The KINcredible Student Spirit

Empathy and tenacity are mutual pillars faculty, staff, and students have upheld this year in supporting one another. This month, undergraduates students are wrapping up their spring 2020 semester. While these are no ordinary times, School of Kinesiology students like Matt Hempe are making the most of it in extraordinary ways. 

Matt Hempe is strongly intertwined with the School of Kinesiology. As an administrative “Kin Help” intern, Hempe currently supports the School remotely. As a kinesiology major, Hempe is working diligently to complete his courses and junior year. 

This semester, Hempe is enrolled in KIN 3982: Research Methods in Kinesiology with instructor Dr. Katie Schuver, and KIN 3126W: Sport & Exercise Psychology taught by Sarah Ezpinoza, doctoral student, and Mckenzie Arbeiter, master’s student, both with the School. Hempe is also taking KIN 3385: Human Physiology with Dr. George Biltz, as well as completing his final core requirement in BIOL 2012: General Zoology

Although online learning has its advantages, laboratory and interactive classes have been challenging to replicate remotely. Hempe shares that it is more difficult to grasp technical concepts through pre-recorded lectures and Zoom meetings. To help with these issues, courses such as Sport & Exercise Psychology prompt students to complete academic research and remote laboratory exercises related to the course on their own. Discussion boards allow Hempe and his peers to interact with each others’ assignments and provide feedback.   

The complete transition to virtual learning was a different experience for both students and faculty. Hempe says, “Initially, it felt like an extension of spring break. Then, reality hit and I got into the rhythm of online courses and prioritizing my academic responsibilities.” With more down-time, Hempe welcomes reflection and planning for the future. Post-graduation, Hempe hopes to attend physical therapy (PT) school to obtain a doctorate of physical therapy. He has pondered the question, “Why PT?” for years, and it recently hit him—Hempe loves growth. Whether it be plants beginning to sprout in the spring, or a patient making positive progress towards their physical and emotional goals, Hempe seeks to be an active influence in others’ success. Hempe, a ski coach, shares, “When I coach, I take great pride in watching youth build upon their skiing skills and advance as leaders. I love connecting with people.” “I would like to thank Dr. Biltz for adapting to the complex tech-learning world. I know he is retiring this spring, and I feel lucky to have been able to take Human Physiology with him.” 

Aside from work and school, Hempe began a work-out Wednesday zoom call with the U of M’s Nordic Ski club. “It’s great to maintain those connections, especially while being active.” 

“I really miss my instructors, classmates, and Cooke Hall,” says Hempe, but added “We are all looking forward to summer.” In the fall, Hempe is registered for KIN 3114: Preventative Care for Athletic Injuries, KIN 3131W: Philosophy of Sport, and KIN 3132: Introduction to Motor Development. He also plans on taking KIN 4385: Exercise Physiology, PE 1015: Weight Training, and KIN 3993: Directed Research Study with Dr. Daheia Barr-Anderson. It looks like a full KIN course-load for Hempe! 

Hempe will return next fall as he begins his senior year. The School of Kinesiology is grateful to have Matt Hempe as an excellent student and KinHelp intern. KinKudos, Hempe! 

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