College of Education - Wayne State University

As we usher in another academic year, we are doing so with great warrior pride… Our faculty, students and alumni are the face of our division, and they are accomplishing so many great things, we are so pleased to be able to share their success stories with you. 

Faculty Highlights

We have long known that yoga practice can do wonders for your health and well-being. For the first time, a new systematic review of previous yoga studies suggests that there may be a positive relationship between yoga practice and cognitive performance, according to a report in the July 2015 issue of Psychosomatic Medicine.
Neha P. Gothe, PhD of Wayne State University and her colleagues reviewed evidence about the relationship between short and long term yoga practice and cognitive performance. The authors identified 15 intervention studies and 7 acute exposure studies of yoga that examined its effects on domains of cognition including attention and processing speed, executive function and memory. Overall, a significant moderate effect was observed for RCTs, whereas a stronger effect was observed for acute yoga studies. This work is seminal because it is the first review/meta-analysis to systematically summarize the relationship between yoga - a practice that is widely popular and booming in the US and brain function is a critical health indicator across the lifespan. Dr. Gothe’s research lays the groundwork to design and conduct future research in the field of yoga-cognition and compare yoga with other modes of physical activity that have been shown to improve brain functioning.
Read more here.

Dr. Noel Kulik received a $37,010 grant from Henry Ford Health Systems to evaluate the Let’s Get Healthy (LGH) Program.  The LGH program is for youth ages 9-13 and their parents, and focuses on healthy eating and physical activity using behavior modification techniques. The LGH program is held at multiple community sites, including Troy, Sterling Heights, Farmington, and Detroit. Dr. Kulik has been selected to evaluate this program and will provide an analysis of the referral process, curriculum, and child and parent eating and physical activity outcomes.

Congratulations to Dr. Hermann Engels, Exercise and Sport Science professor for his recent reappointment to the American College of Sports Medicine Professional Education Committee. The American College of Sports Medicine advances and integrates scientific research to provide educational and practical applications of exercise science and sports medicine. 


Dr. Jeffrey Martin, Exercise and Sport Science Faculty member, has accepted his nomination to the Scientific Committee of the Paralympic Research and Sports Science Consortium, the consortium is dedicated to promoting and supporting Paralympic research and sport science through collaborative study.


Dr. Jeffrey Martin, Exercise and Sport Science professor along with Amanda Leibovitz, Angel Brutus and Leeja Carter will be presenting an abstract titled, Redefining Ability: A Multidimensional Analysis of the Intersection of Disability and Sport Psychology, at this year's Association for Applied Sport Psychology (AASP) conference in Indianapolis. They are scheduled to present on Friday, October 16 from 1:30 to 2:45pm.  More information here.

Welcome aboard new full-time faculty members: Rachael Dombrowski- Community Health Education, Mario Vasallo- Exercise and Sport Science, Roger Jackson- Physical Education/Physical Activity Leadership.

Faculty/Student Publications

Gothe, N. & McAuley, E. (2015) Yoga and Cognition: A Meta-Analysis of Chronic and Acute Effects. Journal of American Psychosomatic Society.  

Gothe, N. & McAuley, E. (2015) Yoga Is as Good as Stretching - Strengthening Exercises in Improving Functional Fitness Outcomes: Results From a Randomized Controlled Trial.Journals of Gerontology: Medical Sciences.

Kulik, N., Valle, C., & Tate, D. (in press). Friend and Family Support for Weight Loss in Adolescent Females. Childhood Obesity.

Kulik, N., Ennett, S.T., Ward, D.S., Bowling, J.M., Fisher, E.B., & Tate, D.F. (2015). Brief Report: A Randomized Controlled Trial Examining Peer Support and Behavioral Weight Loss Treatment. Journal of Adolescence, 44, 117-123. doi:10.1016/j.adolescence.2015.07.010.

Kulik, N., Somers, C., Thomas, E., Martin, J., Centeio, E., Garn, A., Shen, B., & McCaughtry, N. (2015). Source and Type of Support for In-School Physical Activity: Differential Patterns for Demographic Subgroups. American Journal of Health Education, 46(5), 301-309.

Byrd, B. & Martin, J. (2015). The Relationships among Youth Running Programs’ Multidimensional Climates and Social Responsibility and Belonging. Journal of Clinical Sport Psychology.

Byrd, B., Hew-Butler, T., & Martin, J. (2015). The Effects of a Running Intervention on the Physical Self-Concept of Obese Novice Adult Female Runners. Women in Sport and Physical Activity Journal.


