Kansas State University


Department of Kinesiology

Harms and Copp receive prestigious university awards

Steven Copp, assistant professor, and Craig Harms, professor and department head were recipients of university awards this spring.

Steven CoppSteven Copp was named a recipient of the 2019 Commerce Bank and W.T. Kemper Foundation Undergraduate Outstanding Teaching Award.

“Commerce Bank and the William T. Kemper Foundation are proud to continue our tradition of partnering with K-State to honor four exceptional educators,” said Shawn Drew, market president and CEO of Commerce Bank. “The partnership began over 20 years ago and continues as a wonderful way to recognize teaching excellence. Our heartfelt thanks and congratulations go out to this year’s recipients.”

Copp teaches the undergraduate courses Physiology of Exercise and Neurological Exercise Physiology. He also is co-director of research in the Cardio-Oncology and Autonomic Physiology Laboratory in the kinesiology department. He is the recipient of a National Institutes of Health grant to research blood pressure control in cardiovascular disease. Copp’s philosophy is that his classroom is an extension of his research laboratory, and he makes it a point to bring new and cutting-edge information to his students. He also is a member of the American Physiological Society and the American Heart Association.

Harms received the Presidential Award for Outstanding Department head.

Craig HarmsAs the recipient of the Presidential Award for Outstanding Department Head, Harms is credited with helping the kinesiology department’s student numbers grow, recruiting exceptional faculty, program development, increasing extramural funding, enhancing graduate student education, increasing undergraduate majors involved in research, and improving department infrastructure. Since becoming department head in 2014, Harms has based his visioning and decision-making on creating an environment for his faculty to be successful and making the department’s student experience the best possible. To that end, Harms oversees a department that now has nearly 700 undergraduate majors. The department’s extramural funding has grown by more than $5 million under his leadership, and he has helped recruit high-quality faculty members who have landed major grants from NASA, American Cancer Society, National Institutes of Health and more. Numerous kinesiology faculty members have won teaching and research awards, and faculty publications in leading research outlets have increased significantly. He also helped his growing department secure, develop and equip additional classroom and laboratory space. Harms has increased the number of graduate teaching assistantships and scholarships offered by his department, and opportunities for graduate students to travel and present their research at prestigious conferences have increased. In addition to his department head role, Harms continues to teach, conduct research and is active in service to his profession. He recently served as vice president and was on the board of trustees of the American College of Sports Medicine, which has more than 50,000 members and is considered the global authority for sports medicine and exercise science.