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College Impact Report | 2021

The University of Florida is on the rise, now a top five public university, and our college continues to lead in this effort. This reflects the commitment of our faculty and staff to educational excellence, research innovation and student success.

The 2021 college impact report highlighting our accomplishments over the past year.

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#UFHHP Gators Give - College Breaks UF Campaign for Charities Giving Record Two Years in a Row

Faculty and staff broke records during the annual University of Florida Campaign for Charities (UFCC) giving campaign for the second year in a row. As a college, faculty and staff raised more than $15,000 with 33 percent of faculty and staff participating.

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Now Hiring: Six Faculty Across All Departments

We’re in search of six new faculty to join our ranks across all four of our departments. Join us and help advance how we live, work and play.

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New Health Education and Behavior Research Focuses on Improving Participation in Research Trials

Danielle Jake-Schoffman, Ph.D., assistant professor in the Department of Health Education and Behavior, recently published “Methods-Motivational Interviewing Approach for Enhanced Retention and Attendance” in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, looking at how an in-depth orientation for prospective participants can benefit clinical trials of behavioral interventions.

Read more >


Celebrating World Tourism Day: Tourism for Inclusive Growth

World Tourism Day, celebrated each year on September 27, is the global observance day fostering awareness of tourism’s social, cultural, political and economic value worldwide. Read 27 resolutions that Rachel J.C. Fu, professor and chair of the Department of Tourism, Hospitality and Event Management and director of the Eric Freidheim Tourism Institute, is planning to honor the occasion.

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Thank you, donors! Congratulations, students!  

Thank you to outstanding student scholars, generous donors and loyal friends, the college celebrates awarding more than 100 student scholarships for the fourth year in a row.

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Stop By the HHP "Pop Up" Tailgate Before the Football Game

All Gators are invited to swing by the Florida Gym ahead of each home football game to grab a sweet treat, say hello and get ready for the game. The events will start two hours before kickoff and wrap up 30-minutes before the game begins. No RSVP needed.

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US News & World Report Ranks University of Florida Fifth Among Top Public Universities

After five consecutive years of ascension, the University of Florida’s performance has positioned UF among the nation’s top five ranked public universities, according to the 2022 U.S. News & World Report Best Colleges rankings released today, marking an extraordinary milestone in the university’s history.

The announcement cements UF’s meteoric rise in rankings over the past five years and publicly recognizes the university’s excellence and value.

Read more at news.ufl.edu >


#UFHHP Gators Give

Between August 10 and September 7, faculty and staff in the College of Health & Human Performance donated more than 265 lbs. to the Hitchcock Field & Fork Food Pantry and a closet full of professional clothes to the UF Molm Family Gator Career Closet.

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HIV drug shows potential to combat genetic form of dystonia in preclinical study

A new study found that an FDA-approved medication to treat HIV restored multiple brain abnormalities in a mouse model of a genetic form of dystonia.

Read more at ufhealth.org >


Amy Mobley Receives Nutrition Education Research Award

Congratulations to Amy Mobley, Ph.D., associate professor and graduate program coordinator in the Department of Health Education & Behavior, for earning the Society for Nutrition Education and Behavior (SNEB) 2021 Nutrition Education Research Award.

The award was presented at the SNEB annual conference earlier this month and acknowledges outstanding research achievement in the field of nutrition education.

Read more >


Join the Welcome-Back Photo Challenge

Welcome back, #UFHHP Gators! Join us as we reward participants in our Welcome-Back Photo Challenge kicking off on Monday, August 23. Each day during the week, submit your interpretations of the theme for a chance to win a UF HHP t-shirt.  

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Congrats and Thank You to our Dedicated Staff For Their Years of Service

As the fall school year kicks off, the College of Health & Human Performance celebrates our staff for their recent milestone anniversaries.

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Meet the newest members of the HHP faculty and staff

This fall, the College of Health and Human Performance welcomes new tenure track and teaching-track faculty to the college, and several new staff members.

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For UF and HHP, Another Year of Record-Breaking Generosity

The University of Florida raised an all-time record $562 million last fiscal year, as the university nears the end of its eight-year Go Greater campaign. The more than 176,000 gifts UF received in FY’21 from alumni and friends will enable the university to continue its climb as one of the nation’s best public universities.

