Katie HirschDoctoral candidate Katie Hirsch has been recognized by the North American Society for the Psychology of Sport and Physical Activity for her work elevating student voices in the international organization.

Kinesiology doctoral candidate receives global recognition

Faculty of Human Kinetics doctoral candidate Katie Hirsch has received global recognition for elevating student voices in the areas of sport and exercise psychology and motor behaviour.

Hirsch, a member of the Sport Psychology and Physical Activity Research Collaborative (SPPARC) Lab in the Department of Kinesiology, has spent the last year as the student representative to the board of directors of the North American Society for the Psychology of Sport and Physical Activity. NASPSPA recently recognized her for exceptional service to the organization.

“Katie was not satisfied with status quo and sought to improve the student experience at NASPSPA and provide opportunities for more student voices at the table,” said president Jackie Goodway and executive director Penny McCullagh. “Katie implemented a number of new initiatives that moved the student experience to a new level.”

Hirsch founded and ran the first NASPSPA student advisory council and helped develop its student ambassador program.

She designed and organized workshops for students on such professional development topics as job hunting, working in industry, and mental health and wellness. She also developed a movement challenge event which raised money to help students attend NASPSPA’s annual conference.

NASPSPA is a multidisciplinary association of 670 scholars from around the world in the areas of behavioural sciences and related professions. It is the pre-eminent international organization focusing on motor behaviour, motor learning, motor control, motor development, and sport and exercise psychology.

Kinesiology professor Todd Loughead, Hirsch’s graduate advisor, said he was thrilled to see her recognized for her service.

“Her work ethic, dedication, going above and beyond, and truly wanting to make a difference is what has distinguished Katie from her peers,” Dr. Loughead said. “It is a true honour and privilege to work with Katie. I’m very proud of all her accomplishments, including her work for NASPSPA.”

—Sarah Sacheli

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