Written by Amy Hurd

With the downturn in the economy, graduate programs typically see an increase in applicants. That has held true at Illinois State as well. We have 102 graduate students. Many of these students pay for graduate school by working as a graduate assistant. This past year 67 students had full-time assistantships, and seven had part-time assistantships. These assistantships were in such areas as Illinois State Athletics, Illinois Wesleyan Athletics, Illinois State Wellness, Normal Community and Bloomington high schools, and teaching classes within the School of Kinesiology and Recreation. The classes taught by graduate assistants are in the Active for Life program (previously the Basic Activity program) and include classes such as Golf, First Aid, Tennis, Touch Rugby, and Indoor Group Cycling.

The following are a few highlights from the sequences:

[alert style=”red”]KNR Point of pride: Kelli Carlson, College Undergraduate Student Research Award [/alert]

Athletic training

This past year the graduate sequence in the athletic training education program expanded the core requirements to include an additional manual therapy course. Twelve new students will be beginning the program this fall, and we have added several new off-campus sites for our graduate assistants, as well as a position at the new Sports Medicine and Rehabilitation Therapy Clinic located in McCormick Hall, which opens in August 2012. We had seven students graduate this spring, and they were very successful in securing employment. Positions included working in various outreach settings, the Chicago Bears football organization, as well one student who will be pursuing a doctoral degree at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. We wish them all the best of luck!

Physical Education Teacher Education (PETE)

The PETE graduate sequence just completed its first year after a five-year hiatus. A cohort of students completed the four core courses in teacher education. All of the students in this sequence are practicing teachers and are taking courses part-time to complete their degrees. There are still seats available for fall 2012 and spring 2013 courses. For more information, contact Margo Coleman at (309) 438-8302.

Psychology of sport and physical activity

During the past year, master’s students in the psychology of sport and physical activity sequence were busy delivering mental skills training services to more Illinois State athletics teams than ever before. Cassie Kowaleski, Paul Ryon, Matt Mariani, and Doris Matosic worked with the softball, swimming, soccer, and men’s tennis teams. In addition, Tim Young completed his professional practice as a mental skills coach at the IMG Academies in Bradenton, Florida. Students were also actively involved in research endeavors, including Doris Matosic who presented her master’s thesis proposal at the Midwest Sport and Exercise Psychology Symposium at Michigan State University, and Shannon O’Hara, who is presenting her work at the annual meeting of the American College of Sports Medicine in San Francisco this summer.

[alert style=”red”]KNR Point of pride: Liana Suhadolnik, University Outstanding Graduate Teaching Assistant [/alert]

Sport management

The sport management (SM) program had another excellent year. Students visited the Big Ten Conference office in Chicago to hear from athletics administrators from the Big Ten and Summit League conferences. After touring U.S. Cellular Field they met with executives from the Chicago White Sox, Chicago Bulls, 670 the Score Radio, State Farm Insurance, and others. Students hosted a Sport Management Symposium in Bloomington, attracting 240 students from six states to hear ESPN business reporter Kristi Dosh, IMG College executive Matt DiFebo, St. Louis Rams marketing manager Lisa Boaz, and keynote speaker Dan Migala. Students and Nels Popp attended the Mount Union Sport Sales workshop in Cleveland, which resulted in two students landing jobs with NBA teams. SM students raised more than $9,000 for the Miracle League of Central Illinois by hosting a fundraising golf scramble. Finally, we wish Chad McEvoy well as he begins a position in the sport management program at Syracuse University. McEvoy was the driving force in developing one of the top sport management graduate programs in the Midwest. Check out sport management online for additional highlights.

Recreation administration

The recreation administration program continues to thrive as students participate in the Graduate Research Symposium and at state, regional, and national conferences. The program has also seen an increase in the number of applications this year. This change can be attributed in part to the opening of the Student Fitness Center in 2011. One student, Jeremy Butler, was recognized by the National Intramural Recreational Sports Association as a William Wasson Student Leadership Award winner. This national award is given out annually to students that demonstrate outstanding performance while working in campus recreation. Recreation administration saw seven students graduate. One of these students, Craig Goodman, will be pursuing his Ph.D. at Clemson University.

In the upcoming year the graduate program will continue to recruit and secure high-quality students who will be successful in their chosen careers. Another major initiative for next year is to develop a system to track graduates. Please keep faculty up to date on your career. They always like to hear from alumni. As always, your comments and reflections on the KNR graduate program are welcome.

Please send them to Amy Hurd at arhurd@IllinoisState.edu. Your input will be appreciated.