Published: Jan. 16, 2014

MSU Olympic experts available to talk security, other trending topics

Contact(s): Sarina Gleason Media Communications office: (517) 355-9742

This year will mark the XXII Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia. With the opening ceremonies just a few weeks away, Michigan State University has many experts available to speak about trending topics and issues related to the games.

Anil Jain, University Distinguished Professor of computer science and engineering, is an expert in pattern recognition and image processing which play an important role in designing advanced security measures. He has applied his expertise to a number of application domains, including biometric recognition, particularly in fingerprint matching, face recognition and fusion of biometric traits. With security being top-of-mind at this year’s Olympics, Jain can provide expert insight into security measures to be implemented during the event. He can be reached at (517) 355-9282 or

Daniel Gould, kinesiology professor and director of the Institute for the Study of Youth Sports, is an expert on coaching who has mentally trained Olympic champions and conducted a series of studies for the U.S. Olympic Committee. His specialties include the stress-athletic performance relationship, psychological foundations of coaching, athlete motivation, youth leadership and positive youth development through sport. He can be reached at (517) 432-0175 or

James Pivarnik is a professor of kinesiology and epidemiology and also serves as the director of the Center for Physical Activity and Health. Pivarnik, an exercise physiologist, can discuss the physical toils of Olympic training. In addition, with several female Olympians becoming pregnant during their careers, he can also share his expertise in the exercise responses of females, particularly during and after pregnancy. He can be reached at (517) 353-3520 or

Jeff Kovan is the director of Sports Medicine and Performance and also serves as a team physician for MSU basketball and soccer. His knowledge and training with athletes have earned him a spot as team physician at this year’s Sochi Paralympics games which will take place two weeks after the Olympic Games. From illness to injuries, Kovan will be taking care of the U.S. athletes and ensuring their ability to compete. He can be reached at (517) 884-6100 or

Eva Kassens-Noor is the author of “Planning Olympic Legacies,” which discusses how hosting the Olympics can allow cities to realize many long-term dreams or in contrast, spark economic nightmares. As assistant professor of urban and transport planning at MSU, Kassens-Noor can bring insights into this year’s Olympics, which is gearing up to be a fantastic event for spectators around the world. The real challenge for Sochi, however, will be finding a sustainable legacy that ensures economic efficiency, environmental stewardship and social equity. She’s available at (517) 432-8085 or at

Deborah Feltz is a sport psychologist and a University Distinguished Professor of kinesiology at MSU. Often times, highly successful athletes and teams can lose to less successful ones. With a specialty in self-efficacy and the psychosocial implications of sport and physical activity participation, Feltz, along with many of her peers, often point to overconfidence of a team or athlete when these “upsets” happen. She can be reached at (517) 355-4732 or

Joe Eisenmann is with the Division of Sports and Cardiovascular Nutrition, and the Spartan Nutrition and Performance Program in the Department of Radiology and College of Osteopathic Medicine. Eisenmann is a pediatric research scientist who focuses on the growth- and maturity-related variation of body size and function, and its impact on the health and physical performance of children and adolescents. With teenage athletes such as Olympic skier Mikaela Shiffrin and Olympic ski jumper Sarah Hendrickson competing in this year’s games, he has practical experience in training these younger athletes. He can be reached at (517) 884-3350 or

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