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Health and Human Performance

Welcome to the Department of Health & Human Performance at
Texas A&M University-Commerce. We offer graduate and undergraduate programs in health with teacher certification; health promotion; kinesiology with teacher certification; human performance; sports and recreation management; and athletic training.  Our accomplished faculty and small class sizes produce an inviting atmosphere for learning and scholarship.

The Department of Health & Human Performance at Texas A & M University – Commerce strives to become the premier health and human performance department in the A&M System.

The Department of Health & Human Performance achieves excellence in implementing challenging academic curricula that prepare leaders in the fields of health, kinesiology, and sport to excel in a dynamic and digital society.  The Department empowers and engages students and faculty through applied knowledge and real-world experiences in diverse community and global settings.  Faculty and students produce and disseminate quality research that is current and relevant to communities of learners in our academic, professional, and global environments.

Meet HHP Faculty and Staff

  • Tara  Tietjen-Smith

    Tara Tietjen-Smith, DA, CHES

    Interim Department Head and Associate Professor

    Dr. Tietjen-Smith has a doctorate in Health and Physical Education from Middle Tennessee State University. She is a Certified Health Education Specialist (CHES), and has served almost two decades in higher education.

    Areas of Research:

    Higher Education Administration, Women's Health

  • Quynh  Dang

    Quynh Dang, PhD

    Assistant Professor

    After completing her degree in Health & Sport Science from the University of Oklahoma and coming to College Station for grad school, the Fortune 500 company Quynh worked for paid for her to complete a PhD in Kinesiology.

    Areas of Research:

    Global Health & Corporate Wellness

  • Sarah  Mitchell

    Sarah Mitchell, MS, ATC, LAT

    Director Athletic Training Education Program

    Mrs. Mitchell received her MS in Exercise Physiology from University of Texas at Arlington and is currently pursuing a PhD in Exercise Physiology from Texas Woman's University. She is a Certified Athletic Trainer and Texas Licensed Athletic Trainer.

  • Gwendolyn Weatherford

    Gwendolyn Weatherford, PhD, CAPE

    Assistant Professor/ Graduate Coordinator

    Dr. Weatherford received her Ph.D. in Sport Management from Texas Woman's University and is currently serving as Graduate Coordinator for the Health, Kinesiology, and Sport Studies masters program.

    Areas of Research:

    Administration, Sport for Development & Social Improvement

  • Henry  Ross

    Henry Ross, EdD


    Dr. Ross is the current President of Texas Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation, & Dance and advises students in the B.S. in Human Performance program.

    Areas of Research:

    Concerns of African American higher education faculty

  • Lauren  Rhodes

    Lauren Rhodes, MS

    Instructor/FRA Coordinator

    Ms. Rhodes has an M.S. in Health, Kinesiology, & Sports Studies with a concentration in Sport Management from A & M Commerce. She coordinates the Fitness & Recreational Activity program. Her specialty area is yoga.

  • Sandy  Kimbrough

    Sandy Kimbrough, PhD

    Associate Professor

    Dr. Kimbrough earned her Ph. D. with an emphasis in Motor Learning. Her areas of expertise include Motor Development, Motor Learning, Sport Psychology, and Teaching in K-12 and Higher Education.

    Areas of Research:

    Pedagogy, Physical Education

  • Sangkwon Lee

    Sangkwon Lee, PhD

    Associate Professor

    Dr. Lee holds a masters degree in Economics from Pusan National University in Korea and earned a Ph.D. in Recreation, Park, and Tourism from Texas A & M University, College Station. He teaches in the B.S. in Sport & Recreation Management Program.

    Areas of Research:

    Economics and sport

  • Spencer  Willis

    Spencer Willis, DrPH, CHES

    Assistant Professor/Coordinator, Academy for Health Potential

    Dr. Willis holds a Masters degree in Health Studies from the University of Alabama and a doctorate in Public Health from Jackson State University. He teaches courses in the health promotion program and directs the Academy for Health Potential.

    Areas of Research:

    Public health in undeserved populations

  • Steve  Prewitt

    Steve Prewitt, PhD

    Assistant Professor

    Dr. Prewitt received his Ph.D. from the University of Utah in Exercise and Sport Science. He is a former public school teacher with over 15 years of teaching experience.

    Areas of Research:

    Curriculum and Instruction, Technology in Physical Education, Personalized System of Instruction.

  • Vipa  Bernhardt

    Vipa Bernhardt, PhD

    Assistant Professor

    Dr. Bernhardt earned a Ph.D. in Biomedical Sciences with a concentration in Physiology from the University of Florida and is the program coordinator for the B.S. in Human Performance.

    Areas of Research:

    Respiration and perceived exertion; obesity, sleep apnea, and ventilation

  • Ruth  Beelitz

    Ruth Beelitz, MS

    Ad-Interim Instructor

    Ms. Beelitz is a Cooper Institute Certified Personal Trainer and Fitness Specialist who holds an M.S. in Health, Kinesiology, and Sports Studies. She has over 12 years of experience in wellness and recreation.

  • Billie  Abell

    Billie Abell

    Administrative Assistant

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