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Arnold School of Public Health

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Our People

Our core and affiliated faculty and staff include professionals from all around the world who work endlessly to maintain and improve our collaborative program in the interdisciplinary field of Exercise Science and sustain our high reputation as the #1 program in the nation.



Elizabeth Adams

Elizabeth Adams, PhD

Dr. Adams conducts research around promoting healthful dietary patterns in children to prevent obesity and reduce health inequities. Her work includes family-based influences on children's behaviors related to obesity risk, and federal assistance policies to ensure families from all income levels have access to healthful nutrition for chronic disease prevention.

Portrait photo of Liz Anderson

Elizabeth Anderson, MS

My passion and teaching interests focus around disease prevention and lifestyle management. Since 2018, I've worked with students on the importance of physical activity and nutrition, providing them with skills to maintain or improve their overall health.

Shawn Arent


Dr. Arent’s research focuses on physiological and biobehavioral responses to training-related and life stressors and their contribution to optimal health and performance, with a primary emphasis on endocrine mechanisms related to the HPA and HPG axes and inflammation. He is specifically interested in training and nutritional interventions for improving functional capabilities and recovery in athletes, tactical personnel, adolescents, and special populations.

Bridget Armstrong

Bridget Armstrong, Ph.D.

Dr. Armstrong’s research examines the etiology of health behaviors related to pediatric obesity. Her work aims to leverage intensive longitudinal data to examine the predictors and dynamics health behaviors including sleep, screen time, sedentary behavior, and mental health. Based in a socio-ecological perspective, her work spans multiple levels of influence, from environmental, to social/interpersonal and biological.

 Cathy Arnot

Cathy Frola Arnot, DPT, FAAOMPT, OCS, MTC

Teaching and research interests are in orthopedics and manual therapy. Team Physical Therapist for the United States Shooting Team


Michael W Beets, MEd, MPH, PhD

My research focuses on the early stages of the translational science spectrum to identify factors that lead to (un)successful scaling of behavioral interventions, particularly those focusing on promoting child well-being.

Sarah Burkart

Sarah Burkart, MPH, Ph.D.

Dr. Burkart's research aims to 1) understand the individual, family, social, and environmental factors that contribute to children's sleep health 2) examine underlying mechanisms that lead to inconsistent sleep behavior, and 3) develop and test novel intervention strategies to enhance children's health and well-being

aliye cepni

Aliye Cepni, Ph.D.

Dr. Cepni’s research aims to improve children’s eating and activity behaviors to address health disparities. Dr. Cepni received her doctorate degree in Kinesiology from the University of Houston, where she studied the impact of school-based physical activity programs on child executive functioning and obesity-related health outcomes.

Barbara Cuevas Profile Picture

Barbara Cuevas, MPH

I have been an instructor and advisor in the Arnold School of Public Health for 14 years. I oversee the practicum courses and work closely with our community partners. I enjoying traveling and have had the pleasure of teaching a course in Ireland, Greece and Italy. 

Dawn Emerson

Dawn Emerson, Ph.D., ATC

Dr. Emerson's research interest is in exertional heat illnesses. Specifically, she is interested in examining the role of the gastrointestinal tract in exertional heat stroke and examining risk factors for exertional heat stroke. Her teaching interests are in therapeutic interventions, primary care, and evaluation and management of emergent conditions.

Ciaran Fairman

Ciaran Fairman, Ph.D., CSCS, CET

Dr. Fairman’s primary research focus is examining the impact of exercise, nutrition and supplementation interventions during and after cancer treatments. He is also a strong advocate of the dissemination/translation of scientific research to a variety of audiences, and is the host of the REACH podcast where he discusses the latest research in exercise oncology.

alicia flach

Alicia Flach, PT, DPT, NCS

Dr. Flach’s research interests are how physical activity and exercise can help in optimizing movement, such as walking and balance, overall function, and quality of life in individuals living with degenerative neurological conditions. Her teaching and clinical practice focuses on rehabilitation focused on collaboration with individuals living with neurological condition and injuries.

Amy Fraley

Amy L. Fraley, Ph.D., SCAT, ATC

In her role as Clinical Education Coordinator, Amy organizes the clinical education experiences of athletic training students to provide them with hands-on patient care and help them grow as clinicians. She also currently serves as the President-Elect of the South Carolina Athletic Trainers’ Association. Outside of athletic training, she enjoys outdoor activities and spending time with her husband Andrew and golden retriever Levi.


Stacy L Fritz, PhD, PT

Dr Fritz’s work focuses on rehabilitation and physical activity for individuals with chronic movement disability and functional limitations. In addition, she works closely with research labs in engineering to investigate innovate ways to measure walking speed and other temporal and spatial parameters of gait.

Matthew Geary

Matthew Geary, PT, DPT, EdD, FAAOMP

Dr. Geary’s interests involve manual therapy interventions among orthopedic patient populations and the role of physical therapy in the field of global health. Prior research has focused on assessment and treatment of the cervical spine and upper extremity in patients suffering from musculoskeletal pathologies. Dr. Geary’s teaching focus includes functional anatomy, manual therapy, and clinical education.

