Sport Mangement  News

Falk College welcomes new faculty and staff


Syracuse University’s Falk College is pleased to welcome four new staff members who have joined Falk College in the past academic year: Donna Fecteau, Administrative Assistant in the Department of Exercise Science; Julia Fuqua, Office Coordinator in the Department of Exercise Science; Heather Mauro, Internship Placement Coordinator in the School of Social Work, and; Melissa Tobin, Counselor, Academic Services in the Office of Student Services.

In addition, Falk College is pleased to announce the appointment of six new faculty members, Bernard Appiah, Maria Erdman, Kenneth Marfilius, Miriam Mutambudzi, Latha Ramalingam, and Maryam Yuhas, in addition to six faculty who join Falk College with the Department of Exercise Science, Tiago Barreira, Tom Brutsaert, Keith DeRuisseau, Kevin Heffernan, Joon Young Kim, and Kristen Konkol.

Bernard Appiah PortraitBernard Appiah

Assistant Professor, Department of Public Health

Bernard Appiah joins the Department of Public Health in Falk College as Assistant Professor in fall 2020.

Prior to joining Syracuse University, Appiah was Assistant Professor at Texas A&M University’s School of Public Health in the Departments of Environmental and Occupational Health and Public Health Studies. He was the Founding Director of the Research Program on Public and International Engagement for Health. Previously, Appiah served as a Drug Information Pharmacist/Publications Manager at the National Drug Information Resource Centre (NDIRC) for the Ministry of Health in Ghana. He has taught courses such as Environmental and Occupational Health Communication, Social Context of Population Health, and Comparative Global Health Systems.

Appiah’s research interests lie in socio-behavioral approaches for exploring public health issues, global health and environmental health with emphasis on socio-behavioral change communication, public/community engagement interventions, and dissemination of information/knowledge through culturally appropriate communication channels. He is published in several journals, including Psychiatry Research, BMC Complementary Medicine and Therapies, Journal of Medical Internet Research (JMIR) mHealth and uHealth, and authored book chapters, technical reports, and many articles for mass media. He has presented at the International Workshop for Practitioners of Engagement between Health Researchers and Schools in Kilifi, Kenya, the West African Society of Pharmacologists (WASOP) Conference in Ghana, and the Academy for Future International Leaders (AFIL) Open Session Seminar on Global Health Issues.

Appiah’s research has received support from the Wellcome Trust, UK, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Grand Challenges Canada, USAID Ghana, and Texas A&M University. Among the most recent supporters of his research is the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) of the National Institutes of Health. Appiah is the recipient of numerous teaching and research fellowships and other honors including being named as a Carnegie African Diaspora Fellow in 2018 and 2016. He currently serves as Head of Capacity Building and Research Programmes for the Pan-African Network for Popularization of Science and Technology and Science Communication (African Gong); member of the Healthcare Safety and Quality Expert Committee of the U.S. Pharmacopeia, and; reviewer for Public Understanding of Science.

Appiah earned his Dr.PH in Health Promotion and Community Health Sciences in 2013 and his M.S. in Science and Technology Journalism from Texas A&M University’s School of Public Health and College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences, respectively. He earned his master’s in Development Communication from the University of the Philippines Open University (UPOU) and his B.Pharm in Pharmacy from Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) in Ghana.

Tiago Barreira Portrait

Tiago Barreira

Assistant Professor, Department of Exercise Science

Tiago Barreira joins Falk College as Assistant Professor in the Department of Exercise Science in fall 2020. He teaches courses such as systemic physiology and exercise, research methods in exercise and sports science, measurement and evaluation in exercise science, physical activity and public health, and obesity and body composition.

Prior to joining Falk College in 2020, the Department of Exercise Science was positioned within Syracuse University’s School of Education, where Barreira has served as Assistant Professor since 2014. Barreira is also the Director of the Kinesmetrics Laboratory at Syracuse University. Prior to joining Syracuse, he completed a Postdoctoral Fellowship at the Pennington Biomedical Research Center. Barreira’s research focuses on the measurement of physical activity: establishing validity and reliability evidence of physical activity measurement tools; determining how to use physical activity measurement tools to obtain reliable and accurate information on physical activity patterns; the use of physical activity measurement tools as a motivation to promote increased physical activity levels, and; investigating the relationship between physical activity and cardiovascular disease risk factors. His work is published in several journals, most recently in International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, the Journal of Aging and Physical Activity, Disability and Rehabilitation, Artery Research, and the Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness among others. He has given presentations for the International Biometric Conference, The American College of Sports Medicine, and the International Conference on Ambulatory Monitoring of Physical Activity and Movement, among others.

