Vipa Bernhardt inside the new health performance lab.

I can answer questions related to the coursework and potential career paths after graduation (there are many!)

Vipa Bernhardt, Ph.D.
Associate Professor

  • Faculty
Health and Human Performance
Vipa Bernhardt Headshot
Nursing and Health Sciences 165D
Related Department
Health and Human Performance

Swimming from an early age, Vipa Bernhardt grew up with a passion for human performance. She grew up in Germany and perfected her swimming style which led to participating in such competitions as the German Olympic Trials and World Championships. During her senior year, Dr. Bernhardt was offered a scholarship from the University of Florida. She took this opportunity and combined her education with sport to further her education. Her fascination with physiology and exercise performance grew throughout her graduate work to the point that she integrated her neuroscience and physiology background with her love of athletics. Now, she shares her experiences with future health and human performance professionals through her professorship and teaching. Beyond teaching and researching, Dr. Bernhardt loves to crochet and play underwater hockey.

A Conversation with Dr. Bernhardt

Besides teaching in the classroom, how are you involved in helping students succeed?

I am the coordinator and faculty advisor of the B.S. Kinesiology & Sports Studies-Human Performance degree. I can answer questions related to the coursework and potential career paths after graduation (there are many!). I am also the director of the Human Performance Laboratory providing research experience to interested students. I regularly serve as a mentor for master's and honor's students completing a research thesis as well as McNair Scholars.

What has been your favorite course to teach?

Exercise Physiology, which is the study of how the body responds while we exercise and how it adapts with exercise training. We cover the main systems of the human body: respiratory, cardiovascular, muscular, and nervous system and study how they interconnect.

Tell us about an academic project you are working on or recently completed.

In conjunction with the Morris Recreation Center, we are working towards a healthier campus community by providing education on and opportunities for physical activity. We were honored by the American College of Sports Medicine with an “Exercise is Medicine” on-campus recognition.

Educational Background

  • Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Institute for Exercise and Environmental Medicine, Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas and UT Southwestern Medical Center, 2011-2014
  • Ph.D., Biomedical Sciences, University of Florida, 2010
  • B.S., Neurobiological Sciences, University of Florida, 2006
  • B.A., Music, University of Florida, 2006

Honors and Awards

  • Faculty Development Grant, TAMUC, 2015-19
  • Phi Pi Delta “Lion Heart” Award, TAMUC, 2018
  • Junior Faculty Research Award, TAMUC, 2017
  • Global Fellow, TAMUC, 2015

Research Interests

  • Exercise Physiology
  • Shortness of breath during exercise
  • Fitness and performance measurements

Professional Organizations

  • American College of Sports Medicine
  • American Physiological Society

Featured Courses

Selected Publications

  • Ramirez O, Bernhardt V. “Using Fitbit competitions to increase physical activity in college students.” The Macksey Journal. 2020.
  • Bernhardt V, Bhammar DM, Marines-Price R, Babb TG. “Weight loss reduces dyspnea on exertion and unpleasantness of dyspnea in obese men.” Respiratory Physiology and Neurobiology. 261:55-61. 2019.
  • Bernhardt V, Babb TG. “Exertional dyspnoea in obesity.” European Respiratory Review. 142:487-495. 2016.

Related News

A group of faculty and students pose for a picture.

TAMUC Health and Human Performance Students Present at Regional Conference

Twelve students and three faculty from the Department of Health and Human Performance at A&M-Commerce attended and presented at the annual conference for the Texas chapter of the American College of Sports Medicine in Waco, Texas, Feb. 22-23. Marshall Tousant, Raquel Cavazos, Francesca Aquilino, Shelby Gerner, Austin Riffe, Ernest Balderrama, Chaehyun Byun and Cheyenne Martinez—all […]

A student exercises on a machine inside a gym.

A&M-Commerce Wellness Efforts Earn Second Consecutive Silver Distinction

For the second year in a row, A&M-Commerce has earned a silver distinction from the Exercise is Medicine organization for efforts to create a culture of wellness on campus. Of the 149 universities and colleges honored by the organization worldwide, 73 received gold, 55 received silver, and 21 reached bronze. The Exercise is Medicine On […]

A male athlete competing in the shot put event launches a shot into the air.

A&M-Commerce Conducts Elite Performance Research at Dallas Track and Field Event

The Department of Health and Human Performance at A&M-Commerce recently conducted performance testing with athletes competing at the John Green Texas Greatest Athletes Invitational from June 2-4 at the Greenhill School in Addison, Texas. The research team included Drs. Michael Oldham, Vipa Bernhardt and Steve Prewitt; Kaylie Daniels, RDN; and Assistant Track and Field Coach […]

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