News Archive

Dietetics Student Spotlight

November 19, 2021

This week's Dietetics student feature video is by Michelle Bradley. Follow along and learn how to make delicious red curry!

CHS grant provides CPR training for ROTC cadets

November 11, 2021

ROTC cadets learning CPR

Shelby County Schools ROTC senior cadets received Basic Life Saving/CPR instruction thanks to a grant from BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee Community Trust.

The College of Health Sciences, led by the efforts of instructor/coordinator Debra Wyatt, was awarded $10,000 from BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee Community Trust for the third year in a row. The first year, the award was used to develop a program offering free CPR to the community. The second year, we continued with free CPR courses and added free lifeguard training. This year, we shifted our focus back to CPR and have partnered with Shelby County Schools (SCS) to offer free courses for SCS faculty, staff and students.

Clinical Nutrition Student Spotlight

November 8, 2021

Brandi JohnsonAngelika Sharp

Two students from our Clinical Nutrition master's program were elected to serve in this year's Student Tennessee Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (STAND). Congratulations to program liaison Brandi Johnson and secretary Angelika Sharp!

The goal of STAND is to connect dietetic students and interns across Tennessee through networking and volunteering initiatives. STAND also works to empower and encourage dietetic students and interns to become future leaders in the food and nutrition industry.

Dietetics Student Spotlight

November 5, 2021

This week's Dietetics student feature video is by Sierra Jackson. Follow along and learn how to make delicious steamed salmon and broccoli!

PETE Student Spotlight

November 3, 2021

Sarah Hollandsworth

Sarah Hollandsworth, a student in our Physical Education Teacher Education (PETE) program, has been named the James E. Ward award winner at this year's Tennessee Association of Health, Physical Education, Recreation, and Dance (TAHPERD) state conference.

Sarah plans to pursue a PETE master's degree after graduation and will have a successful career as a Physical Education teacher!

The James E. Ward Future Professional Honor Award was established to recognize an outstanding Tennessee college or university student majoring in health, physical education, recreation, dance and/or related areas. 

PETE instructor awarded supervisor of the month

November 1, 2021

Becky BoczBecky Bocz in PETE class drumming

Physical Education Teacher Education (PETE) instructor, Becky Bocz, was chosen as October's Supervisor of the Month by her students. She supervises and evaluates student-teacher residencies for the PETE program.

"She is very helpful and understanding of the process of student teaching and what is needed. She is always open to talk or just to listen to her students vent over whatever, even if it's not about school. She is great and I could not do this without her." - Student nomination testimonial

Alumni Spotlight

October 27, 2021

Andy Martin2021 TAHPERD Award - Andy Martin

Physical Education Teacher Education alumnus Andy Martin received the 2021 recipient Connie Hall Givens Coordinated School Health Award at this year's Tennessee Association of Health, Physical Education, Recreation, and Dance (TAHPERD) Convention. Andy is the School Health Supervisor for the Germantown Municipal School District's Coordinated School Health program.

Research assistant professor helps boost low vaccination rates in underserved communities

October 22, 2021

Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare (MLH) received a $1 million grant from the US Department of Health and Human Services to raise COVID-19 education and vaccine access. The grant will assist in boosting low vaccination rates in underserved communities in Memphis and the Mid-South.

MLH will be partnering with organizations such as the Center for Transforming Communities (CTC). Research Assistant Professor Dr. Fedoria Rugless is a CTC Just Health Champion. As a Just Health Champion, Dr. Rugless assists in building out the technical, economic, systemic and cultural capacities for residents and institutions to collectively drive health access and equitable development and policy across the City of Memphis.  

“This grant and this opportunity truly gives us an opportunity to impact and make sure we keep our numbers down and prevalence among our community,” says Rugless. “We have community workers and we’ll be able to sit down one on one with the residents if they have questions and concerns and connect them directly to resources.”

As an extension of the Healthy Memphis Initiative, Dr. Rugless partnered with the CTC to lead in the formation of the Just Health Wing of the Just C.H.A.N.G.E. Alliance, an organizing system that centers around the social determinants of health as a series of workgroup foci to build a power of place in the historically black and BIPOC communities CTC serves.

Just Health focuses on the mental and physical health of individuals and collective health of communities. Under mental health this can include but is not limited to stress, trauma, oppression, wellness, addictions and violence. Under physical health this can include, but is not limited to stress, nutrition, diet, exercise, blood pressure and yoga. Under community health this includes, how communities collectively respond towards creating impact projects that address their specific priorities.

College hosts meal packaging event

October 21, 2021

Rise Against Hunger Meal Packaging Event

Today, 92 volunteers packed 14,236 meals during our annual Rise Against Hunger meal packaging event. We also raised $5,458.00 from donations and proceeds from our Healthy Teaching Kitchen. Rise Against Hunger is growing a global movement to end hunger by empowering communities, nourishing lives and responding to emergencies.

We'd like to thank all of our volunteers and those who donated for helping us reach our goal!

Clinical assistant professor moderates "Combating the HIV Epidemic in Memphis" forum

October 19, 2021

Shemeka Hamlin-Palmer

Dr. Shemeka Hamlin-Palmer, clinical assistant professor and Hooks Academic Research Fellow, moderated an online discussion from the Benjamin L. Hooks Institute for Social Change titled “Combating the HIV Epidemic in Memphis.” As part of their newly created “Focus on Memphis” series, panelists discuss HIV stigma and discrimination in the African American community, living with HIV and ways to reduce the risk of getting HIV and/or other STIs.


Nutrition clinical assistant professor featured in UofM Magazine

October 17, 2021

Sara Foley

Clinical assistant professor Sara Foley was featured in the Fall 2021 edition of the University of Memphis Magazine.

"When I started, a colleague and I had a dream to include hands-on learning where we, as registered dietitians, had a platform to provide nutrition education. With the support of our dean, Dr. Richard Bloomer, that dream became a reality with the purchase of a little mobile teaching cart. With the creation of the Tiger Foods Lab, we are able to provide so much more beyond what our mini-kitchen on wheels can provide, making the possibilities beyond exciting."


Student Spotlight

October 14, 2021

This week's student feature video, Smart Snacking, was submitted by Dietetics student, Melissa Cano. Follow along and discover some healthy alternatives for your next snack attack.

Student Spotlight

October 5, 2021

Dietetics student Andres Duñeas' video was chosen as the feature video of the week in his Culinary Nutrition course (NUTR 2303).
Follow along as he demonstrates how to make delicious Taco de Pollo a la Poblana. 

A Memphis Story: Teaching a Community to Swim

September 28, 2021

Drowning incidents are tragic, alarming and mostly preventable. The Centers for Disease Control and prevention (CDC) reports there are about eleven deaths due to drowning per day. Significant racial and ethnic disparities with drowning have been observed with national data showing that minority youth, specifically African American children aged 5-19 years, drown at sometimes 5.5 times the rate that white children drown.

So, how do communities circumvent this deadly trend? One solution Dr. Carol Irwin found through her research is to create and support free or low-cost swimming programs for under-resourced children. The Memphis area has owned and endorsed a unique “learn to swim” program, Splash Mid-South, since 2009. This program has taught over 7,000 children within the area AND has supported hundreds of these new swimmers to swim competitively.

During this virtual Healthy Conversations event, Dr. Irwin and guests discuss the research, findings and future of the program, including the role of the new Mike Rose Aquatics Center scheduled to open in 2022.

Can healthy people who eat right and exercise skip the COVID-19 vaccine?

September 28, 2021

Several thousand protestors opposed to the COVID-19 vaccine march through the streets of midtown Manhattan in New York on Sept. 18, 2021. Andrew Lichtenstein/Corbis News via Getty Images

Andrew Lichtenstein/Corbis News via Getty Images

By Richard Bloomer
Featured on The Conversation and Popular Science

"I'm a fitness enthusiast. I also adhere to a nutrient-dense, 'clean' eating program, which means I minimize my sugar intake and eat a lot of whole foods for the purpose of optimizing my health.

You might wonder how effective such a diet and exercise plan would be in the fight against COVID-19, since some have suggested – without supporting evidence – that vaccination may be unnecessary if a detailed wellness lifestyle is closely followed.

As a research scientist who has studied nutrition for close to 20 years, I have watched the wellness community’s response to the COVID-19 vaccines with great interest. While eating right can favorably impact the immune system, it is not reasonable to expect that nutrition alone will defend against a potentially life-threatening virus."


Alumni Spotlight

September 21, 2021

Keith Loupe

Physical Education Teacher Education (PETE) alumnus Keith Loupe was recognized as the August Teacher of the Month at University Middle School where he teaches sixth-eighth grade Health & Physical Education. Keith earned his undergraduate degree from the College of Health Sciences and will earn a Master of Arts in Teaching degree in December. He's majoring in Instructional and Curriculum Leadership with a concentration in K-12 Physical Education Teacher Education.

"His energy is contagious, and we're blessed to have him as a part of our family! Keith exemplifies the "E" in excellence in our U MIDDLE PRIDE matrix by always leading by example, having a positive attitude and encouraging others." - Excerpt from University Middle School newsletter.

Read more about Keith in his Alumni Spotlight.


Healthcare Leadership celebrates first MAAP graduate

August 25, 2021

Tanya Myers

Healthcare Leadership's Tanya Myers just became the first graduate from UofM Global's MLH Associate Advancement Program (MAAP).

"Earning a college degree through MAAP will forever have a lasting impact on my life; it opens up more opportunities, improves discipline and helps to develop strong character. I now have a foundation that I can build upon and, more importantly, the tools necessary to begin my journey into the Healthcare Leadership field," said Myers.

MAAP, a collaboration between the University of Memphis and Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare (MLH), offers a series of tuition-free certificates and four-year degrees to help staff advance their careers. While this program is open to all employees, the focus is on entry-level associates, which make up about 25 percent of employees. This opportunity opens up new career paths that may have once felt unreachable.

“At the end of the day our goal is to help our associates create greater economic security for themselves and their families so more Memphians can truly escape the cycle of poverty,” said Michael Ugwueke, MLH President and CEO.

Associate professor awarded University Research Professorship

August 20, 2021

Dr. Brandt Pence in lab

Associate Professor Dr. Brandt Pence has been awarded a University Research Professorship, based on the recommendations of Dean Richard Bloomer and the Vice President for Research and Innovation, Jasbir Dhaliwal. His significant efforts have made a great impact on the University of Memphis.

This honorary achievement rewards his outstanding contributions to the University's educational, research, outreach and service missions. The Professorship is a three-year appointment and he will receive professional funds to support his research.

Associate professor featured on nutrition podcast

August 9, 2021

Dr. Marie van der Merwe

Associate professor Dr. Marie van der Merwe was recently featured on an episode of the Rebel Nutritionist podcast - "Gut Health Isn’t Sexy, But May Be the Answer You’re Looking For."

Do you think only stomach pains indicate you have something wrong with your GI system?  Did you know that most of your immune system is in your intestines?  Did you know that you could be completely asymptomatic and have something very wrong with your body?

Your weight is very closely connected to the “bugs” in your gut and that if you are having a hard time losing weight it could be the result of an imbalanced GI system. If you didn’t know about the link between your immune system and gut health, you are not alone.  And if you think that you have to have a tummy ache in order to actually have something wrong with your health, then this podcast is for you.

Summer commencement ceremony celebrates UofM graduates

August 7, 2021

Congratulations to the UofM College of Health Sciences summer graduates! 🎓

"Wherever you go, go with all your heart.” - Confucius


Human Performance Center director featured in SportTechie

August 5, 2021

Daniel GreenwoodHe’s a Writer, He’s a Track Star: Testing Vicon Blue Trident IMU Sensors in the 200-Meter Dash

Dr. Daniel Greenwood was featured as an expert sport scientist by SportTechie in "He’s a Writer, He’s a Track Star: Testing Vicon Blue Trident IMU Sensors in the 200-Meter Dash" by journalist Joe Lemire. Vicon-owned IMeasureU had journalists try its Blue Trident inertial sensors for a summer of training, culminating in a 200-meter run in honor of the Olympics. Lemire consulted with Dr. Greenwood to review his IMeasureU data from his trial.

“There's almost this threshold on a previously injured limb that athletes aren’t willing to go above,” says Daniel Greenwood, director of the Human Performance Center at the University of Memphis. “It’s like the body's almost got this inbuilt sort of safety mechanism. Your body is intuitively keeping it safe, without you realizing it.”

