Alumni Spotlight

Cindra Kamphoff

Cindra Spotlight Picture

I  completed my Master’s at UNCG in 2000 and my Ph.D. in 2006. Both of my degrees  were in Sport and Exercise Psychology and Dr. Gill was my advisor and mentor. I  also took all of the classes I could in sociology of sport with Dr. Jamieson. I  completed a Gender and Women’s Studies Certificate which informed my work on  women and girls. I worked with Dr. Newcomer and Dr. Dan Gould when they were at  UNCG which really helped me understand how to “do” sport psychology.

I  loved my time at UNCG. I was able to take advantage of working with a variety  of professors and grow as a professional and scholar. I was challenged in a supportive way which allowed me to be well prepared when I graduated. I still think a lot about UNCG and I work each day to emulate what I saw there in terms of the quality of scholarship and support for students.

After graduating from UNCG, I took a position at Minnesota State University, Mankato coordinating their master’s program in Sport and Exercise Psychology. I almost did not apply for the job because a fellow classmate was applying. Who knew it would turn out to be so good for me!

Minnesota State is a perfect fit for me. I teach both sport psychology and sport sociology classes, and mentor graduate students which I love. We just received a $101,000 Big Ideas Grant from our President to start a Center for Sport and  Performance Psychology. We will be serving Minnesota State athletes and performers as well as our community. Our community and University have embraced sport and exercise psychology and its power. My work with the football team received a lot of attention which contributes to this acceptance (we were in  the New York Times, Pioneer Press, Free Press, etc.). Each game I was on the sidelines interacting with the athletes and providing brief interventions which I felt was a victory for women in general.

Cindra at Omaha

Personally,  I’ve been able to put my running ability to test and use my own performance psychology as I have been competing in marathons.  I’ve ran 5 since leaving UNCG  (I ran my first while I was working on my PhD) and won the Omaha Marathon last September improving my time by 9 minutes.

My plans this year is to run the Boston Marathon in April and the Chicago Marathon this September.

My interest began related to women and gender issues while I was a track and cross country athlete at the University of Northern Iowa. I was a scholarship athlete and during my junior year, our female head coach decided to retire from coaching and she took a full time position as a professor. This transition was difficult for me from a psychological standpoint. This experience peaked my interest in why there is a lack of female coaches and the reasons female coaches leave the coaching profession.

My research helps provide more information on the experiences of women and girls in the hopes of improving their experiences. My dissertation, which was published in Research Quarterly and was a recipient of the AAHPERD Sport Psychology Academy Dissertation Award, examined multiple reasons women leave coaching. The title was, “Bargaining with  Patriarchy: Women’s Coaches Experience and Their Decision to Leave Collegiate Coaching.”

Dr. Nicole Lavoi, the Associate Director at the Tucker Center at the University of Minnesota, and I are launching a report focused on the number and percentage of women coaches at the high school level in the state of Minnesota. We will be working on a national report to be launched in a few years. Here is more information:

I would really like to thank Dr. Gill for all her mentorship and continuing to colloborate with me after I finished my Ph.D. What she has accomplished in our field is simply outstanding and I am forever grateful to her! I also really appreciate everything I learned from Dr. Jamieson about critically thinking about sport and sociology in general.  I think about what she taught me frequently especially when I am on the football field. And when I am working with athletes, exercisers, and performers, I rely on my knowledge I received from Dr. Renee Newcomer and Dr. Dan Gould. To all – thank you from the bottom of my heart!

Here are a few examples of my published research:

Kamphoff,  C., Armentrout, S., & Driska, A. (2010). The Token
Female: Women’s  Experiences Coaching Men at the Division I Level.
Accepted in the Journal of  Intercollegiate Sport, 3(2), 297-315.

Kamphoff, C. (2010). Bargaining with Patriarchy:  Women’s Coaches
Experience and Their Decision to Leave Collegiate Coaching.  Research
Quarterly for Exercise and Sport, 81(3), 360-372.

Kamphoff, C. S., & Gill, D. (2008).  Collegiate athletes’
perceptions of the coaching profession. International  Journal of Sports
Science and Coaching, 3(1), 55-72.

Kamphoff, C. S., & Gill, D. (To appear in  2013). Issues of
Exclusion and Discrimination in the Coaching Profession. In  Gilbert, W.
Dension, J., Potrac, P. (Eds.), Handbook of Sport Coaching.  Routledge.

Kamphoff, C. S. & LaVoi, N. (2011). Females  in Positions of Power
within Interscholastic U.S. Sports. Research Consortium  Grant. $7500.
American Alliance of Health, Physical Education, Recreation and  Dance.