Robert Malina has been named director of the college's Institute for the Study of Youth Sports. He offers extensive research experience in the physical growth and maturation of children and youth. A nationally recognized expert in this field, Malina has published more than 300 articles, book chapters, and edited books. He assumed the MSU post on August 15, replacing Vern Seefeldt, founder and director of the Youth Sports Institute since 1978. Formerly a professor at the University of Texas, where he held appointments in the Department of Kinesiology and Health Education and the Department of Anthropology, Malina has been a visiting scholar at Catholic University (Belgium), Guelph University (Ontario), and Laval University (Quebec).
Malina earned a Ph.D. in physical education from the University of Wisconsin-Madison (1962) and a second Ph.D. in anthropology from the University of Pennsylvania (1968). He was awarded an honorary doctorate from Catholic University (Belgium) in 1989. He has received many honors, including the Alliance Scholar Award from the American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation, and Dance. He has also served on several editorial boards, including Annals of Human Biology, Child Development, Human Biology, Pediatric Exercise Science, and Research Quarterly for Exercise and Sport. He is currently editor-in-chief for American Journal of Human Biology.