Within our Human Performance Center, Dr. Greenwood manages a team of scientists across multiple disciplines to deliver applied performance projects solving injury and performance problems for coaching, training, development and medical staff. Dr. Greenwood's experience with highly successful Olympic-level and World Champion athletes, his background in biomechanics, and experience in major sports science labs enables him to have a deep understanding of the collection of data within sports contexts including the adoption and application of relevant technologies, the management of multi-season data sets, and integration of multiple data sources. 


ESMS assistant professor awarded grant from Tekscan

August 4, 2021

Douglas PowellTekscan pressure mapping

Exercise, Sport & Movement Sciences assistant professor Dr. Douglas Powell received a grant from Tekscan for his project, "Detection of Key Gait Events in Individuals with Parkinson's Disease (PD) using a Plantar Pressure Mat." In this study, he will use a Tekscan Strideway Plantar Pressure Mapping system to develop an algorithm to determine key gait events (including heel strike and toe off) to identify the key periods of the gait cycle in individuals with Parkinson’s disease.

The outcome of this research is an algorithm that will better identify these key events in the PD population, which has a unique movement pattern due to their symptomology. The overarching benefit of this project to the field of biomechanics and movement disorders will be improved analysis of gait biomechanics in individuals with PD using a portable mat-based plantar pressure system.

ESMS associate professor featured on sports podcast

August 2, 2021

Tokyo Talk: Reducing injury risk in endurance runnersMax Paquette

Exercise, Sport & Movement Sciences associate professor Dr. Max Paquette joins "Experts in Sports" podcast host Martin Foster to discuss one of the biggest issues facing elite endurance runners: injury, which can derail training programs and can prevent runners reaching major championships and achieving success.


Health Sci alumna competes in Olympics

July 30, 2021

Ali Weisz in Olympic rings

College of Health Sciences alumna Alison (Ali) Weisz represented the United States in two events at the Tokyo Olympic Games. Ali finished sixth place in the 10m air rifle mixed team events with a score of 416.8, just three tenths shy of qualifying for the bronze medal match, and 14th place in the women's 10m air rifle. 

"Never have I been happier when a student asked me for makeup exams. Ali was competing in Olympic trials back then when she was a graduate student. Ali had to coach, study, train AND become an Olympian that year. So proud of her," said assistant professor Yufeng Zhang.

Ali earned her master's degree in Clinical Nutrition in 2020 and was a graduate assistant coach for the University of Memphis rifle team.

CHS dean featured on nutrition podcast

July 29, 2021

Dr. Richard Bloomer 

Dean Dr. Richard Bloomer was recently featured on an episode of the Rebel Nutritionist podcast - "Clearing Up The Confusion Around Supplements." They discuss the benefits of using dietary supplements along with a well-balanced diet and active lifestyle, but how supplementation isn’t meant to be a quick-fix. They also discuss the controversies and mixed messaging surrounding supplementation. Dr. Bloomer explains how he helps consumers navigate the many choices and recommends a few brands.

Dr. Bloomer has specific expertise in the use of dietary ingredients for purposes of improving cardio-metabolic health. He has served as a consultant to a variety of nutraceutical and dietary supplement companies and is the director of our Center for Nutraceutical and Dietary Supplement Research.

ESMS graduate student receives internship with the New York Mets

July 27, 2021

Sara Ann Davidson

Sara Ann Davidson, a graduate student in Exercise, Sport & Movement Sciences (ESMS), has been awarded a sport science internship with the New York Mets and will be working with them during the program's 2021-22 season. Sara Ann graduated summa cum laude in 2020 with a bachelor's degree in ESMS from the College of Health Sciences. Additionally, she was a member of the Memphis Tigers Softball team from 2017-21.

"Studying sports science for me combines two things I have always loved, and I am so excited about the opportunity to utilize my education and love for sports in this elite environment," said Davidson.

Sara Ann was recently featured as the Graduate Student Research Spotlight for August 2021 by the Division of Research and Innovation.


College receives approval for two new doctoral programs

July 22, 2021

UofM College of Health Sciences

The Tennessee Higher Education Commission approved two new doctoral programs in the College of Health Sciences. Our Doctorate in Physical Therapy, to be offered at UofM Lambuth in Jackson, Tenn., is tentatively set to begin in fall 2023 or 2024, following approval from the accrediting board (CAPTE).

Our PhD in Applied Physiology and Neuromechanics will include two concentrations - Applied Biomechanics and Applied Physiology & Nutrition. This program will begin in fall 2022. 

These are the first doctoral programs for the College of Health Sciences and will provide an excellent opportunity for students to be trained as future clinicians and scientists. More information will be available in the coming weeks.

PETE student receives Arthur Ashe, Jr. Sports Scholar Award

July 21, 2021

Lanyce Williams

Physical Education Teacher Education (PETE) junior, Lanyce Williams, was recognized as as a 2021 Arthur Ashe, Jr. Sports Scholar.

Diverse: Issues In Higher Education sponsors the Arthur Ashe, Jr. Sport Scholar Awards to honor students of color who have excelled in the classroom as well as on the athletic field. Inspired by tennis legend Arthur Ashe, Jr.'s commitment to education as well as his love for the game of tennis, U.S. colleges and universities are invited to participate in this annual awards program by nominating their outstanding sports scholars. In addition to their athletic ability and academic performance, Arthur Ashe Jr. Sports Scholars demonstrate a commitment to community service and student leadership.

Assistant professor receives grant from the National Science Foundation

July 16, 2021

Yufeng Zhang

Assistant professor Dr. Yufeng Zhang was awarded a $504,545 grant from the National Science Foundation for his project, "Collaborative Research: Understanding the rules of honest signaling." Collaborators include Dr. Geoffrey Hill from Auburn University and Dr. Matthew Toomey from University of Tulsa. $1.4M was awarded for the entire project.

Feather coloration in birds serves as an honest signal of individual condition. This finding is both well documented and quite remarkable. It is far from obvious why the hue of feathers reveals the individual quality or what prevents low-quality birds from cheating this system.

In this project, a team of scientists with expertise spanning animal physiology, cell biology and genomics will use both whole animals, cell culture and isolated subcellular organelles to study the molecular and biochemical mechanisms of coloration. They will examine and compare these processes in House Finches in good or poor condition to deduce the specific mechanisms that promote or inhibit the production and accumulation of red pigments and hence, control plumage coloration.

Understanding the biochemical and cellular rules that govern carotenoid coloration in songbirds is important not just for a better understanding of this central process in nature, but because carotenoid pigments play a key role in cellular homeostasis in humans. They will share these insights and support STEM education through an ornithology summer camp program, curricula development and training workshops for public school teachers, and middle and high school student visits to investigator laboratories.

Research assistant professor speaks on how Memphis ranks near bottom of recreation study

July 13, 2021

WREG Live at 9 - Memphis ranks near bottom of recreation study

The Mid-South typically ranks high on the list of states with populations that struggle with obesity.  A new WalletHub study reveals that Memphis comes in near the bottom of the rankings when researchers look at overall activity.  

Research Assistant Professor and member of Common Table Health Alliance, Dr. Fedoria Rugless, talks about the study and ways we can change that. 

Dr. Rugless also serves as the director of research for Church Health. This dual position was developed from the President's office in collaboration with Church Health leadership, with the vision of developing a nationally recognized collaborative research program between the University of Memphis and Church Health. In this role, Dr. Rugless works as a liaison between University of Memphis investigators and Church Health, with the goal of building a strong collaborative research network that enhances the community-based clinical work being done at Church Health, while providing University faculty with the opportunity to conduct research within a model healthcare organization.

Drowning prevention grant awarded to College

July 12, 2021

CPR trainingDebra WyattBlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee Community Trust

The College of Health Sciences, led by the efforts of instructor/coordinator Debra Wyatt, was awarded $10,000 from BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee Community Trust for the third year in a row. The first year, the award was used to develop a program offering free CPR to the community. The second year, we continued with free CPR courses and added free lifeguard training. This year, we shift our focus back to CPR and have partnered with Shelby County Schools (SCS) to offer free courses for SCS faculty, staff and students.

Clinical Nutrition program receives grant to work with local urban garden

July 6, 2021

Tracy BruenMike and Karen MinnisLandmark GardensLandmark Voluunteers

Photos courtesy of Landmark Training Development Company

Our Clinical Nutrition program, led by Dr. Tracy Bruen, was awarded a $25,000 specialty crop block grant from the Tennessee Department of Agriculture to work with Orange Mound's Landmark Training Development Company on a nutrition education program for at-risk youth and their families. 

Founded by Mike and Karen Minnis, the Landmark Training Development Company is a multi-faceted non-profit organization whose ultimate goal revolves around creating economically sustainable communities for families in the Mid-South area. They operate the Landmark Farmer’s Market, food pantry, the Landmark Gardens, urban outreach center and other advocacy programs. Landmark Training strives to help youth develop job skills, positive social habits and self-sufficient attitudes as they navigate through society.

Nutrition clinical assistant professor recognized as Outstanding Dietitian of the Year

June 23, 2021

Sara Foley holding TAND award

Every year, the Tennessee Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (TAND) recognizes outstanding dietetic students and dietitians. Clinical assistant professor, Sara Foley, was awarded this year's Outstanding Dietitian of the Year for Tennessee.

Outstanding Dietitian of the Year is awarded annually to a member of the Academy who is an active participant in the national, affiliate and district association and has not previously received the award. The recipient must also demonstrate concern for the promotion of optimal health and nutrition status of the population, demonstrate leadership in the association or employment, be a minimum of 35 years old and worked a minimum of 10 years as a registered dietitian nutritionist (RDN).

Clinical assistant professor's abstract accepted as part of APHA 2021

June 16, 2021

Dr. Shemeka Hamlin-Palmer

Healthcare Leadership Clinical Assistant Professor Dr. Shemeka Hamlin-Palmer’s abstract, “HIV/AIDS Epidemic in Gaborone, Botswana: A Faculty-Led Public Health Study Abroad Program,” was accepted as part of American Public Health Association’s (APHA) 2021 Annual Meeting and Expo.

Botswana has the fourth-highest HIV prevalence in the world. The epidemic affects women and young girls the most. HIV stigma and discrimination are widespread issues in Botswana, causing many people to avoid getting tested for HIV or seek health care services.  

Dr. Hamlin-Palmer traveled with 14 junior and senior level students from an HBCU in Jackson, MS to Gaborone, Botswana for 15 days to study the HIV/AIDS epidemic. Students received several lectures from medical personnel describing the history of HIV, the impact, the Botswana National ARV Program, and the Treat All Strategy. Lectures focused on the health care delivery system, the role of traditional medicine in Botswana society and the state of Tuberculosis in the era of the HIV/AIDS epidemic.

The program afforded students with trips to TB Clinics, Baylor Pediatric Center and Teen Club,  Princess Marina Public Hospital/Block 6 Clinic and Bokamoso Private Hospital. Students were able to compare public and private hospitals and visit clinics that provided health care solely to pediatrics and adolescents living with HIV. Lastly, students participated in a community engagement activity with a local non-governmental organization located in Mochudi. 

Students gained a plethora of knowledge on the state of adult, pediatric and adolescent HIV care, treatment, support and mortality in Botswana. When comparing the public and private hospitals, students noticed the disparity in the delivery of health care among the two. Stigma was an issue highlighted as a reason for not accessing care after testing positive for HIV and for not getting tested for HIV.  

When addressing stigma as it relates to HIV/AIDS, more education is needed to help understand the transmission of the virus, and that it should not be labeled as a virus for a particular gender or race. Health care access is a growing need and should be widely available regardless of HIV status or ability to pay.  

Assistant professor's project chosen for new Memphis-Meharry research collaboration

June 10, 2021

Melissa Puppa, PhD

The University of Memphis and Meharry Medical College (MMC), the largest private historically Black academic health science center in the U.S., are launching a new initiative -  the Program to Enhance Collaborative and Interdisciplinary Research (PECIR). The purpose of the Memphis-Meharry Program is to stimulate innovative, interdisciplinary, team-based research that involves investigators from both institutions. 

Six teams, comprised of faculty members from both schools, were selected to receive $50,000 grants for their projects. The award is designed to promote new lines of research and provide seed money to give rise to future external funding. Assistant professor Dr. Melissa Puppa's project (in collaboration with Dr. Smita Misra from MMC), "Elucidating mechanisms for the sexually dimorphic response to diet induced obesity and metabolic syndrome," was among those chosen.

