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Visiting Assistant Professor

University of Central Oklahoma () - Kinesiology & Health Studies EDU 303C , Box 189


Kara Stone holds a Ph.D. in exercise science and nutrition from North Dakota State University, a Master of Science in kinesiology from the University of Central Missouri (UCM) and a Bachelor of Science in health studies (pre-physical therapy/occupational therapy emphasis) with a minor in biology also from UCM. In addition, Stone is a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist through the National Strength and Conditioning Association. Her primary research interests include the exploration of the efficacy of ergogenic aids to improve performance and health and the evaluation and prescription of exercise, social-emotional learning and nutritional interventions geared toward improving quality of life for all through multi-dimensional wellness. She has been involved in several collaborative projects funded by organizations, including NASA and the NIH, geared toward exploring the role of these countermeasures in improving the health and quality of life of aging adults, occupational/tactical athletes and adults with neuromuscular diseases. 

Classes Taught

  • KINS 2713 - Physical Activity and Health (online and traditional delivery)
  • PHED 3333 - Mechanical Principles and Analysis of Movement
  • KINS 4513 - Fitness Assessment


Professional and Community Involvement

Reviewer for Bentham Science Publishing's journal "Current Functional Foods".

Faculty chaperone/Quiz Bowl Coach for the 2023 National and Regional American College of Sports Medicine meetings and world conferences.

Treasurer for UCO 2SLGBTQIA+ Faculty Staff Association

Poster judge and internal assessor for UCO's VPKHS Research Symposium

Annual volunteer for the Special Olympics of Oklahoma


Research, Published Work, and Scholarly Activities

Stone, K.A., Mahoney, S.J., Paryzek, R.A., Pitts, L., Stastny S.N., Mitchell, S.L., Downs, M.E., English, K.L., & Hackney, K.J. (2022, October). Intermittent Blood Flow Restriction ExerciseRapidly Improves Muscular and Cardiovascular Health in Middle-Aged Adults without Additional Benefits from Protein Supplementation. Acta Astronautica, 199, 224-231.

Sawyer, B., Stone, K.A., Kotarsky, C.J., Johnson, N., Bradley, A., Scheffert, R.A., Hackney, K.J., Byun, W. & Stastny, S. (2022, June). Animal-Based Dietary Protein Intake Is Not A Risk Factor For Metabolic Syndrome Among Young Or Middle-Aged Females. Nutrition and Metabolic Insights, 15, 1-7.

Johnson, N.R., Kotarsky, C.J., Mahoney, S.J., Sawyer, B.C., Stone, K.A., Byun, W., Hackney, K.J., Mitchell, S., & Stastny, S.N. (2022, June). Evenness of Dietary Protein Intake Is Positively Associated with Lean Mass and Strength in Healthy Women. Nutrition and Metabolic Insights, 15, 1-9.

Stone, K.A., Barry, A.M., Kotarsky, C.J., Dicks, N.D., Stastny, S.N., Byun, W., Mitchell, S., McGrath, R. & Hackney, K.J. (2022, March). Moderate to Vigorous Physical Activity, Leucine, and Protein Intake Contributions to Muscle Health in Middle Age. Journal of Frailty, Sarcopenia and Falls. 7, 123-132.

Johnson, N., Stone, K.A., Stastny, S.N., McGrath, R., & Hackney, K.J. (2021, May). Beef Consumption and Functional Performance in Middle-Aged and Older Adults: A Narrative Review. Journal of Food & Nutritional Sciences, 3(1), 18-31.

Johnson, N., Kotarsky, C.J., Hackney, K.J., Trautman, K.A., Dicks, N.D., Byun, W., Keith J.F., David, S.L., & Stastny, S.N. (2021, March). Measures Derived from Panoramic Ultrasonography and Animal-Based Protein Intake Are Related to Muscular Performance in Middle-Aged Adults. Journal of Clinical Medicine, 10(5), 1-19.

Johnson, N.R., Bradley, A.P., Byun, W., Hackney, K.J., Kotarsky, C.J., Mahoney, S.J., Mitchell, S.L., Sawyer, B.C., Trautman, K.A., Scheffert, R.A., Stastny, S.N. (In Review). Animal-Based Dietary Protein Intake is Related to Improved Muscle Quality, Increased Handgrip Strength but not to Functional Capacity in Healthy Women. The Journal of Nutrition.2020 Blake, M.S., Johnson, N.R., Trautman, K.A., Grier, J.W., Stastny, S.N., Hackney, K.J. Neither a Multi-Ingredient Pre-Workout Supplement nor Caffeine Were Effective at Improving Markers of Blood Flow or Upper-Body Resistance Exercise Performance (2020, January). The International Journal of Exercise Science, 13(2), 167-182.

McGrath, R., Trautman, K., Johnson, N.R., Klawitter, L., Mahoney, S., Carlson, C., Rockstad, E., Hackney, K.J. (2020, February). What are the Association Patterns Between Handgrip Strength and Adverse Health Conditions? A Topical Review. SAGE Open Medicine, 8, 1-12.

