Tarleton kinesiology students receive awards during TACSM meeting


STEPHENVILLE (March 9, 2018) — Seventeen Tarleton State University undergraduate and graduate kinesiology students attended the annual meeting of the Texas Chapter of the American College of Sports Medicine (TACSM) March 1-2, and three brought home honors.

Jacob Fletcher, a senior on the exercise and allied health professions track, received the Undergraduate Scholar Award, which includes $1,000 cash. He intends to enroll in a physician assistant program next fall.

Fletcher, Hayden McPherson and Josh Katuri took third place among 29 teams in the “Jeopardy”-style Student Bowl exercise physiology competition. Tarleton vied against students from TCU, Baylor and UT Austin; third place is the university’s highest finish at the conference. Texas A&M students took first place and will advance to the ACSM national meeting.

“As with most years, we had a really strong team. It was so much fun to watch them love the sheer joy of the challenge,” said kinesiology Associate Professor Jennifer Blevins-McNaughton. “They dedicated copious amounts of time outside the classroom without much reward, but they placed third. I think the smiles on their faces and conversations even a week later tell the story!”

McPherson has been accepted to the master’s in athletic training program at Tarleton, while Katuri is headed to the UT Health San Antonio Long School of Medicine.

More than 700 students and faculty sponsors from universities and colleges across Texas attended the meeting, hosted by UT Austin. Tarleton’s team sponsor was graduate student Patrick Freehill.

Participants from Tarleton were heavily involved.

Tarleton State University kinesiology students and faculty (clockwise, from top) attended the annual meeting of the Texas Chapter of the American College of Sports Medicine (TACSM) in Austin, Texas where the Student Bowl team of (l-r) Josh Katuri, Hayden McPherson, Jacob Fletcher and graduate sponsor Patrick Freehill took third place honors. Tarleton Associate Professor of Kinesiology Dr. Jennifer Blevins-McNaughton was elected president of TACSM for a three-year term, and graduate student Chandler Stage applied for a Student Research Development Grant. Jacob Fletcher received a $1,000 Undergraduate Scholar Award during the annual meeting.

Chandler Stage, a kinesiology graduate assistant in Tarleton’s Clinical Exercise Research Facility (CERF), applied for a TACSM Student Research Development Grant. She will be working on her thesis next year.

“Chandler is the first student in Tarleton history to apply for this grant, and I’m so proud of her for accepting the challenge. She is a repeat attendee from her undergraduate experience,” Blevins-McNaughton said.

In addition to the students’ achievements, Blevins-McNaughton began a three-year term as president of TACSM’s board of directors. She is CERF director and active in research and service-oriented activities through the center.

She annually leads multiple students to the conference. Tarleton will serve as host institution of the annual TACSM meeting in Fort Worth in 2019.

TACSM promotes educational interactions among physicians, allied health professionals, scientists, educators, students and others with interests reflecting the organization. TACSM encourages student involvement in research and other professional sports medicine activities in addition to training American College of Sports Medicine prospective leaders.


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