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2020-2021 Recap of Inclusion, Diversity, Equity and Access (IDEA) Events and News

At HHP, we strive to enrich lives, influence healthy living and enhance human performance of diverse populations worldwide. The college hosts numerous events and activities throughout the year including many with a focus on inclusion, diversity, equity and access (IDEA).

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UF Health Education and Behavior Graduates Excel on National Exam

Graduates in the Department of Health Education & Behavior who sat for the 2020 Certified Health Education Specialist (CHES) Exam have exceeded the national passage rate, scoring nearly 24 percent higher than the national average.

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Researchers Awarded $8M in 2021

In fiscal year 2021, UF College of Health & Human Performance researchers earned $8 million in awards adding to the university’s second-highest amount ever.

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ATP Partners with UFHHP Online Graduate Programs

The University of Florida and the ATP, the global governing body of men’s professional tennis and the ATP Tour, which features more than 60 professional tournaments in a typical season, have today announced a partnership which offers subsidized in-state tuition for ATP members.

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HHP Goes For Gold

The College of Health & Human Performance has a rich history of participating in the Olympics. This history is no surprise given the Gators’ prowess in athletics and the college’s historical focus on sport and physical activity.

That tradition continues with the upcoming summer games in Tokyo. We hope you’ll cheer on our alumni and students participating in the games.

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College Leadership Update

As of July 1, Elisabeth Barton, Ph.D., acting associate dean for faculty and staff affairs and professor in the Department of Applied Physiology and Kinesiology, has accepted the role of associate dean for faculty and staff affairs.

Kyriaki Kaplanidou, Ph.D., professor in the Department of Sport Management, will complete her service as assistant dean for faculty affairs at the end of June.

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Dept. of Sport Management Leadership Update

At the end of June, Michael Sagas, Ed.D., professor, will conclude his role as interim chair of the Department of Sport Management in the College of Health & Human Performance.

Yong Jae Ko, Ph.D., professor, will serve as interim chair of the department starting in July.

Read more >


Welcome Back to the Florida Gym

At the end of this month, the College of Health & Human Performance is excited to welcome faculty and staff back to the Florida Gym. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this will be the first opportunity in more than 15-months for many colleagues to see each other in-real life and unmasked.

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Andrei Kirilenko and United Nations GEO Team Recognized with PROSE Award

Congratulations to Andrei Kirilenko, Ph.D., associate professor in the Department of Tourism, Hospitality and Event Management, together with a team of global experts, for earning the Professional and Scholarly Excellence (PROSE) Award in the Environmental Science category for the sixth edition of “Global Environmental Outlook – GEO-6: Healthy Planet, Healthy People.”

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2021 Dean’s IDEA Council End of Year Update

With the summer upon us, the Dean’s Inclusion, Diversity, Equity and Access (IDEA) Council wrapped up its first six months and made plans for the year ahead. 

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NeuroAI Workshops Begin

This summer, five graduate students in the UF Department of Applied Physiology and Kinesiology (APK), join 10 graduate students in biomedical engineering, neuroscience and clinical psychology to learn about the applications and fundamentals of artificial intelligence (AI), specifically around machine learning.

The three-week workshop series is funded by an institutional research training grant (T32) managed by David Vaillancourt, Ph.D., chair and professor in APK, and Dawn Bowers, Ph.D., professor in the Department of Clinical and Health Psychology in the College of Public Health & Health Professions.

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Remembering Ruth Alexander

The community is saddened by the news of Dr. Ruth Alexander’s passing. Dr. Alexander was emeritus professor in the Department of Exercise and Sport Sciences and former chair of the Department of Physical Education for Women. She was a visionary who pioneered the transformation of women’s athletics in North America and had a tremendous impact on the culture of sport.

Alumni and community members are invited to attend a virtual memorial service held online at 1 p.m. EDT on Tuesday, June 22.

Read more >


Performance Newsletter - Summer Edition

College of Health & Human Performance Faculty, Staff, Alumni and Students... Moving the World Forward.

