William & Mary

Greetings from the Chair

November 2015

Mike Deschenes

Giving Thanks for Thanksgiving!!

Hello again to all you wonderful alumni of our Kinesiology & Health Sciences Department. As the fall semester winds down and late November is upon us, it strikes me that we really do have much to be thankful for. Here in Adair Hall, we have had another productive and rewarding semester – even though it is not quite done yet – working with another stellar group of undergraduates (we like it that we can focus exclusively on under graduate students). We are always so impressed with your talent, drive and ability to manage so many demands at the same time while maintaining your composure and positive outlook on life!! And when you get done here in Williamsburg, you all go on to do such diverse and amazing things. At the recent Homecoming Weekend in October, we were reminded of how accomplished you become even after only shortly graduating from the College. During our Homecoming get together “under the tent” we chatted with physicians, PhDs, therapists (physical and occupational), as well as successful business persons and athletes. Quite an impressive lot! And it looks like that trend continues as we recently learned that two of our majors will be participating in the winter initiation ceremony of the alpha chapter of Phi Beta Kappa. Emma Craige and Ashley Bruce were recently selected to become members of that highly selective and prestigious academic organization. A big congratulations to Emma and Ashley; thanks for making us all so proud!! As another measure of the high caliber of our students, three of them presented findings of their research projects at the 2015 national American College of Sports Medicine conference held in San Diego (nice venue!!). Taylor James, Rory Seigel and Meredith Crizer were co-authors for two different presentations made at that meeting. It is so impressive, and rare, for undergraduates to present at these national and international conferences, again making us all proud!!

Not only is our department growing in the quality of our students – twenty years ago when I arrived, it was rare for one of our majors to make it into PBK – but also in quantity. At last count, there were 259 declared Kinesiology & Health Sciences majors with more than 50 of them in the newly implemented Public Health concentration. I think this can best be explained by the fact that we do a good job giving our full attention to our students and that we offer courses and research opportunities that are of real interest and value to undergraduate students. It is a good thing that we are scheduled to move into the newest wing – yet to be built – of the Integrated Science Center as we are bursting at the seams of dear old Adair. Believe it or not, she will be missed when we move, but that won’t be for another 3-4 years.

Now for a little sad and happy news. For those of you who remember Caber, Dr. McCoy’s beautiful Golden Retriever, he sadly passed away earlier this fall. After getting over that loss though, Ray decided to get another furry companion. This time it is a friendly little (for now) Chocolate Labrador Retriever, appropriately named, Charlie Brown. Charlie had his coming out party at our “under the tent” gathering and was quite a hit; no surprise there, he is incredibly cute! For pictures of Charlie Brown and others taking part in Homecoming festivities please use the following link.


I guess that’s about it for now, we all still have some preparation for Thanksgiving to take care of, and after that holiday break we come back to the madness that is finals week. Remember how much fun that is? In the meantime, please keep in touch and let us know what you have been up to, we are always curious to see what new achievements you have accomplished both personally and professionally.


All of us here in the department hope that you have a wonderful, and safe, holiday season this year. As always, you’ll be in our thoughts!!

Take care,

Michael R. Deschenes

Chair and Professor, Dept. of Kinesiology & Health Sciences