“This is the start of an exciting longer-term research partnership between our two institutions,” said Dr. Jasbir Dhaliwal, UofM’s EVP of Research and Innovation, in a release. “Science is inherently collaborative, and it is imperative that we pool our research capabilities to tackle the big health and medical challenges facing our communities. It is my belief that these research teams will be successful in attracting significant competitive research support from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) given the focus of the projects.”



Puppa/Misra's project summary:

Obesity and diabetes are growing epidemics not only in developed countries, but also in developing countries. There is some disparity across the sexes with males being more likely to develop diabetes and metabolic syndrome than females even though females are more likely to be classified as obese. While estrogen seems to play a role in this dimorphism the contribution and its effects on metabolically active tissues are not fully understood. Therefore, we proposed to examine the dimorphic response of male and female metabolically active tissues to either a control diet, high fat diet, or high sugar diet. We hypothesize that the innate stress responses of metabolically active tissues will differ between males and females and this will correlate with metabolic dysfunction leading to diabetes and metabolic syndrome.  Understanding the mechanisms behind this sexual dimorphism can aid in the development of sex specific therapeutic interventions to prevent and treat one of the leading contributors of chronic disease. We will use both in vivo and in vitro studies to identify the sex specific metabolic alterations during the development of obesity and metabolic syndrome.

PETE assistant professor recognized by international phys ed association

June 1, 2021

Kelly Simonton

Assistant professor, Dr. Kelly Simonton, was selected as a recipient for the International Association for Physical Education in Higher Education (AIESEP) Young Scholar Award.

The AIESEP Young Scholar Award was established in 2001 by former AIESEP board member Eitan Eldar (Israel). The intent of the award is to recognize early career scholars within the field who demonstrate outstanding scholarly contribution and promise. The award also supports the participation of early career scholars at AIESEP events.

At the 2021 online AIESEP World Congress, he will present his research, “College students previous physical education experiences: Student content beliefs, emotions, and outcomes.” 

“My goals and principles for working in the field of PETE and conducting high quality pedagogical research align seamlessly with the goals of AIESEP. Specially, the attention given to evidence-based methodologies and advocacy for creating strong international bonds amongst researchers and educators," said Simonton.


Instructor awarded grant to help families engage in a healthy, outdoor activity

May 26, 2021

Matt McDaniel

Health Sciences instructor, Matt McDaniel, was awarded a $4000 grant from the Governor’s Early Literacy Foundation for installation of the book "Last Stop on Market Street" for the Governor’s Books from Birth Foundation (GBBF)  Storybook Trail program at Heritage Park walking path in Brownsville, Tenn. GBBF’s Storybook Trail program includes 18 trails in Tennessee at 15 state parks, two city parks and one botanical garden and estate. This will be the first Storybook Trail in Brownsville.

In 2018, Governor’s Early Literacy Foundation launched the Storybook Trail program by partnering with Tennessee State Parks Conservancy, city parks and outdoor areas to provide a children’s storybook, presented on child-height panels, along a short trail to promote adult-child interaction around books and nature. The trails feature reading tips on each page panel to bring the book to life with the surrounding nature. In addition to promoting literacy and caregiver engagement, the Storybook Trail program encourages families to connect with nature and engage in a healthy, outdoor activity.

ESMS alumnus featured in UofM Magazine

May 20, 2021

Juan Torres

Exercise, Sport & Movement Sciences alumnus and first-generation college graduate, Juan Torres, was featured in the latest UofM Magazine. Born in León, Mexico, he was 3 when he moved to Memphis with his family. Torres graduated cum laude with the Spring Class of 2021.

“Being first-generation is a very powerful thing,” Torres said. “We carry a heavy weight on our back given that we are committing to something our parents and loved ones weren’t able to do. Don’t be afraid to seek out help. There are plenty of students that have the same questions you might have when stumbling upon something difficult. Reach out for support from your classmates, professors, tutoring services or any of the many great programs on campus.” 

Torres completed an internship with Wright Medical Technology in Memphis and plans to remain in the area for the foreseeable future. He sees himself working as a sales representative for a high-end technology company, like Wright Medical, providing products to hospitals in need.


Associate professor featured in the Spring 2021 UofM Magazine

May 18, 2021

Max Paquette in lab with students

Dr. Max Paquette, associate professor and 2020 Tennessee Science Educator of the Year for Higher Education, was featured in the latest issue of the University of Memphis Magazine.

"Although producing new science and contributing to my area of research is important, I feel much more fulfilled when I know I’m helping students get the most out of their educational experience at the University."


Congratulations to the spring class of 2021!

May 8, 2021

“Go confidently in the direction of your dreams! Live the life you’ve imagined.” – Henry David Thoreau

Alumna receives Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Dietetic Internship Scholarship

May 6, 2021

Video courtesy of CPSDA

From the the Collegiate and Professional Sports Dietitians Association (CPSDA):

Congratulations to the first CPSDA Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Dietetic Internship Scholarship recipient, Adria Butler. A native of Memphis, Tenn., Adria earned a bachelor's degree in exercise science from the University of Dayton, where she also competed as a student-athlete in track & field. She then earned a bachelor's degree in dietetics from the University of Memphis. Adria will begin her Dietetic Internship at Florida State University in the fall of this year. ⁣

Adria’s interest in sports nutrition began during a summer internship at D1 Sports Training and Therapy. She assisted⁣ in the training of athletes of all ages, including professional athletes. She noticed the benefits of the individualized dietary plans developed for their clients, but their plans were not developed by registered dietitians. She then had the opportunity to serve under the registered dietitian at the University of Memphis Campus Recreation Center’s smoothie bar, which piqued her interest in sports nutrition.

Adria wrote “Working at UofM was an invaluable experience, not only because it was my first job in the field of nutrition, but it also allowed me to be mentored by a registered dietitian who was a young, African-American female like myself. I learned a great deal from her, most notably the need for diversity and cultural competency within the field of dietetics to provide the best care to⁣ patients."

With this scholarship, CPSDA seeks to increase diversity within our organization and throughout the profession with a commitment to supporting increased enrollment of BIPOC students in dietetic internships. 

Nutrition professor elected president of MAND

May 4, 2021

Tracy Bruen

Clinical assistant professor and M.S. Clinical Nutrition/DI program director, Dr. Tracy Bruen, was elected president of the Memphis Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (MAND) for the 2021-22 term.

Dr. Bruen is passionate about implementing evidence-based practice in the clinical setting and the promotion of registered dietitians as healthcare leaders. Her research interests include diabetes treatment and prevention as well as critical care nutrition. She has served as a mentor and preceptor for students for over 20 years and desires to continue to make a positive impact on the future of the profession.

Healthcare Leadership professor elected UofM Faculty Senate president

May 2, 2021

Pat Travis, PhD

Clinical associate professor and Healthcare Leadership unit coordinator, Dr. Pat Travis, was elected to serve as president-elect of the University Faculty Senate. He will serve in that capacity until April 2022 and transition to president for the 2022-23 term.

The Faculty Senate consists of 44 senators representing departments, independent units and areas across the University. It serves as a forum for the formulation of faculty opinion, a university-wide voice for faculty views and the primary vehicle for faculty participation in University governance. 

Health Sciences professor selected for MBJ's 40 Under 40

April 28, 2021

Dr. Fedoria Rugless

Research assistant professor, Dr. Fedoria Rugless, was selected as one of Memphis Business Journal’s Top 40 Under 40 honorees. For 25 years, the Memphis Business Journal has recognized the best and brightest young professionals in the Mid-South who are making a difference in their professions and in the community.

"Memphis has given me the opportunity to operate and explore vast areas consistent with my passions. It has also created opportunities to meet, network and collaborate with many within the city and community to enhance this area and promote change, growth and development. It has also provided me with additional skills in leadership, being a neutral convener and liaison between various community partners and organizations," says Rugless.

Dr. Rugless also serves as the director of research for Church Health. This dual position was developed by the President's office in collaboration with Church Health leadership, with the vision of developing a nationally recognized collaborative research program between the University and Church Health with the goal of building a strong collaborative research network that enhances the community-based clinical work being done at Church Health, while providing University faculty with the opportunity to conduct research within a model healthcare organization. This role embodies both of her passions and areas of service in the healthcare and research arenas. Ultimately, she desires to reduce healthcare disparities within underserved populations, and for all to obtain holistic health and wellness.

40 Under 40, Class of 2021 >

College of Health Sciences students honored by the Office of the President

April 22, 2021

President's Leadership Awards and Honors Assembly

Student Leadership & Involvement in conjunction with Student Academic Success, the Commencement Office and the Office of the President hosted the President's Leadership Awards and Honors Assembly. This reception honored the University of Memphis' finest and brightest student academic achievements, student leaders and organizations for their dedication to the University. 

Inducted into the 2021 Carson's Circle - MaKayla Carr

MaKayla Carr

2021 Honorees:

2021 Honorees

  • Outstanding Senior in Health Sciences - Taleecia Rodgers
  • Outstanding Healthcare Leadership Student Award - Alexandra Rathbun
  • Outstanding Senior in Exercise, Sport & Movement Sciences Award - Braam Bisscop
  • Outstanding Dietetic Student Award - Ayden C. Hayes
  • Outstanding Health Promotion Student - Ashley Chism
  • Ralph Hatley Award - Stephen Dowda
  • Biomechanics Achievement Award - Adriana Miltko and Alexis K. Nelson
  • Exercise Physiology Achievement Award - Wangkuk Son
  • Eleanor Mae Ferguson Award - Kimberley Smit
  • Outstanding Contribution to Student Life - Desiree' Dyson
  • The Melvin A. Humphreys Prize for Student Research - Megan R. Ryan (not pictured)

2020 Honorees:

2020 Honorees

  • Outstanding Dietetic Student Award - Ashlyn Redmond
  • Outstanding Senior in Health Sciences - Jose Manuel Sanchez
  • Outstanding Health Promotion Student - Madison Mills
  • Outstanding Healthcare Leadership Student Award - Melissa King (not pictured)

Applying Sport Science podcast premieres

April 22, 2021

Daniel Greenwood, PhDApplying Sport Science Podcast

In this podcast series, Human Performance Center director Dr. Daniel Greenwood chats openly and honestly with coaches, athletes and scientists about their experiences (both good and bad) with sport science and sport scientists, to help developing and aspiring applied scientists understand the industry, their role, and ultimately how to be effective and contribute to athletic performance.

Health Sci student elected Lt. Governor of the 112th General Assembly Internship Program

April 15, 2021

Jada Cooke

Health Sciences senior, Jada Cooke, was elected Lt. Governor of the 112th General Assembly of Tennessee Legislative Internship Program Intern Mock Session. Jada graduates in May and plans to attend graduate school and complete a double major in Occupational Therapy (OT) and Communication. She hopes to become an OT for special needs children or pursue a career in politics.

"For the past four months, I have had the opportunity to participate in the Tennessee Legislative Internship Program with the Tennessee General Assembly. Honestly, I had no idea that this program even existed, until I received an email from the University of Memphis stating that they thought I would be a great fit for the program. Long story short, I was awarded the internship and have learned a lot of valuable information about different events that take place during the legislative process.

Since I have been here, I have worked with Senator Raumesh Akbari and her amazing staff on different bills and resolutions. I have even had the opportunity to write a bill myself concerning the special education programs in public schools. Along with this, I have also had the opportunity to become a writer for the TLIP newsletter. However, once the program was coming to an end, I felt like something was missing.

With this in mind, I decided to run for the 2021 Lieutenant Governor for the Tennessee Legislative Internship Program Intern Mock Session. During this election process, I learned a lot about myself and how to work better with others. I have taken time out of my days to allow others to get to know me as not just an acquaintance, but a future leader. For that, I am eternally grateful.

I would like to thank everyone who believed that a shy young lady, could become an outspoken woman and do amazing things in this position. Also, I would like to personally thank Senator Akbari, Ms. Patton, Mr. Gaye, Mr. Puttbrese, Ms. Frierson, Professor Dawkins, Professor Langston and the entire College of Health Sciences for pushing me every day and believing that I could do it from the very beginning."

