NACOGDOCHES, Texas — Students in Stephen F. Austin State University’s Department of Kinesiology and Health Science took home several accolades during the 2023 Texas chapter of the American College of Sports Medicine’s conference in February, including first- and second-place finishes in an academic challenge and a finalist position in a poster contest.

These wins earned the students spots at the ACSM’s national competition slated for later this year in Denver. Twenty-four students from SFA’s James I. Perkins College of Education attended the event in Waco. 

“The students put in a lot of hard work to achieve these results,” said Dr. James Rowe, associate professor of kinesiology and health science and the group’s faculty advisor. “Good grades, good research and the ability to compete and win through friendly competition are not only important but foundational to a rewarding career in kinesiology and health science. The department and college are proud of what they’ve done, and we congratulate them.” 

Callie Neumann, a junior kinesiology major, was named the undergraduate student of the year for SFA. Neumann has a 3.9 GPA and serves as a student instructor in SFA’s Academic Assistance and Resource Center. She is considering a career in either physical therapy or nutrition.

Graduate student Garrett Oehlert was a finalist in the research poster presentation master’s category. Oehlert, who has a 3.66 GPA and is a teaching assistant in the kinesiology department, is expected to apply to doctoral programs as he completes his master’s degree at SFA.

Also during the event, SFA swept the top two spots in the academic Student Bowl competition that featured 35 other teams from 24 universities across Texas. The first-place team comprised seniors Leroy Bolden and Tristan McDonald, as well as junior Katherine McClellan. The second-place team included seniors Maria Medina and Elizabeth Ray and Neumann.

The first-place SFA team will now represent the state of Texas at the national Student Bowl in Denver. Oehlert, who coached the Student Bowl teams, will also go to Denver to present his graduate research.