Updates on Internships
Chair’s Corner Spring 2019
Welcome to our second Spring 2019 Communicator. The semester is winding down, with students racing to finish final papers, and projects, and preparing for final exams. Faculty are equally busy with grading and mentoring.
At the recent Honors Convocation, we celebrated the accomplishments of our students. The Department of Kinesiology was represented by 42 President’s Scholars, students who had achieved a 4.0 GPA during the previous fall or spring semester. We are also very proud of our over 200 students who were Dean’s Scholars, having earned a GPA of over 3.65 during the previous fall or spring semester. Graduating Dean’s Scholars will be recognized with a graduation honor cord at the spring Commencement Ceremony.
I am pleased to announce that this semester we were able to hire three new tenure-track faculty to join our ranks. Joining us in the Fall will be two faculty in biomechanics, and one in sport history and international physical culture.
JJ Hannigan and Li Jin each earned their M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Human Physiology-Biomechanics at the University of Oregon, Eugene. JJ also earned a Master’s degree in Athletic Training at St. Louis University and is a certified athletic trainer. His dissertation was on Neuromuscular Control of the Hip, Pelvis, and Trunk During Running. Currently a postdoctoral research fellow at Oregon State University, Cascades, JJ is working in the Functional Orthopedic Research Center of Excellence in Bend, Oregon. His research interests include mechanisms underlying lower extremity injuries, knee osteoarthritis and, recently, maximal running shoes.
Li’s dissertation focused on a Kinematic and Kinetic Analysis of Walking and Running Across Speeds and Transitions Between Locomotion States. He is currently a postdoctoral research fellow at the University of Iowa, working in the Human Performance and Clinical Outcomes Laboratory. His research interests include gait analysis, footwear evaluation, and prosthetic foot research, including the use of wearable sensors.
Michael Dao recently defended his Ph.D. dissertation at the University of Toronto under the guidance of some of the top sport studies scholars in North America, and previously earned his MA degree from our department at San José State. His dissertation work involved a yearlong ethnography of sport for development in Vietnam, and he plans to continue this work, as well as other projects dealing with sport and immigration and other issues here at SJSU.
We are excited to welcome Drs. Hannigan, Jin, and Dao as assistant professors.
In the spring we were joined by Dr. Ray deLeon from Cal State Los Angeles, who conducted our external review for our program planning. His review of the department is in, and we look forward to working with the administration to continue to improve our program as we serve the diverse students of SJSU, and continuously work to achieve our mission.
This spring also brought the opening of the new Spartan Recreation and Aquatic Center (SRAC). We hope to hold some of our activity classes there in the fall, and look forward to students staying active and taking advantage of the new facility.
As you will see by reading though the following pages, our alumni, students, faculty and staff are accomplishing amazing things within the SJSU campus community and beyond. I exceptionally proud to be serving as interim-chair during this exciting time in the department’s history and welcome your suggestions for how we can continue to improve. Your continued generosity helps us to support the academic mission of the department.
Tamar Semerjian, PhD, Interim Chair
Congratulations to Dr. Semerjian, who was named Department Chair of the Department of Kinesiology after a recent election in April 2019. President Papazian has appointed Dr. Tamar Semerjian to serve as Chair of the Department of Kinesiology effective August 19, 2019. She will remain as Interim Chair until that date.
Dr. Tamar Z. Semerjian received her B.A. degrees in Human Biodynamics and Psychology at the University of California, Berkeley, and her M.A. and Ph.D. in sport psychology from the department of Health, Leisure, and Sport Studies from the University of Iowa. She is the director of the Silicon Valley Health Aging Partnership (SVHAP).
Dr. Semerjian is currently a Professor of Sport and Exercise Psychology and Interim Department Chair in the Department of Kinesiology at San José State University. She teaches several courses in the department including undergraduate courses in sport psychology, sport sociology, stress management, diversity stress and health, and graduate courses in sport psychology and research methods. Dr. Semerjian’s research has included work with older adults, individuals with spinal cord injury, and transgender athletes.
Generally, her research interests focus on exploring the experiences of marginalized groups in exercise through the lens of both cultural studies and sport psychology. In particular she has been interested in the translation of evidence-based health promotion programs in the community, the effect of exercise on older adults’ self-perceptions, and the influence of their exercise experience on long-term participation. Because of her belief in the importance of praxis, she has been active in the aging community, implementing exercise programs that are affordable and accessible to diverse populations of older adults.
Dr. Semerjian’s published work has appeared in Spinal Cord, The Sport Psychologist, Journal of Aging and Physical Activity, Sociology of Sport Journal, and Women’s Sport and Physical Activity Journal, and she had contributed chapters to Sport for Peace and Social Justice, The Cultural Turn in Sport Psychology, The Hidden Faces of Eating Disorders and Body Image, and Battleground: Sports.