Department of Kinesiology

School of Health and Human Sciences

News and Events

Ang ChenCongratulations to Dr. Ang Chen who has been awarded a $1.2 Million Dollar NIH grant for his research on The Science of Essential Balance (SEB). This project is aimed to develop and field-test the efficacy of a curriculum targeting both nutrition and exercise from a science behavior integrated approach. Dr. Chen plans to implement this curriculum in five school districts and in 24 high schools across the Piedmont area. This integrated curricular approach will use physical activity and participation in moderate-vigorous exercise to learn about life and health science, specifically on the core issue of energy balance. Congratulations again to Dr. Chen and to The Department of Kinesiology, who now has received two million dollar grants in less than one month!

To find out more about Curriculum and Pedagogy Studies in Physical Education or more information about Dr. Chen’s lab click here!

Erin ReifsteckThe Department of Kinesiology is proud to highlight Dr. Erin Reifsteck, one of its many esteemed alumni who have invested their knowledge and skills gained at UNCG to work professionally. As an alum of both the Master’s  as well as the Doctoral program, Reifsteck brings an especially strong perspective to her work through teaching, mentoring, and researching.

How did your PhD prepare you for your career?

Through my PhD program I was able to take a range of coursework across the kinesiology discipline (e.g., sport and exercise psychology, neural aspects of motor control, sociology of sport, exercise prescription, etc) and beyond (e.g., qualitative research, feminist theory, structural equation modeling, etc) that prepared me to conduct interdisciplinary research and also cultivated a broad view of our field that has helped me mentor graduate students with diverse interests.

What current research are you completing?

My main research focuses on understanding and promoting lifetime physical activity, health, and well-being through sport and life transitions. With funding from the NCAA over the past two years, my research team and I have worked on the development and evaluation of the Moving On! program, which is designed to help student-athletes make healthy transitions to life after college sports by promoting lifetime physical activity and healthy eating ( This year we received funding from the School of Health and Human Sciences to track physical activity and health outcomes of senior student-athletes as they transition out of college sports.

What’s your favorite thing about your career?

Great faculty mentors during both my undergraduate and graduate studies had a big impact on my own professional development over the years and inspired me to want to become a college professor. I feel privileged to be in a position where I continually get to learn and be challenged intellectually in new ways.  I always liked being a student (at least enough to go through 9 consecutive years of higher education), and I suppose working in academia means I’ll never really have to stop being one. I also appreciate the flexibility to pursue research topics that are personally meaningful to me, and I enjoy the opportunity to mentor students as they develop and pursue their own research and professional interests. UNCG has always felt like home to me. I believe that our department has created a supportive, collegial environment that is truly invested in the success of faculty, staff, and students.

Do you have any advice for students seeking or considering higher education such as a Ph.D.?

Take some time to really consider your long-term career goals. In the field of sport and exercise psychology in particular, there really is no one defined path- which can be both exciting and frustrating for students interested in this field. But, knowing where you ultimately want to end up will guide you toward choosing the path to get there that makes the most sense for you.

Tell us about yourself!

I am an assistant professor in the Dept of Kinesiology at UNCG. I received a PhD and MS in sport and exercise psychology from UNCG along with a doctoral minor in educational research methodology and a graduate certificate in women’s and gender studies. I primarily teach courses in the EdD in KIN program such as Mixed Methods in Kinesiology Research and Grant Writing. Prior to coming to UNCG, I competed as a Division I field hockey goalkeeper at Saint Francis University in Pennsylvania.  I am also a third degree black belt and level 4 certified instructor with Taekwondo America. In my free time, I enjoy spending time outdoors with my husband and two basset hounds.

Pam BrownThe Department of Kinesiology loves to recognize our outstanding faculty members. Read more on Dr. Pam Kocher Brown, and all she has done for UNCG!

In recognition for her excellence in teaching, Pam Kocher Brown, received two teaching awards this spring. She received the University Teaching Excellence Anna Marie Gove Award for 2017-2018 for facilitating student learning through innovative and creative teaching methods, as well as, supporting the academic and professional growth of students through mentoring and serving as a leader in education. Pam also received the School of Health and Human Sciences (HHS) Jerry and Joan Morrison Tolley Gail Hennis Graduate 2018 Teaching Award. Awardees are nominated by students for these awards, the student who nominated her said “Dr. Brown is the program director, and has put in copious amounts of time and energy to make this program successful…She has been supportive and extremely knowledgeable along the way (4 years now), and is the reason that many students’ dreams of earning a doctorate are coming true.” Pam is the program director for the Ed.D. in Kinesiology. The first graduating class of students were on campus for the Kinesiology departmental graduation in May and were recognized as the first graduates of the program since the doctoral program transitioned online in 2014. Pam noted that how exciting it was to celebrate the student’s accomplishments – “it was like watching my own children achieve their goals.”

