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  • Brian Ciolek M.S., SCCC, CSCS,*D, RSCC

    Assistant Athletic Director and Strength Conditioning Coach
    Adjunct of Kinesiology
    Phone: 816.501.3736

    B.S. Exercise Science, University of Central Missouri
    M.S., Exercise Science, California University of Pennsylvania
    Specialty Certifications: CSCCa-SCCC, NSCA-CSCS,*D, NSCA-RSCC


    Brian Ciolek, M.S., SCCC, CSCS,*D, RSCC serves as a full-time faculty member in the Avila Kinesiology department and as the Director of Strength and Conditioning for the Athletic Department. Brian earned his Bachelor of Science in Exercise Science from University of Central Missouri in 2005 and Master of Science in Exercise Science from California University of Pennsylvania in 2008.  He also holds numerous coaching/sports certifications including Strength and Conditioning Coach Certified (CSCCa), Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (NSCA), Registered Strength and Conditioning Coach (NSCA), and Tactical Strength and Conditioning Coach (NSCA). 

    Brian is an experienced educator and strength coach who uses functional movement evaluation and performance testing to establish baselines that inform his strength and conditioning program design, as well as, to measure progressing athletic development.  This day-to-day practical application of movement science content supports Brian’s instruction of courses in the areas of measurement and evaluation, exercise and nutrition, personal fitness training, and strength and conditioning.

  • Joseph Grindstaff

    Adjunct of Kinesiology
    Office: 217E
    Phone: 816.501.3922

    B.S., Avila University

    M.S., Avila University

    Specialty Certifications: CSCS, CPT


    Joseph Grindstaff serves as a part-time adjunct instructor for Kinesiology. He earned his Master of Science from Avila in 2019.  He earned his Bachelor of Science from Avila in 2017.

    When Joseph isn't on campus he is running a private personal training business. He leverages nearly a decade of practical experience to provide laser-like focus on the 'how' and 'why' of academic topics for his students.

    Courses Taught: Personal Fitness Training, Kinesiology Research

    Research Interests: Interested in the physiological stress response and sports performance optimization.


    Hobbies: BBQ, Beer, Exercise

  • Gerald Larson

    Gerald Larson PhD, ACSM-CEP, NSCA-CSCS

    Associate Professor of Kinesiology
    Program Director of Kinesiology
    Office: 208F O’Reilly
    Phone: 816.501.3714

    B.A. Psychology, Mid-America Nazarene University
    Ph.D. Exercise Physiology, University of Kansas
    Specialty Certifications: ACSM-CEP, NSCA-CSCS, USAW Club Coach; TPI Level 2


    The 2018-19 Academic Year is Dr. Larson’s tenth year at Avila University.  He serves as an Associate Professor and Program Director of Kinesiology.  Dr. Larson earned a Bachelor’s degree in psychology from Mid-America Nazarene University (1988); a Master’s degree with a dual emphasis in exercise physiology and sport psychology from the University of Kansas (1996); and a Doctorate degree in exercise physiology from the University of Kansas (2001). He also holds specialty certifications as a Clinical Exercise Physiologist (American College of Sports Medicine), Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (National Strength and Conditioning Association), and is Titleist Performance Institute Golf Level 2 Certified. 

    Started at Avila: 2008

    Courses Taught: Biomechanics, Clinical Kinesiology, Exercise Physiology, Stress Physiology, Neurophysiology of Movement, and Current Topics in Kinesiology.

    Research Interests: In his role as Director of the Golf Performance Lab he works with individuals of all ages to improve movement quality, optimize individual swing efficiency, and increase swing performance.  Research efforts study the relationship between movement assessment, 3D motion analysis of the golf swing, and swing performance.

    Clinical Practice: Dr. Larson’s innovative KinesioFit™ programming integrates soft-tissue release, postural control during movement, and functional exercise to produce pain free motion, fitness for health, and enhanced sport performance. 

  • Michael J Norwood Ph.D., NSCA-CPT

    Visiting Instructor of Kinesiology
    Office: 217E
    Phone: 816.501.2922

    B.S. Psychology/Philosophy, Baker University, Master’s degree with dual emphasis in Sport/Performance Psychology and Exercise Physiology, University of Kansas, Ph.D. Sport/Performance Psychology, University of Kansas


    Specialty Certifications: NSCA-CPT

    The 2019-20 academic year is Dr. Norwood’s first year as a full-time adjunct faculty member at Avila University within the Kinesiology Program. Last year he served as a part-time Visiting Professor & taught Introduction to Kinesiology (101) and Sports Psychology (393).

    Dr. Norwood earned his Bachelor’s degree (Summa Cum Laude) in Psychology from Baker University (1991); a Master’s degree in Sports/Performance Psychology from the University of Kansas (1996); a Doctoral degree in Sports/Performance Psychology from the University of Kansas (2000).  

    Courses Taught: NCAA Life Skills for Student-Athletes, Foundations of Sports Psychology, Introduction to Kinesiology, Sports Psychology, Nutrition and Exercise Physiology

    Research Interests: Mental health & peak performance. The study of positive psychological constructs like hope, optimism and grit and their impact on performance-related variables and outcomes.

    Clinical Experience: Dr. Norwood started his practice as a mental performance consultant as the Director of the Peak Performance Clinic at the University of Kansas where he served student-athletes and coaches for 8 years. He later opened his practice in Las Vegas, Nevada where he combined his knowledge and vast experience in the areas of Performance Psychology and Exercise Science to help create one of the most innovative and successful training facilities in the state of Nevada. His practice has enabled him to facilitate the development of optimal performance states for professional athletes, collegiate and high school student-athletes, coaches, law enforcement professionals, the United States military, Fortune 500 companies, executives, entertainers and business owners.  

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