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Kinesiology department to host open house, unveil new laboratory

The kinesiology department in Louisiana Tech University’s College of Education will host an open house from 11:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., April 17 in room 108 of the Scotty Robertson Memorial Gymnasium to unveil its new Sport and Movement Science Laboratory (SMSL.)

The SMSL is a 2,000 square feet interdisciplinary research and teaching space within the department of kinesiology that will focus on research and education in sport and movement science with the goal of becoming a leading sport and movement science research facility in the United States. The department intends use the facility to offer coaches clinics and sports camps that will involve students, leaders in the sport and movement science field and the community.

Scotty Robertson Memorial Gymnasium

Scotty Robertson Memorial Gymnasium

“The new SMSL has been a great addition to the department of kinesiology,” said Dr. Lanie Dornier, head of the kinesiology department at Louisiana Tech. “The department has been very fortunate to receive support from Louisiana Tech’s Student Technology Fee Board to purchase state-of-the-art equipment over the years. We are very pleased to have the new laboratory and excited about the innovative research and teaching opportunities that will be possible with the new lab space.”

Dornier says the kinesiology department had not previously had adequate lab space to store and use the equipment. “With the renovation and conversion of the old powerlifting room in [Scotty Robertson] Memorial Gym to a teaching and research laboratory, we now have a home for equipment and a great place for students and faculty to conduct research as well as learn about state of the art sport and movement science equipment,” Dornier said.

Dr. David Szymanski, the Eva Cunningham Endowed Associate Professor of Education, and Dr. Braden Romer, assistant professor of kinesiology, serve as the primary investigators within the SMSL, though other kinesiology faculty are also associated with research within the SMSL. Szymanski is an internationally renowned researcher, primarily focusing on factors associated with enhancing sport performance, baseball and softball performance, and strength and conditioning.

“I know that the SMSL will be instrumental in developing our undergraduate and graduate students’ knowledge about sport and movement science and coaching techniques as well as produce cutting edge sport and movement science research,” said Szymanski. “The SMSL will help our department attract more students, retain those students already in the department and further its reputation as a regional and national leader in strength and conditioning, personal training and coaching development in addition to offering those students who want to go to physical or occupational therapy school a lab that enhances their practical knowledge about human movement.

“I hope that our athletic department and sports coaches at Louisiana Tech, in conjunction with the strength and conditioning staff, will be interested in having the athletes assessed and monitored as this could help to potentially reduce injuries, enhance sports performance and help recruit and retain athletes.”

Romer primarily focuses on biomechanical factors related to athletic injury and cumulative trauma disorders, specifically the effect of footwear on lower extremity and lumbar movement variability and biomechanics.

“The new SMSL space, along with the existing Applied Physiology Laboratory, provide a foundation for expanding on the existing presence of the department of kinesiology in the areas of human performance, sport science, and injury development,” said Romer. “The addition of the lab space has also been extremely beneficial for our current undergraduate and graduate students, while also enhancing student recruitment in those programs. It is hoped that through continued infrastructure improvements to the lab space, Louisiana Tech University will become known as a national leader for research and innovation in the areas sport and movement science.”

For more information on Louisiana Tech’s new Sport and Movement Science Laboratory, visit www.latechsportscience.org.