Department of Kinesiology

School of Health and Human Sciences

Newest Faculty Members Are Getting Settled

After having a little time to get settled in their new roles, we caught with Dr. Erin Reifsteck and Dr. Michael Hemphill to share a little more about themselves. We asked them a few questions about themselves, their experience, and their research interests. Here is what they had to say:

ejreifst-350dpi-5x7hemphill1. What is your favorite part about working as a faculty in the EdD in KIN online at UNCG? How would you describe your experience so far?

Dr. Reifsteck: My experience so far at UNCG has been very positive. My favorite part has been getting to work with such a collaborative group of faculty and students. I believe that in most things we do in life, we have the potential to be more productive and effective, and ultimately make a bigger impact, when we work together. I especially appreciate that I get to work with supportive colleagues who are committed to our collective goals for this program.  

Dr. Hemphill: My favorite part about working in the EdD program so far is the collaboration opportunities among my faculty colleagues and with students in the program. As a new faculty member, I’m very interested in learning more about the interests and experiences of our doctoral students. So far, I’ve observed students present innovative ways to connect scholarship to their practice.

2. Would you tell us about your current research project or research ideas in the pipeline?

Dr. Reifsteck: Currently, I am serving as PI on a second National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) funded grant focused on our Moving On! program, which helps student-athletes make healthy transitions to life after college sports by promoting lifetime physical activity and healthy eating behaviors. I am currently working on this project with Dr. Lenka Shriver (UNCG faculty in Dept of Nutrition) and Dr. DeAnne Brooks (UNCG EdD alum and now faculty at Salem College). We have developed a student-athlete workbook and facilitator guide for the program, and we are currently building a website that will house educational content and resources.  

Dr. Hemphill: For the past 4 years, I’ve developed a research program focused on sport-based youth development in Urban Squash programs, particularly the new program in Charleston, South Carolina. The research includes an examination of pedagogical practices and professional development protocols to enhance opportunities for positive interactions in physical activity settings. Additionally, I’ve written about ways that personal and social skills developed in an Urban Squash program may transfer to the school environment. Going forward, I plan to expand this work to other Urban Squash programs including Charleston, Atlanta, and Philadelphia. Over this year, I will expect to develop similar research programs with connections to the local community.

3. Would you tell us more about yourself (e.g., your hobby, passion, etc.)

Dr. Reifsteck: Since moving to North Carolina 7 years ago, taekwondo has been a big part of my life. In line with the theme of my scholarly work, I am a former collegiate athlete who transitioned into a new form of physical activity after college. I chose taekwondo as my new passion because there were built in opportunities for personal growth and competition. Taekwondo has also helped recreate a lot of the team sport experience that I missed most. For instance, it provides me a structured space for exercise with an instructor (coach) and classmates (teammates) who help motivate me and share in my successes and setbacks. I am now a 3rd degree black belt and Level 4 certified instructor at Taekwondo America in Greensboro.

Dr. Hemphill: I’m originally from Brevard, NC, which is about 30 miles south of Asheville. I enjoy visiting the area as much as possible for family visits and hikes in Pisgah National Forest and Dupont State Forest. In lieu of music, I enjoy listening to a wide range of podcasts with topics including sports, storytelling, news, and politics. My favorite exercise is running, I’ve completed 3 half-marathons over the past few years.

If you are interested in the original story about their hiring from February, please visit the archives at