Past research has received support from the National Institutes of Health, American Heart Association, Institute for Educational Sciences SHAPE America, Fight for Hearts, among others. Barreira is a journal editor for the Physical Activity section of Measurement in Physical Education and Exercise and is a manuscript reviewer for several journals and publications. He currently serves as Co-chair of the Measurement and Evaluation Special Interest Group from SHAPE America and a member of the American College of Sports Medicine Mid-Atlantic Chapter Research Committee.

Barreira earned his Ph.D. in Human Performance with a concentration in Kinesmetrics in 2010 from Middle Tennessee State University, where he also earned his M.S. in Exercise Science. He also earned a B.A. Physical Education and B.S. in Business Administration from the University of North Carolina at Wilmington.

Tom Brutsaert PortraitTom Brutsaert

Professor, Department of Exercise Science

Tom Brutsaert joins Falk College as Professor in the Department of Exercise Science in fall 2020. In the department, he teaches courses such as energy metabolism and exercise, physiology of exercise, environmental physiology, high altitude physiology and biology, and human biological variation.

Prior to joining Falk College in 2020, the Department of Exercise Science was positioned within Syracuse University’s School of Education, where Brutsaert has served as Professor since 2016 and previously as Associate Professor since 2009. At Syracuse, Brutsaert is the Director of the Altitude Simulation Laboratory, holds a courtesy appointment in the Department of Anthropology, and helps to coordinate the Human Performance Laboratory. Before joining Syracuse University, he held several positions at SUNY Albany. There, he was a Fellow in the Center for Social and Demographic Analysis, and was Associate Professor in the Department of Anthropology from 2005 to 2009 after being promoted from Assistant Professor. He also served as Co-Director of the Human Biology Program from 2003 to 2004. He completed an NIH Postdoctoral Fellowship at the University of California at San Diego’s School of Medicine in the Division of Physiology.

Brutsaert has broad research interests in how gene and environment interact to produce variation in human athletic ability and health and disease. His work is published in several publications, most recently in Frontiers in Genetics, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, European Journal of Applied Physiology, The American Journal of Physical Anthropology, and International Journal of Molecular Sciences, among others. He has given presentations at the International Conference on Genomics, Leh High Altitude Symposium, World Congress on High Altitude Medicine and Physiology, for the Center for Physiological Genomics, and others.

Past research has received support from the National Science Foundation (NSF Division of Behavioral and Cognitive Sciences, National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, the National Geographic Foundation, and a Fulbright Specialist Award. Brutsaert serves on the Advisory Editorial Board for Sports Sciences for Health and the Editorial Board for High Altitude Medicine and Biology, and previously served in editorial and reviewer roles for other journals, books, and grants.

Brutsaert earned his Ph.D. in Biological Anthropology in 1977 from Cornell University, where he also earned his M.S. in Human Nutrition and M.A. in Biological Anthropology. He earned his B.A. in Biology from Northeastern University.

Keith DeRuisseau

Associate Professor and Chair, Department of Exercise Science

Keith DeRuisseau joins Falk College as Associate Professor in the Department of Exercise Science in fall 2020. He is currently the Chair of the department and teaches courses such as introduction to exercise science, physiology of exercise, and skeletal muscle physiology.

Prior to joining Falk College in 2020, the Department of Exercise Science was positioned within Syracuse University’s School of Education, where DeRuisseau has served as Associate Professor since 2012 and previously as Assistant Professor since 2006. Before joining Syracuse University, he was a Postdoctoral Associate in the Department of Applied Physiology and Kinesiology at the University of Florida.

DeRuisseau’s research investigates potential mediators of skeletal muscle dysfunction under conditions that include disuse, aging, and trisomy (a model of Down syndrome). An emphasis is placed on how iron, oxidants, and antioxidants contribute to skeletal muscle mass and functional responses. He is published in several journals, most recently in Applied Physiology, Nutrition, and Metabolism, the Journal of Applied Physiology, International Journal of Molecular Sciences, European Journal of Sport Science, and Respiratory Physiology & Neurobiology. He has presented his work at Experimental Biology annual meetings and for the American College of Sports Medicine.

Past research has received support from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) and National Institute on Aging (NIA), the Diabetes Group of the Hill Collaboration on Environmental Medicine, the Syracuse University Gerontology Center, and others. DeRuisseau is a 2015-2016 Fulbright U.S. Scholar Grant awardee for the Fulbright-Saastamoinen Foundation Grant in Health and Environmental Sciences. He is a member of the American Physiological Society and invited manuscript reviewer for publications such as Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, the International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism, and the Journal of Applied Physiology, among others.

