Kinesiology student wins MSU teaching award

February 11, 2011

Kinesiology doctoral student Erin Kuffel has received one of six 2011 Excellence-In-Teaching Citations presented to outstanding graduate teaching assistants at Michigan State University. The awards were presented on Feb. 8, 2011 at the Wharton Center.

Kuffel uses innovative strategies while teaching several courses for kinesiology majors, and she serves as lead instructor for the exercise physiology lab, KIN 411. In that role, she strives to make sure all sections of the course are consistent and emphasize critical knowledge for all students.

Her own successful experiences have involved, for example, using YouTube clips to illustrate concepts and adapting lab assignments for a student with limited sight and hearing.

Kuffel’s work as an educator also extends to the community, where she shares lessons about physical activity with local Girl Scouts, teaches yoga and participates in Grandparents University each summer.

She was nominated by Professor James Pivarnik, with whom she has fine-tuned her research interests in exercise (weight lifting in particular) during pregnancy. Teaching, however, is the reason the fourth-year doctoral candidate came to MSU.

“My heart and soul goes into teaching,” Kuffel said. “To be recognized for it was amazing.”