Ph.D. student recognized for diversity, equity and inclusion efforts

May 10, 2024

Corinne Hobbs, a third-year Ph.D. student in the Department of Kinesiology, is the recipient of the MSU Council of Graduate Students (COGS) Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) Award. The award — now in its second year — recognizes graduate-level Spartans who exemplify and actively promote DEI by addressing, challenging or dismantling discrimination, sexism, racism and prejudice within their program, unit or department.

Corinne Hobbs smiling at camera wearing black polo shirt. She is standing outdoors on a spring day.

In September 2023, Hobbs formed a podcast listening group for members of the Kinesiology Graduate Student Organization (KGSO) focused on education history and DEI topics in the context of sports. Over the course of the academic year, about half of the graduate students in the department listened to episodes from various DEI-centric podcasts and engaged in meaningful discussions at group meetings.

One podcast highlighted by the group, New York Times’ 1619 Project, explores how slavery has shaped culture in the United States today.

“It sparked a really interesting and honest dialogue in our group,” said Hobbs, who noted the podcast club was nice break from reading and writing for KGSO members. In previous years, KGSO has hosted book clubs. Hobbs was nominated by KGSO President and 2024 Ph.D. graduate Megan Loftin.

Another podcast, Demystifying Diversity, spotlighted issues like race, gender, sexual orientation and socioeconomic status in relation to participation in sports environments.

“We brought people together to talk about really serious issues and it was cool that they truly represented a global community and came together,” said Hobbs.

A passion for people

Hobbs’ scholarly interests lie in the psychosocial aspects of sports, particularly examining the effectiveness of pre-game speeches and how to measure team culture and climate. After completing her master’s degree at Miami University in Ohio, she was inspired to become a Spartan and work with her now advisor, Professor Nicholas Myers – a renowned scholar in the field of sports psychology.

“Working with Corinne has been a truly rewarding experience. Her natural curiosity and eagerness to engage with as many learning and serving possibilities as possible, are infectious,” said Myers. “Corinne embodies the best current qualities, and future aspirations of our great land-grant institution.”  

Hobbs hopes to tackle real-world issues in her career, with a primary focus on individual well-being.

“I want to make sure that my research has a direct impact on the population I’m researching,” she said. “In terms of DEI, it means making sure my research has a holistic, person-centered approach.”

Other news: Genoese receives National Doctoral Scholar Award honorable mention