LAFAYETTE, LA. — Former San Luis Valley resident Benjamin D. Kern has completed the course study at the University of Illinois, Champaign, needed to receive his PhD in kinesiology. Ben presented his dissertation defense at the University on March 29, 2017. He will have his PhD degree conferred on him May 13, also at the University of Illinois.
Ben is a San Luis Valley native who graduated from Sargent High School in 1993. He went on to receive his bachelor’s degree at Western State University in 1999. While at Western, he was a two time NCAA Division II All American in football and an Academic All American. He coached football at Western, returned to the Valley and taught high school and became the strength and conditioning coach at Adams State University. In 2002 he received his masters degree from Adams State. He was accepted into the PhD program at the University of Illinois in 2013. He completed the academic portion over the next three years, as well as being on the teaching staff at the university.
In the summer of 2016 he accepted a professorship at the University of Louisiana, Lafayette. Ben has had his research published and has presented it to many national conferences. He will teach as well as continue his research at the University of Louisiana.
Ben lives near Lafayette, Louisiana, with his wife Joni (Kehler) Kern, and their daughters Ainsley, 14 and Maddie 12.