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Doctorate of Philosophy in EducationHuman Movement Sciences PhD

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The Human Movement Sciences concentration (Doctor of Philosophy in Education) seeks to expand our understanding of the effects of human movement on health and the overall quality of life, including economical, mental, physical, and social aspects across the lifespan. Students will gain a solid theoretical foundation, advanced methodological training, one-on-one mentorship, and opportunities to teach undergraduate courses to become educators, scholars, and leaders in their respective fields.

Emphasis Areas

Within this concentration, we have three emphasis areas studying human movement from different perspectives: Applied Kinesiology, Health and Sport Pedagogy, and Sport and Recreation Management.

Applied Kinesiology

The Applied Kinesiology emphasis area is designed to prepare graduates for positions as post-doctoral research fellows, university faculty, and/or governmental research officials. Faculty members that oversee students in the Applied Kinesiology emphasis are experts in exercise physiology, biomechanics, nutrition, and health promotion.

Some lines of inquiry that our faculty and doctoral students pursue include the following:

  • Examining the impact of the autoimmune disease psoriasis on physical activity habits
  • Exploring the links between anxiety and gastrointestinal problems during sporting competition
  • Investigating the oxygen consumption and heart rate responses to exercise
  • Examining the fitness testing and training of military personnel
  • Evaluating how short term alterations in physical activity (or inactivity) impact cardiometabolic health in healthy individuals, individuals with chronic diseases, as well as during pregnancy
  • Evaluating lower extremity biomechanics, assessments of lower extremity injury and prevention, and energetics of gait in various populations
  • Examining the influence of obesity and aging on neuromuscular function as well as examining performance measures in occupational populations.

Dr. David Swain

Dr. David Swain, a professor of exercise science, received his PhD in Physiology in 1984 from the Medical School of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. His research focus is on cardiovascular and metabolic responses to exercise. He originated the concept of oxygen consumption reserve (VO2 reserve) for exercise prescription. He has also performed several research studies on military training and performance. He has published numerous scientific articles, and his work has been cited over 12,000 times. He was the senior editor for ACSM's Resource Manual for Guidelines for Exercise Testing and Prescription, 7th edition, and served as an Associate Editor for the American College of Sports Medicine's research journal, Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, for ten years. He holds Clinical Exercise Physiologist and Program Director certifications from the ACSM, and is also a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist via the National Strength and Conditioning Association.

Dr. Patrick Wilson, RD

Dr. Patrick Wilson, RD, an associate professor in exercise science, earned a PhD in Kinesiology from the University of Minnesota in 2014, where he also took substantial coursework and received training in the public health and epidemiology. In addition, he has a Bachelor's degree in dietetics and is credentialed as a Registered Dietitian. Dr. Wilson's research interests include: 1) enhancement of sport performance through dietary changes and supplementation; 2) elucidating the causes of gastrointestinal problems in athletes; and 3) understanding the impact of lifestyle behaviors on the auto-immune disease psoriasis. He has authored or co-authored over 50 peer-reviewed articles that have appeared in highly regarded journals such as Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, American Journal of Public Health, Journal of Pediatrics, and Journal of Sports Sciences

Dr. Hunter Bennett

Dr. Hunter Bennett is an assistant professor in exercise science and the Neuromechanics Laboratory Director. Dr. Bennett earned a PhD in Kinesiology (biomechanics concentration) at the University of Tennessee in 2016. Dr. Bennett's primary research focuses on lower extremity biomechanics, assessments of lower extremity injury and prevention, and energetics of gait in various populations.

Dr. Leryn Reynolds

Dr. Leryn Reynolds graduated with a BS in Kinesiology from the University of Illinois in 2007. Thereafter, she pursued a MS in Clinical Exercise Physiology at Ball State University, graduating in 2009. Her PhD studies in Exercise Physiology were completed in 2014 at the University of Missouri. While there, Dr. Reynolds training focused on the influence of physical activity (or lack thereof) on cardiometabolic health. Dr. Reynolds then completed a post-doctoral fellowship at the University of Kentucky in the Department of Pharmacology and Nutritional Sciences in 2017. Dr. Reynolds is the Director of the Cardiometabolic Lab and the Wellness Institute and Research Center at Old Dominion University. Her current research interests include examining how short-term alterations in physical activity impact cardiovascular physiology and metabolism in healthy individuals, individuals with chronic diseases (obesity, type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease), as well as during pregnancy.

