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Kinesiology Graduate Receives Boise State Distinguished Master’s Thesis Award

Audrey Coon

Audrey Coon, a Boise State graduate, won the 2015-2016 Boise State Distinguished Master’s Thesis Award for her thesis, “Predicting College Women Rowers’ Motivation and Persistence: A Self-Determination Theory Approach.”

Coon, who graduated May 2015 with a Master of Science in Kinesiology with a Behavioral Emphasis, is now enrolled in the Master of Arts, Interdisciplinary Studies program and is employed as a graduate assistant by the Department of Kinesiology. Her thesis research focuses on understanding how college women rower’s motivation and persistence in the sport are influenced by psychosocial and contextual factors.

Coon’s interest and appreciation for rowing was sparked after walking onto Western Washington University’s varsity rowing team. After graduating, she was hired as an assistant rowing coach at Lewis and Clark College in Portland, Oregon. Coon later worked for two years as the assistant women’s rowing coach at the University of Portland where she was primarily in charge of working with first-year rowers and recruitment.

Coon witnessed attrition in the team firsthand and was concerned that the programs and coaches weren’t doing enough to ensure rowers stuck with the sport. Coon felt as though universities were starting rowing teams in an effort to satisfy their compliance with Title IX, but were failing to ensure athlete persistence in the sport. Coon truly believes in the positive impact that rowing can have on an athlete’s life, and decided to tackle this problem as part of her thesis research. Her thesis will be submitted as a Boise State nominee to the Western Association of Graduate Schools award competition and can be read here.

The thesis competition resulted in two awards for degrees completed between July 1, 2014 and June 30, 2015. Each graduate program nominated a student for the award in humanities, social sciences, education, and business.

“I am truly honored to receive this award. Pursuing my research interests has been an incredible and gratifying experience. I am grateful for the support and guidance of my advisor, Dr. Nicole Bolter, and my thesis committee members Dr. Shelley Lucas, Dr. Yong Gao, and Dr. Tyler Johnson. Thank you as well to the kinesiology department and the College of Health Sciences for their support of student research,” said Coon.