Category: Students of Kinesiology

KIP Students and Faculty Attend the 71st Annual American College of Sports Medicine Conference

Recently, doctoral student Kyle Wehmanen and Dr. Steven Elmer attended the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) annual conference in Boston. This year’s conference was particularly special as it marked the 70th birthday of the ACSM, a milestone celebrating seven decades of pioneering research and advancements in sports medicine and exercise science.

One of the highlights of the trip was when Kyle presented his research, titled “Metabolic Cost of Human Locomotion on Soft Terrain.” This project explores the energy expenditure associated with walking and bicycling on soft surfaces, such as sand. Speaking on the experience, Kyle stated, “Presenting my findings to such a knowledgeable and inquisitive audience was both energizing and exhilarating. The feedback I received was invaluable, sparking new ideas and directions for future research.”

Kyle Wehmanen presenting his research.

The conference was also a fantastic opportunity to network with future collaborators and mentors and to reconnect with former colleagues. It was wonderful to exchange ideas and discuss ongoing projects with individuals who share a passion for advancing our understanding of sports medicine.

Another significant highlight of the week was the keynote opening lecture delivered by Dr. Barry Franklin, titled “Physical Activity and Cardiorespiratory Fitness as Modulators of Health Outcomes: A Compelling Case Presented to the Medical Community.” Dr. Franklin’s presentation was both enlightening and inspiring, underscoring the profound impact of physical activity on health and longevity. His compelling arguments and extensive research resonated with the audience, reinforcing the importance of our work in this field. A link to Dr. Franklin’s review article published in the Mayo Clinic Proceedings, which includes Dr. Elmer as a co-author, can be found here.

Outside of the conference, Kyle also took the opportunity to experience some of Boston’s local culture. One of the more memorable moments was attending a Red Sox game at historic Fenway Park. The energy in the stadium was infectious, and it was a fantastic way to unwind and enjoy a classic American pastime.

Kyle (left) along with KIP alumni Isaac Wedig (left center) and colleagues from Northern Michigan University at Fenway Park.

In summary, attending the ACSM annual conference was a chance for KIP members to share research and learn from the best in the field. The keynote speeches and panel discussions covered a wide range of topics, from the latest advancements in exercise physiology to innovative approaches in injury prevention. Each session gave new insights and a deeper appreciation for the complexity and scope of sports medicine. Overall, the trip to Boston was an enriching experience and it reinforced importance in contributing to the field and provided new tools and connections to do so.

Unveiling the Future: A Glimpse into the H-STEM Complex

Research is a key component of any graduate program. Not only do graduate students collect information and analyze data, but they perform important research functions. Researchers must follow a logical process: develop research questions requiring a lot of reading to go through the literature and related information; formulate research hypotheses; prepare the research design; collect and analyze data; and write a paper to present findings.

Many former graduate students will tell you the process requires much time, effort, commitment, and discipline to be successful. In the end, those graduating with an MS or PhD become experts in their field. In doing so, they learn how to analyze a problem more innovatively. Additionally graduate students learn to think critically, propose more creative approaches, and seek out the evidence needed to support their findings. They must be persistent, revisiting research questions and experiments many times. Often, they need to pivot to seek out new data sources, revise research questions, and consider other methods. empirical methods.

Collaboration is a key theme. Not only do graduate students collaborate with each other and their subjects when doing research, they work closely with faculty. Collaborating with faculty helps graduate students expand their knowledge, hone their research skills, and identify future research opportunities. Faculty advisors help graduate students grow their networks of researchers which expands opportunities for future research. Together they envision the future and push the envelope of what is possible. They explore solutions that are several years down the road. They merge precision research and technology with precision health outcomes.

Graduate Students Share What The H-STEM Complex Means To Them

We asked several graduate students for their impressions of the new H-STEM Complex. And as you’d expect, collaboration was the most used word, along with state-of-the-art, technology, and modern. Hear what they had to say.

Oluwatosin I. Oyeniran H-STEM Complex
Oluwatosin I. Oyeniran
PhD Student, Integrative Physiology

Oluwatosin I. Oyeniran

What are your first impressions of the H-STEM Complex?

