Welcome home: Join us for the Oct. 7 tailgate

Join us on Saturday, October 7 for a special college-wide tailgate. We promise food, photos, games and fun! 

Bring your family and RSVP by September 23.

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Save the Dates: College Events

Mark your calendars this fall for our Fall Retreat, Paper Airplane Challenge, Homecoming Tailgate and Spring Awards.

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Christine Wegner Named Fellow of North American Society for Sport Management

Congratulations to Christine Wegner, Ph.D., director of the Institute for Coaching Excellence and instructional assistant professor in sport management, for being named a North American Society for Sport Management (NASSM) Research Fellow.

Fellow status honors achievements in sport-related scholarship disseminated through the society.

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Long spaceflights, frequent travel take a toll on astronauts’ brains, study shows

The findings of a new study that looked at how the human brain changes during spaceflight could provide valuable guidance for future space exploration planning.

“We found that the more time people spent in space, the larger their ventricles became,” said Rachael Seidler, Ph.D., a professor of applied physiology and kinesiology and an author of the study. “Many astronauts travel to space more than one time, and our study shows it takes about three years between flights for the ventricles to fully recover.”

Read more at news.ufl.edu >

Survey reveals why people choose to visit Florida

Florida is known for its great weather and beautiful beaches, but why are people really flocking to the sunshine state? A University of Florida survey, led by Rachel J.C. Fu, Ph.D., director at the Eric Friedheim Tourism Institute and chair of the Department of Tourism, Hospitality & Event Management, examined the various factors involved in visitor decision-making and found that social media plays a huge role in why people visit Florida.

Read more at news.ufl.edu >

Celebrating Doug DeMichele's 38 Years of Service

Celebrating nearly 40 years of service, the College of Health & Human Performance wishes Doug DeMichele, Ed.D., instructional professor in sport management, a happy retirement. Dr. DeMichele retired this spring.

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Pegboard test assessing movement could aid Parkinson’s research, study shows

UF-Northwestern research team, including Drs. David Vaillancourt and Bradley J. Wilkes in the Department of Applied Physiology & Kinesiology, reports pegboard test could provide objective marker of Parkinson’s motor symptom changes.

Read more at mbi.ufl.edu >

Celebrating scholars and donors

Thank you, Gators! With the support of generous donors, this spring we awarded more than 100 scholarships to deserving students. On April 28, we celebrated this community of scholars and donors over lunch with special guests Albert and Alberta.

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Institute for Coaching Excellence Announces New Director

Christine Wegner, Ph.D., has been named as incoming director of the Institute for Coaching Excellence, effective May 16. The institute was founded in 2022 by outgoing director Michael Sagas, Ed.D., professor of sport management.

Dr. Sagas will be departing UF to serve as dean of the College of Hospitality, Retail and Sport Management at the University of South Carolina.

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Congratulations, Gator Grads!

Over Commencement weekend this spring, the college celebrated candidates earning 10 doctoral, 149 master's and 399 bachelor's degrees.

Congratulations to the Class of 2023!

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2023 Spring Awards: Celebrating the College Community

On April 28, the University of Florida College of Health & Human Performance recognized 19 alumni, faculty, staff, students and friends making an impact within The Gator Nation and beyond.

These honorees are a source of inspiration and pride.

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New Director of Career Development and Global Engagement

Michael Fitzgerald has been named the inaugural Director of Career Development and Global Engagement for the College of Health and Human Performance. His term begins on May 5. This role reflects the college’s commitment to increasing career readiness for students and enhancing faculty and student engagement with the world.

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Happy Gator Day!

HHP is proud to join The Gator Nation for in championing the Gator Good!

At HHP, we’re advancing the way we live, work and play by promoting healthy living, training the next generation, enhancing physical performance and enriching lives.

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Congratulations, Gator Grads!

Over commencement weekend this spring, the college will celebrate 10 doctoral graduates, 91 master's and 332 bachelor's degree recipients.

HHP master's and bachelor's degree recipients and guests will hear addresses by Steve Mesler, BSESS '00, three-time Olympian, World Champion and co-founder of Classroom Champions, and Alexis Halstead, a graduating senior leader in applied physiology and kinesiology aspiring to be a physical therapist.

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The most successful WrestleMania of all time? Florida sports professors saw it coming

WrestleMania 39 became the highest-grossing and most successful event in the history of World Wrestling Entertainment, with more than 500 million views in two days. Kyriaki (Kiki) Kaplanidou, Ph.D., professor in sport management, co-authored a piece last year on the WWE.

Read more at news.uf.edu >


From all of us in the College of Health & Human Performance – thank you to our graduate students. You are a critical part of our college and we are grateful for everything you do.

Learn about activities happening throughout the week of April 3.

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Michael Reid Awarded American College of Sports Medicine Honor Award

Michael Reid, Ph.D., dean of the College of Health & Human Performance and professor in applied physiology & kinesiology, was awarded the honor award at the Texas Chapter of the American College of Sports Medicine in February. 

