Jennifer Bhalla, PhD

Bhalla

Lecturer, Sport and Exercise Physiology; Honors Coordinator


Office Hours: Weight training

Areas of Interest

Youth sport participation

I have always had a passion for sport and physical activity—from my days playing in my backyard to my current positions as a coach and lecturer. I played six sports in high school, and honed my soccer skills on my representative and provincial teams. I earned a scholarship to Rutgers University where I received a bachelor’s degree in sport and exercise science. While earning my degree and playing on the soccer team, I learned the basics and specifics of weight training. I grew to love the feeling of “upping my weight”, and gained a better understanding of what my body can do.

My post-graduate training is in sport psychology with an emphasis in youth development through physical activity. I received my M.S. degree from Smith College and my Ph.D. from the University of Virginia. Over the past several years, I have collaborated on research studies and papers on positive youth development, cultural and parental influence on sport participation, and issues regarding young athletes. In 2011, I received Research Writing Award from the Research Consortium of the American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance.

I have taught at the University of Minnesota for 4 years, although this is my first time teaching within the PAP program. I very much enjoy the positive attitude of students and willingness to learn skills that can be used over a lifetime. That is what I love about this program—these are essential skills that can be refined for years, and they are learned in a fun and comfortable environment. While at the University of Virginia, I was the assistant director of our Lifetime Physical Activity program, a program also designed to create physical activity opportunities for all students. There are many life lessons that can be learned through participating in physical activity, and I want to spread the word on how to keep every person involved in the wonderful world of activity. I strive to be a role model, highlighted by my goal to run a marathon in every state and every province. I have run about 10 marathons so far, including the Boston Marathon in 2011. In 2012, I was inducted as the first female athlete into my high school’s Athletic Hall of Fame.

I have lived in the Twin Cities for about 5 years now and thoroughly enjoy the bike and running trails around all the lakes and throughout the Twin Cities area. I believe the prevalence of recreation is the best reason to work and live here. I bike to work whenever I can and enjoy the scenery on my way. I am originally from Canada and have lived many places in the United States, but I can say that the trail system here is unparalleled and simply superb.

CEHD Administration

204A CookeH
1900 University Ave SE
Minneapolis, MN 55455


Degrees

  • University of Virginia, Charlottesville
    Ph.D., Education, 2009
    Advisor: Dr. Maureen R. Weiss
  • Smith College, Northampton, Massachusetts
    M.S., Exercise and Sport Studies, 2001
  • Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ
    B.S., Exercise Science and Sport Studies, 1997

Research interests

Youth development through sport participation. Particular interests include the effects of culture on motivation and the influence of significant others (parents, coaches) on youths’ psychosocial outcomes and learning of life skills.

Biographical abstract

Jennifer’s training is in sport psychology with an emphasis in youth development through sport. She received her bachelor’s degree from Rutgers University, where she earned academic All-American honors playing on the soccer team. After coaching youth soccer for two years, Jennifer received her master’s degree from Smith College. She was an assistant soccer coach at Smith College and the University of Rhode Island before entering the Ph.D. program at the University of Virginia. While at Virginia, Jennifer collaborated on research studies and papers on positive youth development, cultural and parental influence on sport participation, and issues regarding young athletes. In particular, she worked on The First Tee grant to longitudinally evaluate the effectiveness of a life skills program for youth. Jennifer also served as Assistant Director of the Lifetime Physical Activity program at the University of Virginia where she managed relationships among several university departments. She was a volunteer assistant coach for the women’s soccer team and coached a girls’ premier soccer team for three years. Jennifer also has experience in the classroom having taught Introduction to Sport Psychology at American University and Longwood University. Jennifer has been recognized for excellence in scholarship and service by being named BIG EAST Conference scholar-athlete, and earning the Philip Morris Minority Fellowship and the A.L. Bennett Endowed Scholarship.

Selected Publications

  1. Bhalla, J.A., & Weiss, M.R. (in progress). A cross-cultural perspective of parental influence on achievement beliefs and behaviors in sport and school domains. Manuscript to be submitted for publication, Journal of Applied Sport Psychology.

  2. Weiss, M.R., Bhalla, J.A., & Price, M.S. (2008). Developing positive self-perceptions through youth sport participation. In O. Bar-Or & H. Hebestreit (Eds.), The encyclopedia of sports medicine, Vol. X: The young athlete (pp. 302-318). Oxford, UK: Blackwell Science, Ltd.

  3. Weiss, M.R., Bolter, N.D., Bhalla, J.A., & Price, M.S. (2007). Positive youth development through sport: Comparison of participants in The First Tee life skills programs with participants in other organized activities [Abstract]. Journal of Sport & Exercise Psychology, 29, S212.

