Celebrating Kinesiology Faculty Achievements in 2023

  • On August 2023, Martin Bilello (Handball Instructor) served as the Head Coach of the USA Team Handball Youth (U19) Men’s National Team that competed at the IHF Youth World Championships in Croatia. This was the first time a USA team competed at this age category. Four Bay Area players were on the roster, and the team got the first win ever in this age category.
  • Dr. Seung Ho Chang has been elected as an editor for “Research into Practice” in the Journal of Physical Education, Recreation, and Dance (JOPERD).
  • Dr. Seung Ho Chang was invited to a special session as an invited speaker to deliver a presentation entitled “The Role of Motor Development in Sports Psychology” for graduate students majoring in motor behavior and sports psychology at Seoul National University.
  • Dr. Michael Dao was named the new Director of the San José State University Human Rights Institute. As the director, he will focus on health and healthcare as human rights in the future.
  • Dr. Li Jin received the University Grants Academy Summer 2023 Award for a project entitled “Optimization of Footwear Design on Improving Running Gait Biomechanics among Recreational Runners.”
  • Dr. Jihyun Lee’s article, “Parental Support and Concerns About Physical Activities of Their Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder During COVID-19,” published in Recreation, Dance and Physical Education Volume 6, Issue 2, received the Best Research Award for 2022. This news was announced this fall semester.

Spartan Tri-athlete: KIN Alumni Pushing Physical Boundaries

By: Dr. Michael Dao, Assistant Professor, Department of Kinesiology

If there is one thing about a Spartan that can be true, it is that Spartans exude physicality, dominance, and an exceptional sense of self-discipline. Anna Guzman, a Kinesiology alumnus who graduated in 2011, epitomizes the physicality commonly associated with Spartans. At the same time, she is excelling as a triathlete who recently placed in the top 20 of Americans and top 100 of out 2000 in the Kona Triathlon. For those who may not know, the Kona Triathlon is one of the most elite and prestigious events for this kind of sport. As a former student-athlete on the SJSU Women’s Tennis Team from 2007-2011, Anna fell into triathlons because her brother was on the club team at Cal Poly. Thus, when she retired from competitive tennis, triathlons presented a very appealing form of physical activity and competition.

Anna Guzman, Kinesiology Alumnus

Anna acknowledged utilizing some of her Kinesiology background to help prepare for triathlons. Anna chose to study Kinesiology as an undergraduate student because she was always into sports, physical activity, and health and wanted to major in a topic that would allow her to work in these areas. As a student-athlete and always interested in sports, Anna was motivated to learn about the body holistically, eventually leading to her active lifestyle. For example, specializing in exercise and fitness, Anna has used her knowledge of exercise prescription, nutrition, and exercise psychology to manage her training for triathlons. What is important to Anna is the ability to understand how the body works, responds to training and rest, and how to better facilitate training to meet her goals. Moreover, Anna uses her kinesiology knowledge to educate others on how the body responds, how to better weight train, and how to prepare mentally for extreme exercise conditions.

Anna is currently the Senior Assistant General Manager of Sports Basement in Campbell. For her, it is great to continue to work in sports in her career and to be an ascending triathlete. Her most recent success was winning her first half Ironman in Santa Cruz. It has been nothing but hard work and discipline for Anna to get this far. She praises her time at SJSU for her ability to manage her work and training efficiently. She highlighted, “My day-to-day life consists of working a full-time job and training one or two of the sports every day while also maintaining a good diet. It can be difficult to maintain, but my experiences as a student and an athlete at SJSU taught me how to stay motivated and focused.” As a student-athlete, she learned discipline, time management, and organizational skills that have helped her be successful in all facets of her life. She keeps in touch with former professors and coaches who shaped her SJSU experience. Anna’s SJSU experience was meaningful, and she continues to hold her education and relationships now. Lastly, starting in 2024, Anna will be racing as a professional triathlete!

SJSU Judo Championships and honoring Uchida Sensei

By Michael Dao

San José State University Judo is one of the most renowned judo programs in the nation, having garnered international acclaim. Judokas (judo athletes) that come through the program often train with the aspiration of becoming Olympic athletes. Recently, SJSU judokas such as Colton Brown and Marti Malloy have represented Team USA at the Olympic level. The success of the program continues to this day.