Clinical assistant professor selected as Academic Research Fellow at the Hooks Institute

April 13, 2021

Shameka Hamlin-Palmer

Clinical assistant professor, Dr. Shemeka Hamlin-Palmer, has been selected as an Academic Research Fellow at the Benjamin L. Hooks Institute for Social Change at the University of Memphis. The Hooks Institute is a premier center for scholars working on race and social justice scholarship. The Academic Research Fellows Program fulfills the Hooks Institute’s mission of teaching, studying, and promoting civil rights and social change.

Dr. Hamlin-Palmer's development has been grounded in theories and methods found in the field of social and behavioral science. In addition to teaching, she has dedicated the past 15 years to working, partnering and collaborating with CBOs, health care organizations and other academic institutions to reduce the impact of health disparities, including HIV/AIDS, substance abuse, mental health, cardiovascular disease, obesity and cancer in minority populations throughout the United States.


College of Health Sciences hosts final Healthy Conversations event of the season

April 6, 2021

Healthy Gut, Healthy life

The microbiome is made up of many trillions of bacteria living in and on your body. Everyone has a unique microbiome - your geography, health status, stress level, age, gender and diet can affect the composition of your microbiome and the types of bacteria found in your body. Our diets have a large impact on the types and abundance of bacteria found in the gut. By changing the foods you eat, you can influence your microbiome’s balance.

This panel discussion included a nutrition scientist, clinical dietitian and gastroenterologist covering recent research on the gut microbiome and its role in human health. Learn clinical perspectives and recommendations for improving gut health. When your microbiome is balanced, your entire body benefits.

Presented by:

  • Marie van der Merwe, PhD - Associate Professor / Nutrition Scientist, University of Memphis
  • Anna Tuttle, MS, RD, LDN - Clinical Dietitian, UT Health Science Center / Le Bonheur Children's Hospital 
  • Mark Corkins, MD - Gastroenterologist, UT Health Science Center / Le Bonheur Children's Hospital

PETE Alumnus recognized by the Tennessee Department of Education

March 16, 2021

Andy Martin holding award

Physical Education Teacher Education alumnus, Andy Martin, was selected as the Coordinated School Health Coordinator of the Year by the Tennessee Department of Education. He was selected for his work at Germantown Municipal School District and for leading the charge to keep students engaged during the COVID-19 pandemic. Some initiatives he implemented:

  • Virtual Run Challenge for Breast Cancer Awareness
  • Virtual Run for Walk Across TN
  • No Smoke November Anti-Tobacco Campaign
  • Toys for Tots drive
  • The Fitness Warehouse (staff exercise challenge for January)
  • The Biggest Loser (staff weight loss challenge from Jan-March)
  • Learning Labels nutrition experience (teach students to read nutrition labels)
  • Germantown Gets Cooking Challenge (student and staff cooking challenge)
  • Hydrate for Health (student and staff water intake challenge)
  • Staff Yoga Sessions taught by licensed instructor

PETE student receives honors from Tennessee Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation, and Dance (TAHPERD)

March 10, 2021

Stephen Dowda standing on trackStephen Dowda

Physical Education Teacher Education (PETE) senior, Stephen Dowda, received the James E. Ward Student Honor Award for the University of Memphis and was selected as the overall TAHPERD 2020 James E. Ward Future Professional Award winner for Tennessee. Stephen is the first overall winner from the University of Memphis PETE program within the last 10 years. He graduates this semester and looks forward to a successful career as a Physical Education teacher. 

James E. Ward Future Professional Honor Award was established to recognize an outstanding Tennessee college or university student majoring in health, physical education, recreation, dance and/or related areas. 

College faculty honored as Principal Investigators

February 26, 2021

Kelly SimontonFY20 Principal Investigators

The University of Memphis Division of Research & Innovation recently held its annual Research Celebration to highlight research achievements, honor first-time Principal Investigators (PI) and new PI Millionaires, and to recognize fiscal year 2020 PIs, faculty authors and editors.

Kelly Simonton was honored this year as a first-time PI. Other FY20 honored faculty were Richard Bloomer (PI Millionaire), Daniel Greenwood, Brandt Pence, Douglas Powell and Marie van der Merwe.

The honor of PI signifies the attainment of a position of research leadership on an externally supported sponsored project, with PI Millionaires obtaining $1 million or more. 

College partners with Movendo Technology to predict, evaluate and treat sports injuries in student-athletes

February 21, 2021

Photo by Movendo Technology

The College of Health Sciences has partnered with Movendo Technology to integrate Movendo’s robotic system hunova© into the screening and physical rehabilitation of their student athletes for knee related deficits, concussions and overall performance.

The hunova© is a programmable robotic medical device consisting of two independent electromechanical movable platforms, one at foot level and one at seat level. The device, which can deliver more than 200 evaluations and exercises for postural control, stretching, muscle strengthening, balance, core stability and proprioception, operates in active, passive and assistive modes.

“Objective evaluations and individualized training are key for preventing injuries, optimizing performance and better return-to-play decisions,” explains assistant professor, Dr. Douglas Powell. “We are planning to evaluate and train student-athletes from almost all sports teams for both baseline and throughout the season with the hunova©. The Memphis Tigers will certainly profit from this new technology.”


ESMS associate professor selected to coach 2021 USATF team

February 16, 2021
Dr. Max Paquette

Associate professor, Dr. Max Paquette, was selected for the men’s distance team coach position for the United States of America Track & Field (USATF) association at the 2021 North American, Central American and Caribbean (NACAC) Under 23 champs in St. George, Grenada.

He will serve as an assistant coach to cover men’s distance (800m, 1500m, 3000m steeplechase, 5000m, 10000m, 10000m/20000m race walk), ensure Team USA's training plans prescribed by their personal coaches are executed, help athletes in any way needed during the competition, and collaborate with medical support staff, personal coaches and other Team USA staff ensuring a safe and successful competition for the athletes.

The NACAC athletics association hosts an under 23 years (U23) and a senior (any age - professionals) championship competition that both occur every two years in countries that make up NACAC. 

PETE assistant professor receives top honors

February 13, 2021

Dr. Kelly Simonton 

Physical Education Teacher Education (PETE) assistant professor, Dr. Kelly Simonton, was selected as the SHAPE America Southern District's Taylor Dodson Award winner. This award recognizes an outstanding young professional under 40 years of age who is a contributor within the health, physical education, sport and leisure, and dance fields or to the profession through allied fields. They must also be of high moral character whose contributions have most fully expressed the spirit of service which the award represents.

Dr. Simonton's work has had a profound impact on students as he prepares them with best teaching practices which amplify the status of the PETE field in schools and communities. He believes that professional expectations and service must involve continuous engagement in best practices, learning and helping those in the field to optimize the Physical Education programs being offered to students. Dr. Simonton's beliefs, commitment and work in Physical Education represent the spirit of service as represented by the Taylor Dodson Young Professional Award.

Dr. Simonton has been with the UofM College of Health Sciences for two years and spent the previous five years as a doctoral student and PETE instructor at Louisiana State University. His research focus revolves around achievement motivation in physical education and physical activity, specifically as it relates to student and teacher emotions and their motivational effects. His primary interests involve understanding the influence of emotion and motivation as well as the essential antecedents and outcomes of emotions in these settings. Subsequently, his research includes exploration into understanding teacher effectiveness, student value and behavioral outcomes.

Other interests include secondary physical education curriculum development and physical education teacher education training. His work has been published in peer-reviewed journals such as the Journal of Teaching in Physical Education, Psychology of Sport and Exercise, Quest and Physical Education and Sport Pedagogy. He has been the lead or co-author of 23 presentations at SHAPE America state and national conventions and has presented at several other state, national and international conferences including International Association for Physical Education for Higher Education (AIESEP) and North American Society for the Psychology of Sport and Physical Activity (NASPSPA).

PETE alumna receives Teacher of the Year award

February 10, 2021

Crystal Williams

UofM Physical Education Teacher Education alumna, Crystal Williams, was selected as the SHAPE America Southern District Elementary School Teacher of the Year. Crystal is a University of Memphis graduate, who received both a bachelor’s degree in Physical Education Teacher Education and master’s degree in Health Sports Science. She has over 10 years of experience in health and fitness which includes teaching at the college level, pre-K-8 physical education and sport coaching.

Currently, she is an elementary physical education teacher at Bailey Station Elementary - Collierville, SHAPE ELIT member, Tennessee Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation, and Dance (TAHPERD) VP-elect and TAHPERD technology chair. In past years, she was a lead physical education teacher for her school district and a Cooperating Teacher for the University of Memphis.

ESMS instructor featured on "The Strength Game" podcast

February 6, 2021

Alex Carnall

Exercise, Sport & Movement Sciences instructor and Human Performance Center sport scientist, Alex Carnall, was a guest on episode 16 of The Strength Game podcast. He discusses bridging academic research with applied coaching, the importance of possessing an athletic background, integrating sport science based on sport coach-driven questions and more.

As an athlete, Alex played collegiate baseball and has medaled and competed at both the state and national levels in weightlifting. Alex is a certified strength and conditioning specialist through the National Strength and Conditioning Association, and a member of both the American College of Sports Medicine and the American Society of Biomechanics. 


Faculty Spotlight

February 4, 2021

Cheri Kilmurray

Health Sciences instructor, Cheri Kilmurray, was invited to give a poster presentation at the Society for Research on Nicotine and Tobacco annual conference in February for her poster, "Perceptions of cigarette pictorial health warning labels among adults in Jordan." Dr. Kenneth Ward from the UofM School of Public Health (SPH) was lead for the project and also an author on the poster. Kilmurray is currently pursuing her doctorate degree in the UofM SPH.

This study looked at the effects of 24 pictorial cigarette health warning labels (PHWLs) and its effects on adults in Jordan. They developed and tested 24 PHWLs focusing on four risk themes (general health, female-specific, male-specific and child secondhand exposure). Smokers and non-smokers rated how images affected their motivation to quit or not start smoking, respectively. Attention, knowledge and fear also were rated. Cessation and prevention motivation ratings were uniformly high across the four risk themes. Sex differences were observed in responses to PHWLs that featured male-specific health risks suggesting that it is advantageous to target images of male-specific tobacco related diseases to men. These results indicate that this set of PHWLs may be useful for smoking prevention/cessation efforts among adults in Jordan. 

Graduate Student Spotlight

February 3, 2021

Richard Beltran

Exercise, Sport & Movement Sciences graduate student and Musculoskeletal Analysis Laboratory graduate assistant, Richard Beltran, landed a Performance Science internship with the Major League Baseball team, Tamp Bay Rays, beginning this summer. He will have the opportunity to integrate sports science, athletic training, strength and conditioning, and nutrition aimed at improving the performance and well-being of players across the entire Rays organization. Richard earned his undergraduate degree in exercise science from the University of Puget Sound in Tacoma, Wash. and will earn his Master of Science from the College of Health Sciences this spring.

From Student to Professional - Becoming a Sport Scientist

January 26, 2021

Research assistant professor and Human Performance Center director, Dr. Daniel Greenwood, was the presenter for our first spring 2021 Healthy Conversations event. This virtual presentation shared his decades of applied sport experience and introduces the newly released ‘Professional Education Certification in Sport Science’ which seeks to help participants with the applied and practical skills, understanding and training to adapt their education knowledge to real-life sport settings.

Sport science is gaining momentum in high performance settings with coaches, athletes, trainers and management both asking more questions and hiring more staff to work alongside them. More and more often, individuals, groups and teams seek data driven information based on scientific principles to better guide athletic development and performance optimization.

While thousands of students graduate annually from universities with the knowledge to contribute in these areas, it is the ability to apply that knowledge and maneuver through the sporting landscape which dictates those with successful applied careers.

Nutrition and Dietetics faculty and students lead virtual culinary nutrition classes

December 19, 2020

Bridge Builders Culinary ClassBridge Builders Culinary Class

Clinical associate professor Mary Catherine Schallert with Clinical Nutrition and Dietetics students lead culinary nutrition classes for members of the Bridge Builders program. The curriculum is developed by Angelika Briones and Sara-Grace Long for their senior project. The above Zoom photos are from the second of the six-class series featuring Maggie Herin (Clinical Nutrition graduate student and CHS Dietetics alumna '19), Ayden Hayes (Dietetics senior), Christian Hill (Dietetics junior) and Sarah Guthrie (Dietetics senior). Other participants include Caroline Duncan, Karen Navarro and Katherine Waits.

