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UT Arlington to offer new Ph.D. program in Kinesiology

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Media Contact: Bridget Lewis

News Topics: health and fitness, medicine, nursing, research

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The University of Texas at Arlington will soon welcome doctoral students into a new kinesiology program designed to elevate the excellence of the institution’s research in physiology, movement science, healthy living and other health science disciplines.

Kinesiology students in Dr. David Keller's laboratory

David Keller, far right, works with kinesiology students in his research laboratory at UT Arlington.

The UT System Board of Regents’ Academic Affairs Committee today authorized UT Arlington to establish a new Doctor of Philosophy degree program in Kinesiology at UT Arlington’s College of Nursing and Health Innovation. The full board is expected to approve the action Thursday at its meeting in Austin. The proposal will then be submitted to the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board for review and appropriate action. The first students will be enrolled in 2016.

The new Ph.D. program will build upon the University’s growing expertise in the areas of health science, physiology, healthy living and longevity, in line with the University’s Strategic Plan 2020: Bold Solutions | Global Impact under the theme of Health and the Human Condition.

“In proposing this new degree, our faculty continue to focus on meeting the needs of our community while further strengthening graduate level teaching and research in the crucial area of health sciences,” President Vistasp M. Karbhari said. “This will not only enable us to meet high level workforce needs but to also develop world class researchers and leaders in health sciences ready to answer the critical questions now before us. It exemplifies the dedication of our tremendous faculty in making valuable contributions to medicine and in leading how we address the principle challenges facing our region and the nation.”

The new Ph.D. program builds upon the Department of Kinesiology’s and the Center for Healthy Living and Longevity’s existing research, education, and community outreach initiatives in health and disease. It will focus on the prevention, assessment, and treatment of motor difficulties; chronic diseases; and musculoskeletal injuries across the human lifespan.

Students will specialize in one of three areas: movement and rehabilitation sciences; applied physiology; or physical education. Interdisciplinary coursework will be a foundational element of the curriculum as well.

“We recognize that collaborative science with high relevance to enhancing quality of life is how we will advance the human condition,” said Anne Bavier, dean of the UT Arlington College of Nursing and Health Innovation. “A fundamental key to that equation is equipping our students with an exemplary education and unmatched opportunities to help them care for those in need. We also must help meet demand for faculty in kinesiology studies.”

The new doctoral degree follows a summer of intense activity for the Department of Kinesiology and the College of Nursing and Health Innovation, recently named a Center for Excellence by the National League for Nursing. The College has added several prominent faculty members, including:

  • Dr. Marco Brotto, an internationally recognized expert in muscle and bone physiology, formerly of the Schools of Medicine, Nursing and Pharmacy at the University of Missouri-Kansas City;
  • Dr. Paul J. Fadel, physiology integrative researcher and expert in neural cardio-vascular control in health and disease, formerly of the University of Missouri School of Medicine;
  • Dr. Mark Haykowsky, an internationally renowned researcher in exercise physiology and rehabilitation medicine, formerly of  the University of Alberta, Canada.

In proposing the new degree program, UT Arlington leaders noted workforce projections that indicate an increasing demand for kinesiology faculty and health care research scientists with a Ph.D. degree over the next decade.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of medical scientists is projected to grow 13 percent between 2012 and 2022. The need is exacerbated by an increased reliance on pharmaceuticals, greater spending on medical care, a larger and aging population, and greater relevance of the understanding of physiological mechanisms associated with the processes of health and disease, University officials said.

“UT Arlington graduates will be educated and well-positioned to thrive in research positions and faculty jobs,” Bavier said. “They will receive unique multi-disciplinary and research experiences that directly target these health needs.”

About the College of Nursing and Health Innovation

The UT Arlngton College of Nursing and Health Innovation is a leader in the development of scientific evidence and educational models that equip nurses and other health care professionals to effectively and quickly integrate into the healthcare scientific and practice workforce. The National League for Nursing has designated the College as a Center for Excellence. With 19,000 students in campus-based and online degree programs, the College is one of the largest and most successful in the United States. Academic programs prepare individuals for clinical practice, teaching, research, leadership, administration, and health care policy. Visit www.uta.edu/nursing/ to learn more.

About The University of Texas at Arlington

The University of Texas at Arlington is a comprehensive research institution of more than 51,000 students in campus-based and online degree programs and is the second-largest institution in The University of Texas System. The Chronicle of Higher Education ranked UT Arlington as one of the 20 fastest-growing public research universities in the nation in 2014. U.S. News & World Report ranks UT Arlington fifth in the nation for undergraduate diversity. The University is a Hispanic-Serving Institution and is ranked as a “Best for Vets” college by Military Times magazine. Visit www.uta.edu to learn more, and find UT Arlington rankings and recognition at http://www.uta.edu/uta/about/rankings.php.

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The University of Texas at Arlington is an Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action employer.