Student Highlights

Bradley Kendall, 1st year PhD student and Graduate Research Assistant in KHS received an Outstanding Student/Trainee Award from the Society of Behavioral Medicine's - Evidence Based Behavioral Medicine (EBBM - SIG) Special Interest Group at the Annual Meeting of the Society of Behavioral Medicine (SBM) in San Antonio, TX. Under the mentor-ship of Exercise and Sport Science faculty Dr. Neha Gothe, Brad presented a poster titled "The Effect of Aerobic Exercise Interventions on Mobility among Stroke Patients: A Review and Meta-Analysis". His poster examined the role of aerobic exercise in improving mobility and independent living among stroke survivors. Dr. Gothe serves as a Council Member and Aging SIG chair at the SBM. For opportunities to get involved in Dr. Gothe's research visit the Exercise Psychology Research Lab website.

Nicholas Sierkirk, first year PhD student under direction of Dr. Qin Lai in the Motor Behavior Lab presented an oral presentation at the North American Society for Psychology of Sport and Physical Exercise (NASPSPA) National Conference in Portland, OR on June 6th, on his project entitled the "Effect of Fatigue on Motor Learning and Proprioceptive Accuracy in Upper Extremity".



Congratulations to Gowtami Datla, graduate student in the Exercise and Sport Science program, on being granted a $500.00 Thesis Research Support Award.

Ann E. Jacobites, Community Health Education undergraduate student under the direction of her faculty mentor Noel Kulik PhD., has been awarded a total of $3,050 from the Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program (UROP) to pursue her research titled "Substance Abuse among Parents and Young Adult Resiliency".  The purpose of this study is to explore the perspectives of young adults who have grown up with parents or guardians who suffer from Substance Use Disorders, with a focus on understanding the key influencers and events that have helped to foster resiliency and a successful path in life.  The goal of Ann’s research study is to provide rich, contextual qualitative data that can be used to develop and expand existing supports and preventive interventions for youth who have a parent suffering from Substance Use Disorders.

Thiviya Rajagopalan, Exercise and Sport Science Undergraduate student Presented at the Wayne State University 4th Annual Joint Summer Research Mini Symposium at the Margherio Family Conference Center, hosted by the Office of the Vice President of Research and the Department of Physiology. Thiviya’s research presentation titled “Mitochondrial Contribution to Drosophilia Exercise Training” focused on use of the Drosophila genetic model examining healthy aging and cardiac performance. The research supported that exercise improves muscle and heart performance in invertebrates

Bradley Kendall PhD student has been chosen as a Pre-Doctoral Trainee in the Institute of Gerontology's Training Program in Aging and Health! Brad is a Graduate Research Assistant working with Assistant Professor Dr. Neha Gothe in the Exercise and Sport Science program. Under the mentorship of Dr. Gothe, he was awarded the Institute of Gerontology's Pre-Doctoral Training Fellowship. As a trainee, he will participate in a variety of programs and workshops related to aging and health over the academic year and conduct research in gerontology with Dr. Gothe. 

Congratulations to Karamjeet Dhillon, Michele Kaseta, and Jennifer Layson on receiving Graduate Professional Scholarships from the WSU Graduate School! These scholarships are very competitive and high profile. We are proud of your recent award and wish you continued success.

The Division of Kinesiology, Health and Sport Studies is so proud of Carla Roseman, student in the Community Health Education program, she has received recognition from three organizations deeming her noteworthy of scholarship funds-Michigan Wellness Council, Wayne State University, COE, Henrietta Stringer Endowed Scholarship, Jireh Scholarship Foundation-Congratulations Carla!

Congratulations to Wayne State University Community Health Education Masters student Robbin Currie for being awarded the Sacred Heart Church Education Commission scholarship, donors were Dr. Isaiah McKinnon and the Sacred Heart Ushers. The Division of Kinesiology, Health and Sport Studies is so proud to see our students achieving such great success. 


Alumni Highlights


Kiya Ciecko, Kinesiology, Exercise and Sport Science graduate (2015) has been accepted to the Doctorate of Chiropractic program at Palmer College of Chiropractic Medicine in San Jose California and will be starting in the fall. We wish you the best of luck in California Kiya.

Stacey Waters, Exercise and Sport Science graduate (2013) has been accepted into the University of South Florida, Athletic Training graduate program and started classes this summer. Great Job Stacey!


Kathryn King and Katie Mulawa, Community Health Education Graduates (2015) have passed their National Certified Health Education Specialist Certification, it is great to see our students achieving the highest certifications in their fields!



Attention Alumni!  Please provide us with your most current contact information along with any other notable accomplisments or news you wish to share here.


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