Shana Harrington

Shana Harrington, PT, Ph.D.

My clinical training was as a physical therapist in which I practiced for 9 years before pursuing a full-time career in research and teaching. My primary research interests involve the areas of survivorship and patient-reported outcome measures in survivors of cancer with an emphasis on rehabilitation.


Troy Herter, Ph.D.

Dr. Herter is a neuroscientist with broad expertise on how the brain and body interact to optimize learning and performance of motor skills. He teaches courses on motor behavior, neurorehabilitation, and functional strength training, and his research uses upper-limb robotics, gaze tracking, and augmented reality to understand how healthy adults and patients with neurological disorders combine sensory, cognitive, and motor information to learn and perform motor skills.

Katie Hirsch

Katie Hirsch, PhD, EP-C, CISSN

Dr. Hirsch's research interests involve the effects of exercise and nutrition on body composition, muscle and protein metabolism, cardiometabolic health, and performance, with a focus on sex differences and female physiology across the lifespan.


Jim Mensch, Ph.D., ATC

Dr. Mensch has been involved with the athletic training program and sports medicine at UofSC since 2000.  He is passionate about working with students on research related to youth sports injuries, pediatrics, sport specialization, and emerging settings in athletic training.


Robert Davis Moore, MS, Ph.D.

My research interest is in determining the functional outcomes of concussive injuries, and the factor which moderate injury outcomes; The active rehabilitation of post-concussion syndrome; The influence of health factors such as physical activity, fitness, and obesity on neuropsychological health and development.


Teresa A Moore, Ph.D. RD LDN

Caleb Morris

Caleb Morris , M.Ed.

Caleb Morris is a professional track faculty member. He teaches EXSC 401 and 444, facilitating integrative and experiential learning experiences for undergraduate students. Caleb also holistically advises undergraduate exercise science and public health majors across all classification levels. His professional interests include equity and access in higher education, student success and transitions, and high impact educational practices.


Jennifer O'Neill, Ph.D., MPH


Russell R. Pate, Ph.D.

Dr. Pate conducts research on physical activity and its promotion in children and youth.  He also works to advance the role of physical activity within the nation’s public health system. 

Jay Patel Profile Picture

Jay Patel, Ph.D., CSCS,*D, TSAC-F,*D

Patel is a former strength and conditioning coach. His interests include promoting a holistic, multidisciplinary approach to analyzing human movement, testing and load monitoring of athletes, and military personnel to develop maximum performance.

Sarah Patneaude

Sarah Patneaude, MEd

I have been at UofSC and the Arnold School of Public Health since 2018. I enjoy working with our undergraduates and seeing their growth during their time at UofSC!


Christine Pellegrini, Ph.D.

Dr. Christine Pellegrini completed her PhD in Exercise Physiology from the University of Pittsburgh.  Her research focuses on the development and implementation of technology-supported behavioral interventions targeting diet, physical activity, sedentary behavior, and weight loss.

Elizabeth Regan

Elizabeth Wherley Regan, DPT, Ph.D.

Elizabeth's research focus is on post-rehabilitation community physical activity and wellness for people with permanent mobility impairments.  She is also interested in evaluating Physical Therapist’s involvement in referral and consultation to these programs.


Mark Sarzynski, Ph.D., FAHA, FACSM

Dr. Sarzynski's research focuses on translational studies related to identifying molecular biomarkers of response to exercise and behavioral lifestyle interventions. The lab employs an integrated -omics (genomics, proteomics, metabolomics, transcriptomics, lipidomics, and diverse cellular assays) approach to identify and characterize the biological factors associated with the response of clinically relevant cardiometabolic traits, particularly lipids and lipoproteins, to exercise and lifestyle interventions.

Sheri Silfies Profile Picture

Sheri Silfies, PT, Ph.D.

Dr. Silfies research focuses on the neuromechanics of human movement and postural control with emphasis on mechanisms underlying movement impairment associated with musculoskeletal injury and persistent pain. Her current work combines biomechanics, neuroimaging and clinical measures of function to better understand sensorimotor behavior in persons with chronic low back pain.


Jill Campbell Stewart, PT, PhD

Dr. Stewart’s research aims to understand how the brain controls and learns skilled movement with a focus on improving motor rehabilitation in individuals with neurologic diagnoses such as stroke. Her research focuses on brain-behavior relationships by utilizing detailed measures of movement (kinematics, EMG), brain structure and function (functional MRI, diffusion tensor imaging), and clinical measures of impairment, function, and quality of life.

Sten Stray-Gundersen

Sten Stray-Gundersen, Ph.D

Sten's research centers around cardiovascular exercise physiology with special emphasis on hypoxia, blood flow restriction training, and endothelial function. 


Xuemei (Mei) Sui, M.D., M.P.H., Ph.D.

Dr. Sui has dedicated her time to studying physical activity, cardiorespiratory fitness (CRF) and various health outcomes, using both epidemiological approaches and randomized trials. She has published over 200 peer-reviewed papers and is currently maintaining the Aerobics Center Longitudinal Study (ACLS) dataset- one of the largest cohort studies with objectively measured CRF data.