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D.K. Stanley Day 2023: Celebrating the College of Health & Human Performance

The 2023 D.K. Stanley Day Committee and the College of Health & Human Performance welcomed the university and greater community to a special lecture, lunch and poster symposium in celebration of our first dean and the college's commitment to enhancing the quality of life.

The day kicked off with the lecture from UF Alumna Chynna Clayton, BSR ’10, BA ’10, CEO and founder of Matriarch Made Development and former director of travel and event operations for Michelle Obama.

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Welcome #UF27!

Congratulations to our newest Gators! The College of Health & Human Performance (HHP) gives you an education unlike anywhere else. Here, you have the opportunity to study, explore and make a profound difference in people’s lives. We empower students with the tools, knowledge and confidence to fulfill their dreams and become remarkable assets to their communities.

At HHP, you will gain more than just an education – we are confident you will also find a home.

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Meet Russell Gaither, MS APK '22

Russell Gaither, MS APK ’22, is a performance specialist with Orlando City Soccer Club where he has helped players develop in performance nutrition, mental skills, and strength and conditioning.

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We Heard You Holler! Thank you, Gators!

The fifth “Stand-Up and Holler: Gator Nation Giving Day” was held on Thursday, February 16. On this day, Gators from around the world donated to various causes across UF and in support of the College of Health & Human Performance.


The Unstoppable Benny Vaughn (BSHSE ’85)

This Gator is hailed as the Father of Sports Massage. Growing up Black in the Jim Crow South prepared him to be the leader and innovator he is today.

Read more at uff.ufl.edu >

UF achieves No. 1 ranking for online bachelor’s degree programs

For the second year in a row, U.S. News & World Report has ranked University of Florida as the top institution in the country to offer an online bachelor’s degree. The rankings organization also named UF as the country’s No. 1 university for veterans and active-duty service members to earn an online bachelor’s degree.

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Congratulations to Ashlee Ossiboff and David Vaillancourt

The College of Health & Human Performance is proud to announce the 2023 Teacher of the Year and Doctoral Dissertation Mentoring Award.

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Save these 2023 dates

Mark your calendars and plan to join us for Gator Nation Giving Day, D.K. Stanley Day, Scholarship Convocation, Spring Awards and Commencement.

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Celebrating Jalie A. Tucker, Mary F. Lane Professor in Health Education & Behavior

Congratulations to Jalie A. Tucker, Ph.D., M.P.H., Mary F. Lane Professor in Health Education & Behavior. An installation ceremony was hosted November 29 celebrating the newly endowed professor.

Dr. Tucker highlighted her research on the behavioral economics of addictive behavior change within the context of reducing alcohol-related risks and problems.

Watch the lecture and read more >

Biases behind transgender athlete bans are deeply rooted

New research by George B. Cunningham, Ph.D., and Kelsey Garrison in the Department of Sport Management reveals that recent transgender athlete bans stem from state politics and public biases.

Read the article at TheConversation.com >

Christopher McLeod Recognized by North American Society for the Sociology of Sport

Christopher M. McLeod, Ph.D., assistant professor in sport management, was honored by the North American Society for the Sociology of Sport, earning the Early Career Research Award and being named a Research Fellow. Additionally, McLeod was invited to join the editorial board of “Sociology of Sport Journal.”

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Spreading Holiday Cheer: Giving Back Through UF College of Health & Human Performance

As the holiday season approaches, it's the perfect time to spread love and joy. One impactful way to do so is by giving back to the community and the University of Florida College of Health & Human Performance offers three meaningful avenues to make a difference this December.

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Advancing frontiers: Five teams awarded AI collaborative funds

The University of Florida College of Health & Human Performance has recently awarded five proposals with seed funding, up to $25,000 each, for external grant submissions. This initiative aims to propel the college into the forefront of cutting-edge research by harnessing the power of artificial intelligence.

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HHP Celebrates George B. Cunningham, UAA Professor in Sport Management

Congratulations to George B. Cunningham, Ph.D., the University Athletic Association Endowed Professor in Sport Management. An installation ceremony was hosted earlier this month celebrating the newly endowed professor.

Dr. Cunningham, chair in the Department of Sport Management, highlighted his research on diversity and inclusion in sport and physical activity.

Watch the lecture and read more >

Meet Grant Tays: A former Marine and current Ph.D. student

In honor of Veterans Day, we share with you the profile of Grant Tays, a former Marine and current doctoral student working in the Neuromotor Behavior Laboratory in the Department of Applied Physiology & Kinesiology.

Thank you to Grant Tays and all who have served.

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Celebrating First-Generation Day

On National First-Generation College Day, we celebrate the determination, resilience and accomplishments of those who are the first in their families to pursue higher education.

Join us in celebrating our first-generation students and learn more about their achievements. Read about two first-generation college students in the College of Health & Human Performance and hear their advice.

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Celebrating UFHHP AI Day

This fall, the college hosted its first AI Day as part of UF AI Days. The event explored the intersections of artificial intelligence, industry and the college's diverse disciplines. More than 130 community members listened to an expert panel session and keynote presentation, and participated in a generative AI student competition, research poster session and networking event.  

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#UFHHP Gators Give

For the third year in a row, faculty and staff in the College of Health & Human Performance met its goal achieving a 35% pledge rate and by collectively raising more than $15,000.