Kiara Barrett, MS, is a current doctoral student working under Dr. Bennett in the Human Movement Sciences program. She earned her BS and MS degree from Troy University in Troy, AL where she competed on the NCAA Division 1 volleyball team. Her thesis work at Troy focused on the effects of footwear on jumping mechanics in volleyball players. Her research interests include overhead throwing mechanics in baseball, as well as jumping and force development in volleyball players.

Brian Ferguson, MS, is a doctoral student working in the Human Performance Laboratory under Dr. Patrick Wilson. Brian earned his bachelor's degree in Exercise Science from Auburn University in 2018 and his master's degree in Exercise Science from Auburn in 2020. During his master's program, Brian co-authored a series of publications concerning resistance training, gene interrogation, and molecular adaptations. His research goals are to focus on increasing health span and reduce incidence rates of preventable, chronic disease by applying principles of physiology, exercise, and nutrition. Brian is an avid road cyclist and currently lives in Suffolk, VA with his wife Dominique and their two cats Theordore and Kona.

Lauren Luginsland, MS, is a doctoral student in the Neuromechanics Lab working under the supervision of Dr. Hunter Bennett. She earned her Bachelor of Science from the University of Scranton and her Masters of Science from The University of Mississippi. Lauren spent the last few years working as a biomechanist in the Movement Science Lab at Scottish Rite for Children in Dallas, TX and was a prior NIOSH/CDC research fellow awarded through the Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education (ORISE) program. Her research interests include clinical gait analysis in special populations.

Eva Maddox, MS, CSCS, served our country as a combat medic in the US Army, then earned her BS in Biology from Austin Peay State University (2013) and MS in Cellular and Molecular Biology from San Francisco State University (2015). Always eager to learn and develop her skills, she has undertaken the Exercise Science Doctoral Degree program with a concentration in Biomechanics at Old Dominion University as well as a Modeling and Simulation in Health Sciences Certificate. As the head strength coach for ODU's sailing program, she has grown to love the athletes and takes training them as the large responsibility that it is. She has also earned her CSCS, NASM-CPT and USA Weightlifting National Coach certifications. Eva is a certified Olympic Weightlifting referee and volunteers her time for regional events in support of the sport. Her research interest focuses on the biomechanics and modeling and simulation of strength and conditioning movements.

Yana Sokolenko-Carollo, MA from Virginia Commonwealth University. Currently, I coach the women's tennis team at ODU full time. I have been coaching Division 1 college tennis since 2004, at VCU, Miami (OH) and now ODU and have greatly enjoyed my tennis coaching profession. I am the co-owner of and coach at Tennis Team GP (2017-2019), a small tennis academy in Marbella, Spain. My research interests include: benefits of neuromotor training on kinetic chain; mental balance and emotional control during competition; enhanced performance through correct technical development and strength/conditioning training for tennis players. During my free time, I enjoy teaching tennis to people of all levels.

Hannah Twiddy, MEd, is a doctoral candidate working with Dr. Leryn Reynolds in the Applied Kinesiology concentration. She obtained a BS in Exercise Science from the University of North Carolina Wilmington in 2014. She then completed a MS in Exercise Science from Old Dominion University in 2016, her thesis involved functional fitness testing to determine injury risk in club sport athletes. As a certified ACSM Personal Trainer and RYT 200, she spent one year working with an exercise certification company before pursuing a doctorate degree. Her research interest focuses on holistic medicine and exercise for non-communicable diseases, longevity and healthy aging in the older adult population, and the effect of exercise on cardiometabolic health.

