Kansas State University


Department of Kinesiology

Author: Anne Rubash

From our department head

Craig HarmsWelcome to our summer 2017 Department of Kinesiology newsletter. It is packed with news and information about graduate and undergraduate academic programs, students, faculty, research and alumni.

It has been my pleasure to serve as department head for the past three years. After 20 years with the department, I am both amazed and thrilled to see the growth and positive changes that have occurred in the department. We have truly extraordinary faculty committed to providing our nearly 700 undergraduate and 40+ graduate students with an excellent education. Our faculty’s research seeks to discover new knowledge related to physical activity and health and translate this knowledge to improve people’s lives. Both faculty and students are creative and industrious as they successfully work together to achieve this goal. Continue reading “From our department head”

Faculty profile: Carl Ade

Carl AdeCarl Ade, assistant professor in the kinesiology department and member of the Johnson Cancer Research Center, earned his doctorate in physiology from K-State’s College of Veterinary Medicine. Upon graduating, Ade joined the faculty at the University of Oklahoma in 2013 and began studying the peripheral vascular responses to exercise in cancer survivors previously treated with adjuvant chemotherapy. While at the University of Oklahoma, he became a member of the Stephenson Cancer Center.

In 2016, Ade returned to K-State and has continued in cancer treatment-related cardiotoxicity while expanding his research interests into the physiological consequences of long-duration spaceflight. Continue reading “Faculty profile: Carl Ade”

Human Ecology names entrepreneur award winners

Trasey twinsCommonly known as the Trasey Twins, Michelle Stirewalt-Hutton and Kristie Stirewalt-Winter are co-owners of TwinFitness, a female-centered, private personal training studio in Overland Park, Kansas. Founded in 2003, TwinFitness has a goal of inspiring every woman to be her very best. From their two locations and alongside their 13 employees, Hutton and Winter offer comprehensive personal training, nutrition coaching and preparation for fitness, figure and bikini competitions.

With their 1997 K-State bachelor’s degrees in exercise science and nutrition, the twins utilized their education to specialize in training the female body for competition. They have furthered their education through certifications in endocrinology, nutrition coaching from Precision Nutrition, and personal training and group exercise instruction from the American Council of Exercise. To provide comprehensive resources to their clients, the twins created an online nutrition program that compliments their personal training business and developed their own supplement line, formulated especially for women. Continue reading “Human Ecology names entrepreneur award winners”

Alumni profile: BJ Lehecka

BJ LeheckaBJ Lehecka, DPT, is an assistant professor in the College of Health Professions and Physical Therapy at Wichita State University in Wichita, Kansas. At WSU, Lehecka teaches coursework concerning the hip and spine regions, posture, gait, proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation, musculoskeletal evaluation and the treatment of musculoskeletal pathology. In 2016, he was awarded the WSU Rodenberg Award for Excellence in Teaching due to his outstanding work in the classroom with students.

Outside of the classroom, Lehecka’s fascination with the workings of the hip and the spine has focused his research on the gluteal muscles – which are integral to hip and spine function. To date, he has published multiple journal articles, presented at state and international symposiums, authored book chapters, and actively participated in continuing education lecture engagements and conferences. In his spare time, Lehecka serves as a physical therapist and director of Wichita Running and is a PhD candidate at Rocky Mountain University of Health Professions in Orthopedic and Sports Science. Continue reading “Alumni profile: BJ Lehecka”

Student spotlight: Kelsie Carpenter, Shane Hammer and Stephanie Kurti

Kelsie Carpenter (undergraduate)

Kelsie CarpenterKelsie Carpenter is a senior in kinesiology and pre-physician assistant from Overland Park, Kansas. She plans to graduate from K-State in May of 2018 and attend Physician Assistant Graduate School at Wichita State University the following June. Her involvement at K-State includes: events director and president of the Kinesiology Student Organization, kinesiology ambassador, kinesiology student advisory board and Open House volunteer. Kelsie has been recognized with an Outstanding Senior Leadership Award, the 2017 American Kinesiology Association Undergraduate Scholar Award, an Achievement Award, a departmental scholarship and multiple private scholarships. Her favorite summer activity is slalom skiing at Table Rock Lake and she enjoys squats and pushups for a good workout.

Shane Hammer (master’s)

Shane HammerShane Hammer is in the master’s program in kinesiology, with an undergraduate degree in kinesiology in 2015 from K-State, and he has been accepted into K-State’s doctoral program. He studies muscle-oxygen transportation interactions during exercise and the mechanisms that determine fatigue in Dr. Barstow’s Human Exercise Physiology Laboratory. Shane is the recipient of multiple travel awards, a Ruth Hoeflin Home Economics scholarship and the 2017 American Kinesiology Association Master’s Scholar Award. He is originally from Cherryvale, Kansas, and sees his wife and daughter as sources of support. Shane enjoys running during his downtime.