Bridge Builders programs (part of Bridges USA) transform young people in countless ways, and the result is a growing community of young leaders poised to reach across, lead the way and build our community. The virtual culinary nutrition classes are made up of students from grades 7 through 12.

CHS student, alumna and faculty recognized by MAND

December 11, 2020

Maggie HerinLaura CantrellSara Foley

Every year, the Memphis Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (MAND) recognizes outstanding dietetic students and dietitians. We'd like to recognize this year's recipients from the College of Health Sciences.

Outstanding Dietetics Student of the Year: Maggie Herin ’21 - graduate student in our Clinical Nutrition Master's and Dietetic Internship program 
Demonstrates academic achievement as documented by letters from program faculty or preceptors, and demonstrate leadership and professional potential.

Recognized Young Dietitian of the Year: Laura Cantrell, CHS Alumna ’18 – Master of Science in Nutrition
Demonstrates concern for the promotion of optimal health and nutritional status of the population. Demonstrates leadership, e.g., legislation, research, education, clinical dietetics, food service management, public relations, career guidance, etc., in the association or employment.

Outstanding Dietitian of the Year: Sara Foley, MS, RDN, LDN, FAND; CHS Clinical Assistant Professor
Demonstrates concern for the promotion of optimal health and nutrition status of the population, and demonstrate leadership in the association or employment, minimum of 35 years old AND has worked a minimum of 10 years as RDN.

College faculty awarded CoRS grant

December 2, 2020

Brandt PenceCOrS Co-PIs

College of Health Sciences faculty were awarded one of 18 Community of Research Scholars (CoRS) grants from the University of Memphis Division of Research and Innovation. Dr. Brandt Pence is Principal Investigator for the grant that will support the creation of a regional interest group: "Metabolism, Immunity, and Inflammation Mid-South" (MIIMS). College of Health Sciences co-investigators include Dr. Melissa Puppa, Dr. Marie van der Merwe and Dr. Yufeng Zhang. The group will hold a regular academic conference for investigators with broad interests in this research area. The interest group is intended to facilitate research collaborations between investigators in the Mid-South region. The group will be co-directed by Dr. Liza Makowski from UTHSC.

The CoRS Program is designed to cultivate interdisciplinary discourse and nurture the growth of research affinity groups across campus. Each 'community' includes faculty representing multiple disciplinary perspectives and research approaches with shared interests in exploring a common research theme.

College faculty awarded CoRS grant

December 1, 2020

Fedoria RuglessCOrS grant Co-PIs

College of Health Sciences faculty were awarded one of 18 Community of Research Scholars (CoRS) grants from the University of Memphis Division of Research and Innovation. Dr. Fedoria Rugless is Principal Investigator (PI) on the project “Capacity Building for Broader Impacts” along with Dr. Barbara McClanahan, Dr. Jebose Okwumabua and Dr. Shelly Stockton as Co-PIs and part of the research team as faculty experts.

This project seeks to engage our faculty in capacity building for broader impacts via grantsmanship workshops to foster their knowledge base and skills in community-based research.  This will be a pilot study that will start with training faculty in the College of Health Studies. It will be a series of workshops that will focus on building individual capacity for broader impacts with an emphasis on community competence and relationships, on building partnerships for broader impacts, connecting for meaningful research and community outcomes, communicating broader impacts and research dissemination. 

The CoRS Program is designed to cultivate interdisciplinary discourse and nurture the growth of research affinity groups across campus. Each 'community' includes faculty representing multiple disciplinary perspectives and research approaches with shared interests in exploring a common research theme.

Graduate Student Spotlight

November 19, 2020

Jenny Gee

Jennifer Gee will be receiving her Master of Science in Health Studies with a concentration in Health Promotion.⁣ She was a graduate assistant with our Health Promotion unit and led the UofM Step It Up walking program. She has already landed a job at FedEx as a health fitness professional through HealthFitness. In her position, she will be teaching group fitness classes, personal training, and planning and implementing health and wellness programs for members.⁣ Jennifer is originally from Houston, Texas and received her Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology with a minor in wellness from the University of Texas at San Antonio.⁣

Faculty Spotlight - "Why runners should end their obsession with weekly mileage"

November 2, 2020

Max Paquette

Runners obsess over weekly mileage. Weekly mileage has long been king when it comes to endurance sport, but new research is suggesting that when you’re planning training, it shouldn’t be the only marker of your workload. Dr. Max Paquette recently published a paper on the topic, urging runners to stop obsessing over their mileage, but to look at it alongside several other factors in their training. He wants it to be one measure of training, not the whole equation. “When you start thinking about it, you realize that distance and minutes run don’t mean the same thing for every person. We’re not saying you should throw out distance entirely, we’re saying that when it comes to monitoring the response to training, relying on mileage only can be misleading.”

Inside the Immune Response - UofM Fall 2020 Magazine

October 18, 2020

Dr. Brandt Pence

The UofM College of Health Sciences was featured in the latest issue of the University of Memphis magazine. “Inside the Immune Response”, featuring assistant professor Dr. Brandt Pence, dives into how the research he is conducting could help identify effective therapies for COVID-19 patients.

UofM Fall 2020 Magazine >

Faculty and student served at the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics House of Delegates

October 16, 2020

Ashley RedmondMary Catherine Schallert

Dietetics senior Ashlyn Redmond was selected as one of 12 Dietetics students nationally to serve as a scribe for the 105th meeting of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics House of Delegates (HOD). In this role, Ashlyn was responsible for capturing key thoughts from delegate discussions in order for them to be reported out to the body at large and used in impacting policy and direction for the Academy.

Clinical associate professor Mary Catherine Schallert was elected to serve as the Tennessee Delegate for the Academy’s House of Delegates. The topic of this session of the House was “How Can the Academy and its Members Accelerate Nutrition and Health Equity”.

As a forum of leadership development, the HOD positions and educates members for leadership opportunities within the Academy. Leadership from the House of Delegates aims to empower the profession by embracing its values, developing a progressive culture and reflecting on the diversity for the future of the organization. The Academy implements strategic planning and changes through policies, actions and composition to embody the vision and voice of its members.

CHS scientists evaluate hydration product

October 15, 2020

Dr. Jackie PenceNuun

Dr. Jackie Pence is lead author on a recent study published in the journal, Nutrients that evaluated the effects of Nuun electrolyte tablets on fluid balance in men and women. The study was conducted in the Center for Nutraceutical and Dietary Supplement Research, within the College of Health Sciences. A follow up study is now planned using the Nuun Instant powder sticks. Dr. Richard Bloomer is the principal investigator and recipient of this research funding, which was provided by Nuun & Company, Inc. 

Clinical assistant professor selected as MIT Catalyst Fellow

October 13, 2020

Dr. Tracy Bruen

Dr. Tracy Bruen, clinical assistant professor and director of our M.S. Clinical Nutrition and Dietetic Internship program, was selected as a 2020 MIT Catalyst Fellowship recipient. She is one of 12 fellows who were selected from three cities across the U.S. Dr. Bruen will be working with the Memphis VA Medical Center and VHA Innovation leaders to help research and find solutions for problems related to disparities in healthcare access, technology, health management improvement and health system resilience in the Memphis area. 

Catalyst Fellows collaborate with one another and with practicing professionals in areas relevant to healthcare to identify and develop new biomedical research projects. Working together and with the guidance of Catalyst faculty and mentors, they identify medical needs that can be met with innovative technologies, build multiprofessional teams to design these new technologies, and launch projects that show strong potential for healthcare impact. This program is designed to expedite solutions into action and sustain them over time. 

Inside the UofM sports science lab: ‘Prehab’ instead of rehab

October 8, 2020

By Danielle Lerner, Daily Memphian - 

“Let’s go, Danielle! Push!” 

As the small crowd urged me on, I ignored the burning in my quads and focused on extending my leg upward, combating the machine’s resistance. The seat belt tightened across my chest as I leaned forward in my seat and gripped the padded handles at my sides, determined to fight through fatigue.

Eight, nine, 10 times — and then it was over, my effort quantified in a line graph on a computer screen. 

I wasn’t expecting to work out in a lab in front of a cheering squad of grad students, but then again, I guess most people wouldn’t know what to expect when being analyzed by sports scientists. Unless you’re a Memphis basketball player. 

College players spend huge chunks of their lives hunting for a competitive edge — how to jump higher, run faster, rehab quicker, eat better. For the Tigers, help is in their own backyard.



CHS associate professor awarded Science Educator of the Year

October 7, 2020

Max Paquette in LabMax Paquette

Dr. Max Paquette was named 2020 Tennessee's Science Educator of the Year for Higher Education. Each year educators across Tennessee are nominated by their peers to be chosen as an outstanding Science Educator. There are four levels of awards recognized by the Tennessee Science Teacher's Association: K-4, 5-8, high school and higher education.

In addition to teaching, Dr. Paquette is the director of the Musculoskeletal Analysis Laboratory and biomechanist within the Human Performance Center. He advises undergraduate internship students, master's students and serves on multiple doctoral dissertation committees. Dr. Paquette actively collaborates with researchers from other institutions within the U.S. and around the world and is a member of the American College of Sports Medicine, American Society for Biomechanics and International Society of Biomechanics.

Alumni Spotlight

October 6, 2020

Matt Butawan

It’s National Physician Assistant Week! We’d like to recognize CHS alumnus, Matt Butawan, who is currently in the Physician Assistant program at Christian Brothers University. Matt earned his Bachelor of Science in Biochemistry and Master of Science in Nutrition Science from the University of Memphis. He also worked as a research associate for our Human Performance Center and Center for Nutraceutical and Dietary Supplement Research and co-authored dozens of research journal articles while pursuing his graduate degree in the College of Health Sciences.

Student Spotlight

October 1, 2020

Lauren Fischer

Congratulations to Lauren Fischer for being awarded the Patsy Jane O’Malley Memorial Scholarship from the Academy of Nutrition Dietetics Foundation. Lauren is in our Clinical Nutrition Master’s and Dietetic Internship program and led our Healthy Teaching Kitchen last year as a graduate assistant. 

She is originally from Johannesburg, South Africa, but has lived in Memphis since 2003. After graduating in December, her goal is to become a registered dietitian. She is drawn to the connection and impact that food has on our overall health and would like to work in an area of dietetics with that concept in mind.

Student Spotlight

September 21, 2020

Martín Del Real

Congratulations to Clinical Nutrition graduate student, Martín Del Real, on being awarded the Commission on Dietetic Registration Diversity Scholarship from the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Foundation.

Martín was born and raised in Panama and moved to United States in 2012. He graduated from California State University Sacramento with a bachelor’s in food and nutrition with an emphasis in dietetics. Martín served on the UofM Human Performance Center's 2019-2020 Tiger Bites Nutrition team. He is currently working towards a Master of Science in Nutrition with a concentration in clinical and completing his dietetic internship in the UofM College of Health Sciences.

Faculty Spotlight

August 29, 2020

Max Paquette

Congratulations to associate professor Dr. Max Paquette on being named an American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) Fellow. ACSM Fellowship is an elite member status to recognize commendable service, to encourage continued service to the College in a leadership role with ongoing dedication, and to recognize distinguished achievement in sports medicine and related disciplines.

CHS research study featured on local news

August 24, 2020

Local 24 News featured College of Health Sciences and our Fortnite research study on their nightly news program. Dean Richard Bloomer is conducting the gaming study and is looking for gamers to play along. Participants will get paid $300 to play the game Fortnite, three separate times in a lab at the University. The study is evaluating whether caffeine or a proprietary herbal supplement will improve the gamer's mental ability and performance.

"A lot of the individuals involved in gaming activities are interested in using supplements because some of these individuals will play for 8, 10 hours, 12 at a time," said Bloomer. "A lot of times I think gaming gets a bad rap. People think if you're playing hours, playing these things, you are wasting your mind away. But we do know there is some value performing certain tasks competitively and very rapidly."

Student Spotlight

August 22, 2020

Brianna JamesBCBSTN

Photo by: Chris Chip Heard

The BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee Foundation has awarded $10,000 scholarships to minority students pursuing degrees in healthcare to help reduce health disparities by improving workforce diversity.  College of Health Sciences exercise, sport & movement sciences major, Brianna James, was named as one of the six recipients.

“In my time as an athlete and a college student, I’ve seen schools with great athletic programs that still have insufficient access to quality physical therapy,” she says. “I want to bring that access to underserved areas because I know how important rehab can be.”


