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Chico State

Professor Finds Joy in Teaching, Creating ‘Aha!’ Moments in Students

Portrait of kinesiology professor Laynie Case. She wears a black, short-sleeve top and there is a gray background.
(Jason Halley / University Photographer)

This story is one in a series spotlighting eight exceptional faculty members who were recognized with 2023–24 Outstanding Faculty Awards, selected by the University’s Faculty Recognition and Support Committee. 

These awards—among the highest honors at Chico State—celebrate faculty excellence in the categories of Outstanding Professor, Teacher, Academic Advisor, Research Mentor, Faculty Service, Lecturer, Lecturer in Bringing the Profession to the Classroom, and Early Career Faculty. 

Outstanding Early Career Award (OECA): Laynie Case

In just her second year at Chico State, Laynie Case has established herself in the Department of Kinesiology, finding meaningful ways to make a positive impact through her research, expertise, and eagerness to help students succeed. 

Case, an assistant professor focused on adapted physical education and training future physical education teachers, consistently goes the extra mile for her students, demonstrating her dedication to teaching and mentorship in every aspect of her work. Her enthusiasm for learning and commitment to the college is evident in everything she does. Colleagues commend Case for her innovative teaching methods and engaging approach, which is a source of inspiration for their teaching. 

Compassionate and deeply invested in student learning, Case is sensitive to the types of learners in her classes and is known to tailor her lectures to her students. Students say she carefully balances high expectations in the classroom with empathy and guidance.  

“I honestly just love the teaching process. From connecting with my students, to trouble-shooting their learning with them, witnessing ‘Aha!’ moments, and watching them do great things—it’s fun,” Case said. “I was fortunate to learn from exceptional mentors and teachers of my own so as a new faculty member, I am eager to trial and error my own style of helping students succeed. In adapted physical activity and pedagogy, we emphasize shifting our own teaching, attitudes, and content to ensure that learning is accessible and meaningful to everyone. This is ultimately what I aim to do for my students, and I want to empower them to do the same in their careers.” 

Case has chaired five graduate student committees and is a committee member for five other graduate students. She has authored five publications, contributed to eight journal publications, and published one book chapter. She has also been successful in securing grant funding. Most recently, Case was the co-principal investigator on a $1.25 million grant awarded by the Office of Special Education Programs through the US Department of Education’s Office of Special Education Programs. This grant will be used to train 30 kinesiology master’s students over the next five years to prepare them to serve the region as adapted physical education and physical activity specialists. 

Case holds a bachelor’s in kinesiology from California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo; and a master’s degree in exercise and sport science and a doctorate in kinesiology with an option in adapted physical activity from Oregon State University. She was a postdoctoral research fellow at the University of South Carolina before joining Chico State in 2022.