Ray Thompson

Raymond W. Thompson, Ph.D.

As a Clinical faculty member and the Undergraduate Director for the Department of Exercise Science, I spend much of my time and energy on undergraduate education and curricular matters.  My primary teaching responsibilities include EXSC 223/L: Anatomy and Physiology I and EXSC 224/L: Anatomy and Physiology II.  Recently, I developed a new course "Effective Learning Strategies" to address the needs of students who struggle academically early in their college experience.  


Toni Torres-McGehee, Ph.D., SCAT, ATC

Dr. Torres-McGehee’s research interests include sport nutrition, eating disorders, body image, female athlete triad, in female and males athletes as well as the military. Additionally, she is interested in prevention programs and screening methods for  mental health disorders and the female athletes triad for collegiate dancers, athletes, and military personnel.


Xuewen Wang, Ph.D., FAHA

My research centers around metabolic, physiologic and disease outcomes influenced by behavioral factors such as exercise and sleep in a variety of populations. I am also interested in women’s health across the life span and sex hormone-related health issues

Amanda Ward

Amanda Ward, PT, DPT

Dr. Ward teaches the Acute Care, Geriatric, Integumentary, and Cardiopulmonary Physical Therapy courses as well as Foundations of Physical Therapy for the undergraduate Exercise Science students. She is interested in further research into the functional impact of policy and practice changes on the acute care and geriatric populations.

Glenn Weaver

Glenn Weaver, MEd, PhD

My work focuses on helping professionals that teach and care for school age children to create safe and healthy environments. I am currently conducting research in schools and out of school time programs to address unhealthy weight gain in youth. I have expertise in physical education, promotion of youth healthy eating and physical activity, and measurement of healthy eating and physical activity.


Delia West, PhD

Dr. West is a clinical health psychologist with an extensive research portfolio examining methods to improve behavioral interventions for weight control, with a focus on using technology to enhance efficacy and reach of evidence-based lifestyle interventions and for engaging populations at high risk for obesity and obesity-related chronic conditions who can particularly benefit from effective lifestyle interventions.


Sara Wilcox, PhD

Dr. Wilcox conducts community-engaged research to promote physical activity and dietary change in adult underserved populations, particularly in African Americans, women, and older adults.

Photo of Zachary Winklemann

Zachary Winkelmann, Ph.D., SCAT, ATC

Dr. Winkelmann’s research predominately focuses on patient-centered care through the domains of health literacy, shared decision making, and the social determinants of health. In addition, his research is also focused on professional issues and educational interventions using simulation, standardized patients, and continuing professional development for topics such as telemedicine and transgender patient care.

Portrait photo of Jason Yang

Chih-Hsiang "Jason" Yang, Ph.D.

Dr. Yang’s research focuses on applying mobile technology (e.g., smartphones, wearables) to study the determinants and consequences of movement behaviors that can inform strategies for health behavior change. His ultimate goal is to develop evidence-based, cost-effective, and scalable interventions to promote health and reduce risks of chronic diseases across the lifespan.


Susan Yeargin, Ph.D., ATC

My teaching and research expertise is sports medicine emergencies. Specifically, my research line focuses on the prevention, recognition, and immediate treatment of exertional heat illnesses. I also research hydration behaviors of active populations with particular focus on pediatric athletes.





Melissa Bair - Grants Administrator

Supports grants and budget management, oversees awards and internal projects, human resource manager for RGP


Jerryana Birch-Bibiloni - Administrative Assistant

Administative support for DPT program,  assists with admissions, tours, advisement and registration, event coordination, procurement and travel


Cecelia Caulder - Administrative Assistant

Administrative support and logistical coordinator to faculty, staff, and students


Gaye Groover Christmus, MPH - Grants Manager and Technical Editor

Supports and assists grant applications, guidelines, submissions, and budgets; Identifies funding opportunities


Marsha Dowda, DrPH



Libby Furr - Administative Assistant

Administative support and expense report coordinator for faculty, staff, and students


Patrice Gibson - Administrative Assistant

Administative support and meeting coordinator for faulty, staff, and students


Barbara Reager - Administrative Coordinator to Department Chair, MS and MPH-PAPH Graduate Program Coordinator

Administrative support to chair, faculty, and staff in department operations; Organizes graduate student matriculation files and supports graduate directors and committees


Dwaun Sellers - Athletic Training Administrative Coordinator, Graduate Program Coordinator

Administative support for AT program, Office or Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, Oversees and facilitates HR paperwork for students employees, faculty, and staff


Sarah Schumacher, MPH-PAPH - Director, Clinical Exercise Research Center

Collaborate with investigators of ongoing studies, enforce laboratory policies & safety regulations, coordinate requests for measurement services, manage activities in clinical & biochemical facilities, direct daily activities in the CERC.


Latoya J Townes - Human Resources Manager, Doctoral Program Graduate Coordinator

Department HR for faculty, staff, and students, department fund manager; Supports PhD graduate coordinator, Graduate Division leaders, and students


Challenge the conventional. Create the exceptional. No Limits.