Kinesiology is a field focused on physical activity and its impact on health, society, and quality of life. But do all people have equal opportunities to access and experience physical activity? Do physical activity settings allow people to freely express themselves? Are the benefits of physical activity universally shared by all people? If the answer to any of these questions is “no,” then these questions demand not only our immediate attention, but also our collective action. During the National Academy of Kinesiology’s 90th anniversary meeting, September 22–24, 2021, these questions and others were explored through presentations devoted to the theme “Kinesiology’s Social Justice Imperative.” This essay overviews the meeting, its purpose, and the organizers and introduces the 11 thematic papers in the “Proceedings of the National Academy of Kinesiology’s 2021 Meeting: Kinesiology’s Social Justice Imperative” issue, plus a 12th essay commemorating the National Academy of Kinesiology’s 90th anniversary meeting.
Bradley J. Cardinal
Lara M. Duke, Jennifer P. Gorman, and Jennifer M. Browne
In this article, we present a rationale for infusing adaptive, complexity, and transformational leadership theories into the kinesiology leader’s praxis. Understanding and incorporating these theories will prepare kinesiology leaders to respond to the emerging trends influencing the future of higher education and work leading into the Fourth Industrial Revolution. Specifically, we discuss the impact of the pandemic, which has transformed the way students and academics approach curriculum and pedagogy. We conclude the article with a discussion of the future of higher education and work and explore ways to cultivate kinesiology leadership approaches for anticipatory thinking and planning to respond to the transformation occurring in our field.
Alan L. Smith and Jeffrey T. Fairbrother
Wendy Wheeler and Heather Van Mullem
A 21st century college education should prepare students to meet workforce demands and contribute to an educated citizenry. This paper provides examples of the ways in which two institutions are adjusting kinesiology program design and delivery through the adoption of high-impact educational practices to prepare students to meet these goals. The authors describe first-year experiences to develop critical information literacy, a series of collaborative community-based health projects, and a unique internship experience for work-integrated learning. The authors reflect on the similarities between their efforts to implement high-impact teaching practices to prepare kinesiology students for the future of work. Keys to success include: (a) shifting to idea-based, learner-centered curriculum design; (b) developing strategic partnerships with college services, programs, and administrators; and (c) recognizing the significant impact of the changes on the student learning experience.
Jared A. Russell, Leslie D. Gonzales, and Harald Barkhoff
Academic leadership faces tremendous pressure to build sustainable environments that demonstrate a commitment to the principles of inclusive excellence. Currently, the convergence of dual global crises—the COVID-19 pandemic and reckoning of systemic violence and racism toward individuals from historically marginalized and oppressed groups—has led to prioritizing impactful inclusive excellence leadership processes that address justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion. However, too often, in times of crisis, the strategic prioritizing and, more importantly, allocation of resources to support inclusive excellence initiatives are seen as secondary, tangential, or nonessential to the core operational mission of academic units. In this article, the authors discuss the unique realities, challenges, and opportunities academic leaders face when leading an equitable and inclusive academic workplace and culture during and after a crisis. The authors provide fundamental inclusive excellence and justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion terminology and definitions. In addition, the authors provide attributes, behaviors, and action steps for demonstrating equitable and inclusive crisis leadership.
Jennifer J. Waldron
High-quality mentoring is a vital component of graduate education that leads to degree completion. For many students and faculty members, the traditional model of mentorship based on a fixed hierarchy is no longer viable because of the increasing complexity of higher education, diversification of graduate student career paths, and responses to the COVID-19 pandemic. For the success of our students and graduate programs, it is essential that kinesiology leaders place renewed effort on supporting the mentoring relationship through departmental strategies. Effective mentoring can assist students in feeling competent, autonomous, and connected with others. The purpose of this paper is to explore the three components of a contemporary model of mentorship—transparent socialization, mutually shared expectations, and the student as a whole individual.
Miriam E. Leary, Randy W. Bryner, and Oladipo O. Eddo
In response to the pandemic, kinesiology programs rose to the challenge of remote teaching by incorporating novel teaching and classroom approaches to ensure students continued to receive excellent instruction. This review identifies remote and hybrid teaching elements, many used by our two kinesiology programs, which showed promise during the pandemic. Using evidence and best practices, we argue for kinesiology programs to include these teaching strategies moving forward. Discussions focus on improving students’ success, learning, and matriculation into the vulnerable first year of college; rigorous teaching and assessment practices for laboratory and lecture classes in core curriculum; and remote capstone opportunities to prepare graduates for a postpandemic workforce. As we anticipate a physical return to campus, the strategies described here show promise for keeping kinesiology programs innovative and competitive in the emerging future of hybrid teaching in higher education.
Ting Liu, Michelle Hamilton, YuChun Chen, Katie Harris, and Rushali Pandya
Over the past decade, there has been a notable increase in interest in master’s education in the United States. However, not much attention has been paid to recruiting and retaining master’s students in the field of kinesiology. This article describes recruitment and retention strategies that have been successfully implemented in a kinesiology graduate program at a Hispanic-serving institution. Recruiting from undergraduate programs, removing use of the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) in graduate admissions, awarding graduate teaching assistantships, creating new programs that flow with the evolving workforce, actively promoting the program at other universities and conferences, and building partnership with other universities are described for recruiting quality master’s students. Establishing a peer/faculty mentorship program and building a strong student network/organization have been shown to have a positive impact on retention. Readers may pick and choose the strategies that work best with the student population, faculty, and other resources available in the program.
This article is based on a keynote address at the 2021 American Kinesiology Association’s Annual Leadership Workshop, for which I was asked to talk about the future of work in connection to higher education. I am familiar with the kinesiology field in my role as Dean of the School of Professional Advancement at Tulane University. This article touches on issues important to the field of kinesiology that may also be applied across other academic disciplines. Technology is changing the nature of work; the global pandemic has sped up the pace of that change. Beyond this, the potential for future pandemics and other transformational events and trends mean that work is in a state of permanent flux. Preparing students for future success in this environment requires educators to think more broadly and holistically about their roles. Higher education institutions also, arguably, have a responsibility not just to educate, but to model workplace culture.