Dallas Wood, MS, is the Human Performance Program Manager for Naval Special Warfare. He obtained his master's degree in Athletic Training from the University of Virginia in 1997, after which he worked in rehabilitation until moving up to his current position in 2006. He co-authored three articles on special operations training prior to joining the doctoral program in 2016.

Jaison Wynne, MS, CSCS, has earned a BS (2018) and MS (2019) in Exercise Science from Old Dominion University (ODU). Presently, Jaison works closely with Dr. Patrick Wilson in the ODU Human Performance Laboratory, assisting in numerous research projects that seek to better understand how diet, supplementation, and exercise interact with the gut. Using his experience, knowledge, and creativity, Jaison strives to educate those around him with evidence-based science to improve quality of life, as well as exercise and athletic performance. Jaison resides in Norfolk with his beautiful wife Jessie, who is a 6th grade English teacher.

  • Reynolds LJ, †Twiddy HM, Mlynarczyk M, Wilson PB. The association of physical activity on homocysteine in pregnant women. J Matern Fetal Neonatal Med. 2021; 1-8. doi: 10.1080/14767058.2021.1941855. Online ahead of print.
  • †Maddox EU, Bennett HJ. Effects of external load on sagittal and frontal plane lower extremity biomechanics during back squats. J Biomech Eng. 2021;143(5):051006.
  • †Wynne JL, Wilson PB. Got beer? A systematic review of beer and exercise. Int J Sport Nutr Exerc Metab. 2021;31(5):438-450.
  • †Wynne J, †Ehlert A, Wilson P. Effects of high-carbohydrate versus mixed-macronutrient meals on female soccer physiology and performance. Eur J Appl Physiol. 2021;121(4):1125-1134.
  • †Maddox EU, Sievert ZA, Bennett HJ. Modified vector coding analysis of trunk and lower extremity kinematics during maximum and sub-maximum back squats. J Biomech. 2020;106:109830.

Current or former graduate student

Name: Jennifer Brown, PhD
Graduation Year: 2016
Program: Applied Kinesiology
Current Role: Assistant Professor of Kinesiology; Program Coordinator for Kinesiology, Physical Education, Public Health and Health
Current University: Elizabeth City State University

Name: Alex Ehlert, PhD
Graduation Year: 2021
Program: Applied Kinesiology
Current Role: Assistant Professor of Exercise Science
Current University: North Carolina Wesleyan College

Name: Zach Sievert, PhD
Graduation Year: 2019
Program: Applied Kinesiology
Current Role: Lecturer of Exercise Science
Current University: Old Dominion University

Health and Sport Pedagogy

This area focuses on teaching/learning, pedagogy, motivation, and physical activity behaviors in coaching, health and physical education contexts. Graduates are prepared for careers in higher education as well as public education institutions.

Our research areas focus on physical activity and health-related variable among youth and adults, including those with disabilities. This includes studies conducted within and outside of school-based physical education contexts. Some lines of inquiry which our research team pursues include the following:

  • Examining physical activity, learning, and health-related fitness
  • Examining national trends in body composition (obesity), habitual physical activity, and sedentary behaviors among various populations.
  • Examining health-related knowledge growth during school-based interventions.
  • Exploring the embodied perspectives of individuals with disabilities toward physical education or physical activity experiences.
  • Exploring intersectional relationships among membership in various socially defined groups.
  • Examining the role of motivational constructs, such as efficacy, interest and beliefs and learning, in influencing fitness and physical activity engagement.

Justin A. Haegele, PhD.

Justin A. Haegele, PhD., is an associate professor in the Department of Human Movement Sciences. Dr. Haegele received his PhD from The Ohio State University in 2015 in kinesiology with a focus on adapted physical education. His research interests are rooted in the field of adapted physical activity and focus on understanding physical activity behaviors of individuals with disabilities, in particular individuals with visual impairments. His primary research explores the embodied perspectives of those with visual impairments toward their experiences in school-based physical education. He has also conducted several studies examining national trends in health-related behaviors among individuals with disabilities. Dr. Haegele has authored or co-authored over 150 peer-reviewed articles that have appeared in highly regard journals. He is a Research Fellow with SHAPE America, and is Associated Editor for Quest and Adapted Physical Activity Quarterly.

