Physical Activity and Life Skills (PALS) Group

Our Leadership Team

Dr. Paul M. Wright

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Director

Paul M. Wright, Ph.D.
Associate Professor, Department of Kinesiology and Physical Education
233 Anderson Hall
Northern Illinois University
pwright@niu.edu

Congratulations to Dr. Wright for receiving the first endowed professorship in the College of Education.

 

 

Jim ResslerAssociate Director

Jim Ressler, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor, Department of Kinesiology and Physical Education
223 Anderson Hall
Northern Illinois University
jressler@niu.edu

 

 

Dr. Jinhong Jung

Associate Director

Jinhong Jung, Ph.D.
Associate Professor, Department of Kinesiology and Physical Education
231 Anderson Hall
Northern Illinois University
jjung@niu.edu

 

 

Jennifer MacKenzie

Assistant Director

Jenn (MacKenzie) Jacobs, M.S.
Research Fellow and Doctoral Student, Collaborative on Early Adolescence
409 Psychology/Math Building
Northern Illinois University
jmackenzie3@niu.edu


Dr. Paul Wright joined the faculty in the Department of Kinesiology and Physical Education at NIU in the fall of 2011 as an Associate Professor. Prior to that, Paul had been at the University of Memphis for nine years. He earned a master's degree in Kinesiology and a Ph.D. in Curriculum Design at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Paul's primary line of research relates to the design, implementation and evaluation of physical activity programs that promote positive youth development and teach life skills. In particular, he is regarded internationally as a leading scholar on the Teaching Personal and Social Responsibility (TPSR) model. For his work in this area and related work on obesity prevention, Paul has received a Fulbright Research Award as well as grants and evaluation contracts from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, National Association for Sport and Physical Education, and the American Association for Physical Activity and Recreation.

 


Dr. Jim Ressler is an Assistant Professor at NIU, in his third year at NIU as of fall 2012.  He earned his Ph.D. in Physical Education Teacher Education from The Ohio State University, M.S. in Athletic Administration from Eastern Illinois University, and B.A. in Physical Education and Sport Management from Baldwin-Wallace College. Jim's primary line of research relates to curriculum design, instruction, and implementation. Specifically, he has focused on the training of pre-service and in-service teachers with appropriate content using Models Based Instruction (MBI). Since 2012, Jim has been part of three accepted grant proposals to initiate, equip, and develop a Professional Development School at Clinton Rosette Middle School in DeKalb in physical education. 

 

 

Dr. Jinhong Jung is an Associate Professor in the Department of Kinesiology and Physical Education at NIU.  Dr. Jung earned his Ph.D. in Sport Pedagogy at the University of Georgia and his M.S. and B.A. in Physical Education Teacher Education at Seoul National University. Prior to pursuing a career in higher education, he taught physical education over 10 years in South Korean public schools where he implemented innovative curriculum models in his physical education classes. In particular, he introduced Hellison’s Teaching Personal and Social Responsibility (TPSR) model for the first time to South Korean physical education classes. Through Dr. Jung’s 20-years of teaching experience in public schools and in higher education, he has realized that the quality of student learning is greatly dependent on the quality of their teachers. To ensure quality teaching, a teacher should be a life-long learner. A teacher’s reflection plays a critical role in that teacher’s continued growth and development. This understanding contributes to Dr. Jung’s interest in exploring the nature of teachers’ reflection. Recently, he has conducted several case studies which explored the nature of experienced physical education teachers’ reflection.

Jennifer (MacKenzie) Jacobs is a doctoral student in the Department of Educational Psychology at Northern Illinois University. She earned a bachelor’s degree in Kinesiology from University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana and a master’s degree in Kinesiology from University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. She received a fellowship from NIU’s Collaborative on Early Adolescence in 2012 to support youth learning and development by working with Dr. Paul Wright on the Teaching Personal and Social Responsibility (TPSR) model. She also teaches afterschool fitness programs in Chicago, IL, and is the cofounder and director of Camp Play-A-Lot, a summer camp in Chicago that seeks to empower youth through teaching life skills and promoting an active lifestyle.