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California State University, Long Beach
Department of Kinesiology
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Alison M. Wrynn, Ph. D


PhD - Human Biodynamics, History of Physical Education and Sport, University of California, Berkeley. Dissertation title: The Contributions of Women Researchers to the Development of a Science of Physical Education in the United States.

MA - Physical Education, California State University, Long Beach. Graduate Dean's list. Thesis title: Women's Industrial and Recreation League Softball in Southern California, 1930-1950.

BS - Physical Education, Springfield College. Magna cum Laude

Scholarly and Creative Interests:

Dr. Wrynn's general area of study (and thus her teaching) is focused on the socio-cultural study of sport and exercise, specifically in the areas of history, sociology, and philosophy of sport and physical activity. Her area of research specialization is on the history of the scientific foundations of the field, and most specifically on the role of women played in developing a science of kinesiology and physical education.

Her current research is focused on the history of the allied health fields related to kinesiology (like Athletic Training and Physical Therapy). She has also co-authored (with Dr. Maureen Smith) three large scale reports for the Women's Sports Foundation on gender, leadership and participation in the Olympic Movement.

Dr. Wrynn has conducted research on the history of science and medicine in the Olympic movement. She received a grant from the International Olympic Committee (IOC) in 1999, that allowed her to spend a month in Lausanne, Switzerland at the archives of the IOC. The original grant proposal was to analyze the IOC's understanding of the altitude physiology in the context of the 1968 Mexico City Olympics. While at the archives, she also examined primary source material on two other significant scientific topics that emerged in the 1960's - drug testing and gender verification. This grant has also allowed her to share more information with her students about the inner workings of the IOC as she has been able to spend a great deal of time observing the organization.

Recent Publications

“Sport History: We’re More than Just the Back in Back to the Future.” Kinesiology Review: The Academy Papers, 3, (2014), 71-79.

“Gender and Sexuality in the Governance of Sport: Olympic and Paralympic Games,” w/ Dr. Maureen Smith in Jennifer Hargreaves and Eric Anderson (Eds.) Routledge Handbook of Sport, Gender and Sexuality. London: Routledge Press, 2014.

Hudak, A.M., Sandel, M.E., Goldberg, G. & Wrynn, A.M. (2013). “Dr. Frances A. Hellebrandt: Pioneering Physiologist, Physiatrist, and PM&R Program Visionary.” PM&R: The Journal of Injury, Function and Rehabilitation, 5(8), 639-646.

Women in the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Summer Games: An Analysis of Participation and Leadership Opportunities,” w/ Dr. Maureen Smith. A Women’s Sports Foundation Research Report.

“Beyond the standard measures: Physical Education’s impact on the dialogue about obesity in the 20th century.” Quest 63, (2011), 161-178.

Women in the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games: An Analysis of Participation and Leadership Opportunities,” w/ Dr. Maureen Smith. A Women’s Sports Foundation Research Report, (2010).

“Eliza Mosher: Pioneering Woman Physician and Advocate for Physical Education,” The International Journal of the History of Sport 27(7), (2010), 1193-1210.

“The Athlete in the Making: The Scientific Study of American Athletic Performance, 1920-1932,” Special Issue: Coaching Cultures, Sport in History 30(1), (2010), 121-137.

Women in the 2000, 2004 and 2008 Olympic and Paralympic Summer Games: An Analysis of Participation and Leadership Opportunities,” w/ Dr. Maureen Smith. A Women’s Sports Foundation Research Report, (2010).

Women, Sport and Physical Activity: Challenges and Triumphs, 2nd ed. w/ Drs. Sharon Guthrie, Michelle Magyar and Ann Maliszewski, Eds. Dubuque, IA: Kendall-Hunt Publishing Co., 2009.

Recent Invited Lectures:

Women First Revisited: Therapeutic Exercise,” University of Bedfordshire, Bedfordshire, UK, April 2014.

“”Defining Women”: Historical Perspectives on Sex Testing in Elite Sport,” Hurdling over Sex? Sports, Science, and Diversity Symposium and Workshop, Institute for Society and Genetics, UCLA, May 2013.


Faculty Director, CSU Chancellor’s Doctoral Incentive Program

Editor, Journal of Sport History, 2012 - Present.


Fellow (#514), National Academy of Kinesiology

ISHPES Scholar Award Lecturer, International Society for the History of Physical Education and Sport, Taipei, Taiwan, 2013

Amy Morris Homans Honor Lecturer (45th), National Association for Kinesiology in Higher Education, 2011