School of Kinesiology Graduate Student Receives American Kinesiology Association 2014 National Masters Student Award


Chelsea Soebbing, a recent graduate in the LSU School of Kinesiology spring 2014 class, was one of four recipients nationwide of the American Kinesiology Association 2014 National Masters Student Award recipient for dedication to the field of kinesiology and academic excellence. This annual award honors a of students nominated, by member departments, whose academic and leadership records are distinctive. The award is intended to recognize and promote academic excellence, to further the professional competence and dedication of academically accomplished graduate students and to promote kinesiology and its related fields.

Soebbing graduated with a 4.0 grade point average from the School of Kinesiology with a concentration in motor behavior. Also a Human Sciences & Education Lillian Olseon Scholarship recipient, she taught Zumba and Pilates activity classes while also assisting faculty for two of the School’s upper division motor behavior courses as a graduate assistant.

Chelsea wrote a Master’s thesis entitled, “Can gravitational influences explain endpoint precision between visual conditions?” under direction from Dr. Jan Hondzinski. The study included two experiments in which she explored gravitational influences on upper extremity pointing and reaching precision in complete darkness and normal room lighting. Results revealed that participants often undershot target locations in darkness relative to illuminated environments whether they were upright, laying down, or inverted (up-side-down), revealing no evidence for gravitational pull influences on endpoint accuracy between these two visual conditions. She presented data from her thesis at the Society for Neuroscience annual meeting and then was invited to present it to researchers and graduate students at the Institute of Physiology & Anatomy at the German Sport University in Cologne, Germany. Major results of the study are currently submitted for publication in the journal, Neuroscience.

“Going to graduate school at LSU has helped me to become a better clinician as I am better able to read, analyze, and understand research to utilize when striving for improved patient outcomes,” said Soebbing. “The cadaver lab class with Dr. Landin further increased my understanding of human anatomy and the physical effects of disease on the body. Program evaluation in Public Administration with Dr. Merget provided me with a new approach for evaluating outcomes making changes within healthcare that benefit the patient. Finally, motor control with Dr. Hondzinski allowed me to gain additional knowledge on the functioning of the neurological and motor systems of the body that apply directly to working in neurorehabilitation.”

Soebbing’s favorite experience while teaching pilates and Zumba classes was receiving feedback from students at the end of the semester. Students told her the class helped them develop lifestyle habits that put them on a path to a healthier life.

Prior to entering into the Master’s program in the School of Kinesiology, Chelsea received her Bachelor of Science in Occupational Therapy from University of Alberta in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.  She worked as an Occupational Therapist in acute care rehab and stroke care at Alberta Health Services for two and a half years. During her time at Alberta Health Services, she presented research at Canadian Stroke Congress & Canadian Association of Occupational Therapists Conference and coauthored two publications in the journal, Stroke, which emphasized her work examining best practices in acute care and stroke rehabilitation.

Soebbing is currently employed as an Occupational Therapist at the Neuromedical Center in inpatient rehabilitation and Baton Rouge Rehabilitation Hospital.  She is a STOTT PILATES trainer working part-time at FITT (Functionally Integrated Training & Therapy, Inc.), and a research specialist at Pennington Biomedical Research Center. She holds OT licenses to practice in the U.S. and Canada and is certified as a STOTT PILATES Instructor.

The American Kinesiology Association promotes and enhances kinesiology as a unified field of study and advances its many applications by advocating for kinesiology at national and international levels as well as by supporting its member departments by providing resource materials and leadership and educational opportunities for university administrators in kinesiology.

About SOK

The LSU School of Kinesiology advances the understanding of physical activity, sport, and health to optimize the quality of life for diverse populations through excellence in teaching, learning, discovery, and engagement.

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About CHSE

The College of Human Sciences & Education (CHSE) is a nationally accredited division of Louisiana State University. Formed in 2012, CHSE brings together programs and capitalizes on individual strengths to create a dynamic new college that addresses the socially significant issues we face as a state and nation. The College is comprised of the School of Education, the School of Leadership and Human Resource Development, the School of Kinesiology, the School of Library and Information Science, the School of Social Work, and the University Laboratory School. These combined schools offer 8 undergraduate degree programs and 18 graduate programs, enrolling more than 1,900 undergraduate and 977 graduate students. The College is committed to achieving the highest standards in teaching, research, and service and is continually working to improve its programs.

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