Xihe Zhu, PhD.

Xihe Zhu, PhD., is an Associate Professor of Health & Physical Education at Old Dominion University, a Carnegie high research activity institution. He obtained his doctorate degree in kinesiology with a focus on pedagogical studies from University of Maryland - College Park in 2009. His research focuses on epidemiological, psychological, and pedagogical variables such as physical activity, health-related fitness, motivation, and learning among school-aged children and adolescents. Specifically, he examines the longitudinal growth and correlates of fitness and knowledge, and is interested in developing interventions and models to promote physical activity participation, physical fitness, and health-related knowledge growth among school-aged children.

Lindsay Ball

Lindsay Ball graduated with a B.A. in Psychology from the University of Maine at Farmington in 2013, a B.S. in Physical Education Teacher Education in 2019 and a M.S.Ed. in Adapted Physical Education in 2021 both from the State University of New York College at Brockport. Lindsay is a 2014 Paralympian in Alpine Skiing. She has been a board member for the Maine Organization of Blind Athletic and Leadership Education and volunteer for the organization's sports education camps for youth with visual impairments since 2015. Her research interests include exploring the experiences and self-determination of individuals with visual impairments in physical education, physical activity and sports settings.

M. Ally Keene

M. Ally Keene graduated with a B.S. in Kinesiology from James Madison University in 2012 and a M.S. in Kinesiology and Rehabilitation Science with a focus in Adapted Physical Activity from the University of Hawai'i in 2018. She taught Adapted and General Physical Education in Beaufort, South Carolina for the last 3 years. Ally has worked at Camp Spark, through the Northwest Association for Blind Athletes, every summer since 2016. Her research interests include visual impairments, APE implementation and inclusion.

Michael D. Kostick

Michael D. Kostick, M.Ed. is a doctoral student in the Health and Sport Pedagogy program. He earned a B.S.Ed. in Health and Physical Education from Lock Haven University in 2014 and a M.Ed. in Health and Physical Education from Indiana University of Pennsylvania in 2016. Professionally, Michael has served as a middle school health and physical educator, high school football and baseball coach, and HETE/PETE program faculty member at Indiana University of Pennsylvania and Valley City State University where he was involved with supervision of student teachers and health education curriculum revision. His research interests include health and physical education teacher preparation, health education in Catholic school settings, human formation of Catholic seminarians, and wellness habits of Catholic seminarians and priests.​

Lindsey Nowland

Lindsey Nowland graduated with a B.S. in Sport and Health Education from Radford University in 2019 and a M.Ed. in Kinesiology for Individuals with Disabilities with a focus in Adapted Physical Education from the University of Virginia in 2020. She taught Health and Physical Education in Spotsylvania, Virginia for one year and traveled to Alaska to volunteer as a coach at Camp Webber, a sports camp for children with blind or visual impairments. Lindsey's research interests include APE implementation with a focus on changes that could be made to general physical education to enhance inclusion.

Zhu, X., Haegele, J.A., Wang, D., Zhang, L., & Wu, X. (2020). Reactivity to accelerometer measurement of youth with moderate and severe intellectual disabilities. Journal of Intellectual Disability Research, 64(9), 667-672. doi:10.1111/jir12757

Holland, S.K., & Haegele, J.A. (2020). Socialization experiences of first year adapted physical education teachers with a master's degree. Adapted Physical Activity Quarterly, 37(3), 304-323. doi:10.1123/apaq.2019-0126

Holland, K., Haegele, J.A., & Zhu, X. (2020). "My eyes have nothing to do with how my legs move": Individuals with visual impairments' experiences with learning to run. Adapted Physical Activity Quarterly, 37(3), 253-259. doi:10.1123/apaq.2019-0098