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HHP research spending up 25 percent to record $12.6 million

University of Florida faculty conducted a record $1.25 billion in research in fiscal year 2023, a nearly 15% increase over 2022. UF’s College of Health & Human Performance’s contribution was a record $12.6 million, a nearly 25% increase over 2022.

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Welcome Home: Celebrating Homecoming

The college hosted more than 300 alumni and friends for a homecoming tailgate ahead of the football game on Saturday, October 7.

Thank you to all of the HHP Gators who were able to join us. 

View photos >

Kyriaki Kaplanidou Named National Academy of Kinesiology Fellow

Kyriaki Kaplanidou, Ph.D., professor in the Department of Sport Management, has been honored as a Fellow in the National Academy of Kinesiology. The academy honors individuals who have contributed significantly to the study of and application of the art and science of human movement and physical activity.

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Alumni, Teacher, Adviser and Community Award Nominations Open

Nominations are open for Teacher of the Year, Adviser of the Year, Outstanding Young Alumni, Alumni Hall of Fame and the B.K. Stevens Award. Consider nominating a member of the UFHHP community today!

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Rules are needed for human research in commercial spaceflight

A global, multidisciplinary team of bioethicists, health policy experts, commercial spaceflight professionals and space health researchers, including Rachael Seidler, Ph.D., professor in applied physiology and kinesiology, has developed guiding principles and best practices to help ensure human research conducted in space is safe and inclusive.

Read more at news.ufl.edu >

Welcome Back: HHP Hits Enrollment Milestone

This fall, the University of Florida College of Health & Human Performance celebrated a record enrollment of 3,000 students – a 20 percent increase from five years ago. Additionally, the college welcomed four new faculty bringing the total number of faculty to 77.

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Space Hazards: Scientists Mitigate Risks for Mars Missions

From muscle loss to radiation exposure, space can take a toll on astronauts. Researchers like Rachael Seidler, Ph.D., professor in applied physiology and kinesiology, are on a mission to protect our space pioneers before they journey to Mars.

Read the article at TheConversation.com >

New grant studies heat stroke susceptibility in females

Orlando Laitano, Ph.D., (pictured left) assistant professor in applied physiology and kinesiology, and Gemma Casadesus, Ph.D., professor from the Department of Pharmacology and Therapeutics, have been awarded a substantial 3-year research grant of $1.8 million by the Department of Defense (DoD). This grant will support their groundbreaking research focused on unraveling the intricate interplay of ovarian hormones in exertional heat stroke pathophysiology.

Read more at scirc.med.ufl.edu >

2023 Performance Magazine

Momentum builds here: Learn about exciting research and news in the 2023 issue of Performance magazine, online and in the mail now. 

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Join HHP for the Internship and Job Fair Sept. 27

On Sept. 27, students and employers will take to the courts to discover and discuss internship and career opportunities. HHP’s Internship and Job Fair will be held in the Florida Gym from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

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Meet Barbie Pressly Tilman (BSR '00)

Barbie Pressly Tilman (BSR '00) is the president of the University of Florida Alumni Association (UFAA), fostering alumni connections and inspiring current and future students.

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Demetra Christou receives grant to study exercise regimens after breast cancer treatment

Demetra Christou, Ph.D., associate professor in the Department of Applied Physiology & Kinesiology, has received a two-year $419,000 grant from the National Institute on Aging to investigate the effectiveness of two exercise regimens in reducing the risk for cardiovascular disease in breast cancer survivors.

Read more at cancer.ufl.edu >

Amy Mobley Receives SNEB's Mid-Career Professional Achievement Award

Amy Mobley, Ph,D., a nutrition educator and registered dietitian, has been honored with the 2023 Mid-Career Professional Achievement Award by the Society for Nutrition Education and Behavior (SNEB). This prestigious recognition celebrates her contributions to nutrition education and behavior change, positively impacting public health globally.

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Zheng Wang Wins UF Excellence Award for Assistant Professors

Congratulations to Zheng Wang, Ph.D., assistant professor in applied physiology & kinesiology, for being recognized with the 2023 Excellence Award for Assistant Professors — one of the university’s top awards for tenure-track faculty members.

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This summer, 12 faculty members earned promotions.

Congratulations to JeeWon Cheong, Ph.D., Leonardo Ferreira, Ph.D., Kristina Garcia-Guettler, Ph.D., Jinwon Kim, Ph.D., Diba Mani, Ph.D., Megan McVay, Ph.D., Terence Ryan, Ph.D., Svetlana Stepchenkova, Ph.D., Alyssa Tavormina, Ph.D., Brady Tripp, Ph.D., Patricia Tripp, Ph.D., and Christine Wegner, Ph.D.

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Think being a NASCAR driver isn’t as physically demanding as other sports? Think again

Imagine an NBA game played outdoors. In August. In Phoenix. Tip-off is at noon. There are no timeouts. There is no halftime. There are no substitutions. And players must wear snowsuits, gloves, and ski masks. Sounds ridiculous, right?

Yet race car drivers routinely compete under similar conditions.

Read the article at TheConversation.com >