasizing activist learning models with established community-service pedagogy. Both cases conceptualize research activities, including the design and implementation phases, as well as relevant outcomes developed on the respective campuses. We discuss how experiential learning and community engagement enable students’ sense of belonging and improve student engagement outcomes for kinesiology programs.
Sarah P. Shultz, Julius Moss, Lisa L. Hicks, and Robert B. Brubeck
Alyssa Abreu, Jessica Thompson, Danielle N. Cofield, Mark D. Faries, and Eric J. Jones
Physical inactivity is common among women and a quarter of college-aged women are classified as overweight or obese, making this population an important target for obesity prevention. Fitness testing is commonplace, and practitioners can hold an underlying belief that discrepancies will promote positive responses. However, little research has examined the affective responses to fitness testing in adults. The purpose of this study was to assess the affective responses to common fitness testing, while examining relationships to physical self to help elucidate why some respond to such testing and others do not. Forty-eight college-aged women were presented with their discrepancy from a normative standard across six fitness tests. Findings support previous conceptualizations on discrepancies and affective responses, in that greater negative discrepancies from normative standards were associated with greater changes in negative feeling states. In addition, the results suggest that only certain discrepancies pose a threat to perceived satisfaction with one’s physical self (i.e., self-concept)—mainly though subdomains related to body appearance and aerobic fitness. In other words, the greater the perceived satisfaction of self, the greater negative emotional response was experienced to the specific test discrepancy. The notation of “threats” to important domains of self-concept might help explain why fitness testing that alerts individuals where they are discrepant produce behavioral changes in some but not others. Professionals should consider the impact of providing fitness test discrepancies on negative affective responses, with the possible impact on motivation and future behavior choices to reduce the discrepancy.
Steven J. Elmer and Kelly B. Kamm
In this paper, we describe how the Department of Kinesiology and Integrative Physiology at Michigan Technological University assembled a COVID-19 pandemic response team to help protect the health of the campus and rural community. Specifically, our team worked to (a) enhance public health messaging, (b) manage the university contact tracing program, (c) expand health science curricula, (d) promote and facilitate physical activity as a key mitigation strategy, and (e) provide professional development opportunities for students. We also consider strategies to prepare for subsequent COVID-19 surges and future health emergencies. Leveraging our broad-based training in health science and “leading at the edge” was a critical asset for the campus and community and may serve as a model for other kinesiology departments and rural colleges and universities.
Elizabeth M. Mullin, Anna Bottino, Danielle D. Wadsworth, Steven J. Petruzzello, and Tiffanye M. Vargas
While the negative psychological effects of the COVID-19 pandemic have been noted in the general population and among undergraduate students, little is known about the impact on graduate students. We surveyed kinesiology graduate students (N = 272) enrolled in American Kinesiology Association member institutions regarding their well-being. Overall, graduate students reported poor mental health and high perceived stress. Cisgender women reported worse outcomes than their counterparts. No significant differences were found among sexual orientation or racial and ethnic identity. In open-ended responses, graduate students identified both increased and decreased well-being and delineated methods that helped or would have helped their well-being during the pandemic. Faculty and administrators must put intentional effort into recognizing mental health disparities, provide open and clear communication, and increase access and visibility of resources to support the mental health and well-being of graduate students.
Thomas R. George, Armin A. Marquez, Cassandra J. Coble, and Antonio S. Williams
The growth of Sport Management programs in the United States over the past 50 years has sparked debate about where they should reside on college campuses. However, it has also provided significant opportunities for collaboration and integration with other academic programs in Kinesiology and Public Health. This paper explores relevant literature and current issues that highlight the intersection of sport management, physical activity, and health and then describes two academic programs that were redesigned to better integrate sport management and the health sciences. The Sport Marketing and Management program at Indiana University provides students with the opportunity to expand their business training, with particular emphasis on diversity, equity, and inclusion, through coursework in health and movement-related programs in the School of Public Health. The School of Kinesiology’s Applied Exercise Science program at the University of Michigan offers students the option of pursuing a management elective track that incorporates courses from the school’s Sport Management program. This paper provides leaders in Kinesiology with explicit examples of integrating kinesiology and public health with sport management and serves to encourage leaders to promote and support greater collaboration within units of Kinesiology and other health science programs.
M. Melissa Gross, Kairos Marquardt, Rebecca E. Hasson, Michael Vesia, Anthony R. King, and Peter F. Bodary
Pedagogical strategies continue to improve and evolve with the primary purpose of preparing learners for life and career challenges. The focus on discipline-specific content and individual assessment has dominated higher education practice, including those in kinesiology. Although there is a clear vision to enhance diversity, equity, and inclusion in kinesiology curricula, we also need to improve important foundational skills (e.g., quantitative literacy, information literacy, teamwork skills) that our students need to succeed in our programs and beyond. Our narrative review highlights how we tackled these two challenges in an intentional redesign of our foundational kinesiology course. In addition, we outline how we integrated our siloed content and moved to coinstruction of a large, team-based-learning class that employs a diverse set of learning assessments and is supported by near-peer learning assistants.
Jared Russell, Matt Beth, Danielle Wadsworth, Stephanie George, Wendy Wheeler, and Harald Barkhoff
Kinesiology administrators make a myriad of strategic decisions throughout their time in leadership. Effective leadership, particularly inclusive excellence leadership, is highlighted by the ability of an individual to utilize a diversity of constituent viewpoints, perspectives, and “voices” to guide their respective decision-making processes. This manuscript includes two students’ stories, as well as main points of discussion by American Kinesiology Association Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion workshop leaders. These perspectives provide not only foundational background information, including student identities, but also strategic actions that are necessary to develop all-inclusive and individualized programming that can successfully overcome systemic barriers. The main identified themes are (a) ease of access to accommodations, (b) a culture of inclusivity, (c) advocating, (d) establishing trusting relationships, (e) welcoming of Indigenous perspectives, and (f) flexible practices and community support.
Kayla Baker, Melissa Bopp, Sean M. Bulger, YuChun Chen, Michele L. Duffey, Brian Myers, Dana K. Voelker, and Kaylee F. Woodard
The COVID-19 pandemic proved to be an unprecedented disruptor on college and university campuses as stakeholders at all organizational levels were challenged to consider new approaches to teaching and learning using online course modalities with very limited preparation time and faculty support. Using a case study approach, this paper reviews valuable lessons learned through the experience, particularly regarding shifts in course delivery to include online and hybrid modalities on a widespread scale. Specifically, the authors reviewed the processes, outcomes, and student perceptions associated with online and hybrid course delivery in various kinesiology courses at three different higher education institutions. The paper also offers useful perspectives for kinesiology program administrators and faculty who are contemplating the continued application of online and hybrid course formats in greater capacity postpandemic.
Ting Liu, YuChun Chen, Michelle Hamilton, and Katie Harris
Peer mentoring is a learning process wherein a more experienced student provides advice and support to a less experienced student during their academic career. At the graduate level, peer mentoring has been shown to increase social support, career readiness, retention, and graduation rates among first-year students. In spring 2021, the Exercise Science graduate program at Texas State University initiated a peer mentoring program. The participants reported that they felt more integrated in the graduate program. Meeting and socializing with mentor/mentee have enhanced their sense of belonging and relatedness, especially during COVID, when students felt more isolated. The professional relationship made them more prone to return and strive for academic success. This article describes a peer mentoring program that has been successfully implemented in a kinesiology graduate program and makes recommendations for universities to study the impact of peer mentoring on marginalized student well-being, retention, career readiness, and academic success in future research.