Research Projects

Department of Kinesiology Research Areas

Dr. Blazo's primary research interest is family and child relationships in physical activity contexts. Specifically, studying the ways that sibling influence and shape one another’s physical activity experiences. Currently, he is investigating the role of siblings in developing perceptions of ability in sport, the correlates of sibling relationship qualities in sport, and how sibling relationships inform our peer interactions in the physical domain.

Dr. Castleberry's primary research interest is tactical health and performance. Investigating ways to improve various emergency responders, mainly law enforcement through health, physical fitness, and eye training.

Dr. Parks’ primary research interest is in the exploration of health-related behaviors and their impact on higher-order cognitive processes during preadolescence, specifically in individuals with developmental disabilities and/or cognitive impairments. Currently, this line of research includes the application of these health-related behaviors to improve cognitive and physical health, classroom performance; and to elucidate their effect on the specific cognitive components equated with the neuroelectric and behavioral impairments associated with autism spectrum disorder and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. Other research interests include exploration of long-term effects of sport-related concussions on brain health and performance; and examining the effects of engaging in healthy behaviors on quality of life, cognitive health, and skill retention in older adults

Dr. Qiao's main research interests are biomechanics and human motor control. Specifically, his research covers the area of the visual-motor control of walking, fall prevention, and sports performance.

Dr. Szymanski's primary research interests include ways of improving sports performance, especially baseball performance. An example would be how to improve bat swing, batted-ball and throwing velocities. Other research interests are body composition, testing and evaluating fitness, and athletic performance, in addition to strength and conditioning performance. His research has included human performance studies with high school athletes, collegiate students and athletes, and professional athletes.


Current Research Studies

Dr. Blazo's current research studies

Family Dynamics in Youth Sport.

Integrated Theory of Youth Sport.

Differential Treatment in Sport Families.

Dr. Castleberry's Current research Studies

Currently, Dr. Castleberry is investigating how eye training can improve various shoot/don't shoot responses using a state of the art simulator. In addition he will examine movement, timing of discharge of firearm, salivary cortisol for stress, and word choice and tone. Another study that is funded by the Blue Cross Blue Shield of Louisiana Foundation is to examine a 12 month fitness and nutrition program in law enforcement officers based on physical fitness and health markers included blood pressure, glucose, and lipid panel

Dr. Parks' current research Studies

Examining the effect of acute physical activity on neuroelectric underpinnings of Autism Spectrum Disorder.

Investigating the influence of chronic guided mindfulness meditation on aspects of attention and error-monitoring in college-age adults.

The role of daily physical activity on balance, quality of life, and spatial working memory in older adults with Parkinson’s Disease.

Influence of familial relationships in developing healthy behaviors and engagement in physical activity for children with Autism Spectrum Disorder.

Dr. Qiao's:

Currenly, He is working on Motor learning of Juggling .

Recent Research Studies

Dr. Blazo's recent research studies (graduate student projects)

AnDe Ragsdale, MS – Mood state and game performance (2016)

Charity Simmons, MS – Athlete perceptions of strength and conditioning coaching styles (2017)**

Chris Watson, MS – Endurance athlete feedback and attention (2017)

Skylar Burns, MS – Psychological well-being and group fit classes for post-pregnancy mothers (2017)

Bryn Crowder, MS – College student-athletes and changes in social support frameworks during athletic careers (2018)**

Dylan Colletti, MS – Parent passion and youth sport burnout (2018)**

Kane Allen, MS - The effects of physical activity on senior adults subjective wellbeing (2018)

** - presented at national/international conferences

Dr. Parks' recent research studies


The effect of acute exercise for reducing cognitive alterations associated with individuals high in anxiety.


A primer on investigating the after effects of acute bouts of physical activity on cognition.


Reliability and Validity of Commercially Available Low-Cost Bioelectrical Impedance Analysis


Preliminary Evidence for Differential Trajectories of Recovery for Cognitive Flexibility Following Sports-Related Concussion


Muscular and Aerobic Fitness, Working Memory, and Academic Achievement in Children


The association between a history of concussion and variability in behavioral and neuroelectric indices of cognition

3. Dr. Qiao Recent research Studies:

Dr. Qiao's recent work was on Dynamics of hopping. Specifically, how the function of the leg joints, i.e., hip, knee, and ankle, would contribute to the dynamics of the body at different hopping frequencies. The Study includes whole body kinematics and ground reaction forces, and calculation for inverse kinematics and inverse dynamics. Media Gallery

4. Dr. Szymanski's recent research studies:

Effect of Vizual Edge® Performance Training (VEPT) on perceptions and attitudes of NCAA Division I baseball players.

Relationships between anthropometric and physiological variables to bat velocity of collegiate baseball players.

Effect of weighted implement training on bat velocity of high school baseball players: A pilot study.

Effect of warm-up devices on bat velocity and perception of heaviness and speed of swing of collegiate baseball players.

The relationship between arousal levels and golf putting during three conditions: A pilot study.

Effect of between-inning muscle stimulation on baseball pitchers over an entire season: A pilot study.

Effect of hip internal rotation training on range of motion and performance variables in male collegiate golfers.

Effect of hip internal rotation training on range of motion and performance variables in collegiate baseball pitchers.

Effects of three recovery protocols on baseball pitchers during simulated games.

Effect of 8 weeks of over-weighted implement training on bat velocity of novice college students.

Relationships of anthropometric and performance variables to offensive statistics of college baseball players.

Other recent research works

Mr. Motoki Sakurai Master's thesis work under direction of Dr. David Szymanski, Dr. Mu Qiao, and Dr. Ryan Crotin: Relationship between kinetics of countermovement jump and proximal mechanics of collegiate baseball pitching.” (Passcode = 5hU#$JsN)

Mr. Ryan Lis Masters's thesis work under Direction of Dr. David Szymanski, Dr. Mu Qiao, and Dr. Ryan Crotin: “Relationship between jump tests and their influence on multidirectional ground-reaction forces in baseball pitchers.”

Ms. Nevala's research work on: The efficacy of Nootropic supplement "XACT" to acutely improve mental acuity, reaction time, physical energy, and performance in healthy Men and women.

Mr. Joshua Gills' research work under supervision of Dr. Glenn and Dr. Szymanski are:Acute effects of exogenous Citrulline-Malate supplementation on aerobic cycling capacity and subsequent anaerobic cycling performance in young males and females. For more info please click here.

Mr. Ho Cheng Lu's research study under supervision Dr. Romer and Dr. Szymanski: Effect of fatigue on coordination variability during the execution of a cycling Time to Exhaustion and Wingate trial in a young, male population. For more info please click here