Read the latest edition of the Performance Newsletter and view updates from across the HHP community.

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Celebrating David Bowles, Senior Director of Recreational Sports

This spring, David Bowles retired after a more than 30 year career at Recreational Sports – 15 of which were spent in HHP and 18 years leading the department.

As alumni know, RecSports grew as a department of Student Affairs from its original home in the College of Health & Human Performance.

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Survey reveals who's willing to cruise

Despite pandemic complications, 30% of travelers would consider cruising next year with fans of cruising even more willing to get onboard according to new research data from Rachel Fu, Ph.D., chair and professor in the Department of Tourism, Hospitality and Event Management, and director of the Eric Friedheim Tourism Institute.

Read more at news.ufl.edu >


UF CARE Podcast Features Liana Hone

Liana Hone, Ph.D., assistant professor in the Department of Health Education & Behavior, discusses addiction research with Oliver Grundmann, Ph.D., clinical associate professor in the Department of Medicinal Chemistry in the College of Pharmacy, as part of the UF Center for Addiction Research and Education (CARE) podcast series.

Watch the interview >


Ashley Smuder Recognized - UF 2021 Excellence Award

Congratulations to Ashley Smuder, Ph.D., assistant professor in Applied Physiology & Kinesiology, who received a UF 2021 Excellence Award recognizing outstanding tenure-track assistant professors. The award grants a one-time allocation of $5,000 in support of research which can be used to fund travel, equipment, books, graduate student stipends and other research-related expenses. 

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Leaving a Legacy - Celebrating Scott Powers (and 11 Tips for Mentoring)

The university, college and physiology community is celebrating Scott Powers, Ed.D. Ph.D., UAA Endowed Professor, distinguished professor, in the Department of Applied Physiology & Kinesiology.

Dr. Powers, who retires this month, received the Bodil M. Schmidt-Nielsen Distinguished Mentor and Scientist Award from the American Physiological Society (APS).

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HHP Celebrates 20 at Spring Awards Virtual Ceremony

This spring we celebrated 20 HHP alumni, faculty, staff and students who are making an impact across The Gator Nation and beyond. Congratulations to these outstanding members of our community.

Watch the ceremony and learn more about each of our honorees >


CONGRATS, #UFHHPGRAD CLASS OF 2021!

HHP celebrated six Ph.D., 95 master’s and 407 bachelor’s degree recipients through in-person commencement ceremonies at the Stephen C. O'Connell Center this spring. In addition, make-up ceremonies for 2020 graduates also took place for those graduates who had their previous ceremony canceled due to the pandemic.

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TWO FACULTY NAMED FELLOWS BY NATIONAL ACADEMY OF KINESIOLOGY

Congratulations to two faculty in the Department of Applied Physiology & Kinesiolgoy, Christopher Janelle, Ph.D., associate dean of academic and student affairs and professor, and David Vaillancourt, Ph.D., chair and professor. Both were named new fellows in the National Academy of Kinesiology.

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HEATHER GIBSON NAMED SENIOR FELLOW OF WORLD LEISURE ACADEMY

Congratulations to Heather Gibson, Ph.D., professor in the Department of Tourism, Hospitality and Event Management, and associate director in the Eric Friedheim Tourism Institute, for being named a senior fellow in the World Leisure Academy.

The academy was established by the World Leisure Organization to promote leisure concerns through advocacy, research and educational endeavors and acknowledge the contributions of researchers, educators, practitioners and others credited with advancing leisure.

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Happy Gator Day!

HHP is proud to join The Gator Nation for in “advocating for the Gator Good!”

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

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Artificial Intelligence in Health & Human Performance

Researchers in the College of Health & Human Performance are focused on incorporating AI to study physical activity, movement and wellness; as well as AI’s impact on Florida industries like travel, tourism, hospitality, sports and sporting events.

On Thursday, April 8, HHP welcomes Jochen Wirtz, Ph.D., vice dean and professor at the National University of Singapore, for the HHP Speaker Series focused on AI in services and hospitality.

Read more >


HAPPY GRADUATE STUDENT APPRECIATION WEEK

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

Learn about activities happening throughout the week.

