College of Education Sitemap
Skip to Main Content

Department of Kinesiology

Department of Kinesiology

Kinesiology Faculty and Staff

Kinesiology Faculty

Shelby Baez-Department of Teacher Education Faculty
Shelby Baez
Ph.D., University of Kentucky
Shelby Baez is a certified athletic trainer with an expertise in psychology of injury. Baez research examines the impact of psychological responses on clinical outcomes after traumatic knee injury in the high functioning, physically active population. Her research agenda has two main areas of focus. The first area of focus is to identify consequences of maladaptive psychological responses on the central nervous system. Her laboratory uses neuroimaging techniques and other neuroscience modalities to investigate these consequences. The second area of focus is to examine the efficacy of psychoeducation interventions and cognitive behavioral therapies on decreasing maladaptive psychological responses after traumatic knee injury. These techniques range from relaxation training and imagery techniques to the use of virtual and augmented reality. Overall, the goal of her research agenda is to improve long- term outcomes after traumatic knee injury.
Tracey Covassin-Department of Teacher Education Faculty
Tracey Covassin
Ph.D., Temple University
Dr. Covassin is a professor and licensed athletic trainer at Michigan State University in the Department of Kinesiology. Her research in sport-related concussion includes sex differences in concussion outcomes, epidemiology and risk factors associated with sports-related concussion. Dr. Covassin currently directs a multi-site high school and college sport-concussion outreach program in the Mid-Michigan area.
Katharine Currie-Department of Teacher Education Faculty
Katharine Currie
Ph.D., McMaster University
Katharine Currie is an exercise physiologist who focuses on the cardiovascular responses to exercise across the spectrum of health and disease. Her research program has two main areas of research. The first area is investigating whether the acute cardiovascular responses to a single bout of exercise are able to predict the cardiovascular adaptations that occur with chronic exercise training. The second area of research is focused on blood pressure responses to exercise, and what constitutes a normal and abnormal response. The cardiovascular assessments performed in her laboratory include flow-mediated dilation, arterial stiffness, echocardiography and arterial-ventricular coupling. Research populations of interest include cardiovascular disease, spinal cord injury, athletes, and children. Overall, the goal of her research program is to further our understanding of exercise dose-response relationships so that exercise prescriptions can be personalized.