Tanure Alves, M.L., Grenier, M., Haegele, J.A., & Duarte, E. (2020). "I didn't do anything, I just watched": Perspectives of Brazilian students with physical disabilities toward physical education. International Journal of Inclusive Education, 24(10), 1129-1142. doi:10.1080/13603116.2018.1511760

Healy, S., Garcia, J., & Haegele, J.A. (2020). Environmental factors associated with physical activity and screen time among children with and without autism spectrum disorder. Journal of Autism & Developmental Disorders, 50, 1572-1579. doi:10.1007/s10803-018-3818-0

Healy, S., Foley, J.T., Haegele, J.A., & Patterson, F. (2020). Physical activity, screen-time, and sleep duration among youth with chronic health conditions in the United States. American Journal of Health Promotion, 34(5), 505-511. doi:10.1177/0890117120915687

Haegele, J.A., Zhu, X., Healy, S., & Patterson, F. (2020). Proportions of youth with visual impairments meeting 24-hour movement guidelines. Child: Care, Health & Development, 46(3), 345-351. doi:10.1111/cch.12747

Zhang, L., Zhu, X., Haegele, J.A., Wang, D., & Wu, X. (2020). Health and fitness indicators of individuals with intellectual disabilities in China: Performance differences among disability levels. Journal of Intellectual & Developmental Disability 45(2), 155-158. doi:10.3109/13668250.2019.1591942

Haegele, J.A., Hodge, S.R., Zhu, X., †Holland, S.K., & Wilson, W.J. (2020). Understanding the inclusiveness of integrated physical education from the perspectives of adults with visual impairments. Adapted Physical Activity Quarterly, 37(2), 141-159. doi:10.1123/apaq.2019-0094

Haegele, J.A., Foley, J.T., Healy, S., & Paller, A. (2020). Prevalence of overweight among children with chronic conditions in the United States: An updated from the 2016 National Survey of Children's Health. Pediatric Obesity, 15(4), e12595. doi:10.1111/iljpo.12595

Haegele, J.A., Aigner, C., & Healy, S. (2020). Extracurricular activities and bullying among children and adolescents with disabilities. Maternal & Child Health Journal, 24, 310-318. doi:10.1007/s10995-019-02866-6

Yessick, A.B., Haegele, J.A., Zhu, X., & Bobzien, J. (2020). Experiences of children with ASD in self-contained physical education: An electronic-scrapbooking study. Advances in Neurodevelopmental Disorders, 4(1), 51-58. doi:10.1007/s41252-019-00139-5

Wilson, W., Haegele, J.A., & Kelly, L. (2020). Revisiting the narrative about least restrictive environment in physical education. Quest, 72(1), 19-32. doi:10.1080/00336297.2019.1602063

Haegele, J.A., Zhu, X., & †Holland, S.K. (2020). School-based bullying experiences as reflected by adults with visual impairments. Psychology in the Schools, 57, 296-309. doi:10.1002/pits.22314

Haegele, J.A. (2019). Inclusion illusion: Questioning the inclusiveness of integrated physical education. Quest, 71(4), 389-397. doi:10.1080/00336297.2019.1602547

Haegele, J.A., Zhu, X., & †Holland, K. (2019). Exploring the intersection between disability and overweightness in physical education among females with visual impairments. Research Quarterly for Exercise & Sport, 90(3), 344-354. doi:10.1080/02701367.2019.1600652

Zhu, X., & Haegele, J.A. (2019). Reactivity to accelerometer measurement of children with visual impairments and their family members. Adapted Physical Activity Quarterly, 36(4), 492-500. doi:10.1123/apaq.2019-0040

Haegele, J.A., & Zhu, X. (2019). Body image and physical education: Reflections of individuals with visual impairments. European Physical Education Review, 25(4), 1002-1016. doi:10.1177/1356336X18789436