The H-STEM complex is a world-class and state-of-the-art educational facility that will provide solutions to societal challenges by consolidating quality teaching and research in engineering and health-related sciences.

How will the new facility enable you to become a better researcher?

The H-STEM complex’s unique features such as its discipline-specific shared, flexible, collaborative lab and research spaces will enhance my learning and greatly support my quest to conduct quality and solution-oriented research and sharpen my scientific and technological skills.

What is the number one improvement in your opinion of moving into the H-STEM Complex?

For me, the major improvement is that, unlike our former location, the H-STEM complex is engineered to allow anyone inside and outside the workspaces to watch and visually experience diverse teams working jointly in shared, flexible, and collective teaching and research spaces. I look forward to maximizing all the opportunities and possibilities that the H-STEM complex will offer toward leading and advancing healthcare breakthroughs, technologies, and solutions for Michigan, the region, and the nation at large.

H-STEM Complex
Lily Hart
MS Student, Kinesiology

Lily Hart

What are your first impressions of the H-STEM Complex?

My first impression of the H-STEM Complex was how spacious the research and teaching labs were.

How will the new facility enable you to become a better researcher?

I believe that the new space will allow for collaborations with my peers. Having a communal grad office space has made it easy to not only get to know my peers better, but to get their input and ideas for coursework and research projects.

What is the number one improvement in your opinion of moving into the H-STEM Complex?

The main improvement that I see as a result of the move is the KIP department becoming more integrated into Tech’s community. Moving to the main campus has given us a better presence in the community which can open the doors for more outreach and collaborations with students and other departments.

H-STEM Complex
Kyle Wehmanen
PhD Student, Integrative Physiology

Kyle Wehmanen

What are your first impressions of the H-STEM Complex?

The new H-STEM complex is a great addition to the Michigan Tech campus. The design brings a modern feel to the heart of Tech and should help promote Tech’s commitment to education and research.

How will the new facility enable you to become a better researcher?

The new and expanded space makes research easier and more efficient. More importantly, the new building should foster increased collaboration both within and between multiple departments with optimized lab spaces.

What is the number one improvement in your opinion of moving into the H-STEM Complex?

The new state-of-the-art research spaces and overall inviting atmosphere of the building should promote excitement and energy in the coming years.

Test subject lifts a patient from a sitting position
Lift Testing in Steve Elmer’s Lab
Study subject hooked up to a harness with a number of sensors attached to their body facing a large screen showing their body movement and movement statistics
Balance Testing in the Biomechanics Lab

About the Kinesiology and Integrative Physiology Department at Michigan Technological University

Tomorrow needs healthy communities. The Department of Kinesiology and Integrative Physiology (KIP) at Michigan Technological University helps to build them. The KIP Department offers undergraduate degrees in exercise science and sports and fitness managementGraduate degree offerings include a PhD in Integrative Physiology as well as a master’s and accelerated master’s degree in Kinesiology. Housed in the new H-STEM Complex, KIP leads several important health and wellness collaborative research projects across eight different labs. Supercharge your human health skills to meet the demands of an increasingly active and aging society at a flagship public research university powered by science, technology, engineering, and math.

Questions? Contact us at Follow all the latest happenings on InstagramTwitterLinkedInFacebook, and the KIP Blog.

KIP Graduate Student Receives MAGS/ProQuest Distinguished Masters Thesis Award Honorable Mention

Isaac Lennox presenting his thesis during a poster session at the American College of Sports Medicine Conference in 2023.

Isaac Lennox, a recent MS in Kinesiology graduate, received Honorable Mention for the MAGS/ProQuest Distinguished Masters Thesis Award of 2024. Isaac’s thesis, “Exercise Is Medicine® on Campus: A National Analysis and Assessment of Community Impact,” was an examination of how the EIM-OC initiative impacts the health and vitality of university campuses and their surrounding communities. He was advised by Dr. Steve Elmer in KIP.

To read Isaac’s thoughts about his time spent at Michigan Tech and his research, go to the Graduate School’s Newsblog.