Stephanie Kurti (doctoral)

Stephanie KurtiStephanie Kurti, recent PhD graduate in kinesiology, is originally from Naperville, Illinois. She earned a bachelor’s degree in biology from University of Mary Washington and a master’s degree in exercise science and health promotion from Florida Atlantic University. At K-State, Stephanie focused her research on understanding how age, sex and lifestyle may impact biomarkers that are associated with the development of respiratory diseases, such as asthma. Recently, she accepted a tenure-track assistant professorship at James Madison University. Stephanie has been awarded a college outstanding graduate student of year, a departmental distinguished doctoral student of the year, an Alumni Association graduate student with excellence in academics and the Presidential Award of Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching. She is a purveyor of iced coffees and loves to play tennis when she gets the chance.

Scholarship and award winners

Kinesiology student scholarship recipientsK-State’s kinesiology department recently recognized students who have earned departmental scholarships for the 2017-2018 academic year at its annual scholarship celebration.

The following students are scholarship winners:

Taylor Green, Pauline Compton Scholarship; Jennica O’Neill, Katherine Horridge Smith Scholarship; Katelyn Bell, Eva Lyman Memorial Scholarship; Shaelyn Ward, Barbara Moses Memorial Scholarship; Shayna Karmann, Kate Bowen, Olivia Kunkel, Olivia Schmidtberger and Riann Heft, Mary Lois Rynders Sykes Scholarship; Mary Morrissey, Darlene J. Meisner Peniston Memorial Scholarship; Carson Jennings, Larry Noble Fitness Promotion Scholarship; Allison Bullinger, Kenneth D. Mosely Scholarship; and Macy Mock, Ryann Horton, Elena D’Angelo, Alexandra Ptacek and Emilee Pool were awarded department scholarships.

Korynne Rollins was recognized as the Outstanding Master’s Student and Jesse Craig was recognized as the Outstanding Doctoral Student.

“The scholarship banquet was a great way to recognize some of the kinesiology department’s exceptional students and award them with the scholarships they’ve earned,” Harms said. “These students are already succeeding in many ways and we all look forward to their future accomplishments.”

The kinesiology department expresses gratitude to the generous donors who made these scholarships possible.

Internship opportunities and Nichols Chiropractic

Kade Kanelakos
Kade Kanelakos assisting with patient care at Nichols Chiropractic.

Our internship program is growing! Are you interested in offering an internship experience to undergraduates in kinesiology? If so, please contact Lauren McDaniel, internship coordinator, at lmcdan@ksu.edu, to learn more.

In 2014, Nichols Chiropractic began offering internships to kinesiology majors during the fall, spring and summer semesters.

Madison Werth
Madison Werth hooking a patient up at Nichols Chiropractic.

Jarrod Nichols, DC, owner of Nichols Chiropractic shares that “Working with Lauren McDaniel to establish an internship program for students in kinesiology has been extremely rewarding. By creating an opportunity for these students to gain hands-on experience in a clinical setting, we are able to be part of the education process and help bridge the gap between the classroom and future clinical practice. Our student interns experience what it’s like to be part of a busy healthcare team, working with multiple providers and support staff to provide the highest level of chiropractic care available to our patients. Students considering a career field that involves direct patient care should highly consider taking advantage of this great program.”

Scholarship spotlight: Larry Noble

Noble and Jennings
Larry Noble with 2017 scholarship recipient, Carson Jennings.

The Larry Noble Fitness Promotion Scholarship was established in 2005 and has been awarded yearly to a junior or senior interested in a career in health promotion. In establishing this scholarship, Larry Noble, professor emeritus of kinesiology, sought to provide an opportunity for kinesiology students and to inspire others to create scholarship opportunities.

Noble served as a member of the kinesiology faculty from 1972 to his retirement in 2006. During his tenure as department head, 1986-1995, he helped lead the transition from a physical education department to the kinesiology department that exists today. In 2018, his scholarship will transition to the Larry Noble Scholarship for juniors or seniors planning to pursue graduate study in kinesiology or a health-related profession. This change reflects the large number of pre-health students who major in kinesiology. Noble has been a regular attendee of the Department of Kinesiology’s scholarship and awards banquet and always enjoys meeting and conversing with his scholarship recipients and their parents. He likes to stay in touch and has even developed relationships where he’s taken a few recipients fishing!

If you are interested in establishing a scholarship or learning more about the process, please contact Dana Hunter, development officer for the College of Human Ecology, at danah@found.ksu.edu or 785-532-7291, or Craig Harms, department head for kinesiology, at caharms@ksu.edu or 785-532-0706.

