PhD Students in Kinesiology


Prasanna Acharya (2nd Year)

2011 M. Tech.; Motilal Nehru National Institute of Technology, India; Biomedical Engineering.

2008 B.E.; Bapuji Institute of Engineering & Technology, India; Biomedical Engineering.

Interest: Prasanna is mentored by Dr. Sara A. Winges and is primarily interested in understanding how fine-motor movements/skills of the finger/hand and arm are controlled by the neuromuscular system. He also wants to transform this knowledge into the development of an artificial limb/prosthesis. Recently, he and Dr. Winges have been working upon a project examining the effects standing and walking on thumb texting movements and patterns of muscle activation. This project was accepted for presentation at this year’s Society of Neuroscience 2015 conference.

Tyler Aisner (2nd year)

2015 M.S.; California State University Fullerton; Kinesiology; Motor Learning and Control

2012 B.A.; Whittier College; Kinesiology

Interests: Tyler’s research interests pertain to the training of gross motor movements in order to achieve a specific optimal control method. Further interests include the changes in motor control due to physiological or mental degradation.

Tim Allerton (4th Year)

2005 BS; Louisiana State University; Kinesiology; Fitness Studies

2007 MS; Northeastern University; Clinical Exercise Physiology

Interest: The focus of Tim’s doctoral study has been the influence of the immune system during chronic inflammation caused by metabolic dysregulation.  During Tim’s time at LSU he has published articles in the journal of Peptides, The American Journal of Physiology, and The Canadian Journal of Physiology and Pharmacology. These works have focused Tim’s dissertation topic to the study of metabolic flexibility in response to exercise utilizing differing substrates.

Timothy Dasinger (4th Year)

 2014 M.S.; Louisiana State University; Kinesiology; Pedagogy and Psychological Sciences

2013 B.S.; Louisiana State University; Kinesiology

Interest: Tim’s main research interest is anxiety and its effects on sport as well as physical activity and exercise. He recently presented at the SHAPE America conference in Seattle, Washington.

Ben Downs (1st Year)

2016 M.S.; Mississippi State University; Kinesiology; Sport Administration

2008 B.A.; The College of Wooster; History; Black Studies

Interest: Ben wants to strengthen Sport Management by using historical methods to review management history as it relates to sport facilities, individuals, and leadership by examining the evolution of professional multi-purpose facilities in urban centers.

Jeremy Foreman (4th Year)

2013 M.S.; Florida State University; Education; Sports Management

2011 B.S.; California State Polytechnic University; Letters, Arts, and Social Science; Economics

Interest: Jeremy’s primary research interests are in labor economics and human resource management in sport which includes discrimination, compensation and incentives, hiring and firing decisions and policies, and the well-being of employees. Jeremy’s recent scholarship has produced published papers for the International Journal of Sport Management, Journal of Legal Aspects of Sport, Journal of Contemporary Athletics, and Journal of Management Policy and Practice. Further, Jeremy has been recognized with the 2016 American Kinesiology Association Writing Award.

Shawn Jezek (2nd Year)

2015 M.A.; John F. Kennedy University; College of Graduate & Professional Studies; Sport Psychology

2015 MBA; John F. Kennedy University; College of Graduate & Professional Studies

2012 B.A.; Texas A&M University; College of Liberal Arts; Psychology

Interest: Shawn’s research interest pertains to investigating motivational climates in athletic teams and the interactions between players and coaching staff. In his Master’s Program, Shawn hosted and served as the Executive Chair for the AASP Southwest Student Regional Conference in Pleasant Hill, CA.


Seungmin Kang (1st Year)

2015 M.S.; Seoul National University; Sport Management

2009 B.S.; Chungbuk National University; Physical Education

Interest: Seungmin is interested in exploring the value of sport for the public good (i.e., Sport for Development) and understanding the importance of organizational capacity for those programs’ intended visions and outcomes.


Yoseph Mamo (1st Year)

2015 M.S.; Florida State University; Sport Management

2007 B.S.; Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology; Applied Information Technology

 Interest: Yoseph’s research interests are corporate social responsibility activities, and the role of sport on addressing social issues in Africa. The goal of his research is to improve the understanding of CSR activities and examine their role in the development of African politics.  


Marcella Otto (1st Year)

2016 M.S.; Southern Illinois University; Kinesiology; Sport Studies

2014 B.S.; Southern Illinois; Sport Administration

 Interest: Marcella is interested in applying organizational management concepts, such as human resources and psychological contracts, within college athletics to better understand the student-athlete experience.

Joseph O Otundo (4th Year)

2013 M.A.; Southeastern Louisiana University; Health and Kinesiology; Health promotion and exercise science

1995 B.Ed. (Arts); Kenyatta University; Physical Education and History

Interest: Joseph’s research interests are focused on relationship between social factors and physical activity interest, intention and outcome. His dissertation focuses on establishing the relationship between social networks, social support, and PA interest, intention, and behavior among college students. The study aims at helping expand interest theory by incorporating social factors. His dissertation will concentrate on young adults in college. Joseph recently submitted work related to his area of interest to SHAPE America National Convention. He is in the process of writing a paper based on the study he just conducted with high school students in Kenya.


Jackie V. Calhoun (2nd Year)

 2013 B.A.; Louisiana State University; Anthropology (Cum Laude)

In Progress: M.S. & Ph.D.; Louisiana State University; Kinesiology; Pedagogy and Psychological Sciences

Interest: Jackie’s current research interests include athletic achievement and failure, and the determining factors in athletes’ ability to handle setbacks and pressures in sports. Specifically she is focusing her research on antecedents and outcomes of athletic buoyancy.

Khirey Walker (3rd Year)

2012 M.S.; Louisiana State University; Kinesiology; Sports Management

2011 B.S.; Elon University; Business Administration: Marketing

Interest: Khirey’s primary research interest looks at organizational misconduct and social control agents and within the context of the Division I Football Bowl Subdivision of the National Collegiate Athletic Association. Khirey’s recent scholarship has produced published papers for the International Journal of Sport Management, Case Studies in Sport Management Journal, and the Journal of Contemporary Athletics. Further, Khirey, as a co-author, won Best Case Study at the Western Casewriters Association Conference in 2015.

Amanda Weathers (2nd Year)

2015 M.S.; Louisiana State University; Kinesiology; Pedagogy and Psychological Sciences

2006 B.A.; Webster University; Behavioral and Social Sciences; Psychology (Cum Laude)

Interest: Amanda’s research interests pertain to the psychological determinants of exercise adherence in addition to the military applications of performance psychology.  Her thesis, recently completed in the Summer of 2015, focused on the effects of autonomy support versus autonomy thwart on multiple variables, including affect, physical performance, and perceptions of autonomy support / thwart.

Junhai Xu (2nd Year)

2010 M.S.; University of Houston Clear Lake; Education; Fitness and Human Performance

2002 M.Ed.; Beijing Sports University; Education; Physical Education

1999, B.Ed; Shandong Sports Institute; Education; Physical Education

Interest: Junhai’s interest covers a wide range of sports or fitness area, which includes: improvement of exercise and sport performance for elite athletes, regulation of muscle overtraining, fatigue, growth, damage, and repair; effects of nutrient supplementation to modulate muscle performance; physical activity’s effect on chronic disease among common population.

Shijun Yan (3rd Year)

 2013 M.S.; The Chinese University of Hong Kong; Orthopaedics and Traumatology; Sports Medicine & Health Science

2012 B.A.; Hunan Normal University; Education; Sports Training

Interest: Shijun’s research interests focus on effects of visual illusions on human motor control in static state and dynamic state.