Read more >>


HHP RESEARCHER LINKS MUSCLES TO IMMUNE RESPONSE

University of Florida researchers have linked muscles to immune response showing that skeletal muscles play a critical role in defense against septic infection.

Thomas Clanton, Ph.D., the BK and Betty Stevens Professor in the Department of Applied Physiology & Kinesiology, demonstrated for the first time that skeletal muscles do indeed play an important but poorly understood role in immunity.

Read more >


Celebrating Women in HHP

Throughout Women's History Month this spring, we highlighted profiles featuring inspiring women from across the college from alumni to PhD students and faculty.

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AMY MOBLEY NAMED FELLOW IN THE ACADEMY OF NUTRITION AND DIETETICS

Congratulations to Amy Mobley, Ph.D., associate professor and graduate program director in the Department of Health Education & Behavior, for being named a fellow in the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.

The academy is the world's largest organization of food and nutrition professionals and is committed to improving the nation's health and advancing the profession of dietetics through research, education and advocacy.

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A Message to the HHP Community

Read the letter from Dean Michael Reid, Ph.D., and Rachel J.C. Fu, Ph.D., Chair of the Dean's IDEA Council, to the HHP community.

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Question & Answer with Andrei Kirilenko on Florida Tourism

Learn about a recent study led by Andrei Kirilenko, Ph.D., associate professor in the Department of Tourism, Hospitality and Event Management, looking into the economic and social value of the tourism industry in Florida.

Read more >


New AI tool to be tested in NIH-funded study to improve diagnosis of Parkinson’s and related disorders

University of Florida researchers will broadly test a new artificial intelligence tool aimed at distinguishing the precise diagnosis for patients with early Parkinson’s disease or two related but distinct Parkinson’s-like syndromes under a new $5 million grant from the National Institutes of Health announced March 18.

David Vaillancourt, Ph.D., chair and professor in the Department of Applied Physiology & Kinesiology, is a principal investigator for the study which will include MRI images from 315 patients at 21 sites across North America.

Read more at UF Health >


UFHHP Spaces: Ethanol, Drug, and Gambling Experimental Lab

Take a tour of the EDGE Lab run by Robert Leeman, Ph.D., associate professor and the Mary F. Lane Endowed Professor in the Department of Health Education & Behavior. Dr. Leeman and his team of researchers are focused on research relevant to addiction, sexual health behavior and related conditions.

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Superior Accomplishment Awards Recognizes Two From HHP

HHP Celebrates its 2021 University of Florida Division Level Superior Accomplishment Awardees: Allison Jobe Novak, Dean's Office, and Joy Rodgers, Ph.D., Department of Health Education & Behavior

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Welcome #UF25!

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

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

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We Heard You Holler! Thank you, Gators!

The third “Stand-Up and Holler: Gator Nation Giving Day” was held on Thursday, February 18, 2021. On this day, Gators from around the world donated to various causes across UF and in support of the College of Health & Human Performance.

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Congratulations to Paul Higgerson and Kristina Garcia-Guettler

The College of Health & Human Performance is proud to announce the 2021 Advisor of the Year and Teacher of the Year.

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Daniel Connaughton Earns Sport and Recreation Law Association's 2021 Leadership Award

Congratulations to Daniel Connaughton, Ed.D., professor in the Department of Sport Management, recipient of the 2021 Betty van der Smissen Leadership Award by the Sport and Recreation Law Association. The award is presented to an individual who is recognized for leadership and vision in the study of legal aspects of sport and physical activity.

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Ensuring the Summer Thrive

As part of the effort of the Children’s Trust of Alachua County to seek community input for its Strategic Funding Plan, The Trust Board authorized a summer needs assessment conducted by the Youth Development Research-Practice Partnership in the College of Health and Human Performance. Christine Wegner, Ph.D., lecturer in the Department of Sport Management, was the principal investigator on the research team.

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Meet Ewan Cobran, BSHS '06 - Public health educator and cancer researcher

Ewan K. Cobran, Ph.D., BSHS ’06, is an assistant professor at University of Georgia College of Pharmacy. Dr. Cobran also serves as adjunct assistant professor at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in the School of Global Public Health.

