Get to Kneaux: Interim Director Alex Garn, PhD
July 12, 2023
BATON ROUGE - Alex Garn, PhD has stepped into the role of Interim Director of the LSU School of Kinesiology (SOK), taking the reins from Melinda Solmon, PhD, who recently retired after serving LSU for 30+ years and as Director for more than 10 years. As a member of the SOK faculty since 2007, Dr. Garn brings a wealth of expertise and innovative thinking to this new role.
"I accepted the role of Interim Director because I am very invested in the success of the LSU School of Kinesiology and am excited about helping shape its future," shares Garn.
Kinesiology's Vital Role at LSU
The LSU School of Kinesiology has a vital role in the LSU landscape, as the research and work undertaken by its faculty and students have a direct impact on Louisianan’s health and quality of life. Dr. Garn emphasizes this aspect, stating, "We address meaningful, real-world issues that can make a positive difference in people’s lives. These issues range from studying how physical activity can prevent and treat chronic diseases to exploring how sport can be used to facilitate peace around the world. Collectively, the LSU School of Kinesiology faculty parallel President Tate’s Scholarship First Agenda by addressing critical issues with groundbreaking research."
Research + Academic Excellence
Looking to foster research and academic excellence, Dr. Garn expresses his goals for the School of Kinesiology, saying, "My goal this year is to find innovative ways to support the scholarship of our faculty and student success. I hope to set up initiatives such as inviting preeminent scholars from around the United States and the world to present their work in the newly renovated Huey P. Long Field House, incentivizing collaborative research grant proposal submissions, developing external partners to help maximize high-quality research, and providing greater resources to authentic learning opportunities such as internships and apprenticeships."
The newly renovated Huey P. Long Field House presents both opportunities and challenges. Dr. Garn acknowledges this, stating, "Moving into a state-of-the-art building provides so many cutting-edge opportunities for advancing student learning and faculty scholarship. A challenge will be finding all the resources needed to maximize these opportunities and then prioritizing them in ways that promote long-term success."
“ We have great students, faculty, and staff to go along with a newly renovated state-of-the-art building. The support provided by President Tate, Provost Haggerty, and Dean Mitchell is higher than it’s ever been, so I don’t think there has been a better time to be a part of the School of Kinesiology. ”
Love for LSU
When asked about his favorite aspect of working at LSU, Dr. Garn enthusiastically shares, "My favorite thing about working at LSU is interacting with all the great people here. We have students, faculty, staff, and community partners from all around the world. Interacting with such a diverse set of people provides daily opportunities to get different perspectives on important topics and learn new things.”
He continues, “I love being in the type of environment here at LSU that continually advances my personal and professional growth and am thrilled to take on this new leadership role within the LSU School of Kinesiology.”
The LSU School of Kinesiology (SOK) 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. SOK offers a BS, MS, Online MS, PhD, and two certificate options. Graduates go on to successful careers in the health and fitness industry, corporate wellness, sport agencies and businesses, athletic administration, and K-12 educational settings. SOK is part of the College of Human Sciences & Education.
The College of Human Sciences & Education (CHSE) is a nationally accredited division of Louisiana State University. The college is comprised of the School of Education, the School of Information Studies, the School of Kinesiology the School of Leadership & Human Resource Development, the School of Social Work, and the University Laboratory School. These combined schools offer 8 undergraduate degree programs, 18 graduate programs, and 7 online graduate degree and/or certificate programs, enrolling more than 1,900 undergraduate and 1,120 graduate students. The College is committed to achieving the highest standards in teaching, research, and service and is committed to improving quality of life across the lifespan.