DeRuisseau earned his Ph.D. in Movement Science from Florida State University in 2002. He earned his M.S. and B.S. in Exercise Science, both from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst.

Maria Erdman PortraitMaria Erdman

Associate Teaching Professor, Department of Nutrition and Food Studies

Maria Erdman joins the Department of Nutrition and Food Studies in Falk College as an Associate Teaching Professor in fall 2020. At Syracuse, Erdman will teach in the nutrition program.

Prior to joining Syracuse University, Erdman was employed at Morrison Healthcare at Upstate University Hospital as a Clinical Outpatient Dietitian at the Upstate Cancer Center since 2014. Prior to that time, she was a Clinical Inpatient Dietitian. Previously, she was a Graduate Research and Teaching Assistant at Syracuse University, and also worked as a Laboratory Manager and Research Technician at UC Davis, Yale College, and Syracuse University.

Erdman’s research on nutrition on college campuses is published in Public Health Nutrition and Health Promotion. She has presented at the Food and Nutrition Conference and Exposition of the American Dietetic Association (2010) and NYSDA Annual Meeting (2009). She has given many nutrition lectures and educational sessions at Oasis/Healthlink Learning Center at Upstate Medical University, Upstate Cancer Center, Upstate Healthlink On Air Radio Program, and Upstate Medical University Physical Therapy, among others.

She is the recipient of several awards, including the Upstate Cancer Center Nutrition Services Fund, a grant from the Upstate Foundation to pay the nutrition counseling bills of cancer patients at Upstate Cancer Center, as well as the 2016 President’s Employee Recognition Award, Clinical Team of the Year. She also received the 2010 Outstanding Dietetics Student Dietetic Internship Award from the New York State Dietetic Association (NYSDA) and the Outstanding Graduate Student in Nutrition Science from Syracuse University. She has served in several volunteer positions for the CNYDA, including president, and has served in volunteer roles at the Crouse Hospital Clinical Dietetics Department, Syracuse City School District, and Community Supported Agriculture of Central New York, among others.

Erdman earned a M.S. in Nutrition Science at Syracuse University in 2009, where she also completed her Dietetic Internship, and a B.S. in Genetics at the University of California, Davis.

She earned certifications as a Board Certified Specialist in Oncology Nutrition (CSO) 2015-20 and a Board Certified Nutrition Support Clinician (CNSC) 2012-17.

Kevin Heffernan PortraitKevin Heffernan

Associate Professor, Department of Exercise Science

Kevin Heffernan joins Falk College as Associate Professor in the Department of Exercise Science in fall 2020. In the department, he teaches courses such as exercise and aging, cardiac rehabilitation, and advanced cardiovascular exercise physiology.

Prior to joining Falk College in 2020, the Department of Exercise Science was positioned within Syracuse University’s School of Education, where Heffernan has served as Dean’s (Distinguished) Associate Professor since 2011. He currently serves as the Director of the Human Performance Laboratory at Syracuse University. Previously, he completed a Post-Doctoral Fellowship at the Tufts Medical Center, Molecular Cardiology Research Institute and the Jean Mayer USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging from 2008-2011.

Heffernan’s research examines the interaction of diet, nutritional supplementation and exercise, with an emphasis on resistance exercise, on vascular function in health, disease and disability throughout the human lifespan. His work is published in several journals, most recently the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, JAMA Cardiology, and the Journal of Applied Physiology. He has presented recent work on exercise and cardiovascular health at the American College of Sports Medicine and the North American Artery Society scientific conferences as well as work related to health disparities in cardiovascular disease risk to members of the Congressional Black Caucus. He is Past-President of the Mid-Atlantic Regional Chapter of the American College of Sports Medicine.

Past research has been funded by the American College of Sports Medicine and the American Heart Association. Current work is funded by the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities, part of the National Institutes of Health. Heffernan serves on the Syracuse University Institutional Review Board, Interdisciplinary Neuroscience Faculty, is an Aging Studies Institute Research Member and a Lerner Center for Public Health Promotion Faculty Fellow.

Heffernan earned his Ph.D. in Kinesiology/Exercise Physiology from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 2008. He holds a M.S. in Applied Physiology and Nutrition from Columbia University, and a B.S. in Exercise Science from the University of Scranton.

Joon Young Kim PortraitJoon Young Kim

Assistant Professor, Department of Exercise Science

Joon Young Kim joins Falk College as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Exercise Science in fall 2020. In the department, he teaches courses such as pediatric obesity and systemic physiology and exercise.

Prior to joining Falk College in 2020, the Department of Exercise Science was positioned within Syracuse University’s School of Education, where Kim has served as Assistant Professor since 2019. He currently leads the Clinical Research Laboratory at Syracuse University. Previously, he was a National Institutes of Health-supported T32 Postdoctoral Scholar at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine and Postdoctoral Associate at the UPMC Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh from 2015 to 2019.

Kim is a Ph.D.-scientist and a clinical researcher in exercise physiology with specific focus on childhood obesity, metabolism and type 2 diabetes. His research focuses on pathophysiology of youth-onset prediabetes/type 2 diabetes, identification of novel phenotypic biomarkers and genetic targets of obesity and type 2 diabetes, and effects of lifestyle intervention on type 2 diabetes risk in obese youth. His work is published in several high-impact journals including Diabetes Care, Diabetes, and the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism. He has given presentations at the American Diabetes Association, American College of Sport Medicine, Endocrine Society, and others.

Past research has been funded by the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases and the Arizona State University Research Support Program. He has received scholarships and awards from Yonsei University and Arizona State University, as well as the International Society for Pediatric and Adolescent Diabetes and the Endocrine Society. He currently serves as an Advising Member for the American Diabetes Association’s Exercise Physiology Interest Group Leadership Team, an Organizing/Scientific Committee Member for the World Obesity and Weight Management Congress, and an Editorial Board Member for the Journal of Obesity and Metabolic Syndrome.

Kim earned his Ph.D. in Kinesiology/Exercise Physiology from Arizona State University in 2015. He holds a B.S. in Physical Education from Yonsei University in South Korea.

Kristen Konkol PortraitKristen Konkol

Assistant Professor, Department of Exercise Science

Kristin Konkol joins Falk College as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Exercise Science in fall 2020. She has a dual appointment in the School of Education. In the department, she teaches courses such as structural kinesiology for performance enhancement and injury prevention, structural kinesiology, scientific principles of conditioning, and concepts of fitness. She also runs the internship and experience credits for the department.

Prior to joining Falk College in 2020, the Department of Exercise Science was positioned within Syracuse University’s School of Education, where Konkol has served as Assistant Professor since 2018, and formerly as part-time faculty. Previously, Konkol was an Assistant Professor in the Department of Human Performance, Exercise Science/Physiology at the Minnesota State University, Mankato, where she taught courses such as individualized exercise, aerobic conditioning, and concepts of fitness, among others. She also held an adjunct faculty position there, as well as coaching positions at the Gustavus Adolphus College. At the University of Kwa-Zulu Natal in South Africa, Konkol held several titles, including lecturer, lab instructor, manager in the Human Performance Laboratory, and performance specialist for professional athletes.

Konkol’s research interests include sport specific training; speed, agility, and quickness training; athletic performance testing; strength and conditioning; exercise immunology; and global perspectives in human performance. Konkol’s work is published in the Cardiovascular Journal of Africa, Sport Sciences for Health, Children, Sports and Exercise Medicine Open Journal, and International Journal of Exercise Science.

Konkol currently serves at Syracuse University as the I-Move Program Coordinator and Dance Minor Coordinator. From 2004 to 2006, she served as a United States Peace Corps Volunteer in Guyana and South America. Konlol is a Certified Performance Enhancement Specialist through the National Academy of Sports Medicine.

Konkol earned her Ph.D. in Sports Science from the University of KwaZulu-Natal in South Africa in 2013. She earned an M.A. in Kinesiology with an Exercise Physiology emphasis and a graduate minor in Complementary and Alternative Therapy and Healing Practices from the University of Minnesota in 2001. She earned her B.S. in Exercise Science with a Cardiac Rehabilitation emphasis from the University of Toledo, where she was a Division I collegiate basketball athlete.

Kenneth James Marfilius PortraitKenneth Marfilius

Assistant Teaching Professor, School of Social Work

Ken Marfilius joins the School of Social Work in Falk College as an Assistant Teaching Professor in fall 2020.