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HHP TO HIRE NEW FACULTY AS PART OF UF ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE INITIATIVE

As artificial intelligence (AI) becomes more than just the next wave of high-tech, UF and the College of Health & Human Performance (HHP) are making strides to incorporate AI into our teaching and learning. Currently, the college is seeking a new assistant professor in sport management, and three faculty across all tenure-eligible ranks in tourism, hospitality and event management. These positions favor applicants with an AI focus to their research.

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UFHHP Spaces: Laboratory of Basic and Clinical Muscle Biology

Take a virtual tour of the Laboratory of Basic and Clinical Muscle Biology run by Leonardo Ferreira, Ph.D., associate professor in the Department of Applied Physiology and Kinesiology

Take the tour >


For the Gator Good - Spring Edition

College of Health & Human Performance Faculty, Staff, Alumni and Students... Moving the World Forward. Read the latest edition of the Performance Newsletter and view updates from across the HHP community.

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UFHHP: Celebrating 75 Years

You cannot effectively move forward without looking back and reflecting on the past. Founded in 1946 amid the complexities of the post-war era, our college made its debut at the same time as the transistor, the defibrillator, Tupperware and so many other modern conveniences that have shifted the way we live.

While our name, departments and programs have evolved and grown over the years, the college continues to be focused on advancing how we live, work and play.

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Online Bachelor’s Degree Programs Rise to #3 in the Nation

GATOR GREATNESS ON THE RISE. UF rose to the No. 3 spot in the 2021 rankings by U.S. News & World Report for the best online programs in the country, up from No. 4 in 2020.

“We could not have accomplished this rise without the hard work and dedication from the faculty and staff and the commitment from our students,” said Michael Reid, dean. “These programs have allowed us to expand access to students across the state and around the world.”

Learn more about the rankings, including retaining our No. 2 ranking for the second year in a row for Best Online Bachelor’s Programs for Veterans.

Read more >


The End of January Marks "National Plan for Vacation Day"

The last Tuesday in January is “National Plan for Vacation Day.” Planning a vacation during a pandemic can be difficult, but there are some tips you can take. Hear some recommendations from Heather Gibson, Ph.D., professor in the Department of Tourism, Hospitality and Event Management.

Read more at UFtourism.org >


Paying it Forward: Inspiring Middle School Students to be Unstoppable

A former linebacker for the Florida Gators who earned both his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in sport management is now a passionate educator and middle school math teacher in his hometown of Belle Glade, Florida. Hygens Succes reinvests in the community that shaped him because his journey as a first-generation college student was supported by the Machen Florida Opportunity Scholarship (MFOS). 

Listen to the Unstoppable Minds, Season 2, Episode 5, Podcast >


New Dean's Council Focuses on Inclusion, Diversity, Equity and Access (IDEA)

"Inclusion, diversity, equity, and access (IDEA) are values embraced by the entire HHP community," said Dean Michael Reid in an email to college faculty and staff in December. "Implementation of these values is a responsibility shared by us all. Accordingly, efforts to increase IDEA are being distributed more broadly in 2021. Separate initiatives will be driven by each of the departments as well as the college administration."

Read more >


2021 HHP Scholarship Applications Open

A Chomp For HHP Donors and Scholars: Last year our college awarded a record breaking $200,000 in student scholarships. Students are invited to apply for a scholarship today.

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Josie Ahlgren Shares Three Tips to Jumpstart a New Exercise Program

Be sure to check out “A Gator Guide to a Greater 2021” featuring Joslyn Ahlgren, Ph.D., master lecturer in applied physiology and kinesiology. She shares “Three Tips to Jumpstart a New Exercise Program.”

Read more at Gator Nation News >


DEMETRA CHRISTOU EARNS 2020-2021 HHP DISSERTATION MENTORING AWARD

Congratulations to Demetra Christou, Ph.D., associate professor in the Department of Applied Physiology & Kinesiology, for earning the 2020-2021 HHP Dissertation Mentoring Award.

The annual award encourages and rewards excellence, innovation and effectiveness in mentoring doctoral students through their final dissertation.

Read more >


HHP News Archive

Discover what our faculty, staff, students and alumni were up to in recent years: