Four UNT KHPR students receive awards from SHAPE America, ICSPAH Conference

By Mary Murphy

The Society of Health and Physical Educators (SHAPE) America recently named UNT College of Education doctoral student Alan Chu as recipient of the 2016 Graduate Student Research Award. At the annual 2016 SHAPE America National Convention and Expo, held April 5-9 in Minneapolis, fellow COE student Brittany Kirkpatrick was named recipient of the 2016 Undergraduate Student Research Award. Kirkpatrick is a recent graduate of the undergraduate Kinesiology, Health Promotion and Recreation program at UNT and plans to enroll in the KHPR master's program this

Alan Chu Xiaoxia Zhang Hongxin Li


According to Tao Zhang, associate professor in the KHPR program, this is the first time that an undergraduate and graduate student from the same university have won the SHAPE America Undergraduate and Graduate Student Research Awards at the same time.

Kirkpatrick won the undergraduate research award for her research project "Children's Motivation in Physical Education, Physical Activity and Psychomotor Skills."She and her advisor Xiangli Gu, assistant professor in the KHPR program, presented this research project at the SHAPE convention.

Two UNT Sport Pedagogy doctoral students also received awards at the International Chinese Society for Physical Activities and Health (ICSPAH) Conference April 5-7 in Minneapolis. Xiaoxia Zhang received the 2016 ICSPAH Conference Poster Presentation Award, and Hongxin Li received the 2016 ICSPAH Conference Oral Presentation Award.

Xiaoxia Zhang received the Conference Poster Presentation Award for her research study titled "Physical Activity Behavior of Physically Vulnerable College Students: Application of Theory of Planned Behavior." She distributed a questionnaire about physical activity to 270 physically vulnerable students from five universities in Shanghai, and 234 students responded.

Zhang chose to research this topic to understand variations in motivation such as intention, attitude and subjective norms. Motivated behavior in physical activity is a primary topic of study for researchers and educators in physical education, she said.

"My study could help the PE teachers and parents know what exactly most influences the physically vulnerable students' physical activity behavior, and then use specified proper strategies to help the students increase physical activity involvement and participation," Zhang said. 

The 2016 ICSPAH Conference Oral Presentation Award was awarded to Li for his research study "Examining Self-Efficacy, Expectancy-Value Variables, and Chinese Students' Task Challenge and Concentration in Physical Education."

"I'm very pleased and proud to have won this award," Li said. "I am thankful for my advisor, Tao Zhang; my teammates; and the UNT Sport Pedagogy program. As a first-year Ph.D. student, this is a good motivation for me."

Li's study focused on students in two middle schools in China. Li said after running two multiple regressions, his team found that self-efficacy, expectancy-related belief and task values positively predicted students' task challenge and concentration in physical education.

Tao Zhang said the number of awards won recently by the UNT Sport Pedagogy students reflect the strength and ambition of the program.

"Multiple research awards won at the national and international levels significantly enhance our UNT Sport Pedagogy research group's visibility and reputation," he said. "These four research awards highlight the strength and competence of our Sport Pedagogy doctoral program and students. Our program strongly encourages students to involve in research, which directly supports UNT's mission as a student-centered Tier One research university."