Programs that provide student research experiences at the undergraduate level are an impactful means of recruiting and preparing students for graduate academic programs. Notably, such programs, when combined with faculty mentorship, exposure to graduate-school-level academic curricula, and socialization experiences, are considered crucial to the effective recruitment and retention of students from diverse cultural backgrounds into science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM)-oriented graduate academic programs. This work outlines the strategic efforts of Auburn University’s School of Kinesiology to enhance its graduate student diversity recruitment and retention processes. Highlighted are the School of Kinesiology’s goals and guiding principles related to diversity and inclusion initiatives. A detailed description of the centerpiece of this effort, the Future Scholars-Summer Research Bridge Program, is provided. Additionally, related Future Scholars-Summer Research Bridge Program topics are discussed, including securing donor support, aligning the program with institutional strategic goals, forming institutional or academic program partnerships, and addressing administrative and logistical challenges.
Laurence Fruteau de Laclos, Marie-Josée Sirois, Andréanne Blanchette, Dominic Martel, Joannie Blais, Marcel Émond, Raoul Daoust and Mylène Aubertin-Leheudre
This study compared effects of exercise-based interventions with usual care on functional decline, physical performance, and health-related quality of life (12-item Short-Form health survey) at 3 and 6 months after minor injuries, in older adults discharged from emergency departments. Participants were randomized either to the intervention or control groups. The interventions consisted of 12-week exercise programs available in their communities. Groups were compared on cumulative incidences of functional decline, physical performances, and 12-item Short-Form health survey scores at all time points. Functional decline incidences were: intervention, 4.8% versus control, 15.4% (p = .11) at 3 months, and 5.3% versus 17.0% (p = .06) at 6 months. While the control group remained stable, the intervention group improved in Five Times Sit-To-Stand Test (3.0 ± 4.5 s, p < .01). The 12-item Short-Form health survey role physical score improvement was twice as high following intervention compared with control. Early exercises improved leg strength and reduced self-perceived limitations following a minor injury.
Physical education in recent years has undergone modifications in order to meet the changing demands of students. The traditional paradigm has been to teach physical education from a sport- and skill-based approach, whereby traditional teams and individual sports are emphasized (e.g., basketball, volleyball, flag football). However, this curriculum may be less impactful on student learning than alternatives and is not viewed favorably by administrators because it is perceived as lacking relevance to broader educational goals. The purpose of this paper was to reintroduce a curriculum that has the potential to address student learning in physical education and broader educational goals. The outdoor/adventure education curriculum, while neglected in recent years, is demonstrating promising gains as a viable model.
Steven J. Petruzzello and Allyson G. Box
The status of physical activity in higher education has changed dramatically over the past 100 years. In this paper, we aim to (a) provide a brief history of physical activity on campus; (b) describe how that activity has changed from a requirement to an elective; (c) illustrate how mental health (particularly stress, anxiety, and depression) has changed in college students over the past few decades; and (d) describe the relationships between physical activity and mental health, particularly in college students. The paper culminates with recommendations for how colleges and universities might facilitate better student mental health through physical activity. There is room to improve the physical activity and mental health of college students, realigning higher education with the promotion of mens sana in corpore sano.
Jessica L. Kutz, Melissa Bopp and Lori A. Gravish Hurtack
As the need for qualified medical and allied health professions has grown, so too have the natural feeder undergraduate programs of kinesiology across the country. With an impending “enrollment cliff,” it is necessary to assess the needs of our students and be proactive in addressing curricular issues, initiatives, internship opportunities, and academic advising support. The purpose of this article is to highlight formal and informal data collection strategies and suggest solutions to undergraduate issues that pertain to retention and success. Data from current students and alumni shed light on issues that plague kinesiology programs and present unique challenges to students as they attempt to pursue careers in the medical and allied health fields. Two R1 kinesiology programs identified similarly themed issues using informal and formal data collection approaches. Those themes were undergraduate major identification, career options, curricular issues, financial concern, and emotional fortitude. Suggested solutions and current best practices are provided to address the common themes that hold our undergraduates back from achieving their career goals.
Bradley J. Cardinal
Concerns about college and university student health date back to at least the mid-19th century. These concerns were addressed through the development and implementation of required, service-based physical activity education programs. In the 1920s–1930s, 97% of American colleges and universities offered such programs. Today less than 40% do. However, student health issues persist. This essay asserts that kinesiology departments are best suited to address these needs by delivering physical activity education courses through their institution’s general education curriculum. General education courses are those that every student must take in order to develop the competencies necessary for living a full and complete life and contributing to society. Given the growing costs of higher education, any such requirement must be justifiable. Therefore, implementing and sustaining a physical activity education general education requirement is not for the faint of heart; it requires effort, resources, support, and time. This essay explores these issues.
Jamie Taylor and Dave Collins
There appears to be general agreement that interaction with significant challenge should be a central feature of the development pathways for future high performers. There is, however, far less clarity about how such programs should be designed and delivered against core psychological principles. Accordingly, the purpose of this paper is to offer guidelines for talent development practitioners seeking to offer athletes the opportunity to maximize their growth and development. The authors propose that genuinely developmental experiences will likely offer a level of emotional disturbance and, as a result, more fully engage performers, prompting self and other facilitated reflection, and motivate future action. Furthermore, there is a necessity for these experiences and their follow-up, to be managed in a coherent manner and integrated with existing skills, experience, and future performance aims. In highlighting these issues, the authors offer recommendations for talent development coaches, managers, psychologists, and parents of athletes.
Anna Gabriela Silva Vilela Ribeiro, Rozangela Verlengia, Maria Rita Marques de Oliveira, Matheus Valério Almeida Oliveira, Idico Luiz Pellegrinotti and Alex Harley Crisp
This study aimed to investigate the association between compliance with the guidelines of moderate to vigorous physical activity (MVPA) accumulated in bouts of ≥10 min or nonbouts with body composition and physical function in older adults. The authors evaluated 230 noninstitutionalized older adults. Body composition was estimated using bioimpedance, and physical function was assessed using four physical tests. Physical activities were monitored for 7 days using an accelerometer. Older adults who were physically active according to MVPA in bouts of ≥10 min were less likely to have low appendicular skeletal muscle mass (odds ratio [OR] = 0.12), excess body fat (OR = 0.30), and abdominal obesity (OR = 0.34) and more likely to have a higher physical function (OR = 5.78). No significant association was observed with MVPA nonbout. Our findings indicate that older adults who accumulate MVPA in bouts of ≥10 min have better parameters for body composition and physical function.
Meredith J. Luttrell, Benjamin R. Mardis, Joshua M. Bock, Erika Iwamoto, Satoshi Hanada, Kenichi Ueda, Andrew J. Feider, Kenzie Temperly and Darren Casey
The balance of angiogenic factors, including vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), and angiostatic factors, like thrombospondin-1 (TSP-1) and endostatin, controls striated muscle angiogenic responses to exercise training. The effect of age on circulating levels of these factors following a bout of exercise is unclear. The authors hypothesized that older adults would have lower circulating VEGF but higher TSP-1 and endostatin after exercise compared with young adults. Ten young and nine older participants cycled for 45 min at 60% estimated HRmax. Serum [VEGF], [TSP-1], and [endostatin] obtained before (PREX), immediately after (POSTX0), and 3 hr after (POSTX3) exercise were analyzed. [VEGF] increased in older adults only from PREX to POSTX0 (p < .05). [TSP-1] increased in both age groups (p < .05). There was no effect of age or exercise on [endostatin]. In conclusion, immediately after exercise, both groups had a similar increase in [TSP-1], but [VEGF] increased in older adults only.