Zhu, X., & Haegele, J.A. (2019). Three year health-related fitness knowledge growth in one curriculum context: Impact of student and school-level factors. Journal of Teaching in Physical Education, 38(3), 214-220. doi:10.1123/jtpe.2018-0146

Haegele, J.A., Aigner, C., & Healy, S. (2019). Prevalence of meeting physical activity, screen-time, and sleep guidelines among children and adolescents with and without visual impairments in the United States. Adapted Physical Activity Quarterly, 36(3), 399-405. doi:10.1123/apaq.2018-0130

†Davis, S., Zhu, X., & Haegele, J.A. (2018). Factors influencing high school girls' enrollment in elective physical education: an exploratory qualitative inquiry. Curriculum Studies in Health and Physical Education, 9(3), 286-299. doi: 10.1080/25742981.2018.1493934

Haegele, J.A., & †Kirk, T.N. (2018). Experiences in physical education: Exploring the intersection of visual impairment and maleness. Adapted Physical Activity Quarterly, 35(2), 196-213. doi:10.1123/apaq.2017-0132

Haegele, J.A., †Kirk, T.N., & Zhu, X. (2018). Self-efficacy and physical activity among adults with visual impairments. Disability & Health Journal, 11(2), 324-329. doi:10.1016/j.dhjo.2017.10.012

Zhu, X., & Haegele, J.A. (2018). Gender- and school-level correlates of growth in health-related fitness knowledge among US high-school students. Health Education Journal. doi: 10.1177/0017896918785930

Haegele, J.A., & Zhu, X. (2017). Experiences of individuals with visual impairments in integrated physical education: A retrospective study. Research Quarterly for Exercise and Sport, 88(4), 425-435. doi:10.1080/02701367.2017.1346781

†Leonetti, M., & Zhu, X., & Chen, S. (2017). Improving students' knowledge and values in physical education through Physical Best lessons. European Physical Education Review, 23(2), 223-236. doi: 10.1177/1356336X16645366

Zhu, X., Haegele, J.A., Tang, Y., & Wu, X. (2017). Physical activity and sedentary behaviors of urban Chinese children: Grade level prevalence and academic burden associations. BioMed Research International, 2017, Article ID 7540147, 1-7. doi:10.1155/2017/7540147

† Current or former graduate student

Name: Summer Davis, PhD
Graduation Year: 2019
Program: Health & Sport Pedagogy
Current Role: Adjunct Professor
Current University: Norfolk State University

Name: Katie Holland, PhD
Graduation Year: 2021
Program: Health & Sport Pedagogy
Current Role: Assistant Professor, Department of Teacher Education
Current University: Norwegian University of Science & Technology

Name: Steven K Holland, PhD
Graduation Year: 2021
Program: Health & Sport Pedagogy
Current Role: Associate Professor, Department of Teacher Education
Current University: Norwegian University of Science & Technology

Name: T. Nicole Kirk, PhD
Graduation Year: 2019
Program: Health & Sport Pedagogy
Current Role: Assistant Professor, Department of Kinesiology
Current University: University of Georgia

Sport and Recreation Management

This area focuses on issues related to the administration of sport and recreation organizations. Graduates are prepared for careers as faculty or administrators in higher education, private organizations, public agencies, and/or other research-based institutions.

Our research areas cross over between sport and recreation management. The sport management concentration focuses on sport consumer behavior and involvement, analytics, and the social and economic issues evident in sport. The recreation concentration focus is on youth development, surf tourism, outdoor recreation, and land management. Some lines of inquiry that our research team pursues include the following, and recent publication samples are listed below:

  • Analyzing mediated sport consumer behavior
  • Sport consumption and emerging technologies
  • Psychosocial aspects of sport consumption at the amateur and professional levels of sport
  • Psychosocial factors associated with sport involvement
  • The roles of leisure and sport in improving health and well-being among ethnic and racial minorities
  • The application of data analytics in the sport industry
  • Social and economic issues in sport
  • Examining the impact of the camp experience and Out of School Time
  • Exploring human dimensions of natural resource management
  • Examining surf tourism
  • Examining the impact of climate change on visitor behavior
  • Determining the perceived health benefits and motivations of outdoor recreation
  • Assessing the impact air quality has on recreation participation
  • Determining the outcomes of wilderness orientation programs
  • Programming for nature-based experiences

