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Welcome Back to Campus, Risto Marttinen

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A Cal State Fullerton alumnus and former lecturer has returned to his alma mater after completing his doctorate.

Risto Marttinen, assistant professor of kinesiology, completed his bachelor’s and master’s on campus, then traveled to Teachers College at Columbia University in New York for his Ed.D. in curriculum and teaching in physical education.

Why did you pursue the opportunity to join Cal State Fullerton?

I spent a decade on campus not only earning my degrees, but also serving as a graduate assistant coach, head assistant wrestling coach and a lecturer in kinesiology and health science, so for me, it was like coming back home. My goal as I left to pursue my doctorate was to come back and apply for the position here at CSUF. I applied at several places, but CSUF offered the perfect balance of research, teaching and the ability to be in a place where I felt really comfortable.

What do you most look forward to now that you’re here?

Teaching future teachers! I am really excited to be involved with passionate students that will be teaching within the next few years. I also look forward to pursuing my research agenda and involving student assistants in that work.

What areas of continued scholarship and research are of particular interest to you?

Part of my research is working on delivering an afterschool physical activity program called Different Encounters, which integrates literacy, character development and fitness in underserved neighborhoods. We successfully implemented two years of programs for young boys in East Harlem while I was in grad school and are currently piloting a girls program there. My goal is to bring this program into communities surrounding CSUF by partnering with the new Healthy Neighborhoods Program headed by Health and Human Development Dean Jessie Jones. I’m also continuing research on the physical activity levels of students and on teaching in physical education.

What are some of your outside activities, hobbies or interests?

I am an avid spear fisherman, I had to take four years away from this sport when I moved to New York City but I look forward to continuing this hobby now that I am back in California. In addition, I still volunteer at local high schools and coach wrestling.