BEN JOHNSON, Ed.D., University of Kentucky
Ben Johnson, Professor of Biomechanics/Exercise Science was formerly Professor and Chair of the Department of Kinesiology at City University of New York – Brooklyn College in Brooklyn, NY. Prior to his stint in New York, Dr. Johnson was Associate Dean for Community Partnerships and Global Initiatives in the WellStar College of Health and Human Services and Professor in the Department of Health, Physical Education and Sport Science at Kennesaw State University in Kennesaw, GA. While there, he directed the KSU Global Center for Social Change that had four major divisions including the International Academy for Disability Rights, International Academy for Women’s Leadership and Sport for Health, Development and Peace. Prior to KSU, he was a faculty member and lab director at Georgia State University in Atlanta. Dr. Johnson is the author of numerous sport and exercise science research articles and has presented this research widely in international and national professional meetings. Dr. Johnson was a member of the IOC Medical Commission from 1990-1999 and coordinated the IOC’s Sport Science Research Projects during the 1996 Atlanta Centennial Olympic Summer Games. In addition, he routinely works with athletes of all ages and abilities in improving their sport performance and minimizing their chances for injury. Dr. Johnson has served on a number of international sport-related committees during his career including the Program Committee for the 1996 IOC World Congress on Sport Science. Dr. Johnson has been the Co-Primary Investigator on seven Department of State International Sport Programming Initiative projects since 2002 as well as several other federally funded projects. He is the Co-Founder of the African Academy of Disability Sport and Founder of the International Academy for Disability Rights. He has received more than $11M in funding during his career. Dr. Johnson was the second student to receive a doctorate and the first in Biomechanics in the Department of Kinesiology and Health Promotion at the University of Kentucky.
Interim Associate Dean
Melody P. Noland, Interim Associate Dean for Academic Programs, Accreditation, and Planning, received her Ph.D. in Health Education from the University of Maryland in 1982. Her areas of research interest focus primarily on tobacco prevention with a special focus on tobacco prevention with youth who live in tobacco-producing areas. Dr. Noland teaches courses in school health education, specifically sexuality education, drug education, methods of teaching health and others.
Steve R. Parker, Associate Dean for Undergraduate Advising and Student Success and Associate Professor Kinesiology/Sport Leadership received his Ed.D. from the University of Kentucky in 1995.
Dr. Parker has been an educator for 40 years, including experience not only as a professor but also as a high school health and physical education teacher, head football coach, strength coach, and athletics director at Bryan Station High School for 10 years. Dr. Parker also officiated high school varsity basketball. He was the Director of the National Youth Sports Program at the University of Kentucky and an instructor in the National Cheerleading Coaches Conference for 22 years, during which time he served as Chair of the National Cheerleading Selection Committee. He is the Director and Coordinator of the Sport Leadership Masters Program and teaches the Program’s Sport Law and Event Management courses. Prior to teaching in the Sport Leadership Program, Dr. Parker was a professor in the undergraduate Physical Education Certification Program and an advisor in Kinesiology and Health Promotion. In the community, Dr. Parker is the Chair of the Kentucky Pro Football Hall of Fame Board and a member of the Advisory Committee for the Salvation Army’s Boys and Girls Club. He serves the education profession as a site visitor for the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation.
Dr. Parker’s areas of interest include athletic probation and its effect on donor contributions to the university; student success; student-athlete success; event management solutions, issues, and problems; and using knowledge of the law as a competitive advantage in sport, fitness, recreational, and academic settings.
Director of Graduate Studies
Heather Erwin received her Ph.D. from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 2006. Her research areas of interest include environmental influences on physical activity in children and adolescents as well as student performance on the physical education standards. Dr. Erwin teaches courses in physical education methods.
Assistant Department Chair
Randy Crist received his Ed.D. from the University of Kentucky in 1994. His primary research interest is the effects of fitness activities on the classroom performance of children. Dr. Crist teaches undergraduate courses in sport and exercise psychology and sociology, history of sport and physical education, tests and measurements, and fitness.
Faculty and Staff
Mark Abel received his Ph.D. from the University of Utah in 2006. He is certified by the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA) as a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) and a Tactical Strength and Conditioning Facilitator (TSAC-F). He was awarded the NSCA’s 2016 TSAC Practitioner of the Year. His research interests include improving the health, safety, fitness, and occupational performance of tactical populations (i.e., firefighters & law enforcement officers). He is the Director of the Graduate Certificate in High Performance Coaching to prepare graduate students to become Exercise Scientists and High Performance Coaches with collegiate and professional teams.
Aaron Beighle received his Ph.D. from Arizona State University in 2003. His research interests are in the area of physical activity promotion and youth. Dr. Beighle teaches courses in physical education methods.
