KIN Chair’s Corner: Spring 2019

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

Silicon Valley Healthy Aging Partnership (SVHAP) Receives Health Trust Grant

The Silicon Valley Healthy Aging Partnership (SVHAP), directed by Tamar Z. Semerjian, Ph.D. and Jennifer Schachner, M.S. has had a busy start to the year. SVHAP is pleased to announce that we have received $90,000 from The Health Trust to continue our work for another 18 months. The Health Trust has also included SVHAP in a grant for $25,000 from the Council on Aging to fund translation of the Matter of Balance program into Vietnamese and to update and increase the functionality of our website ( SVHAP was also awarded a grant from El Camino Hospitals for $70,000 to fund work for a Falls Prevention Task Force.

This will primarily involve workshops and outreach to senior serving organizations, their clients, and emergency medical service providers on how to prevent falls in the community. Dr. Semerjian and Ms. Schachner presented the work they have done over the past two years for SVHAP at the Center for Healthy Aging in Multicultural Populations (CHAMP) conference on April 5th. The Third Annual SVHAP meeting will be at the Sunnyvale Senior Center from 9 am-12 pm on April 19th, 2013. The meeting will include the announcement of the launch of new SVHAP supported programs, Tai Chi: Moving for Better Balance and the Arthritis Foundations’ Walk with Ease. Programs already supported by SHVAP are: Enhance Fitness, Matter of Balance, and Better Choices Better Health. SVHAP looks forward to another productive year of making evidence-based health promotion programs widely available to all older adults in Santa Clara County.