Pam has been at UNCG since 2000, first as a graduate student and now as an Academic Professional Professor. She earned her Bachelor of Science in Physical Education with licensure and a minor in Biology from the State University of New York College at Cortland, her Masters of Art in Exercise and Sport Science with a focus on Cardiac and Pulmonary Rehabilitation from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and her Doctor of Education from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. She served as the aquatics director at UNC Chapel Hill, and as the women’s soccer and tennis coach, senior women’s administrator and faculty member at Chowan College, before returning to school at UNCG. She has been on the UNCG faculty since 2003 and has taught a wide variety of classes including activities classes and several in the KIN core, and she served as the coordinator for the physical education and health teacher education program for 7 years. She is active in service both at the university and professionally. She is married and has three children who are all active in sports.

When asked about what she enjoys about being a part of the UNCG KIN department, she replied “the people.” She said “I really enjoy coming to work each day because I enjoy the people I work with and the students I teach. I really appreciate that everyone cares about each other – personally and professionally.”

What do you enjoy about being part of the UNCG KIN department?

I feel like through my role as the director [in the online EdD in Kinesiology program] I have been given a chance to really make a difference in the world by helping my students’ achieve their goals. Our EdD in KIN program is designed for individuals who are working so that they can immediately apply what they are learning into their daily lives – students regularly comment about how they have used a lesson or assignment they created for class in their actual workplace. A key element of the dissertations is that they are applied – we want the students to make a difference in their professional lives and potentially the lives of others with their work, so we strive for this in all they do.

What are some fun experiences you have had in your professional journey?

Some of the most enjoyable experiences at UNCG have been with colleagues when we have attended professional conferences. Each year I look forward to attending the conferences with my colleagues, who are also my friends. We get to learn a lot at the actual conferences but also have some fun in new cities and states – we always find ways to laugh and enjoy ourselves.

In what ways have you been able to impact students in a completely online world?

You would be surprised about the sense of community you can build in an online program. That is probably what people (faculty and students) are most skeptical about until they have a chance to be a part of the program. Our students talk (email, text, Google hangout, phone) with each other regularly to talk about their families as well as their academics. I often find that I know more about my online students than face-to-face because they are able to “talk” with me at times that fit versus having to run off to the next class or get to work. Ask the students and many will tell you they have made lifelong friends through the program. UNCG and especially the EdD in KIN program is really a family.

Posted in EdD

Student Athletes Taking A Pilates Class with Melinda SmithCongratulations to Mindy Smith, whose article, “Moving into an active future: Supporting lifetime physical activity for student-athletes” was selected by ACSM Journal Editors as a “Top Pick.”  Mindy is currently conducting research in conjunction with EdD in KIN faculty members, Dr. Diane Gill, and Dr. Erin Reifsteck, was also recently featured in NCAA Champion Magazine for her work with Moving On!.

Mindy’s article addresses the transition of college student-athletes (SA’s) to college graduates. Here is an excerpt from the article: “Former student-athletes face unique challenges in transitioning to lifestyle physical activity, including loss of extrinsic motivators, disbanding of teams, and limited exposure to activities beyond their sport. With an emphasis on enhancing Head Shot of Melinda Smithphysical activity competence, autonomy, and relatedness, health and fitness professionals can support student-athletes in their transition to a physically active lifestyle beyond college. Suggested strategies include offering transitional programs for student athletes during their final year, fostering community connections, and exposing former student-athletes to varied lifetime activities within supportive group classes.” 

To read the whole article click here.  Way to go, Mindy!

Laurie WidemanCongratulations to Dr. Laurie Wideman, who is part of an experienced team of investigators from multiple disciplines across UNCG, receiving an award from the National Institutes of Health Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD). In addition to Kinesiology’s Dr. Laurie Wideman, this all-star team of investigators also includes Human Development and Family Studies’ Dr. Cheryl Buehler, Dr. Susan Calkins, and Nutrition’s Lenka Shriver.

The project, entitled, “Biopsychosocial Predictors of Obesity During the First Two Years of Life” seeks to address the prevalence of Childhood Obesity as a public health crisis.  Keep reading below to read the full abstract or to learn more about exciting KIN research at UNC Greensboro click here.

Abstract: The prevalence of childhood obesity is a significant public health crisis.  Overweight children experience significantly more health and psychosocial problems compared to their same age peers and are likely to carry these problems with them into adolescence and adulthood. In this proposal, we describe a study of the early development of risk for obesity in childhood. The risk for obesity in early childhood is likely determined by multiple biological, psychological, and social factors that are observable in infancy.  We propose a conceptual model, a biopsychosocial model, of the early development of risk for obesity that focuses on several key biological, psychological, and social factors. Using an experienced team of investigators from multiple disciplines, we propose to investigate this model with an innovative, multi-method, longitudinal study of infants and their families (n = 288) that addresses these factors across the first two years of life. Our two key aims focus on understanding  (1) factors that predict infant weight gain and (2) the ways in which this weight gain and infant’s social interactions with mothers in feeding and non-feeding contexts predict self-regulation, and subsequent obesity risk at age 2. The study has important implications for the development of targeted prevention and intervention programs for families and children that may be utilized early in development, prior to the onset of weight gain that is difficult to reverse.

Kinesiology students and faculty mentors are leading the way in Undergraduate Research opportunities. UNCG’s MARC-U Star Fellows Program allows undergraduate students studying in a biomedical or behavioral science field to get hands on access to research, a faculty mentor, and so much more.