Stephanie Bennett, Ph.D., is a Lecturer in the Department of Kinesiology & Health Promotion at University of Kentucky. She received her Ph.D. from Middle Tennessee State University in Murfreesboro, TN. Her research interest falls broadly in the area of human sexuality. Specifically, Dr. Bennett is interested in understanding the relationship between sexual values, sexual behaviors, and sexual debut in adolescents. A secondary interest is in the role sexual values plays in sexual behaviors as students transition from high school to college.
Haley Bergstrom received her Ph.D. from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in 2014. Her primary research interests include the evaluation of cardiovascular, metabolic, neuromuscular, as well as perceptual responses during dynamic fatiguing exercise, and the integration of nutrition and exercise interventions on health and performance measures. Dr. Bergstrom teaches KHP 640, Laboratory Methods.
Dr. Best worked for almost 10 years as a fitness trainer and strength and conditioning coach before completing his Ph.D. at the University of Sydney in 2010. His primary research interests include the effects of reduced sleep on physical function and performance, as well as how to optimize the adaptations to exercise training. In addition to his research experience, Dr. Best has worked with a number of professional and amateur sporting teams as a sports scientist and performance analyst.
Lance Bollinger received his Ph.D. from East Carolina University in 2013. Currently, Dr. Bollinger is pursuing a few distinct lines of research. Broadly, these include: 1) the relationship between obesity and skeletal muscle function and biomechanics, 2) effects of vitamin D and dietary fatty acids on myocellular size and metabolism, and 3) use of flywheel-based exercise for muscle performance testing and exercise interventions. Dr. Bollinger is also collaborating with UK Health and Wellness and the Health Promotion faculty to explore means of increasing daily physical activity. He teaches KHP 240 Nutrition and Physical Activity, KHP 450 Exercise Testing and Prescription, and KHP 781 seminar focused on Skeletal Muscle Physiology.
Marilyn Campbell received her Ph.D. in Exercise Science and her M.S. in Nutritional Sciences from the University of Kentucky. Her research interests include human nutrition, sports nutrition, cardiovascular health, obesity, and exercise. Dr. Campbell teaches undergraduate courses in exercise physiology, including Nutrition and Physical Fitness and Exercise Testing and Prescription.
Jody Clasey, Associate Professor, received her Ph.D. from the University of Illinois in 1993. Her areas of research interest include body composition analysis, and the relationship among body composition measures, physical activity and hormone function. Dr. Clasey teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in exercise physiology. Dr. Clasey is the Director of the Body Composition Core Lab.
Marc Cormier received his Ph.D. in Sport and Exercise Psychology from West Virginia University in 2014. Dr. Cormier serves as Director for the Sport and Exercise Psychology Graduate Program and teaches undergraduate and graduate courses within the department, including psychology and sociology of sport, group dynamics in sport, and applied sport psychology. His primary areas of research include the psychological aspects of sport injury, team cohesion, and mental skills training and he has published in regional, national, and international journals/conference proceedings. In addition to his faculty responsibilities, Dr. Cormier has a 50% appointment in UK Athletics and coordinates all counseling and performance psychology services for the athletic department. Additionally, Dr. Cormier is a certified mental performance consultant (CMPC), a member of the United States Olympic Committee’s Sport Psychology registry, and a Licensed Professional Counselor (Associate) in Kentucky.
Staff Support Associate II
Jill Day received her Ph.D. from the University of Kentucky in 2009. Her research interests include childhood obesity, physical activity in rural areas, school physical education, and motivating children to be physical active. Dr. Day teaches courses in history and philosophy of sport and physical education and psychology and sociology of sport.
Fan Gao, received his Ph.D. from the Pennsylvania State University in Biomechanics & Motor Control in 2005. His research interests include assessment and treatment of movement disorders and disability due to stroke, cerebral palsy, limb loss, diabetics and aging. Dr. Gao teaches courses in biomechanics.
Administrative Support Associate I
Beth Graham received her Bachelor of Music degree from Butler University in 1984 and her A.A.S. degree in Information Management and Design from BCTC in 2008. She is budget officer for the department and also designs and maintains their web pages.
Administrative Support Associate I
Claire Heaney earned her M.A. in English Literature from Queens College in 2013. She serves as the front desk receptionist for the Seaton Building and also administratively supports the department chair.
Melinda Ickes received her Ph.D. from the University of Cincinnati in 2010. Dr. Ickes is a faculty associate for the Kentucky Center for Smoke-free Policy, and the Director of both Tobacco-free Take Action! and Go Tobacco-free, two initiatives to promote tobacco-free college campuses. Her research interests are in the areas of tobacco control, college health promotion, and childhood obesity. Dr. Ickes teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in health promotion including Program Planning, Health Promotion and Behavior Change, College Health Promotion, and is coordinator of the health promotion practicum/internship program.