Kinesiology in the news

2016-2017 major accomplishments achievements


  • Tim Musch named university distinguished professor, a lifetime title that is the highest honor the university bestows on its faculty members.
  • Emily Mailey received the award for Best Early Career Researcher Presentation at the International Society of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity annual meeting in Capetown, South Africa.
  • David Poole was named a College of Human Ecology Outstanding Graduate Faculty member.
  • Carl Ade and Tom Barstow had a publication selected by the American Physiological Society, APS, as one of their 10 best research articles in the April 2017 collection.
  • Christian Larson and Jesse Stein, doctoral student, were awarded a $6880 grant to develop KIN 330: Introduction to Biomechanics as an online course through Global Campus. Larson was also awarded $5000 for the development of KIN 220: Biobehavioral Bases of Physical Activity as an online course through Global Campus.
  • Poole has been chosen for the 2018 Edward F. Adolph Distinguished Lectureship award from the Environmental and Exercise Physiology section of the American Physiologicial Society.
  • Musch has been chosen for the 2018 Environmental and Exercise Physiology Honor Award from the American Physiologic Society. This is one of the highest awards from EEP and is a reflection of his stature in the field and contributions to the EEP section.
  • Katie Heinrich and Tim Musch each received the College of Human Ecology Faculty Research Excellence Award. This award recognizes superior accomplishment in research, scholarly and creative activities, and discovery.


  • Stephanie Kurti, doctoral candidate, received the Kansas State University Golden Key Honor Society GTA of the Year award.
  • Joshua Smith, doctoral candidate, and Kurti were named College of Human Ecology Outstanding Graduate Students of the Year.
  • Kurti won the Graduate Student Award for Excellence in Research in Aging.
  • Alec Butenas, undergraduate student, won best presentation/poster in the biological division at the College of Human Ecology Undergraduate Research Forum.
  • Kurti awarded the University Distinguished Professors Graduate Student Research Grant for $5,000 for her research “The impact of lifestyle and age on systemic and airway inflammation and oxidative stress.”
  • Bradyn Nicholson, undergraduate student, earned first place in a poster competition for her poster “The feasibility and acceptability of using sit-to-stand desks in self-contained classrooms for students with emotional disturbances”.
  • Smith was awarded the Charles M Tipton Student Research Award from the American College of Sports Medicine. This award is presented to the student with the most outstanding research project of the year for the annual meeting and Kurti’s project was titled “Effects of aging on sex differences in the inspiratory muscle metaboreflex.”
  • Kurti awarded the Central States American College of Sports Medicine Doctoral Student Research Award for $1,000 for “Does chronic physical activity level impact baseline and postprandial oxidative stress in asthmatics?”
  • Chelsey Schlecter, Kaylin Didier and Trenton Colburn – doctoral students – were awarded Timothy R. Donoghue Graduate Scholarships for $5000.
  • Kurti awarded the Kansas State University Presidential Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching for $5,000.


From our department head

Craig HarmsOn behalf of our faculty and staff, welcome to the summer 2016 Department of Kinesiology newsletter. Here you will find a vast array of information and news about our graduate and undergraduate academic programs and students, and our faculty, research and alumni.

It has been my pleasure to serve as department head for nearly two years now. As I approach 19 years with the department, I am both amazed and thrilled to see the growth and positive changes that have occurred in the department. We have truly extraordinary faculty committed to providing our more than 700 undergraduates and more 40 graduate students with an excellent education. Research by our faculty seeks to discover new knowledge related to physical activity and health, and translate this knowledge to improve people’s lives. Our faculty and students are creative and industrious as they successfully work together to achieve this goal. Also, since joining the College of Human Ecology three years ago, our department is receiving some unique opportunities for our faculty and students.

Continue reading “From our department head”

Faculty profiles: Brad Behnke and Steven Copp

Brad BehnkeBrad Behnke is an associate professor in the Department of Kinesiology and a member of the Johnson Cancer Research Center at K-State. He earned his doctorate in physiology from K-State’s College of Veterinary Medicine and became a postdoctoral fellow in cardiovascular physiology at Texas A&M University and at the West Virginia University School of Medicine. In 2008, Behnke joined the faculty at the University of Florida and began studying integrative cancer physiology, with a focus on systemic manipulation of the tumor microenvironment to enhance treatment outcomes. While at Florida, he was a member of the University of Florida Cancer Center and Hypertension Center.

Behnke came back to K-State in 2014 and has been researching cardiovascular physiology, including the effects of cancer, microgravity, aging and heart failure. He has worked closely with NASA, investigating the effects of spaceflight and radiation on vascular function with subjects on the last several space shuttle missions. In 2016, Behnke and his colleagues will give keynote addresses about exercise and cancer at two major physiological conferences.

He has published more than 80 scientific articles, reviews and book chapters, and his work has appeared in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute, American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine and more. Behnke was awarded a four-year American Cancer Society Research Scholar Grant for “Modulation of Tumor Oxygenation to Enhance Radiotherapy.”

