Human Performance Lab


Who we are

Director Trista OlsonDr. Trista Olson is an assistant professor in the Department of Kinesiology at St. Cloud State University and a:

  • Certified exercise physiologist, American College of Sports Medicine
  • Certified Clinical Cancer Exercise Specialist.
  • Certified Personal Trainer by the National Academy for Sports Medicine.

She completed her doctorate in exercise science at the University of Northern Colorado, where she was actively engaged in the UNC Cancer Rehabilitation Institute.

Her doctoral research focused on using an interdisciplinary approach to address physical activity and muscular fatigue questions in cancer survivors.

She completed her undergraduate and master’s degrees in exercise science and nutrition at North Dakota State University.

Her research interests lie in exercise and muscle physiology with a specific focus in exercise oncology. She has collaborated actively with researchers in the areas of biomechanics, community psychology and behavior analysis.

How We Started

founder jack kellyThe Human Performance Laboratory was founded by Dr. John M. Kelly, a gentleman and a scholar known to his friends as Jack.

He joined St. Cloud State University in 1969 to develop and strengthen the sport science classes in the Health, Recreation and Physical Education Department. During his time at St. Cloud State he:

  • Developed high quality undergraduate courses in anatomy, kinesiology, physiology and exercise physiology and was known as a master teacher. His exercise physiology course was a favorite among students from many departments.
  • He and several St. Cloud physicians launched a 10-year study on the benefits of physical activity on cardiovascular health with 160 community members.
  • His developed an Adult Fitness Program that is vibrant today and remains an community and student asset. His aim was to help people develop healthier lifestyles.
  • He started an Exercise Science graduate program in the late 1970s as a “special studies” master's degree. In 1993 it became an Exercise Science degree with emphases in biomechanics and exercise physiology.
  • Kelly was joined by faculty members Glenn Street, a biomechanist and Dave Bacharach, an exercise physiologist and John Seifert, also an exercise physiologist.
  • In 1980, he oversaw the move of the lab from a small room in Halenbeck Hall to a new 2,600 square foot lab in Halenbeck. It is the same facility that is in use today.

Kelly retired in 1997.


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