  4. Weiss, M.R., Bhalla, J.A., Price, M.S., Bolter, N.D., & Stuntz, C.P. (in progress). Positive youth development through sport, I: Learning interpersonal skills; Perspectives from youth, coaches, and parents.

  5. Weiss, M.R., Bhalla, J.A., Price, M.S., Bolter, N.D., & Stuntz, C.P. (in progress). Positive youth development through sport, II: Learning self-management skills; Perspectives from youth, coaches, and parents.

  6. Weiss, M., Price, M., Bhalla, J., & Bolter, N. (2007, April). Summary report: “More Than a Game:” Longitudinal effects of a life skills program on positive youth development. Submitted to parents and coaches who participated in Year 2, 2006, research.

  7. Weiss, M.R., with Bhalla, J.A., Price, M.S., Bolter, N.D., & Stuntz, C.P. (2006, October). 2005 research summary: Longitudinal effects of The First Tee life skills education programs on positive youth development. St. Augustine, FL: The First Tee of the World Golf Foundation.

  8. Weiss, M., Price, M., Bhalla, J., & Bolter, N. (2006, May). Summary report: “More Than a Game:” Longitudinal effects of a life skills program on positive youth development. Submitted to parents and coaches who participated in Year 1, 2005, research.

  9. Weiss, M.R., & Bhalla, J.A. (2006, February). Summary report of University of Virginia research: Executive summary and findings specific to The First Tee of Greater Sacramento. “More than a Game:” Longitudinal effects of a life skills education program on positive youth development (Year 1, 2005). Submitted to The First Tee of Greater Sacramento, CA.

  10. Weiss, M.R., & Bhalla, J.A. (2006, February). Summary report of University of Virginia research: Executive summary and findings specific to The First Tee of Phoenix. “More than a Game:” Longitudinal effects of a life skills education program on positive youth development (Year 1, 2005). Submitted to The First Tee of Phoenix, AZ.

Presentations

  1. Weiss, M.R., Bhalla, J.A., Bolter, N.D., & Price, M.S. (2008, June). Lessons learned and core values adopted in a sport-based youth development program: A longitudinal qualitative analysis. To be presented at the North American Society for the Psychology of Sport and Physical Activity (NASPSPA) annual conference, Niagara Falls, ON.

  2. Weiss, M.R., Bolter, N.D., Bhalla, J.A., & Price, M.S., & Markowitz, E.S. (2008, June). Life skills, youth development, and sport participation: Retention effects over a one-year period. To be presented at the North American Society for the Psychology of Sport and Physical Activity (NASPSPA) annual conference, Niagara Falls, ON.

  3. Bhalla, J.A. (2008, February). A cross-cultural perspective of parental influence on adolescent females’ achievement beliefs and behaviors in sport and school domains. Presented as a Tucker Table talk at the University of Minnesota, Minneapolis.

  4. Weiss, M.R., Bolter, N.D., Bhalla, J.A., & Price, M.S. (2007, June). Positive youth development through sport: Comparison of participants in The First Tee Life Skills programs with participants in other organized activities. Paper presented at the North American Society for the Psychology of Sport and Physical Activity (NASPSPA) annual conference, San Diego, CA.

  5. Bhalla, J.A. (2007, March). Corroborating transfer of life skills to other domains: Parents’ perspective. Paper presented as part of a symposium, Weiss, M.R., Bhalla, J.A., Price, M.S., & Bolter, N.D., “More than a game: Impact of The First Tee life skills programs on positive youth development, AAHPERD national conference, Baltimore, MD.

  6. Bhalla, J.A. (2006, November). Parental influence on self-perceptions, task beliefs, and achievement behaviors in female Anglo and East Indian sport participants. Paper presented at the Canadian Society for Psychomotor Learning and Sport Psychology (SCAPPS) annual conference, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada.

  7. Bhalla, J.A. (2006, November). Game preparation and imagery. Presented at St. Francis Xavier University, Antigonish, Nova Scotia, Canada.

  8. Bhalla, J.A. (2005, June). There’s no place like home: Parent influences on youth sport involvement. Presented at the University of Virginia Sport Psychology Conference, Charlottesville.

  9. Bhalla, J.A. (2004, September). Culture as a missing link in understanding social relationships and achievement outcomes in sport and physical activity. Paper presented as part of a symposium at the Association for the Advancement of Applied Sport Psychology (AAASP) annual conference, Minneapolis, MN

  10. Bhalla, J.A. (2004, June). Effective leaders: Who are they and how do they lead? Presented at the University of Virginia Sport Psychology Conference, Charlottesville.

  11. Bhalla, J.A. (2004, January). Modeling a sport skill. Presented at the Softball Bash (statewide conference for softball coaches), Richmond, VA.


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Last modified on 2/5/2013