Prior to his new appointment at Syracuse University, Marfilius served as a Visiting Teaching Professor in Falk College’s School of Social Work since 2018, and as an adjunct faculty member from 2016-18. Marfilius will serve as the School of Social Work’s Undergraduate Director. He has taught courses on topics such as social work intervention, military culture and social work practice, psychopathology, and others. While active duty, Marfilius served in the U.S. Air Force Biomedical Science Corps in multiple roles: active duty clinical social worker, mental health therapist, family advocacy officer in charge, and as manager of the alcohol and drug prevention and treatment program. He was commissioned in 2013 and was discharged in 2016 having obtained the rank of captain. At the Barksdale Air Force Base, Marfilius served in a variety of mental health roles related to sexual assault prevention and response, suicide prevention, and traumatic stress. Marfilius has also worked for the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs at the Syracuse VA Medical Center in the Healthcare for Homeless Veterans Program, and as a disruptive behavior committee member.

Marfilius has given several presentations and trainings, topics ranging from veteran cultural competence to trauma-informed care, at the Association for Humanistic Counseling National Conference, the University of Pennsylvania School of Social Policy and Practice, and the United States Department of Veteran Affairs, among others.

Marfilius is honored with a National Defense Service Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, and Nuclear Deterrence Operations Service Medal. He is a recipient of the U.S. Air Force Health Professions Scholarship and the U.S. Air Force Outstanding Unit Award and has twice been awarded the Barksdale Air Force Base Medical Operations Squadron Company Grade Officer of the Quarter. Marfilius currently serves on several committees at Syracuse University, including his service as Chair of the Council on the Social Work Education Self-Study Steering Committee.

Marfilius earned a Doctorate in Clinical Social Work (D.S.W.) and Master of Social Work (M.S.W.) from the University of Pennsylvania School of Social Policy and Practice. He earned a B.A. in Psychology with a minor in Public Health from Syracuse University. He is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker in the State of North Carolina and is certified in Prolonged Exposure Therapy.

Miriam Mutambudzi PortraitMiriam Mutambudzi

Assistant Professor, Department of Public Health

Miriam Mutambudzi joins the Department of Public Health in Falk College as Assistant Professor in fall 2020.

Prior to joining Syracuse University, Mutambudzi served as a Research Associate in the MRC/CSO Social and Public Health Sciences Unit at the University of Glasgow in Scotland, and a Guest Epidemiology Professor in the Department of Epidemiology and Social Medicine at the University of Antwerp in Belgium. Previously, she was an Assistant Professor in the Department of Preventive Medicine and Community Health at the University of Texas Medical Branch, and a Senior Research Program Coordinator at Johns Hopkins University’s School of Medicine.

Mutambudzi’s research focus is on chronic disease and occupational epidemiology. Much of her research has largely been directed towards the use of longitudinal data to assess disparities in morbidity, disability, and mortality, with particular interest in onset and progression of chronic diseases, work-related health outcomes, and social determinants of health in vulnerable populations and older adults in Europe and the U.S. She has published extensively in peer-reviewed journals including the European Journal of Ageing, Journal of Gerontology: Medical Science, and the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, among many others. She has presented at the International Union for the Scientific Study of Population (IUSSP), Epidemiology in Occupation Health Conference (EPICOH), and the Population Association of America (PAA).

Mutambudzi is the 2020 recipient of the Kammer Emmett Award from the American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine (ACOEM) for the most outstanding article published in the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine in 2019. Past research support includes funding from the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH). She is an editorial board member of the Journal of Aging and Health and has served as an editorial peer reviewer for many other journals. She is a member of the European Association for Population Studies.

Mutambudzi earned her Ph.D. in Public Health from University of Connecticut in 2012. She also holds a Master of Public Health (M.P.H.) and a B.A. in International Studies from the West Virginia University.

Latha Ramalingam PortraitLatha Ramalingam

Assistant Professor, Department of Nutrition and Food Studies

Latha Ramalingam joins the Department of Nutrition and Food Studies in Falk College as Assistant Professor in fall 2020. She works broadly in areas of metabolic disease, which include obesity and diabetes.

Prior to joining Syracuse University, Ramalingam was a Research Assistant Professor in the Department of Nutritional Sciences at Texas Tech University since 2014. Previously, she served at Indiana University’s School of Medicine as a Postdoctoral Fellow and a Research Assistant.

Ramalingam’s research interests include strategies, both in vitro and in vivo, to investigate the effects of Bioactives (omega-3 fatty acids, Vitamin D) in maternal obesity using animal models. She also has projects investigating the mechanism behind the role of Renin Angiotensin System (RAS) in beta cells. She has published in several journals, including Scientific Reports, Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry, Molecular Nutrition & Food Research, Nutrients, and Diabetes. She has presented her work at the American Society of Nutrition, American Heart Association and Obesity Society.