Student Scholarship Winners

August 19, 2020

Teren ParteeShawn Glasscock

Congratulations to Teren Partee and Shawn Glasscock, winners of our $200 book scholarships sponsored in part by the University of Memphis Campus Community Fund. They participated in this summer's College of Health Sciences student success initiative, the Virtual Student Summer Institute, founded by Dr. Niki Bray.

UofM faculty receive Tennessee Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services grant

August 10, 2020

Jebose Okwumabua

College of Health Sciences faculty, Dr. Theresa Okwumabua and Dr. Onyejebose Okwumabua, received $102,000 from the Tennessee Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services to continue implementing the “Substance Use Prevention Among Vulnerable Youth” project. The aim of this work is three-fold: 1) to deter substance use and the associated disciplinary problems among youth participating in a local job training program; 2) to reduce negative separations from the program, due to, for example, violation of the program’s substance use policies; and 3) to foster positive youth development, as measured by successful program completion, positive health and life-enhancing conflict resolution and decision-making skills, substance use risk perceptions and enhanced protective factors.

Summer 2020 Graduates

August 8, 2020

Congratulations to our Summer 2020 graduates! We awarded 113 bachelor's and four master's degrees to the last class graduating under the School of Health Studies name. Our Tigers fought hard and finished strong and we are SO PROUD!

Watch the Summer 2020 University of Memphis online commencement:


Faculty Spotlight

August 6, 2020

Running during the Pandemic - Washington Post

In a survey of around 1,100 people across the United States conducted by researchers at Auburn University and the University of Memphis, 40 percent of respondents said they were running more frequently than they were pre-pandemic, with 27 percent reporting increased distance and 34 percent saying they had upped their minutes running. Exercise, Sport & Movement Sciences associate professor, Dr. Max Paquette, contributed his expertise to Washington Post article, "Running more than ever before? Here are tips for doing it safer and better."

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Brandt Pence co-principal investigator on pilot project

August 5, 2020

cytokine stormBrandt PenceYufend Zhang

Brandt Pence (UofM, Health Sciences) and Ted Cory (UTHSC, College of Pharmacy) are joint principal investigators on a pilot project that will examine how cellular senescence affects inflammatory cytokine storm in COVID-19. Cellular senescence is increased during aging and contributes to chronic inflammation and a host of age-related diseases, and it is speculated that lung cell senescence might exacerbate inflammation and fibrosis during COVID-19. These conditions contribute to the acute respiratory distress syndrome which is characteristic of very severe SARS-CoV-2 infections, and therefore they may be biological mechanisms for the disproportionate incidence of severe and fatal COVID-19 in older adults. Yufeng Zhang (UofM, Health Sciences) will also contribute as a co-investigator on the project, which is funded by the UofM/UTHSC Collaborative Research Network (CORNET) program.

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Alumni Spotlight

July 21, 2020

Andy MartinGrahamwood Elementary Virtual Running Club
Students in the Grahamwood Elementary Virtual Running Club have virtually crossed the United States. When Andrew Martin started his virtual running club, all he wanted to do was find new ways to reach out to his students. Following school closures due to the outbreak of  COVID-19, the former Grahamwood Elementary P.E. teacher was forced to shift toward online learning, something that Martin discovered was not easy. As the weeks went on and the quarantine continued, Martin began to brainstorm ways that he could better connect with his students. He eventually landed on the idea of starting a virtual running club. (excerpt by Matthew Harris from Memphis Parent)


Clinical Nutrition graduate student receives grant for nutrition education program

July 17, 2020

Lauren Fischer

Lauren Fischer, graduate student in our Clinical Nutrition & Dietetic Internship program, received funding from the University of Memphis Green Fee proposal committee for her applied project: College Nutrition Education Program with an Emphasis on Hydroponic Gardening and Food Demonstrations. The Green Fee funding is awarded to those whose project meets the objective of building a more sustainable campus. With this funding, Lauren will host a 4-week nutrition education program focusing on fresh herbs, cooking skills and gardening for college students on campus. 

Human Performance Center looks to reduce knee injuries

July 8, 2020

Memphis Tigers Women's Basketball with HPCMemphis Tigers Women's Basketball with HPCMemphis Tigers Women's Basketball with HPC

Dr. Daniel Greenwood, director of our Human Performance Center, worked with the Memphis Tigers Women's Basketball Team to determine how to better prepare the athletes to help prevent injuries. It was among 20 projects with Memphis Tigers Athletics covering a 15-month period where the Center collaborated with coaches to improve on-field, on-court, on-course and on-track performances.


College of Health Sciences awarded grant for first-generation initiative

June 30, 2020

First-Gen Trailblazer's ClubNiki Bray

The College of Health Sciences student success initiative, the Trailblazer’s Club, was awarded over $2,000 by the University of Memphis Campus Community Fund to support the goals of the program. Founded in 2020 by Dr. Niki Bray, Director of Academic Innovation & Student Success, the Trailblazer’s Club is an organization designed to focus on the success of over 600 first-generation undergraduate students in College of Health Sciences. The Club will use these funds in part for book scholarships awarded to select participants of our Virtual Student Summer Institute.

Drowning prevention grant awarded to College of Health Sciences

June 26, 2020

Lifeguard trainingDebra WyattBlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee Community Trust

The College of Health Sciences, led by the efforts of instructor/coordinator Debra Wyatt, was awarded $10,000 from BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee Community Trust for our drowning prevention program. This award enables the continuation of free AHA BLS certifications and allows for the expansion of the program to provide free lifeguard training and certification, which will also provide students with a marketable skill for employment.

The award will help us address the nationwide shortage of lifeguards, which is fundamental in preventing death due to drownings. To help students with the skills test to enter into the lifeguard class, free swimming classes and workshops will be offered to help develop conditioning and improve swimming abilities.

Faculty Feature

June 20, 2020

 Cadence in Running

For runners, all mileage is not created equal. Pace and conditions are common considerations but Dr. Max Paquette, biomechanist and sports scientist at the University of Memphis College of Health Sciences, suggests that considering cadence might be just as important as those two factors.

Let's Talk: A Discussion on Racial Injustice and How We Can Help Our Students

June 15, 2020

We realize the burden that systemic racism creates for students of color, particularly Black students, and are committed to providing an environment that is both safe and supportive. We are dedicated to providing a quality education for our diverse student population, as we help develop a highly-skilled work force of health care professionals who represent and reflect the diversity of the University and our city.

The College of Health Sciences held an open forum for students, faculty and staff to exchange ideas, provide support and listen. Moving forward, we hope to improve what we do and how we do it, including continuing the conversation every semester.


Staff Spotlight

May 27, 2020

Kathy Walker

Kathy Walker, our assistant director of student services, was selected as the recipient of the University of Memphis Academic Advising Leadership Award. The inaugural Academic Advising Awards Committee reviewed credentials and over 100 nominations from faculty, staff and students to identify her as the winner. This award recognizes an academic advisor working at the UofM for three or more years, who contributes to the growth and development of other academic advisors, and serves in roles across the University that demonstrate leadership in advising.  ​Her favorite quote is from Confucius: “Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life." This shines through in everything she does as she works tirelessly to assist and guide our students. We’re so fortunate to have her on our team!

Faculty Spotlight

May 20, 2020

Mary Catherine Schallert and Family

Mary Catherine Schallert, dietetics and nutrition clinical associate professor, was featured as a guest writer for Wholly Mother. This is a great read for anyone who is currently pregnant, freshly postpartum or just looking for solid nutrition advice in general.


Graduate student awarded 'Women in Sports Tech' summer fellowship

May 19, 2020

WiST Fellows 2020; Image by WiSTAdriana Miltko

Exercise, sport & movement sciences graduate student, Adriana Miltko, was awarded one of 15 summer fellowships from Women in Sports Tech, Inc. (WiST). These fellowships are in the form of $5,000 grants for students to pursue summer projects in sports technology. WiST Fellowships provide exceptional opportunities for female students to participate in summer internships, an integral part of resume building, networking and building career skills that can help propel these women into exciting roles in the sports tech industry. This year’s winning students will gain real-world experience at companies such as iMeasureU, Sports Innovation Lab, Zoomph, Learn to Win and U.S. Ski & Snowboard and their work will span the array of what’s possible in sports technology – from data analytics to sports science to product design and development and more.


Student/Alumni Spotlight

May 18, 2020

Raed AgeeliHannah Peters

Congratulations to two of our own recognized at this year's Tennessee Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (TAND) awards. Dietetics student, Raed Ageeli, was awarded a scholarship and is continuing his education in our clinical nutrition Master of Science/Dietetics Internship (MS/DI) program. Alumna Hannah Peters, M.S., R.D. won Recognized Young Dietitian of the Year for Memphis. Hannah graduated from our clinical nutrition MS/DI program in 2018 and currently works as a clinical registered dietitian at Baptist Memorial Hospital-Desoto.

FLEXING ITS MUSCLE: Softball makes power a priority

May 16, 2020

Softball in the HPC lab

Encompassing biomechanical analysis and skill acquisition science, our Human Performance Center team helps the Memphis Softball team through detailed analysis and movement understanding.

"It (study) was helpful. Even though our coaches see certain things with our swings, we don't get actual data and analytics from our swings like we did with Dr. Greenwood. It was good seeing the 'facts' of our swings. It was good to get a perspective from someone who's not looking at a swing every single day."


Student Spotlight

May 15, 2020

Alexis NelsonHailey Fong

Exercise, sport & movement sciences graduate students Alexis Nelson and Hailey Fong each won a Force and Motion Foundation travel scholarship worth $1,000 for their research accepted at the American College of Sports Medicine conference.

Alexis's research abstract: “The relationship between Parkinsonian rigidity and gait characteristics”

Hailey’s research abstract: “Interaction of bra support and anterior cruciate ligament stress during landing and cutting tasks”

Student Spotlight

May 13, 2020

Adriana MiltkoRichard Beltran

Exercise, sport & movement sciences graduate students Adriana Miltko and Richard Beltran each received American College of Sport Medicine (ACSM) Biomechanics Interest Group Student Research Awards for the scientific merit of their abstracts submitted to the 2020 ACSM meeting.

Adriana’s research abstract titled “Validity of Peak Tibial Acceleration Using Wearable Accelerometers during Running” was sponsored by IMeasureU/VICON.

Richard’s research abstract titled “Effects of minimal, traditional and highly cushioned shoes on lower limb mechanics in rear and non-rearfoot strike runners” was sponsored by Optitrack.

Congratulations to the Class of 2020!

May 9, 2020

Today, we awarded 200 bachelor’s and 10 master’s degrees to the largest graduating class in the history of the College of Health Sciences.

* Our apologies to our Master of Science in Clinical Nutrition graduates’ names missing from the video: Martina Faietti, Calla Ziegler, Montana Grace Bryan

Student Spotlight - 2020 Outstanding Student Award Recipients

May 4, 2020

These students were selected by our faculty as exhibiting strong leadership, character and scholarship, and who play an active role in departmental activities.

Aareon CarterAareon Demarien Carter - Junior, Physical Education Teacher Education
Aareon Carter arrived in Memphis about three years ago from Fort Wayne, Indiana. While obtaining his master’s degree is an educational goal, teaching children about the benefits and enjoyment of physical education is where his passion lies. Aareon has been on the Dean’s List several times during his academic career and has been the recipient of academic awards both in high school and college. Outside of the classroom, he is a mentor for the First Generation Student Success at the University of Memphis and also assists with a neighbor's community service. In his free time, he loves to solve puzzles, read non-fiction books, do yoga, swim, play basketball and listen to music.


Alli AldoushAli Aldosh - Junior, Physical Education Teacher Education
Ali Aldosh was born and raised in Memphis. Ali entered the physical education field because he’s passionate about sports and assisting people, and would love to share his love of sports and physical activity with his future students.  After earning his bachelor's degree, he plans to return to the University of Memphis for his master's degree in physical education teacher education. Ali has earned a spot on the Dean’s List consecutively since his arrival to the UofM. Ali spent his spring semester as a junior doing field experience at Madonna Learning Center, of which he appreciated every minute. Outside of the classroom, Ali gets involved with sports around his family and friends every chance he gets.


