Performance Newsletter - Summer 2021

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A Note From the Dean

A Note From the Dean

This spring, in a year unlike any other, I was delighted to resume our time-honored tradition of celebrating our graduating students with in-person commencement ceremonies. Next month, we will welcome faculty and staff back to the college.

The past year was tough. But the vaccine is working. Masks and social distancing are on the wane. The year ahead looks bright. And the HHP community will – as always – be better together.

I am excited for the coming year. As you can see in this issue, our college and community have much to celebrate. We invite you to drop by campus if you get the chance and look forward to seeing you again soon.

Go Gators!

Summer 2021

News and Updates

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 >


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.

Read more >

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 >

Research News

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.

Read more >

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.

Read more >

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 >

HHP Profiles

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).

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.

Read more >

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.

Read more >

Your Gift Makes a Difference

75 gift thermometer set on 55 gifts

Help us celebrate the 75th anniversary of the College of Health & Human Performance by including HHP in your estate plans. We're only 20 gifts away!

When you make a planned gift, you become a member of the UF Legacy Society. Membership is one way UF is able to thank you during your lifetime.

Learn how to begin your UF legacy now. Contact Lesley Thurston-Watt.

Calling all HHP Alumni: Help Us Reach 100 Gifts by June 30!

>> Give to the Dean's Excellence Fund today! >> View All Giving Opportunities