Skip to content

Lora Doherty, Senior in Therapeutic Recreation, featured in TN Today

Undergraduate student Lora Doherty, a senior in Therapeutic Recreation, was recently featured in a Tennessee Today article that detailed her research efforts at Operation Purple Camp during the summer of 2016. Angela Wozencroft, Associate Professor in Therapeutic Recreation, helped Doherty through the research process.

Aside from helping her better understand her field of study, Doherty also credits this research experience as what set her apart from the competition when applying to graduate schools. She interviewed with five different graduate programs and was accepted at all five. She will start graduate school in occupational therapy this fall.

KRSS Fun Run on April 28th

The Department of Kinesiology, Recreation, & Sport Studies will be hosting the “KRSStep into your Future” River Run 2017 on Friday, April 28th at 5pm. Check-in will be at 4pm at 2450 E. J. Chapman Drive and the 5K race will be held at Cherokee Farm where participants can run on the UT Cross Country course right along the Tennessee River.

Early registration is only $20 and includes a t-shirt, water and snacks on site, and the race itself. Register at HPER 322 by April 17th at 2pm to get a t-shirt with the race. Late/on-site registration is $25 and only cash can be accepted.

Joy DeSensi: Athlete, Scholar, and UT Leader

Joy DeSensi, UT Chancellor’s Professor Emerita and longtime scholar and practitioner in the field of sport management, passed away April 1, after a courageous battle with cancer. She was 71.

A visitation will be held today, Tuesday, April 4, from 4 to 8 p.m. at Rose Mortuary, where a rosary service will take place at 4:30 p.m. A Catholic Mass will be held at 6 p.m. on Wednesday, April 5, at John XXIII University Parish Catholic Center.

Joy DeSensi was a much beloved person at the University of Tennessee. Although small in stature, she was a giant in terms of professionalism, integrity, and vision. She was always gracious, and made those around her feel valued and important. For example, as a department head, she would remember each of her colleagues with a birthday card.

Joy attended high school in Pittsburgh. She competed in riflery, the only interscholastic sport open to girls at the time. She eventually won a spot on the Olympic women’s demonstration team in 1968, but unlike other Olympians, she and her teammates did not travel to Mexico City. They were not invited. This experience led her to question why women had different opportunities in sport than men.

Joy attended West Liberty University, in West Virginia. She branched out into other sports and developed a lifelong passion for learning. Later, she earned a Master’s degree from the University of Memphis, and a doctorate from the University of North Carolina-Greensboro.

Joy came to UTK in 1983. Her background as an athlete, coach, and Olympic competitor led to her to becoming a faculty member. As she put it, “I became interested in social justice issues all around sport, and especially in opportunities to participate regardless of race, gender, age, ability, sexual orientation, religion, economic status, politics.” Joy earned a stellar reputation as a scholar, and her research included such areas as: ethics and morality in sport, women in sport, diversity and inclusion in sport, and social issues in sport. Together with Danny Rosenberg, she published a textbook, Ethics and Morality in Sport Management (3rd edition) in 2011.

Joy served as a department head for roughly a decade. She traveled to Korea, and made friendships that were the first step in establishing a long-lasting international relationship between UT and a Korean sports organization (Korean Sports Promotion Foundation, or KSPO). She also trained a number of talented graduate students. Two of them, Sarah Hillyer and Ashleigh Huffman, went on to establish the Center for Sport, Peace, and Society. This organization has received millions of dollars of funding from the U.S. State Department, and has been honored for its work in promoting sport as a means of building bridges between nations.

Joy later became associate dean of the Graduate School, a role that brought her into contact with faculty and students from across the university. She started a “Best Practices in Teaching Program” that provided instruction to graduate teaching assistants, post-doctoral fellows, and new professors.

Joy also held leadership roles in scholarly organizations. She was president of National Association for Kinesiology in Higher Education, the International Association for the Philosophy of Sport, and the Southern Academy for Women in Physical Activity, Sport and Health. She received many accolades for her service to the profession. She retired from UT in 2015.

Those of us who were fortunate enough to work with Joy or take classes from her remember her steady presence. She often praised us, and took pride in our accomplishments. That was the essence of Joy DeSensi; she was a very kind and gracious person.