Adria CarterAdria Butler - Senior, Dietetics
Adria Butler is a Memphis native and a post-baccalaureate senior majoring in dietetics. She also earned a bachelor’s degree in exercise science from the University of Dayton, where she was a member of their women’s track and field team. Upon graduating from the University of Memphis, Adria will go on to further her education by obtaining a master’s degree and work towards her career goal of becoming a sports dietitian. During her brief academic career at the UofM, Adria has received academic recognition multiple times, including earning a spot on the Dean’s List. Outside of the classroom, she is currently the dietetic assistant for the Memphis Grizzlies and a store athlete for Nike. In her free time, she enjoys running and spending time with her loved ones.


Sara DavidsonSara Ann Davidson - Senior; Exercise, Sport & Movement Sciences
Sara Ann Davidson, from Ripley, Tenn., is a four-year Helen Hardin honors scholar and Dean’s List member. Sara Ann placed first at the Works in Progress Symposium for the College of Health Sciences this past November, by presenting a research project she worked on during a summer research fellowship with Max Paquette, Ph.D. In addition to her academic work, Sara Ann is also a student-athlete that has competed with Memphis Tigers Softball over the last four years. Because of her dedication and commitment to athletics and academics, she was nominated for the Elma Roane Award this spring. Combining her passion for both school and sport, she has decided to continue her education by pursuing a master’s degree in exercise science at the University of Memphis. Through her degree and future career, Sara Ann plans to become a sport scientist and hopes to give back to the game in a way that can help athletes improve their performance through scientific research and technology.


Jacob MullinsJacob Mullins - Graduate Student, Physical Education Teacher Education
Jacob Mullins is from Kingsport, Tenn. and has been working as a teacher for the last 15 years. He has taught a range of grade levels, mostly in the pre-k and primary grades. Jacob also coaches high school football and wrestling and one of his primary roles, which he is passionate about, is developing strength and conditioning programs for his athletes. One of Jacob’s goals is to promote physical literacy to his students and athletes. Upon his graduating this spring, he plans to continue his career in education and coaching, hopefully in a physical education position. Jacob enjoys spending his free time with his family.

Answering Questions with Inertial Sensors: Insights Across a Division 1 Athletics Program

April 30, 2020

Our Human Performance Center director, Dr. Daniel Greenwood, hosted a webinar with iMeasureU about our approach to integrating sports science into college athletics, sharing insights from completed projects with key practical lessons based on experiences of coaches, strength staff, athletic trainers and sports scientists.

Alumni Spotlight - 2020 Outstanding Alumni Award Recipients

April 29, 2020

Erica PerkinsErica Perkins - '07 Bachelor of Science in Health and Human Performance with a concentration in Exercise and Sport Science
Erica completed her Master of Public Health from Benedictine University in 2014 and is also a Certified Health Education Specialist through the National Commission for Health Education Credentialing. As part of her graduate internship, Erica spent time working in a physical rehabilitation center in Haiti where she helped with clinical data management and statistical analysis. Currently, Erica is the Health Promotion Coordinator at Church Health, a non-profit organization in Memphis that provides affordable health services to individuals who are uninsured or underserved in Shelby County.
She manages the worksite wellness program for Church Health staff and serves as the onsite health coach for their 250 employees. Erica’s time at the University of Memphis provided the educational foundation and technical skills that she continues to utilize regularly in her career. A lifelong Memphian (except for a few years spent moving around as a Marine Corps spouse), she enjoys running in the woods, fancy cheeses, Memphis Football (Go Tigers!) and spending time with her husband and two children.


Andrew MartinAndrew Martin - '13 Bachelor of Science in Health and Physical Education
During his time at the University of Memphis, Andrew received the Ralph Hatley Sr. Award for Most Outstanding Physical Education Student. After graduating, Andrew accepted the Physical Education position at Grahamwood Elementary School and has been working there ever since. Andrew Martin has worked diligently to create a unique and student centric approach to education at Grahamwood by creating a variety of activities and programs for the students to participate in. The programs are: AMPED morning exercise groups, basketball team,  cross country teams for 3rd-5th grades, Fuel Up to Play 60 club, run club that has 130 participants, roller skating club, parkour and yoga club.
The work that Andrew has contributed over the years has resulted in awards and recognitions to showcase his dedication and commitment to the field of Physical Education. Andrew Martin was named Shelby County Schools PE Teacher of the Year (2016, 2017, 2019), Memphis Parent Magazine Outstanding Teacher of the Month (October 2019), Let’s Move Active Schools National Award (2015-2018), Alliance for Healthier Generation Bronze Award (2019-2020), WREG TV Educator of the Week (April 2019), Marathon Kids National Ambassador (2016-Present) Mayoral Proclamation from Shelby County Mayor Lee Harris (March 2020), and grants from American Heart Association, Fuel up to Play 60, Action for Healthy Kids, Presidential Youth Fitness Program, Target Corporation and Coordinated School Health Commit to Fit Grant winner (2019). Andrew Martin just finished his master’s degree from Arkansas State University in educational leadership and has goals to take on leadership roles in the field of health and physical education. Andrew was recently named as the Lifetime Wellness Chair for the TAHPERD board.


Brooks GautBrooks Gaut - '19 Master of Science in Health Promotion
Prior to her time in Memphis, Brooks received her bachelor’s degree from East Tennessee State University in human services with a concentration in health studies and child development. Brooks currently works at Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital as a Certified Child Life Specialist (CCLS) in the emergency department where she provides psychosocial support to children and their families to promote coping and normalization of the hospital environment. Prior to beginning her career as a CCLS, Brooks worked at Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt in their Trauma Injury Prevention Department which sparked her passion for providing safety education to children and their families. She also holds certifications as a Child Passenger Safety Technician and Certified Infant Massage Instructor.
Throughout her master’s program, Brooks focused many of her projects on proper car seat safety and investigated barriers to proper usage amongst lower SES populations. In reference to her time at the University of Memphis, Brooks stated, “I was continuously blown away at how genuinely invested the professors were at seeing me succeed. They encouraged me to apply the theories and concepts from each course to my personal interests and passions which really helped the material I was learning make sense!" Brooks hopes to continue to grow her experience in community health by educating vulnerable populations on how to prevent injuries amongst the pediatric population.

Sports science at UofM takes a swing at boosting men's golf program

April 18, 2020

Memphis Men's Golf

Our Memphis Men's Golf team uses a scientific approach to up their game, one of the collaborative efforts between Memphis Tigers Athletics and our Human Performance Center.⁣ Director Dr. Daniel Greenwood was an integral part of the team's success, lending expertise as beneficial as a perfectly struck approach to a well-bunkered green.


Student Spotlight

April 15, 2020

Some of our students were recognized at the President's Leadership Awards this week. Congratulations to Eunicea Clark (health sciences), MaKayla Carr (health sciences) and Brianna James (exercise, sport & movement sciences) for being selected as winners of the 20 Under 30 Award and Anthony Nguyen (exercise, sport & movement sciences) for the Outstanding Service Award. 

Eunicea Clark MaKayla Carr  Brianna James  Anthony Nguyen

Alumni Research Spotlight

April 13, 2020

Research study

College of Health Sciences alumni Dr. Trint Gunnels and John Henry Schriefer, in collaboration with Dr. Richard Bloomer and Matt Butawan, published a dietary manipulation study in the Journal of Alternative, Complementary & Integrative Medicine. The work highlights the benefits of a purified vegan diet with regards to metabolic health outcomes.


Tiger Bites sports nutrition program receives AAC grant

April 1, 2020

Tiger Bites with Memphis Volleyball

The Tiger Bites nutrition program from our Human Performance Center received $15,000 in research funding from the American Athletic Conference (AAC) which will allow the College of Heath Sciences, Memphis Tigers Athletics and Campus Recreation to expand an already successful hands-on cooking course and nutrition education program. Building confidence in the kitchen and an understanding of the importance of healthy eating, this 6-week program, which has already been delivered to Memphis Volleyball and Softball, will now be available to other teams across campus.

Despite the availability of healthy eating information, our campus survey and student-athlete behavior results from across campus highlight that a significant gap in food knowledge and best-practice eating habits still exists. This project uses applied education to improve body composition, student-athlete health and overall nutrition knowledge, providing student-athletes with the confidence to make nutritious food choices based on the impact those choices have on health and athletic performance. This research funding will fund food and cooking costs allowing this program to reach more student-athletes on campus, as well as fund more detailed physical testing to measure the internal benefits of healthy eating.

Staying active during COVID-19

March 19, 2020

Exercising During COVID-19

The current coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic presents some challenges to maintaining a physically active lifestyle. Dr. Brandt Pence,  University of Memphis College of Health Sciences assistant professor and resident immunophysiologist, consulted on these recommendations from Exercise is Medicine.


Student Spotlight

March 14, 2020

Daniel Chizhikov, a junior at White Station High School, won first place in the high school division at the Alabama State Research Symposium for his research. Since last summer, he has volunteered in our lab with assistant professor, Dr. Melissa Pupp, working on his project which uses drosophila (fruit flies) to understand the effects of different plant based fats on obesity-related health outcomes.

Daniel Chizhikov

Associate professor honored by Tennessee Academy of Nutrition & Dietetics

March 10, 2020

Dr. Marie van der Merwe, associate professor of clinical nutrition and nutrition science, was awarded the prestigious IRIS Award from the Tennessee Academy of Nutrition & Dietetics (TAND) based on her work within or related to the field of dietetics and letters of recommendation.  TAND honors individuals who support the field of nutrition and elevate the role of nutrition and dietitians.

Marie van der Merwe

Researchers awarded grant from American Athletic Conference (AAC)

February 26, 2020

Dr. Douglas Powell and colleagues, with co-investigator Paul DeVita, Ph.D., of East Carolina University, were awarded $11,960 from the AAC to conduct the research study "Sports Bra Alters Anterior Cruciate Ligament Stress and Knee Joint Biomechanics during Cutting and Landing Movements". The purpose of this grant is to sponsor research in college athletics designed to promote student-athlete welfare, and to assist AAC member institutions and intercollegiate athletic programs in evidence-based practice for student-athletes.

Douglas Powell  American Athletic Conference Logo

Faculty honored as Principal Investigators

February 25, 2020

The University of Memphis Division of Research & Innovation recently held its annual Research Celebration to highlight research achievements, honor first-time Principal Investigators (PI) and new PI Millionaires, and to recognize fiscal year 2019 PIs, faculty authors and editors. The honor of PI signifies the attainment of a position of research leadership on an externally supported sponsored project, with PI Millionaires obtaining $1 million or more. Sara Foley, Brandt PenceNiki Bray, (first-time PI) and Richard Bloomer (PI Millionaire) were FY19 honored faculty from the College of Health Sciences.

Sara Foley Brandt Pence Niki Bray Richard Bloomer

College of Health Sciences hosts Mid-South Biomechanics Conference

February 22, 2020

The University of Memphis College of Health Sciences recently hosted the third annual Mid-South Biomechanics Conference. We welcomed over 100 people from all over the nation which included invited speakers, student presenters and corporate sponsors. The conference had a large student research focus with podium sessions, digital poster sessions and roundtable discussions. This event was a great networking opportunity for undergraduate and graduate students who hope to continue their studies or careers in biomechanics and movement sciences.

Mid-South Biomechanics Conference Mid-South Biomechanics Conference Mid-South Biomechanics Conference

Clinical Nutrition and Dietetics students present at International Paper

February 17, 2020

University of Memphis registered dietitians, Sara Foley and Deidra Nelson, along with graduate students in the clinical nutrition master's and dietetic internship program, Lauren Fischer and Tara Toll, presented heart healthy cooking and nutrition tips to employees at International Paper. February is American Heart Month which aims to bring awareness to the risks of heart disease and steps needed to take to support a healthy heart. Employees sampled a green power blend smoothie and a mediterranean chicken quinoa salad, both highlighting key nutrients for eating heart healthfully.

Dietetics Students Dietetics Students at International Paper

Alumni Spotlight

February 8, 2020

Lizzy Simonin, a College of Health Sciences physical education teacher education alumna, was recently inducted into the University of Memphis M Club Hall of Fame.