Our Kinesiology faculty mentors, Dr. Laurie Wideman and Dr. Erin Reifsteck, have been working with UNCG students to prepare them for a future in research.

Dr. Wideman is working directly with our own, Lauren Dorn. Lauren is an outstanding student in the classroom, and in the field. This senior presented her work last year at the Undergraduate Research Expo held here at UNCG, and her poster has been accepted at a MARC Conference in Georgia this September. Great work, Lauren!

Lauren D & Laurie Wideman

Erin Reifsteck & Alexis R

MARC U Fellows Information

If this sounds interesting to you, and you’re currently a student with at least two full years remaining at UNCG, check out their website links below:

MARC program website ( and funding information (

Click this link to go to the MARC Student Profiles to see our students and faculty!


On August 13, 2018 the Department of Kinesiology welcomed our undergraduate Class of 2022 as well as our new graduate students. Good luck to everyone on your first day of class! Remember, we’re here to help you succeed. If you need assistance, ask one of your instructors, a staff member, or your fellow new students. Our offices are located in 237 Coleman, and 250 Coleman building. Welcome!

The 2014 Cohort holding up a banner of a photo when they were in their first yearOn Monday April 30, 2018, the 2014 EdD in KIN cohort arrived on campus for their third and final official campus visit. Being their third campus trip, their familiarity with one another and comfort navigating around campus was evident. Though nervous about defending their dissertations, the semesters of hard work that have lead up to this moment helped mitigate their apprehension.. “It was obvious that the students were excited to share their findings and offer suggestions of how their work would make a difference to others. Family members, friends, current students and faculty attended the presentations, which were all recorded so they could be shared with those unable to attend,” remarks Pam Brown, Director of the Educational Doctorate in Kinesiology Program (EdD in KIN).  

Over the course of three long days, every member of the 2014 cohort successfully defended their dissertation. Each defense focused on a specific problem in their field, with issues ranging from how to address inequalities of kids in Title I schools, to the methodology of teaching taekwondo to senior citizens. It was evident to all who came to see the defenses that the unique perspective provided by each students’ life experience served to amplify their energy to incite change. “[They] are all excellent presenters of their work, better than many PhDs. They know their work, its limits and contributions, and they care about their work and how they can continue to contribute and improve their own work, their profession, and the larger field of kinesiology,” notes Dr. Diane Gill.” The EdD Faculty could not have been more proud, I know that these students will use their dissertations to make a difference in their profession. Several have already started the process,” adds Dr. Brown.

After three longs days of dissertation defenses, the 2014 cohort was able to relax at their celebratory dinner held at The Public in downtown Greensboro. “It was great to see our first cohort at their defenses and graduation – and especially at our downtown celebration with everyone – including families and friends,” reflects Dr. Gill, “That was the highlight for me.”  Photo of the 2014 Cohort with their Families

For others, the highlight might have been walking in their cap and gowns attending the KIN commencement ceremony. There in a hot and crowded gym, the entire department of Kinesiology, now the fifth-largest department on campus, congregated with loved ones to celebrate May and August graduates. Eric Tucker,  a soon-to-be graduate of the EdD in KIN program, was the keynote speaker. If he was nervous, it was undetectable. Perhaps because he found all the strength he needed in his peers sitting in the front row or maybe because addressing 500 people in a crowded gym is nothing compared to the grueling work of earning a terminal degree while holding down a full-time position and maintaining a personal life.

“All of us had to manage multiple responsibilities while completing this program – including full-time work, family commitment, and a number of unexpected life changes,” Tucker stated in his address. “But, we had a choice: we could let these challenges prevent us from moving toward our goals, or we could use personal strength and resiliency as a source of motivation. And therefore, we adapted to our new life; acknowledged our progress; and perhaps most importantly, realized that our individual success was inherently connected with our interdependencies and interrelationships upon one another. Diverse human experiences gave rise to diversity of thought, coupled with a deep sense of resiliency and dedication to overcome the challenge of doctoral studies. No matter where you began this race, despite the barriers you might have faced along the way, our collective determination and hard work are allowing us to reach the finish line together.”

The flexibility, perseverance, and sense of humor are things that this cohort will always be remembered for. As Dr. Brown notes, “It was so exciting to celebrate this moment with the 2014 cohort. I was so proud of their accomplishments and felt like they were my kids graduating. The EdD program is like a family and this group of students were willing to take a risk and help us build a successful online program.”

To read all of Eric’s speech please click here. And to the 2014 cohort, you are unstoppable. We look forward to seeing all that you will accomplish.

Head shot of Hannah WoffordHannah Wofford, an EdD in KIN student, and current VP of the North Carolina Cardiopulmonary Rehabilitation Association (NCCRA), was asked by the American Association for Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Rehabilitaiton (AACVPR) to write about the field through the perspective of both a professional and a student for their recent web based newsletter.

“This article was intended to remind those in the field of the investments and rewards that come with educating emerging professionals. As I continue to evolve as a professional and as a student, my experience in the EdD program has been a rewarding addition to my career.”

To learn more click here to read the full article.