Center for Physical Activity & Health

Department of Kinesiology, Recreation, and Sport Studies


Eugene Fitzhugh, PhD, Director

FitzhughDr. Eugene Fitzhugh teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in physical activity, epidemiology, and research methodologies. His research has resulted in numerous publications in various public health, nutrition, and health promotion journals. He has served as editor for the American Journal of Health Studies and currently reviews papers for several other journals. As a physical activity epidemiologist, his primary area of research revolves around the relationship of physical activity and obesity, along other chronic diseases across the lifespan.



Emily Post, CPT, Graduate Assistant

EmilyEmily Post is a graduate student pursuing a Masters in exercise physiology in the Department of Kinesiology, Recreation, and Sport Studies. She has experience administering clinical exercise tests and conducting health analyses.

Prior to attending the University of Tennessee, Emily earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Exercise Science, minor in Biology, from Ohio Dominican University (Columbus, OH). She is also a Certified Personal Trainer through the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM).



Dixie Thompson, PhD

Screen Shot 2015-02-07 at 4.35.01 PMDr. Dixie Thompson focuses her research on the health benefits of exercise for women and techniques used for body composition assessment. She is the author of numerous peer-reviewed publications. She also wrote six chapters in the 5th edition of Howley and Franks’ Fitness Professional’s Handbook. She is a frequent author of articles for fitness professionals and general audiences.

Thompson is a Fellow of the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) and is quite active in professional societies. She is the current past-president of the Southeast Chapter of ACSM and is the associate editor-in-chief for ACSM’s Health and Fitness Journal. Thompson is also an editorial board member of ACSM’s Fit Society Page Newsletter and is former chair of Physical Fitness Council for the American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation, and Dance.

David Bassett, Jr., PhD

Screen Shot 2015-02-07 at 4.36.35 PMDr. David Bassett has used pedometers to measure walking activity in different populations. He and his students have collected data on groups ranging from school children to sedentary, middle-aged adults to Amish farmers. They are exploring the relationships of pedometer-determined values of “steps per day” to body weight, blood pressure, and other cardiovascular risk factors. A number of studies conducted in our laboratory have examined the benefits of walking and swimming for weight loss, blood pressure reduction, and glucose tolerance.

Bassett directs the UT Applied Physiology Laboratory within the department and is co-director of the Obesity Research Center at UT (with Dr. Naima Moustaid-Moussa).

Dawn P. Coe, PhD

Screen Shot 2015-02-07 at 4.37.30 PMDr. Dawn Coe’s research focuses primarily on pediatric exercise physiology. Coe conducts research on the relationships between physical activity in relation to physical fitness and academic performance in youth. She is also currently investigating the genetic influence on physical fitness and cardiovascular disease risk in youth. Additionally, her research interests include the growth and maturation process and physical activity epidemiology. Dr. Coe is involved with the American College of Sports Medicine and the North American Society for Pediatric Exercise Medicine (NASPEM). She is currently serving on the Midwest Chapter of ACSM and NASPEM executive boards.

Scott Crouter, PhD

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Dr. Scott Crouter’s research interest revolve around measuring physical activity and energy expenditure in adults and children. Using accelerometers, pedometers, and heart rate monitors, a primary focus of Dr. Crouter’s work has been improving estimated energy expenditure in accelerometers in free living adults. In addition to serving on several committees for the American College of Sports medicine, Dr. Crouter is a ACSM fellow and certified ACSM Clinical Exercise Specialist.


Kelly Strohacker, PhDScreen Shot 2015-02-07 at 4.41.19 PM

Dr. Kelly Strohacker joins us from the University of Houston where she earned her Ph.D. in Kinesiology. Dr. Strohacker’s primary research focus is in assessing physiological and psychological responses in acute and chronic exercise among various populations including overweight and obese individuals. The goal of this assessment being to create more effective interventions for these populations.

Dr. Strohacker is highly involved as a reviewer in many scientific journals. She has also presented her work at many National conferences including ACSM, the Obesity Society and the National Heart, and Lung and Blood Institute Cardiovascular Epidemiology.


Edward Howley, PhD, Professor Emeritus

howleyDr. Edward Howley is a professor emeritus in the Deptartment of Kinesiology, Recreation, and Sport Studies. Howley teaches an undergraduate course in fitness testing and prescription as well as undergraduate and graduate courses in exercise physiology. He is the author of the Health Fitness Instructor’s Handbook (with B. Don Franks) and Exercise Physiology (with Scott K. Powers). He has also authored four book chapters, and forty-five research articles dealing with exercise physiology and fitness testing and prescription. Howley was president of the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) from 2002–03, and currently serves as editor-in-chief of ACSM’s Health and Fitness Journal. His research interests include metabolic responses to exercise, the effects of training, and the role of physical activity in weight loss and weight maintenance.

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