From Tammy Degroff at GoTigersGo.com - A native of Lee's Summit, Mo., Lizzy arrived at the University of Memphis in the fall of 2008 and made an immediate impact on women's soccer in Conference USA. She appeared in 22 straight matches during her inaugural season, 18 as a starter, and led the team in points, goals and shots. She led the Tiger women's squad to an NCAA bid and played a season-high 103 minutes against Illinois. Her play in 2008 was so outstanding that Simonin was selected the Conference USA Freshman of the Year and was named to the C-USA All-Conference second team. Hampered by an ankle injury in 2009, Simonin appeared in just 16 of the team's 22 matches but still managed to tally 12 points and help her teammates return to the NCAA postseason. With her aggressive style of play, Simonin was moved to defender in 2010 and started every match, which included shutouts in 11 of the Tigers' 22 contests. For her outstanding play in 2010, she was named the Conference USA Defensive Player of the Year and led her squad to their third consecutive NCAA appearance. Entering her senior season, Simonin continued to excel. She started all 24 contests and helped her team to a 22-1-1 record and a fourth consecutive NCAA Tournament invitation. An outstanding student-athlete, Simonin was named the 2011 recipient of the Lowe's Senior CLASS Award, which is given annually to the most-outstanding senior student-athlete in NCAA Division I women's soccer. She also became the first player in C-USA history to be named the Defensive Player of the Year twice. Following graduation, Simonin returned to the Kansas City area to pursue her master's degree. She served as a graduate assistant coach at UMKC before returning to Memphis. Lizzy is currently an assistant coach for our Memphis Tigers women's soccer team.

Lizzy Simonin inducted into University of Memphis M Club Hall of Fame

Max Paquette featured on "Art & Science of Running" podcast

February 3, 2020

In this episode of the Art and Science of Running podcast, they speak with our own Dr. Max Paquette about injury prevention, strength training, footwear, aging, adapting and quantifying training. Max is an accomplished runner as well as associate professor in the College of Health Sciences at the University of Memphis, director of the Musculoskeletal Analysis Laboratory, and biomechanist within the Human Performance Center.

Listen Now >

 Max Paquette

Are Minutes and Mileage All Runners Need? – Investigating Training Load in Runners

January 21, 2020

IMeasureU spoke to researchers at the College of Health Sciences and UofM Human Performance Center about objective ways of training load monitoring in distance runners. Dr. Max Paquette and master's student, Megan Ryan, who is a competitive runner and was a member of the UofM cross-country and track teams, have started to question whether there are key aspects of training that mileage alone is not telling the coaches and athletes. Max and Megan began to speak to other local coaches who were working with runners. They found a common, question ‘how can we quantify training in a way that reflects the loads athletes are enduring in training more accurately?’

Read More >

Megan Ryan with the UofM College of Health Sciences  iMeasureU

Human Performance Center director presents at Sports Biometrics Conference

January 6, 2020

Human Performance Center director, Dr. Daniel Greenwood, recently presented on collaborating with coaches to improve human performance through applied sport science at the Sports Biometrics Conference in San Francisco. As a featured speaker, he was able to highlight our applied sport science program at the University of Memphis, the very unique collaborative approach, delivery of information, and the breadth of research completed.

A case study of 20 projects over 15 months with Tigers Athletics highlighted the HPC’s collaboration with coaches, combining their experience with scientific data to create useful and applied projects which directly improve athlete performance. The applied questions and practical answers make the approach very unique and targeted for each coach. The presentation then focused on information and the science behind the translation of scientific information into athlete behavior. This specifically uses knowledge from skill acquisition science and learning research, and applies that to the way the HPC shares, presents and uses data with trainers, coaches and athletes. Looking toward the future, coach collaboration will evolve using athlete collaboration to increase the effectiveness of our interventions and our recent school-wide coach interviews will combine research areas across sports.

Daniel Greenwood at Sports Biometrics Conference Daniel Greenwood at Sports Biometrics Conference

Breast size and bra support on lower extremity biomechanics

December 11, 2019

Shefit has funded a $10,000 project for our Musculoskeletal Analysis Lab (MAL) to study the interaction of breast size and bra support on lower extremity biomechanics with specific emphasis on anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) stress. Research has shown that female athletes are up to 8 times more likely to experience an ACL injury than male athletes. One factor that is known to increase ACL stress is trunk position with individuals who land with more trunk extension experiencing greater ACL stress which increases the risk of ACL injury. Breasts are a passive tissue comprised of fatty and glandular tissues located on the front of the trunk. Because breasts lack muscle tissue and have weak intrinsic support, breast motion may alter trunk biomechanics increasing the risk of ACL injury. To compensate for the limited intrinsic support, extrinsic support is offered through the use of bras or sports bras. However, insufficient breast support may not adequately control breast motion or the effect of breast motion on trunk biomechanics. Therefore, the purpose of our study is to investigate the effects of varying breast size and bra support levels on trunk biomechanics, as well as the effect of altered trunk position on ACL stress. Because few research studies have investigated the relationship between breast motion and lower extremity biomechanics, this represents a novel research investigation that may provide researchers, clinicians, coaches and parents with a unique perspective of the importance of selecting the proper sports bra for improved performance and reduced risk of injury.

Woman exercising at gym        Shefit logo

Improving gut health in runners

December 5, 2019

Kaneka Nutrients has funded a $135,000 project to study the impact of a novel probiotic supplement on GI distress in runners. Many active runners experience GI distress in response to strenuous, long duration runs. This study, led by Marie van der Merwe and Richard Bloomer, will evaluate the effectiveness of a dietary supplement on GI-related symptoms in runners, while also measuring changes to the gut microbiome and a variety of biochemical parameters.

Runner's gut health Kaneka logo

Improving hydration status

November 15, 2019

Richard Bloomer and colleagues will investigate the impact of a novel electrolyte tablet to improve hydration status in active individuals. The study, funded by Nuun, will recruit active men and women to receive fluid ingestion with and without an electrolyte tablet. Dehydration can result in impaired blood flow, fatigue and poor performance. Maintaining hydration is of great importance to overall health for all individuals. A simple electrolyte tablet may prove helpful in this regard.

 Nuun         Nuun Hydration

Student Spotlight

October 30, 2019

Madeline (Maddie) Wright was selected as this year's James E. Ward Future Professional Honor Award winner at the annual Tennessee Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance (TAHPERD) Conference. Maddie is currently one of our PETE Residency Students and does an outstanding job representing our program.

Maddie Wright

Enhancing the effects of whey protein

October 23, 2019

Melissa Puppa and Richard Bloomer received funding from Deerland Probiotics & Enzymes for their study, Blood amino acid profile following acute resistance exercise in trained men and women: impact of whey protein ingestion with and without ProHydrolase.  Amino acids are important for muscle tissue recovery and growth. Exercise enthusiasts aim to increase the blood amino acid pool during the hours following acute exercise, with the goal of improving the anabolic environment. ProHydrolase is a dietary supplement designed to improve the amino acid profile following acute ingestion of protein. This work will determine the blood amino acid concentration during the 4-hour post exercise period when 50 men and women ingest whey protein with or without ProHydrolase.

Whey protein  Deerland Probiotics & Enzymes

Higher Education Innovation and Leadership Fellows

October 9, 2019

Richard Bloomer has being selected for the first class of the Tennessee Higher Education Commission Innovation & Leadership Fellows. The THEC offers Tennessee public higher education institutions an opportunity to cultivate the next generation of executive leaders through structured leadership and higher education explorations. The program is uniquely focused on leadership at the enterprise level, those who hold or will hold positions of responsibility for the overall institution’s performance and sustainability.  The Fellows, selected competitively, will participate in a comprehensive development opportunity to broaden their understanding of institutional practices and the higher education landscape that prepares them for greater responsibility at the enterprise level.

Dr. Richard J. Bloomer

Functional foods and vascular health

October 4, 2019

Richard Bloomer and his team received funds to evaluate maqui berry standardized extract on vascular, metabolic and anti-oxidative function in men and women. Maqui berry, also known as the Chilean wineberry, is rich in antioxidants and has been reported to combat inflammation and vascular dysfunction. This study will determine the impact of various doses of the maqui berry on biochemical and functional measures of vascular health.

Maqui berries

Niki Bray inducted into the West Memphis Sports Hall of Fame

September 26, 2019

Congratulations to our clinical assistant professor and director of academic innovation & student success, Niki Bray, for her induction into the West Memphis Sports Hall of Fame. She was the Most Valuable Player in the 1992 state basketball tournament at Russellville, leading the Lady Devils to their first-ever state championship. Bray also played collegiately for the University of Memphis Women's Basketball Team and subsequently won multiple Tennessee state high school basketball championships as a head coach at Memphis Central (THE) High School.

Niki Bray West Memphis Sports Hall of Fame Niki Bray and group - West Memphis Sports Hall of Fame

Researchers to evaluate plant-based ingredients and nitric oxide

September 3, 2019

Richard Bloomer has received funding from Resync, LLC to investigate plant-based dietary supplements designed to increase circulating nitric oxide. Dietary ingredients such as beets and red spinach have been shown to aid nitric oxide production, a short-lived gas that can aid vascular health and blood flow. This work will determine the impact of novel dietary supplements on measures of nitric oxide in men and women.

Dr. Richard Bloomer Beets and red spinach Resync, LLC

Dietary supplements and gaming performance

August 28, 2019

Richard Bloomer and investigators within the College of Heath Sciences recently received $174,000 in funding from Applied Food Sciences to investigate the impact of a dietary supplement on gaming performance. High level gamers are now realizing the value of nutrition and select dietary ingredients to aid certain aspects of gaming performance, including reaction time, memory and focus. This new study will be the first of its kind to systematically evaluate a novel dietary supplement on performance metrics utilizing the popular game, Fortnite.

Fortnite gamer Applied Food Sciences, Inc.

Testing P.E. fitness tests - how the students feel

July 31, 2019

Kelly Simonton was part of a new study revealing that school fitness tests have little impact on student attitudes to PE – contrary to polarized views on their merits – and for many students, fitness testing during PE may be wasting valuable class time when used in isolation from the curriculum. The new research published in Physical Education and Sport Pedagogy suggests that rather than increasing students’ enjoyment of PE or putting them off the subject, there is little association between fitness tests and student attitudes and emotions towards PE. This finding contradicts the strongly held beliefs of both proponents and critics of the tests.

Read more here » http://bit.ly/2lArtg2 and here » http://bit.ly/2lYDNXV

Kelly Simonton Physical education class

Brandt Pence awarded grant from American Heart Association

July 18, 2019

Brandt Pence (Nutrition Science) received a Transformational Project Award from the American Heart Association. The 3-year, $300,000 grant will allow Dr. Pence to examine how the regulation of mitochondrial function in macrophages can be used to treat atherosclerosis, a leading cause of cardiovascular disease. Co-investigators and consultants on the award include Liza Makowski (University of Tennessee Health Science Center), Daniel Raftery (University of Washington), Robert Read (University of Memphis), and Thomas Sutter (University of Memphis).

Brandt Pierce Awarded American Heart Association Grant American Heart Association

New research award

July 2, 2019

Richard Bloomer, dean and professor of the College of Health Sciences, was awarded $31,622 from Shoreditch-son Co., Ltd for his project “The immune-modulatory effect of tea in healthy men and women.”

Dr. Richard Bloomer 

Brandt Pence receives pilot award

June 24, 2019

Brandt Pence received a pilot award from the Nathan Shock Center at the University of Washington. The $10,000 grant will allow Dr. Pence to examine metabolic responses during inflammation in monocytes, a key cell in the innate immune system. The project will examine the role of GDF-15, a circulating protein drastically increased during aging, on suppressing immune responses and altering inflammation. The 1-year award will begin July 1st.

Brandt Pence

PETE faculty member recognized by USA Swimming

June 10, 2019

Carol Irwin, professor within the Physical Education Teacher Education unit, was recognized by USA Swimming for her groundbreaking work in the area of constraints that impact minority swimming participation. Dr. Irwin is pictured here with two US Olympians, shortly after accepting her award. 

Carol Irwin

Brandt Pence wins Agri-Food Tech award

May 6, 2019

SHS faculty member Brandt Pence received a $10,000 pilot grant from the Agriculture and Food Technologies Research Cluster, FedEx Institute for Technology, University of Memphis. Dr. Pence's research will explore the effect of epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), a bioactive constituent of green tea, on the function of cells of the innate immune system. The 18-month research project will focus on the role of EGCG in regulating immune and inflammatory responses via reprogramming cellular metabolism.

Commercial Appeal spotlights Human Performance Center

May 3, 2019 

Daniel Greenwood's collaboration with the Tiger's football team was highlighted in a recent article in the Commercial Appeal. The Human Performance Center and Memphis Tigers Football recently completed the world's first trial run of inertial sensors on a football athlete. » Read the full story