Andrew Driska-Department of Teacher Education Faculty
Andrew Driska
Ph.D., Michigan State University
Andy Driska is coordinator of the Sport Coaching and Leadership Online Programs and a fixed-term instructor in the Department of Kinesiology. His primary research focus is coach education and the effectiveness of online coach education programs. A secondary research interest is the roles that coaches and sport environments play in fostering the psychosocial development of athletes. He has consulted for USA Swimming and for several intercollegiate athletic teams.
Karl Erickson-Department of Teacher Education Faculty
Karl Erickson
Ph.D., Queen’s University
Karl's research focuses on athlete development and coaching in youth sport, and understanding youth sport as a context for personal development. He is interested in the integration of performance, health, and psychosocial outcomes and how interpersonal processes associated with participation in sport influence these developmental outcomes. His work examines the influence of coach-athlete interactions, the learning and development of sport coaches, and the influence of different contexts in which youth sport takes place.
David Ferguson-Department of Teacher Education Faculty
David Ferguson
Ph.D., Texas A&M University
David P. Ferguson has two distinct research interests. The first is how early life nutrition influences cardiovascular development as it relates to functional capacity in adulthood. It has been shown that children who are malnourished at birth have a higher incidence of cardiovascular disease in adulthood. The goal of his laboratory is to investigate the mechanistic changes that occur due to poor diet and propose therapeutic countermeasures to increase cardiovascular function and decrease mortality rates. The second area of research focuses on the physiological stress placed on automotive race car drivers and pit crews. He is working with NASCAR, Indycar, and Formula 1 teams to increase performance and safety of drivers and crew members.
Dan Gould-Department of Teacher Education Faculty
Dan Gould
Ph.D., University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Dan Gould is director of the Institute for the Study of Youth Sports and a professor of kinesiology. In 2019, he was named the inaugural Gwendolyn Norrell Professor of Youth Sport and Student-Athlete Well-Being. His area of expertise is mental training for athletic competition and sport psychology. His research interests include the stress-athletic performance relationship, psychological foundations of coaching, athlete motivation, youth leadership and positive youth development through sport. He has been a consultant for the U.S. Olympic Committee, the United States Tennis Association and numerous athletes of all ages and skill levels.
George Harnick-Department of Teacher Education Faculty
George Harnick
M.S., University of Northern Iowa
Mr. Harnick is an instructor of Kinesiology. His current role in the department includes instruction of courses focusing on pedagogy and coaching. He also coordinates the Sports Skills Program, which provides opportunities for people with disabilities to participate in physical activity and sport settings. His research interests are primarily focused on the correlation between physical fitness/activity and academic achievement.
Janet Hauck-Department of Teacher Education Faculty
Janet Hauck
Ph.D., University of Michigan
Janet Hauck is focused on examining health behaviors and designing and implementing meaningful interventions targeting motor behaviors. She is interested in physical activity and gross motor delay in children with and without disabilities. Her recent work includes the design and implementation of physical activity intervention studies for youth with Down syndrome and Autism Spectrum Disorder. She is investigating the relationship between physical activity, motor development, adiposity, and growth during the first 18 months of life for infants with and without Down syndrome as a means to understand pediatric obesity at its earliest stages.
Florian A.  Kagerer-Department of Teacher Education Faculty
Florian A. Kagerer
Ph.D., Ludwig-Maximilians University, Munich
Florian Kagerer is an associate professor in the Department of Kinesiology; he is also adjunct faculty in the Neuroscience Program. His research interests are in cognitive-motor control and coordination, as well as brain- behavior relationship. He is particularly interested how humans coordinate their hands, and whether mechanisms that govern that coordination can inform us about innovative approaches to rehabilitation of movement disorders. For his experiments, he uses behavioral techniques such as motion capture and robotics, as well as electrophysiological techniques such as electromyography (EMG), electroencephalography (EEG) and transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS). He is interested in motor behavior across the life span, studying adults as well as children, and both healthy populations and individuals with neurological movement disorders.
Chris Kuenze-Department of Teacher Education Faculty
Chris Kuenze
Ph.D., University of Virginia
Chris Kuenze studies the impact of exercise following traumatic knee injury with a focus on reducing risk of re-injury as well as the risk of long term joint degeneration. He is working to identify the impact of fatiguing exercise on patterns of lower extremity muscle function and movement patterns following anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) reconstruction. He plans to work on early clinical interventions to promote a return to normal physical activity while reducing the risk of re-injury and knee joint osteoarthritis following ACL reconstruction. He also seeks to identify and implement new low cost motion analysis technologies that can be used easily in the clinical setting to track patient outcomes and provide real time movement feedback during rehabilitation after lower extremity injury.
Mei-Hua Lee-Department of Teacher Education Faculty
Mei-Hua Lee
Ph.D., The Pennsylvania State University
Mei-Hua Lee is an assistant professor in the Department of Kinesiology. Her research focus is in the area of motor development throughtout the lifespan, specifically in the context of how infants and young children learn to interact with the surrounding environment. She predominantly studies reaching and grasping and how new behaviors and movement patterns emerge out of previous ones. Her research integrates the study of both perception and action by sing kinematic analysis, biofeedback, and qualitative analysis. Her overall research goal is to understand the acquisition of fundamental motor skills and explore how these findings integrate with theories of motor learning and rehabilitation.
Leapetswe Malete-Department of Teacher Education Faculty
Leapetswe Malete
Associate Professor
Leapetswe Malete’s teaching and research interests focus on international dimensions of youth psychosocial development through sport and physical activity, self-efficacy and athletic performance. He is also interested in physical activity, nutrition and childhood obesity, and the global and cultural dimensions of sport and exercise psychology more broadly. His other interests are international higher education partnerships and development.
Rick McNeil-Department of Teacher Education Faculty
Rick McNeil
Ph.D., Michigan State University
Dr McNeil has spent 35 years in campus recreational sports, the past 25 at MSU, and serving as Director of MSU Recreational Sports and Fitness Services the past two years. As an Adjunct Assoc Professor, his principle role with Kinesiology is to serve as the Recruiting and Program Coordinator and an Advisor for the Sports Administration concentration. As Director of Rec Sports his focus is on creating a campus culture of health and fitness, creating fitness opportunities in the residence halls and measuring the impact fitness participation has on academic success.
Keri Morrison-Department of Teacher Education Faculty
Keri Morrison