We would love to hear from the many students, alumni, colleagues, and friends on whom Joy had an impact. Please share your memories of her on the CEHHS tribute page.

International Sports Medicine Lecture – Dr. Kevin Sprouse


Dr. Kevin Sprouse will be on campus on Monday, April 10 to discuss practicing sports medicine across borders in professional cycling. This lecture is open to all, but should especially be of interest to cyclists as well as Kinesiology and pre-med students at UT.

The lecture will be held on campus at 7pm in Alumni Memorial Building Room 32. Parking for non-students will be available in staff lot 9 on Phillip Fulmer Way.

Lauren Schroeder, incoming Biomechanics PhD student, awarded two fellowships


Lauren Schroeder was awarded the Tennessee Fellowship for Graduate Excellence and the 2017-2018 J. Wallace & Katie Dean Fellowship. The Tennessee Fellowship for Graduate Excellence is a four-year fellowship which aims to attract the best and brightest students worldwide as the university’s premier graduate fellowship program. The J. Wallace & Katie Dean Fellowship is a one-year award for incoming graduate students who show promise for outstanding graduate work in excellent and demanding programs at the University of Tennessee.

Lauren is currently completing her Master’s degree in Kinesiology from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville with a 4.0 GPA. Her thesis research is focused on understanding the influence of a raised surface on knee mechanics and muscle activation patters when running and cutting. Lauren has also been a key member of several research projects that will culminate with co-authorship on several peer-reviewed manuscripts.

Lauren will begin the Kinesiology and Sports Studies doctoral program, Biomechanics specialization, in the fall of 2017 under the supervision of Joshua Weinhandl. Her intended research focus will be on optimizing lower extremity injury prevention strategies by identifying novel modifiable contributing factors with readily available clinical interventions.

Dixie Thompson Receives Montoye Scholar Award at SEACSM

Dixie Thompson, Vice Provost and Dean of the Graduate School, received the 2017 Henry J. Montoye Scholar Award from the Southeast Chapter of the American College of Sports Medicine (SEACSM). Thompson is the former Department Head for Kinesiology, Recreation, and Sport Studies, and she holds the rank of Professor in Exercise Physiology. She received the award on February 18, 2017 at the SEACSM annual meeting in Greenville, SC. At this event, Thompson delivered the Montoye Scholar Lecture, which she titled The Evolution of a Career: Lessons Learned. In her lecture, she reflected on how lessons she learned as a scientist helped prepare her for the role as an academic administrator.

The Montoye Scholar Award is named for Henry J. Montoye, an exercise scientist who had a significant impact on the development of exercise science as a scientific discipline. During the 1970s, Montoye was a faculty member at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, and was one of the founding members of SEACSM. This award is given out annually to recognize a member of SEACSM whose career has yielded significant contributions to the body of knowledge in exercise science and sports medicine.

Additional details can be found here.

SPMB Doctoral Students Help Local Football Team

Sport Psychology and Motor Behavior (SPMB) doctoral students Earlynn Lauer and Teri Shigeno were recently featured in the Knoxville News Sentinel for helping the South Doyle High School football team with the mental aspect of the game. The team finished last season with a record of 0-10, and their record this year currently stands at 7-5.

Lauer and Shigeno, both in their third and final year of the SPMB program, have been meeting with the team three to four times a week this season. The UT students have helped the team overcome the memories of a poor season one year ago, and train the players to handle their emotions and focus on the moment. South Doyle Head Coach Clark Duncan, along with his players, are confident that the assistance offered by Lauer and Shigeno have led to the success the team has had on the field.

Read the full story here.


Fitzhugh chosen as 2016-2017 Center for Transportation Research faculty fellow


Associate Professor Eugene Fitzhugh was chosen as a 2016-2017 Center for Transportation Research faculty fellow! He is one of five UT faculty selected to participate in this program, which was “established in 2014 to foster a community of researchers and educators at UTK who are committed to improving all aspects of transportation. With this fellowship, CTR recognizes both up-and-coming and established faculty who play leading roles in transportation education and research.”  

Fitzhugh has partnered with Jerry Everett, CTR Director of Research, in writing Safe Routes to School curriculum materials and with Chris Cherry, Associate Professor, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, on a research study of electric pedal-assist bikes.

The flagship campus of the University of Tennessee System and partner in the Tennessee Transfer Pathway.