Carol Mushett Johnson is a Clinical Assistant Professor in the Department of Kinesiology and Health Promotion. Prof. Mushett is a Licensed Master’s Social Worker in both Clinical and Macro areas, a Certified Child Custody Evaluator, and holds the forensic certification as a Certified Sentence Mitigation Specialist. Her specializations also include mental health and physical medicine rehabilitation, therapeutic recreation and play-based therapy, sport psychology, and clinical hypnosis.
Prior to coming to UK she served on the faculty of Brooklyn College, Georgia State University and Wayne State University. Also serving as the Director of the UK College of Education Global Center for Human Rights, and Peace through Education and Sport, Professor Mushett will oversee initiatives that promote international development, the rights of the child, social change, disaster relief, empowerment of women and girls, and inclusion of persons with disability.
Professor Mushett has successfully administered/conducted numerous international grants and/or cooperative agreements for the US Department of State, USAID, US Department of Health and Human Services, and the United Nations. Carol has worked extensively in the Near East, Africa, Asia, Europe, South America and the Caribbean. In the past decade alone, she has conducted major funded projects in Iran, Egypt, Morocco, Jordan, South Africa, Kenya, Tanzania, Cameroon, Saudi Arabia, Malaysia, Russia, and Haiti. These projects have focused on issues related to human rights, inclusion of persons with disability, education, empowerment of women and girls, and economic development.
Professor Mushett was elected by the assembly of nations as the Chairman of the Sports Council and Technical Officer for the International Paralympic Committee for two terms of office (1997-2005). She oversaw the administration/organization of global sport operations for the four International Paralympic Games and 13 Paralympic World Championships. She served on the Board of Trustees of the Salt Lake Organizing Committee for the 2002 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games as well as the International Olympic Committee Commission on Cultural and Olympic Education. Professor Mushett is a recipient of the Paralympic Order, the highest tribute awarded within the Paralympic Movement. It honors one who exemplifies the Paralympic ideals, made an extraordinary global contribution in Paralympic Sport and rendered outstanding service to the Paralympic cause.
Shelly Krajny received her M.Ed. in Health Education and Promotion from Kent State University. She is currently working towards her Ph.D. in Health Education and Promotion with a concentration in School Health. Her dissertation is an examination of reproductive narratives in children’s literature. She is also the author of a children’s book about healthy eating. She serves on the Advisory Board for Sunny Day Publishing where she is an Editorial Health Education Advisor. Her research interests are in the area of adolescent health, sexuality education, eating disorders and women’s health. Ms. Krajny teaches undergraduate courses in Health Promotion, including Introduction to Fitness and Personal Health and Wellness.
Kathryn “Rosie” Lanphere received her Ph.D. in Exercise Physiology from the University of New Mexico in 2013. Her areas of research interests include autophagy, aging, environmental and endurance exercise. Dr. Lanphere teaches undergraduate courses in sport and exercise physiology and introduction to fitness.
Marta has taught in higher education for over 12 years. She received her Ph.D. in Health and Sport Studies with a concentration in the Cultural Studies of Sport from the University of Iowa.
Her research occurs at the intersection of Critical Cultural Studies of Sport and the Sport Administration. It is from this perspective that she explores the convergence of cultural, economic, historical, and political forces that influence the way racial and ethnic minorities are raced, gendered, and classed in sport. Her primary research objective is to disrupt cultural narratives about race, ethnicity and gender that silence and perpetuate structural manifestations of prejudice and discrimination within communities of color. She also critically engages issues that emerge from social inequalities – particularly those pertaining to the intersections of class, gender, and race – and how individuals experience them. Furthermore, she is interested in the way these inequalities impact how Black athletes mobilize their identities. Marta’s professional experiences have fueled her passion for research and allow her to employ a critical pedagogical approach to help prepare competent Sport Administrators and professionals to prioritize and integrate issues of diversity in the administrative responsibilities they will eventually perform.
Kristen Mark, Ph.D., MPH is an Associate Professor in Health Promotion and the Director of the Sexual Health Promotion Lab at the University of Kentucky and Affiliate Faculty at The Kinsey Institute. She is also Secondary Faculty in Public Health, Affiliate Faculty in Family Sciences, Gender and Women’s Studies, and the Center for Equality and Social Justice, and the Faculty Fellow for the Office of LGBTQ* Resources at University of Kentucky. She holds a PhD in Health Behavior and an MPH in Biostatistics, both from Indiana University where she trained and collaborated with researchers at the Kinsey Institute and the Center for Sexual Health Promotion. Dr. Mark’s research is focused in the area of sexual health and relationships. Specifically, her research has examined sexual desire, desire discrepancy, infidelity, predictors of sexual and relationship satisfaction, the role of sexual minority stress on sexual desire and satisfaction, comprehensive sex education efforts, and women’s sexual health, to name a few. Dr. Mark teaches classes in sexuality education, health promotion theory, sexual health, LGBTQ* health, and healthy couple relationships. Dr. Mark also regularly disseminates science for the public through outlets such as Men’s Health and Cosmopolitan, and she writes about sex and relationship science for Psychology Today, The Huffington Post, and Kinsey Confidential.