Steven CoppSteven Copp, an assistant professor in the Department of Kinesiology, studies how the autonomic nervous system and the cardiovascular system respond to exercise. Specifically, he is interested in understanding how the adjustments of those systems produce increases in blood pressure during exercise and why that increase is exaggerated in many forms of cardiovascular and metabolic disease. An exaggerated blood pressure response to exercise increases an individual’s risk of suffering a heart attack or stroke.

The current projects in the Cardio-Oncology and Autonomic Physiology Laboratory, which Copp co-directs with Brad Behnke, are designed to determine the precise feedback neural control signals from contracting skeletal muscle that are activated during exercise. The long-term goal of Copp’s research is to provide the foundation for treating exaggerated blood pressure responses to exercise.

Copp earned his bachelor’s, master’s and doctorate from K-State. He returned to the university to teach in January 2016. He is looking forward to settling back into the Manhattan community with his wife, Melissa, and their two young children.

Human Ecology names rising young professional award winner

Emily DiederichEmily Diederich is a pulmonary and critical care physician at the University of Kansas Medical Center. She serves as director of simulation for the Zamierowski Institute of Experiential Learning, a training center for health care students and professionals from the University of Kansas Hospital and KU Medical Center. She received her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from K-State in kinesiology, followed by a medical degree from the University of Pittsburgh in Pennsylvania and a fellowship at the KU School of Medicine. She is board certified in internal medicine, with sub-certifications in pulmonary diseases and critical care medicine. Diederich serves as co-chair of the American College of Chest Physicians Difficult Airway Simulation Course.

Continue reading “Human Ecology names rising young professional award winner”

Alumni profile: Brett Bartholomew

Brett BartholomewBrett Bartholomew is a strength and conditioning coach at Unbreakable Performance Center in Los Angeles, California. He is also a partner in the company and director of performance, overseeing the programming and coaching for athletes across all sporting domains. Bartholomew has worked with Olympic, professional, amateur, collegiate and high school athletes in more than 23 sports worldwide, including Canadian and Chinese Olympic athletes, world championship rugby teams, members of the U.S. Special Forces, NFL players from all 32 teams, UFC fighters and amateur boxers.

Bartholomew also works extensively with organizations such as the Wounded Warrior Project and industry leaders such as Tesla, Google, Intel and Franklin Square on corporate wellness. Before joining Unbreakable, he served as the lead strength and conditioning coach for the NFL and Combat Sports Programs at EXOS, formerly the Athletes Performance Institute, and led and designed programming for the MLB, MiLB and military programs.

Continue reading “Alumni profile: Brett Bartholomew”

Student spotlight: Dylan Bassett, Katelyn Gilmore and Joshua Smith

Dylan Bassett (undergraduate)

Dylan BassettDylan Bassett is a senior in kinesiology, exercise physiology, and pre-physical therapy from Salina, Kansas. He plans to attend the physical therapy school at the University of Kansas in Kansas City. His involvement at K-State includes: vice president of the Kinesiology Student Association, director of university projects of the Mortar Board Senior Honor Society, Theta Xi Fraternity, Cadaver Team Practicum, and a volunteer with the Boys and Girls Club. Dylan has earned the 2016 American Kinesiology Association Undergraduate Scholar Award and the Dane Hansen Award. In his spare time, Dylan enjoys boxing and taught himself to juggle.

Katelyn Gilmore (master’s)

Katelyn GilmoreKatelyn Gilmore is in the Master of Public Health program with an emphasis in physical activity. She has bachelor degrees in kinesiology and nutrition from K-State. Currently, Katelyn studies functional training, exercise behaviors, built environment and nutrition in Dr. Heinrich’s lab. From Aurora, Colorado, Katelyn hopes to return to Colorado and teach, research and conduct community outreach. She is currently involved in the American College of Sports Medicine, the Kansas Public Health Association and the National Restaurant Association. Katelyn has been awarded the 2016 American Kinesiology Association Masters Scholar Award and the Green Action Fund award. She is currently learning Spanish, French and Italian and has visited over 25 countries. Katelyn enjoys rowing, in and out of water.

Joshua Smith (doctoral)

Josh SmithJoshua Smith is a kinesiology doctoral candidate from Fishers, Indiana, and he works in Dr. Harms’ lab researching how the cardiopulmonary system limits exercise. He earned a bachelor’s degree in biology from Indiana University and a master’s degree in kinesiology from Kansas State University. He has been awarded the 2016 American Kinesiology Association Doctoral Scholar Award, the 2015 Kinesiology Department Outstanding Doctoral Student Award  and the 2014 Joint Commission on Sports Medicine and Science second runner up Graduate Fellow. Josh’s future plans include marrying his fiancée Bethany in October, graduating in May 2017 and either post-doc work or a tenure track position. He enjoys running and Hogan’s Heroes.