Dicks, N., Kotarsky, C.J., Trautman, K.A., Barry, A.M., Keith, J.F., Mitchell, S., Byun, W., Statsny, S.N., Hackney, K.J. (2019, July). Contribution of Protein Intake and Concurrent Exercise to Skeletal Muscle Quality with Aging. The Journal of Frailty & Aging

Hackney, K.J., Trautman, K.A., Johnson, N., McGrath, R., Stastny, S. (2019, October). Protein and Muscle Health During Aging: Benefits and Concerns Related to Animal-Based Protein. Animal Frontiers, 9(4), 12-17.

Streeter, D.M., Trautman, K.A., Bennett, T.W., McIntosh, L.E., Grier, J.W., Stastny. S.N., Hackney, K.J. (2019, April). Endothelial, Cardiovascular, and Performance Responses to L-arginine Intake and Resistance Exercise. The International Journal of Exercise Science, 12(2), 701-713.

Poser, W.M., Trautman, K.A., Dicks, N.D., Christensen, B.K., Lyman, K.J., Hackney, K.J. (2019, April). Simulated Casualty Evacuation Task Performance is Augmented by Deadlift Peak Force. Military Medicine, usz050.

Hackney, K.J., Brown, W.J., Stone, K.A., Tennent, M.D. (2018, June). The Role of Blood Flow Restriction Training to Mitigate Sarcopenia, Dynapenia, and Enhanced Clinical Recovery. Techniques in Orthopaedics, 33(2), 89-97.

Terbizan, D.T., Barry, A.M., Stone, K.A., Talaski, J.L., Bennett, T, Hackney, K.J. (2018, September). Use of Compression Garments for Recovery from Plyometric Exercise [Addendum]. Missouri Journal of Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance, 28, 1-11.

Teaching Philosophy

My teaching philosophy evolved from my experiences as a student and emerging researcher and the changes I have observed in a decade of teaching in an ever-changing world. I often reflect on what it means to be a teacher to diverse learners, the skills and experiences they need to promote and/or enhance a growth mindset, the value and balance of relevance, vulnerability, transparency, compassion, and enthusiasm in the class, and the methods and skills I need to meet students where they are and bring them to where they need to be. From doing this, I have found that I want my students to have the chance to evolve their metacognition in any course I teach while also understanding the impact of the psychosocial school climate. The importance of this stems from the simple fact that exercise science and other allied healthcare professionals need a continuous awareness of their own thought processes and how they impact the community and the world around them.


Often, challenging students to take their learning beyond remembering to create is an understandably daunting task. After all, I’m generally asking students to get comfortable with failure and learn from it, which takes considerable trust and rapport. I am challenging them to look at a FAIL as a First. Attempt. In. Learning. To do this, I must take time to create a welcoming environment where they are free to be excited and inquisitive. This is done by dedicating time to establishing a classroom culture that is safe and respectful of everyone in the classroom. Each person in the class should understand that all our ideas are valid and worthy of sharing and discussing with an open mind. Additionally, this requires being flexible to the current needs of each class and inviting them to an ongoing professional conversation about their learning, not just at the end but throughout the semester.


Secondly, I must give the students structured opportunities for creative, individualized, and evidence-based learning. Every student’s way of learning is unique, so to give all students an opportunity to evolve their metacognition, various assignments and assessments should be used. Additionally, using instructional methods that blend autonomy, collaboration, and structure can foster an equitable, fun, and engaging atmosphere that allows students and instructors to learn creatively without fear of making mistakes and identify sources of support in their professional and personal lives. A great example of this is collaborative assignments. By encouraging co-inquiry, students are challenged to communicate effectively with various personalities and diversify their learning. Though the experience is sometimes difficult/uncomfortable, it is a necessary step to bring them further from dualism and closer to relativism (an important endeavor for navigating today’s political and cultural climate and disseminating scientific evidence).  


Thirdly, I must provide my students with clear expectations, timely and constructive feedback, and opportunities for peer feedback. Utilization of learning management systems, rubrics and clear grading scales, peer evaluations, discussion boards, Kahoot, and other technologies are great ways to provide this. Course evaluations are also invaluable, but I believe in allowing the students to provide responses throughout the semester, as giving professional feedback is a learned skill that must be practiced regularly.


Lastly, I must give them my passion, enthusiasm, and undivided attention in every class session. I cannot expect my students to give me what I cannot give them. By providing my students with the above, I plan to engage them in the field of exercise science and learning, thus generating a passion that they can adopt and recycle as they transition from students to young professionals. As I strive to achieve these ideals, I am reminded that this philosophy is fluid. I am learning with each class and student that I teach and each one provides new challenges and experiences. Though these challenges can sometimes be frustrating and the experiences surprising, ultimately, they provide an opportunity to evolve my teaching philosophy, leading to a more optimal environment for learning and therefore, more successful and engaged students.

The views expressed by UCO faculty and staff on their personal websites and social media pages do not necessarily reflect the positions of the University of Central Oklahoma. UCO faculty and staff are advised to follow the university’s social media guidelines and are expected to conduct themselves in accordance with policies outlined in UCO’s Employee Handbook and/or Faculty Handbook.