Dr. Robert Case

Dr. Robert Case is an associate professor in the Sport Management Program. He earned his PhD from the Ohio State University, MA from Michigan State University, and BS from State University of New York at Brockport. In the past, he has served as a college athletic director, recreational sport director, and head basketball coach at various levels including college, high school, and summer Junior Olympic camps at the U.S. Olympic Training Center. He has previously taught sport management at Indiana University, Bloomington and Tulane University. His research interests include studying social and economic issues in sport and college athletics (specifically economic impact, academic integrity - academic clustering) and curriculum development in sport management and coaching education. He has published in a wide variety of sport journals, received over $700,000 in grant funding, and presented at numerous national and international sport conferences. He has taught at ODU since 1996.

Dr. Eddie Hill, CPRP

Dr. Eddie Hill, CPRP, is an associate professor in the Park, Recreation and Tourism Studies program. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Utah (2004) with a focus on Youth Development. Eddie Hill earned his B.S (1995) and M.S.Ed. (1998) from Old Dominion University. His focus was on teaching students with learning and behavior disorders. His research interests include: youth development, resiliency-based after school programming, motivation for diabetes management, therapeutic recreation, and outdoor education. He has written multiple grants, published many research papers, and given numerous presentations at professional conferences, all of which targeted positive youth development. Dr. Hill has 20 years experience as a ropes course facilitator, Outward Bound field staff, and educator. He is also a Certified Park and Recreation Professional (CPRP).

Dr. Lamar Reams

Dr. Lamar Reams is as an associate professor in the Sport Management program. His primary research areas of interest include sport consumer behavior, combat sports and sport sponsorship. He has published articles in highly recognized journals in the field, including Sport Management Review, European Sport Management Quarterly, Sport Marketing Quarterly, and International Journal of Sport Management and Marketing. Dr. Reams serves as the co-editor of the Journal of Amateur Sport, acquisitions editor for Journal of Issues in Intercollegiate Athletics, and as an editorial board member for Sport Marketing Quarterly. Dr. Reams earned his Ph.D. in Sport Administration from the University of Northern Colorado in 2012. He holds a bachelor's degree in psychology from the University of Tennessee and a master's degree in Sport Management from Northern Illinois University.

Dr. Lynn Ridinger

Dr. Lynn Ridinger is a professor of Sport Management. Her research interests focus on understanding psychosocial factors associated with sport involvement and consumer behavior, with a particular interest in the involvement of women in sport. Her work has examined involvement as it relates to a variety of sport stakeholders including spectators, donors, athletes, recreational runners, and referees. Dr. Ridinger is a NASSM Research Fellow and her work has been published in the top journals in the field including the Journal of Sport Management, Sport Management Review, and European Sport Management Quarterly. Dr. Ridinger earned a Ph.D. in Sport Management from the Ohio State University, a M.S. from Kent State University, and a B.S. from Central Michigan University. Prior to earning her doctorate, she was a high school athletic director and coach.

Dr. Lindsay Usher

Dr. Lindsay Usher is an associate professor of Park, Recreation and Tourism Studies. She is a graduate of Penn State University (M.S. and Ph.D. in Recreation, Park and Tourism Management) and The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (B.A. in Recreation Administration and Dramatic Art). Her research interests include surf tourism, coastal tourism and sustainability, and the political ecology of tourism development. She served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Guatemala from 2006 to 2008 working as an ecotourism facilitator.