Gracie VanLangevelde Awarded GLIAC Pat Riepma Postgraduate Scholarship

Gracie VanLangevelde, a KIP graduate student and senior goalkeeper on Michigan Tech’s soccer team, has been named a 2023-24 Pat Riepma Postgraduate Scholarship recipient.

Gracie appeared in 57 games over the past five seasons for Michigan Tech. She was the 2023 GLIAC Goalkeeper of the Year and was a two-time All-GLIAC First Team selection. She was also honored by the United Soccer Coaches All-Midwest Region First Team and the CSC Academic All-District Team, and was a four-time member of the GLIAC Academic Excellence Team.

Gracie graduated in spring of 2023 with a bachelor’s degree in Exercise Science and received the 2023 American Kinesiology Association’s Undergraduate Scholar Award. She will complete her master’s degree in Kinesiology at Tech in spring of 2024 and plans to attend the University of Buffalo’s Department of Rehabilitation Science to pursue a Doctor of Physical Therapy.

Read more about Gracie’s scholarly and athletic achievements at Michigan Tech Athletics.

KIP Department Hosts National Biomechanics Day

After a hiatus due the COVID-19 pandemic, Michigan Tech’s Department of Kinesiology and Integrative Physiology is gearing up for 2024 National Biomechanics Day. National Biomechanics Day is part of a worldwide initiative to increase the influence and impact of biomechanics in our society with a focus on outreach and education in schools.  

Nathan, Kate, Logan, Blake, Wil (students in Dr. Duncan’s Advanced Biomechanics class)

This year’s theme for NBD is celebrating the 21st century’s breakthroughs in science. Our department, led by Dr. Carolyn Duncan’s Advanced Biomechanics class, will be taking students through a series of fun activities related to biomechanics technologies, including motion capture, surface electromyography, and force platforms. These activities will show how we can explore real-life situations (e.g. fall prevention, the NFL combine, and strength training). They will also demonstrate to students how the concepts that they are currently learning in their high school STEM classes, such as biology and physics, applies to the world around them since biomechanics is the study of physics acting on the living organisms. 

KIP Doctoral Student Elected as GSG Research Chair

Oluwatosin Oyeniran, a doctoral student in Integrative Physiology, was elected to serve as the Research Chair for the Michigan Tech Graduate Student Government (GSG).

Oluwatosin Oyeniran (PhD student) was elected to the serve as the Research Chair of GSG.

The GSG research chair is responsible for organizing the major GSG research events and activities on campus, which include the Graduate Research Colloquium, 3 Minute Thesis Competition, Merit Awards Program, and Alumni Reunion Poster Session. Oluwatosin’s one-year term as a research chair will start May 1st with the possibility of re-election for an additional one-year term.

KIP Student-Athlete Selected as CSC Academic All-District Honoree

Kate Meister, a guard on Michigan Tech’s women’s basketball team, has been named to the College Sports Communicators Academic All-District team for 2023-24. Kate holds a 3.89 GPA currently as a KIP master’s student and has already earned her BS in Human Biology with a minor in Pre-Health Professions. This season she became the 30th player in the women’s basketball program to score 1,000 career points.

The Academic All-District® Women’s Basketball teams that are selected by CSC aim to recognize the nation’s top student-athletes for their combined performances on the court and in the classroom.

To read more about the honor that Kate has received and her accomplishments, go to Michigan Tech Athletics’ press release.

KIP Graduate Students Earn Awards

Congratulations to three of KIP’s graduate students on their recent research, teaching, and scholarly achievements! Compliments to these students, as well as the faculty that provide the training and mentorship for their success. 

  • Lily Hart (MS student) received the Harry R. Cohodas U.P. Graduate Student Fellowship for Summer 2024.
  • Felix Cottet-Puinel (MS student) is the recipient of the Dean’s Award for Outstanding Scholarship from the Graduate School.
  • Kyle Wehmanen (PhD student) is the recipient of the Outstanding Teaching Award from the Graduate School.
  • Kyle Wehmanen received a second year of funding for his Michigan Space Grant Consortium Fellowship.
Lily Hart
Felix Cottet-Puinel
Kyle Wehmanen