The Department of Kinesiology in the Neag School of Education has received one of the highest honors in its field. Its doctoral program in kinesiology has been ranked first in the nation by the American Academy of Kinesiology and Physical Education.
This is the first time doctoral programs in kinesiology, offered at 62 institutions of higher education, have been ranked through an objective review process. The evaluation, based on data from the last five years, took into account seven indexes involving faculty and students. The Neag School’s kinesiology program tied for first place with Penn State.
“We are extremely proud of this accomplishment by our kinesiology department,” says Richard Schwab, dean. “The competition was fierce and we are in good company in the rankings.” Some of the other top-ranked programs are Arizona State, the universities of Michigan, Indiana, Maryland, and Oregon, and Columbia University.
“This honor is not only important to the kinesiology department in terms of highlighting the quality of its faculty, research, and students; it reflects well on the whole School,” Schwab says. “Carl Maresh and his team
have worked hard to achieve our mission by raising standards and recruiting some of the field’s top researchers and students.”
As part of its strategic plan, the Neag School set out to become one of the top 20 schools of education nationally, with several programs ranked in the top 10. Kinesiology is the first department to reach the goal.
Kinesiology, which originated from the discipline of physical education, is a multifaceted field of study in which movement or physical activity is the intellectual focus. Programs can include physiology, biochemistry, genetics, biomechanics, sports medicine, psychology, and sociology.
The American Academy of Kinesiology and Physical Education is dedicated to
educational and scientific advancements in the field. Among the factors weighed in the evaluation were students’ GRE scores,
percentage of students on research support, faculty publications in refereed scientific journals, number of books published, editorial boards served on, grant dollars received, and fellowships in professional organizations.
Researchers from the kinesiology department’s Human Performance Lab conducting a study on heat and exertion. From left are undergraduate Neal Glaviano, doctoral student Jakob Vingren, and Professor Larry Armstrong.
|Photo by Janice Palmer
“It is particularly satisfying to be ranked at the top the first time purely quantitative standards are used to compare kinesiology programs,” says Maresh, department head and director of the Human Performance Laboratory. He was recently named a Fellow of the Academy of Kinesiology and Physical Education.
The kinesiology department offers two areas of doctoral study: exercise science and sport management/sociology. It has three research laboratories, including the Human Performance Lab, where the exercise science team has access to sophisticated technology.
There are nine tenure-track faculty members in kinesiology, all of whom are involved in the doctoral program. Maresh says the faculty are highly productive.
The American Academy of Kinesiology and Physical Education determined that over the last five years the UConn team led in the number of peer-reviewed publications generated from their research.
The #1 ranking stands for five years. Maresh is already looking ahead, however, to what it will take to stay on top.
He plans to hire a full-time lab technician, and hopes to add faculty, increase the number of graduate assistantships, and buy several new pieces of research equipment.