Dr. Chris Zajchowsk

Dr. Chris Zajchowski is an Assistant Professor of Park, Recreation, and Tourism Studies. His interdisciplinary research explores human dimensions of natural resource management, particularly in parks and protected areas which experience degraded air quality. Additional research interests include visitor use management, behavioral economics, social-ecological systems, and diverse methodological approaches to leisure research. Dr. Zakchowski earned his Ph.D. from the University of Utah (2018) with a focus on air quality and visitor behavior in parks and protected areas. He earned M.S. in Experiential Education (2011) from Minnesota State University, Mankato, and a B.A. in International Literature and Environmental Studies (2007) from Colby College. Dr. Zajchowski has over ten years of experience as a challenge course facilitator, river guide, outdoor and environmental educator.

Dr. Yilun Zhou

Dr. Yilun Zhou, is an assistant professor of Sport Management. Her research interests include sport socialization, sport analytics, and sport consumer behavior. She has published articles in Journal of Sport Management, Sport Management Review, Journal of Sports Economics, Sport Marketing Quarterly, Leisure Sciences, Leisure Studies and other outlets. Dr. Zhou earned a Ph.D. in Sport Management from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, a M.S. in Statistics from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and a B.S. in Journalism from Beijing Sport University. Dr. Zhou has also worked for Anheuser-Busch InBev Bud Analytics Lab, Nike China Headquarter, Ogilvy China Headquarter, and Beijing Organizing Committee for the Olympic Games.

Rowan Williams, MS, is a doctoral student working under Dr. Hill in the Sports and Recreation Management program. They earned their B.S.B.A. in Information Systems and Technology and M.S. in Park, Recreation, and Tourism Studies at Old Dominion University. Their graduate research project work focused on Critical Race Theory within the sport of recreational distance running. In addition to their capstone project, Williams has co-authored research within youth development, camp, and youth recreation. Their research goals include a focus on recreation accessibility, inclusion, and diversity, in addition to recreation and play as an instrument of empowerment. When not reading, writing, and helping other students and colleagues, Rowan is spending time either in their art/research studio or at home with their spouse, Nathanial, and dog, Bruno.

Name: Takeyra Collins, PhD
Graduation Year: 2019
Program: Sport & Recreation Management
Current Role: Assistant Professor
Current University: VA Wesleyan University

Name: Jennifer Goff, PhD
Graduation Year: 2016
Program: Sport & Recreation Management
Current Role: Executive Director for REACH

Name: Craig Morehead
Graduation Year: 2016
Program: Sport & Recreation Management
Current Role: Assistant Professor, Sport Management
Current University: Indiana State University

Name: Brendan O'Hallarn
Graduation Year: 2016
Program: Sport & Recreation Management
Current Role: Lecturer, Public Affairs & Media Relations
Current University: Old Dominion University

Name: Michelle Redmond
Graduation Year: 2017
Program: Sport & Recreation Management
Current Role: Lecturer & UPD, Sport Management
Current University: Old Dominion University

Admissions & Curriculum


In addition to a minimum of 12 credit hours of dissertation, students will need to complete at least 48 credit hours of coursework covering research methods such as research design, qualitative and quantitative methods, emphasis area courses that are content specific to each area, professional preparation courses such as doctoral study seminars, and electives that are approved by the advisor. Our curriculum is comprehensive, but has the flexibility to allow for individual specialization.


Pursuing a doctoral degree is a serious commitment. Prior to applying to the Human Movement Sciences concentration of the Ph.D. in Education, it is essential that a prospective applicant contact one or more HMS faculty/advisor regarding his or her research interests. An applicant will not be admitted unless a specific faculty member has agreed to serve as his or her advisor/mentor. Once that has been established and the complete application is received, the admissions committee will review all applications and make admission decisions based on a number of factors, including the standard application materials, support from the prospective faculty mentor, and availability of resources. Review the admissions requirements in the catalog.

Graduate Assistantships

There are a limited number of Graduate Assistantships (GA) available that include a full tuition waiver and a stipend of $15,000 per year. The GA positions are highly competitive and will be awarded on a very selective basis.

To successfully complete the program, students must maintain a grade point average of 3.0 or higher and maintained continual enrollment, pass the comprehensive examinations, complete a dissertation, and file all necessary paperwork.