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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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2021 College of Health & Human Performance Spring Awards

Please join us at 6:30 p.m. ET on Friday, April 23 for a virtual celebration as we recognize the achievements of our finest community members and honor the latest inductees to the Alumni Hall of Fame.

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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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HHP will recognize six Ph.D., 95 master’s and 407 bachelor’s degree recipients on Thursday, April 29 through commencement ceremonies at the Stephen C. O'Connell Center.

Help us celebrate by submitting photos and videos.

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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.

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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.



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.

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Celebrating Women in HHP

Throughout Women's History Month, we have highlighted profiles featuring inspiring women from the College of Health & Human Performance. These profiles are brought to you in partnership with the HHP Graduate Committee on Inclusion, Diversity, Equity and Access (IDEA) and Dean's IDEA Council.

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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.

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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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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.

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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."

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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 >


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.

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HHP News Archive

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