Keri Morrison is an instructor of Kinesiology. Her current role in the department includes coordination of the Kinesiology Internship Program and course supervisor for the Applied Human Anatomy Laboratory. She has been a Certified Personal Trainer (CPT) through the National Academy of Sports Medicine since 1998 and has over 14 years of personal training experience. Keri is interested in 3D flexibility and strength training programs and their relationship to injury prevention and post rehabilitation outcomes.
Nicholas Myers-Department of Teacher Education Faculty
Nicholas Myers
Ph.D., Michigan State University
Nicholas D. Myers’ research program is situated at the intersections of latent variable modeling and the study of psychosocial aspects of sport and physical activity. His two general lines of research are: (1) the measurement of some key constructs within sport and exercise psychology (e.g., self and collective efficacy beliefs, athletic performance, coaching competency and multidimensional well-being) and (2) the use of latent variable modeling (e.g., complier average causal effect estimation, exploratory structural equation modeling and multilevel modeling) in sport and exercise science. Myers also has an appointment in the Department of Counseling, Educational Psychology and Special Education.
Jennifer Nalepa-Department of Teacher Education Faculty
Jennifer Nalepa
Ph.D., Michigan State University
Jennifer Nalepa is an fixed-term assistant professor in the Department of Kinesiology. She primarily teaches courses in the Sport Coaching and Leadership online programs. Her research interests include coach education, online teaching and learning, positive youth development through sport, and modified youth sports. Jennifer has consulted with the United States Tennis Association and has worked as a sport psychology consultant for numerous teams and athletes.
Karin Pfeiffer-Department of Teacher Education Faculty
Karin Pfeiffer
Ph.D., Michigan State University
Karin Allor Pfeiffer is a professor of kinesiology and member of the Center for Physical Activity and Health. She is an exercise physiologist with an interest in population-based investigations. Her research focuses on two major areas, both of which are related to physical activity in children and adolescents. Her work spans the age range of preschool through high school (and even addresses college students sometimes). The first major area of research is measurement of physical activity, which she has been investigating since graduate school. The second major area is interventions to increase physical activity, which she has been investigating since her post-doctoral research position at the University of South Carolina. She has been involved with many school-based studies and is interested in incorporating families and communities into her research. She has also been at the forefront of work examining physical activity in preschool children and plans to continue more research in that area.
James Pivarnik-Department of Teacher Education Faculty
James Pivarnik
Ph.D., Indiana University
James Pivarnik is a professor of kinesiology and epidemiology (College of Human Medicine) and director of the Center for Physical Activity and Health. As an exercise physiologist and epidemiologist, he studies the exercise responses of females, particularly during pregnancy, and children, both healthy and those with chronic diseases. His focus is on the role of physical activity in reducing the risk factors for chronic disease development (e.g., cardiovascular disease) and the morbidity and mortality of those suffering from such conditions.
Matthew Pontifex-Department of Teacher Education Faculty
Matthew Pontifex
Ph.D., University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign
Matthew Pontifex's primary research interest is in the area of developmental neurocognitive kinesiology, examining the relation between health-oriented behaviors and higher-order cognitive function during preadolescence; and the application of these health-oriented behaviors as a means for improving cognitive health, academic performance and overall effective functioning during maturation. To date, his examination of these relationships has utilized both behavioral and neuroelectric measures to focus on the influence of acute as well as chronic aspects of physical activity upon developmental neurocognition, with a particular interest in the modulation of cognitive control. Future research will continue to investigate how aspects of health-oriented behaviors modulate the maturation of neural networks underlying aspects of cognitive control in the normal preadolescent population as well as within children suffering from cognitive and attentional disorders.
Rajiv Ranganathan-Department of Teacher Education Faculty
Rajiv Ranganathan
Ph.D., The Pennsylvania State University
Rajiv Ranganathan is an assistant professor in the Department of Kinesiology. His research interests are in the area of motor learning and bio-mechanics. He is particularly interested in how humans produce skilled and coordinated movement, and how this ability is altered in the context of development, aging, and movement disorders. He uses a combination of both experimental techniques - such as motion capture, robotics and virtual reality - as well as bio-mechanical modeling and computer simulations to understand the mechanisms underlying the control of human movement. The overarching goal of his research program is to develop novel training paradigms to facilitate motor skill learning and the rehabilitation of movement disorders.
Mary-Anne Reid-Department of Teacher Education Faculty
Mary-Anne Reid
M.Ed., Queen’s University, Canada
Mary-Anne Reid is the Coordinator of Physical Activity Instruction, Internships, and Practica in the Department of Kinesiology. Mary-Anne’s main role in the department is overseeing the Basic Instruction Program physical activity classes, in addition to working with the undergraduate KINternship Program, and the Masters in Sport Coaching and Leadership Program.
Alan L. Smith-Department of Teacher Education Faculty
Alan L. Smith
Ph.D., University of Oregon
Alan L. Smith is Professor and Chairperson of the Department of Kinesiology. His research addresses the link of sport and physical activity involvement with young people's psychological and social functioning. Smith is widely known for his research on peer relationships in the physical activity domain (e.g., sport, physical education) and the motivational implications of these relationships for children and adolescents. His work has been funded by the National Institute of Mental Health and the U.S. Department of Education as well as other agencies. His most recent work involves the examination of physical activity as a means of ameliorating symptoms and impairments of attention- deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in young children. This work involves interdisciplinary collaboration with experts in neuroscience, motor control, and biobehavioral and clinical psychology. Smith's publications appear in various kinesiology, psychology, and public health outlets, and he recently co-edited a leading graduate text, "Advances in Sport and Exercise Psychology." He has served as associate editor of the Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology and on the editorial boards of Child Development, International Journal of Sport Psychology, Journal of Applied Sport Psychology, Kinesiology Review, and Sport, Exercise, and Performance Psychology. He is a past president of the North American Society for the Psychology of Sport and Physical Activity, serves on the board of directors of the American Kinesiology Association, and is a fellow of the National Academy of Kinesiology.

Kinesiology Staff

Carol Christofferson - Department of Kinesiology Staff

Christina Mazuca Ebmeyer
134 IM Sports Circle

Darlene Howe - Department of Kinesiology Staff

Marlene Green
134 IM Sports Circle

Darlene Howe - Department of Kinesiology Staff

Michelle Hatta
134 IM Sports Circle

Kinesiology Undergraduate Advisors

Use the online system for making an advising appointment.

Amy Tratt

Amy Tratt
Phone: 355-3360

Jennifer Watson

Jennifer Watson
Phone: 353-5120

Becky Olsen

Becky Olsen
Phone: 884-7722