Jennifer McMullen received her Ph.D. from the University of Kentucky in 2016 in Education Sciences with a concentration in Health Education. Her research interests include obesity prevention/intervention programming and college-based nutrition/cooking programming. Dr. McMullen teaches undergraduate courses in both Exercise Science and Health Promotion, including Tests and Measurement and Nutrition and Physical Fitness.
Justin K. Nichols, Director of Life Fitness, received his Ed.D from the University of Kentucky in 2012 with his coursework falling primarily in Kinesiology & Health Promotion as well as Educational Policy Studies & Evaluation. His areas of interest are associated with coaching contract development and higher education athletics. Other areas of interest include course, curriculum, and program design/development. He serves on UK committees/boards at the college and university levels. Prior to his time at UK, he was a coach at a variety of levels ranging from elementary to collegiate; assistant athletic director at the high school level; and program/fitness director in the YMCA system. Dr. Nichols teaches courses in Kinesiology & Health Promotion’s Sport Leadership emphasis, specifically in the areas of supervision, theory, and research methods at the graduate level as well as sport management and tests & measurements for the undergraduate level.
Michael Samaan received his Ph.D. from Old Dominion University in Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering in 2014. His research interests include the use of biomechanics and musculoskeletal imaging to better understand the mechanisms and effects of lower extremity joint diseases such as osteoarthritis on joint health and function. Dr. Samaan teaches courses in biomechanics.
Lucian Taylor earned his Ph.D. in Exercise Science and Leisure Management from the University of Mississippi in 1995. He is currently the Director of the Life Fitness Program. Elementary physical education, fitness conditioning and elementary dance are the major teaching areas of Dr. Taylor.
Elizabeth Whitney received her Ph.D. in Health Education & Promotion with a concentration in School Health from Kent State University in 2013. Her research interests are in the area of child/adolescent health, bullying prevention, psychosocial school climate, K-12 health education curriculum development, and teacher education pedagogy. Dr. Fettrow teaches KHP 270, Introduction to Health Education and Promotion, KHP 380, Health Education in Elementary Schools, KHP 330, Planning and Implementing Health Education programs, and KHP 509, Workshop in Health and Safety: Youth Violence.
Rayma Beal received her Ed.D. from the University of Cincinnati in 1985. Her areas of research interest include dance education, dance assessment, dance with older adults, and arts education and assessment. She actively worked with the Kentucky Department of Education on implementation of dance and art education into the K-12 curriculum.
JIM NANCE, Ed.S., Eastern Kentucky University
Jim Nance received his Ed.S. from Eastern Kentucky University in 1979. He taught methods courses in gymnastics, racket sports, and outdoor education. Mr. Nance’s main service components were with the USA Gymnastics Education Subcommittee and Outdoor Education with 4-H and Fish and Wildlife.
Richard Riggs received his Ed.D. from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, in 1975. Dr. Riggs’ areas of research interest focus mainly on child and adolescent health issues, specifically in the areas of tobacco prevention, intentional and unintentional injury, and in the coordinated school health program.
Robert Shapiro. Professor, received his Ph.D. from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 1979. Dr. Shapiro serves as director of the multidisciplinary Biodynamics Laboratory which is housed in the Center for Biomedical Engineering. His research interests include whole body biomechanical analysis with special emphasis on injury mechanisms and evaluation of musculo-skeletal function related to orthopaedics. Dr. Shapiro collaborates with faculty in Sports Medicine, Orthopaedics, Biomedical Engineering, Athletic Training, and Physical Therapy. Instrumentation utilized in the laboratory includes high speed 3-D videography, electromyography, and force platforms. Dr. Shapiro has a joint appointment in Biomedical Engineering.
DENNIS VINTON, Re.D., Indiana University
Dennis Vinton received his Re.D. from Indiana University in 1969. His areas of research interest include camping, recreation, and environmental education for persons with special needs. Dr. Vinton is a founding member and past president of the National Consortium on Physical Education and Recreation for Individuals with Disabilities.
Andrew Weiner received his Ed.D. from the University of Georgia in 1976. His primary areas of research interest include the application of emotional intelligence to coaching and leadership in sports, and how sport leaders can have more effective difficult and crucial conversations with all stakeholders. Dr. Weiner taught courses in sport and fitness supervision/management, team development, leadership, and emotional intelligence in sports and sport marketing.
J.W. Yates received his Ph.D. from the Pennsylvania State University in 1980. His areas of research interest include a variety of muscle physiology topics such as strength and endurance training and muscle soreness. Dr. Yates also works in the field of ergonomics conducting research in the prevention of lower back injuries.