In light of the programs well deserved reputation, the National Collegiate Judo Association (NCJA) held the college and high school national championships on April 1 and 2 in Yoshihiro Uchida Hall on the SJSU campus. Judokas from all over the nation – from universities such as Texas A&M, UC Davis, and Stanford – all came to SJSU to compete for a national championship. With a huge turnout, the competition was high; however, both of Spartan’s  Mens and Womens teams, came home with team gold! The championship is especially exciting for the Women’s Judo Team, who successfully defended their title for the sixth time in a row. The Men’s team was able to climb back up the mountain to their rightful position in the USA Judo world. There were also many individual competitors and winners in their respective divisions:

  • Conor Uyekawa (-60kg Gold)
  • Anakin Mendoza (-60kg Bronze)
  • Colby Hanley Jr. (-66 KG)
  • Matthew Bata (-66 KG Bronze)
  • Weston Uyekawa (-73 kg Gold)
  • Kristian Espinoza (-73 kg Silver)
  • Eli Elvira (-73 kg)
  • Ryan Kuratani (-81 kg)
  • Nina Seoane (-63 kg Silver)
  • Nancy Nguyen (-70 kg gold)

The legacy of SJSU continues with the tremendous resiliency and effort espoused by the amazing Spartan Judoka. I was able to briefly sit down with Head Judo Coach, Sensei Kosuke Tanaka about the success of both teams. Tanaka Sensei expressed, “…the positive experience of having both teams winning the championship was much needed as we have not had many team competitions due to the COVID-19 pandemic.” Tanaka also highlighted how “this year, it really feels like the team is going in the right direction, and I feel confident in how the team is moving forward.” A primary goal of the SJSU Judo team is to win championships, and this year both teams showed that they are competing at a high level.

The success of the SJSU Judo teams this year comes with Yoshihiro Uchida being recognized for his 75 years of service at SJSU and for him celebrating his 103 birthday. As the first head coach of the SJSU Judo team and founder of USA Judo, Uchida Sensei was celebrated by a ballroom full of people and standing ovations at the faculty luncheon on April 5. Everyone in that room understood the importance that Uchida Sensei plays at SJSU. His legacy continues, and SJSU Judo lives as a firm fixture on our campus.

Congratulations to SJSU Judo and another Happy Birthday to Uchida Sensei!

Kinesiology Faculty and Students Attend CAHPERD

By: Dr. David Daum

The Department of Kinesiology faculty and students were busy this spring attending the California Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance (CAHPERD) state convention in Los Angeles.

CAHPERD is the premier state-wide professional development and advocacy organization for K-12 health and physical educators. It was a vibrant occasion, as attendees were excited to be part of an in-person event for the first time in two years. Conferences are always busy, and this year was no exception.

Assistant Professor Dr. David Daum, attended the conference along with two undergraduate Kinesiology-preparation for teaching majors and two Physical Education Single Subject Credential candidates. In addition to several presentations at the conference, Dr. Daum was on the ballot and elected as a member-at-large to the board of directors for CAHPERD. Dr. Daum will begin a three-year term starting summer 2022 continuing his leadership in the organization.

Additional conference highlights include: 1) Molly Sheridan, who is a current Kinesiology – Preparation for Teaching undergraduate student, was on the ballot and elected as the chair-elect for the Future Professional’s Council. She will be active in assisting the organization over the next year or so planning for all the pre-professional sessions and events at next year’s conference, and 2) a former SJSU department of Kinesiology faculty member, Dr. Robert Schmidlein, was recognized as the 2022 CAHPERD California High School Physical Education Teacher of the Year. When Dr. Schmidlein left SJSU, he returned to the K-12 schools and is doing amazing things with his students in Los Angeles. Dr. Schmidlein is now eligible to receive teacher of year recognition at the National level.

Congratulations to all current and former SJSU KIN members who are doing amazing things with CAHPERD.

CHHS DEI Profile – Dr. Michael Dao

Dr. Michael DaoMichael Dao – Department of Kinesiology

What is your role in your department/school?

I am currently an Assistant Professor in the Department of Kinesiology

What would you identify as one of the most significant actions you have taken to advance the cause for diversity either in the classroom, your community or your profession?

Probably my attention to include readings from different authorities that represent the diverse classrooms at SJSU. I am attentive to including writers of color, indigenous writers, and women in my syllabus to ensure that students are engaging with a wide variety of voices.

How have you integrated topics of DEI into hiring new faculty and/or admitting students?

I think from the Department of Kinesiology we are very conscious to ensure that our hiring practices are underpinned by DEI initiatives such as highlighting DEI research and teaching from potential candidates and also making sure or job postings are posted on DEI websites

Tell us about how you and why you became attentive to DEI topics. What prompted this change in your department/school?  What did the process look like?

I became attentive as I grew up and became more engaged with critical discussions. I just came to the conclusion that there were historical, social, and systemic reasons for the inequities people face. As such, the university is a good place to start having more conversations to better dismantle these unjust institutions that we work and exist. I find that more departments are slowly realizing our role in the inequities that people face so it’s down to us to start pushing the needle a little. The process is an ongoing one but at least we have more awareness and pay more attention to the topics.

What support did you need to make it happen?  Did you draw on existing resources or examples that were helpful in guiding your change?

Institutional support is key. Having support from your department chair makes it easy to bring up difficult conversations that not all people are ready to engage with. I didn’t really draw from existing resources but I have drawn from the CEED committee and people in the Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion.

Tell us one book, one article, one documentary, or one movie you’ve read or watched that you would like to suggest to others that helped shape your thinking about DEI work.

The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness by Michelle Alexander