Ramalingam’s research has been supported by the American Heart Association, the USDA, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health, the Obesity Society, and Texas Tech University. She is the recipient of several awards, including Early Career Travel Award for International Congress of Nutrition, Argentina 2017, and 2016 IJO Young Investigator Award, 13th International Congress of Obesity, Vancouver, Canada and the Early Career Grant Challenge from Obesity Society among other awards. Currently, she serves on the editorial board for the Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry, International Journal of Diabetes, and Obesity and Nutritional Disorders.

Ramalingam earned her Ph.D. at the Indiana University’s School of Medicine, Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, in 2014. She also holds a M.Tech from Vellore Institute of Technology’s School of Biotechnology in Vellore, India and a B.Pharm from Sri Ramachandra Medical College’s School of Pharmacy in Chennai.

Maryam Yuhas PortraitMaryam Yuhas

Assistant Professor, Department of Nutrition and Food Studies

Maryam Yuhas joins the Department of Nutrition and Food Studies as Assistant Professor in fall 2020. At Syracuse University, Yuhas will teach in the nutrition program.

Prior to joining Syracuse University, Yuhas served as a Postdoctoral Research Associate at the University of Virginia School of Medicine, Department of Public Health Sciences, since 2019. Previously, she has practiced as Registered Dietitian in two different clinical settings and has held roles as Graduate Research Assistant for the University of Virginia’s Department of Public Health Sciences, Virginia Tech’s Department of Human Nutrition, Foods, and Exercise, and for Oklahoma State University’s Department of Nutritional Sciences. She has also held other intern, extern, and teaching assistant roles. Yuhas’s research is rooted in the socioecological perspective and focuses on working with minority, low-income, and rural communities to implement and evaluate nutrition- and physical activity-based interventions. She is published in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, Journal of Medical Internet Research (JMIR) mHealth and uHealth, Journal of Appalachian Health, Contemporary Clinical Trials, Preventive Nutrition and Food Science, and Nutrition and Metabolic Insights. She has given scientific presentations at The Obesity Society, Experimental Biology, and the Oklahoma Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, among others.

Current research projects for which Yuhas serves as Postdoctoral Research Associate are supported by the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and by the Patient Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI). Yuhas is the recipient of several awards, including the 2013 Weber Gerontology Scholarship Award at Oklahoma State University and the 2016 Interdisciplinary Graduate Education Program Award at Virginia Tech, among others. She currently serves as a reviewer for several journals including the Journal of Medical Internet Research, the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, and the Journal of Adolescent Health. She is a member of the Society of Behavioral Medicine, the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and several community-based advisory boards and coalitions.

Yuhas earned her Ph.D. in Human Nutrition, Foods, and Exercise from Virginia Tech in 2019, specializing in Behavioral and Community Sciences. She earned her M.S. in Nutritional Sciences from Oklahoma State University and her B.S. in Nutrition and Dietetics from Benedictine University. She completed her Dietetic Internship at Oklahoma State University and earned her registered dietitian (RDN) credential from Commission on Dietetics Registration in 2014.

Welcome Class of 2024!


Falk College welcomes new and returning Falk students to Syracuse University. The Falk student body includes 1,774 undergraduate and graduate students. The newest Falk students are a talented group from 40 states 22 global countries. We welcome 347 first-year and 28 transfer students who join 165 new graduate students.

The entire welcome week schedule for new students can be found by visiting the Syracuse Welcome website.

Capstone curveball preps SPM senior for sport industry future

By Shanthi Sepe-Chepuru, SPM Class of 2020

During the Spring 2020 semester, while I was completing my Senior Capstone as a media relations intern with minor league baseball’s Pensacola (FL) Blue Wahoos, COVID-19 hit, shutting down the sport industry and putting the Wahoos’ season on hold.

The transition was abrupt. Less than two weeks before, we hosted a college baseball tournament, where I acted as a cameraperson, scoreboard operator and game photographer.

When COVID-19 hit, we had just entered the final stages of our Opening Day preparations. My primary projects were all intended to be finalized by our April 9 opening, including rebuilding and managing the team’s new website and finalizing the production of the team’s 2020 Media Guide. I wrote articles and press releases, attended media events, and assisted in game-day production. We spent months working in earnest toward a finish line that, very suddenly, no longer existed.

After COVID-19 suspended the Wahoos’ season and the organization transitioned to working remotely, my role changed significantly for the Double-A affiliate of the Minnesota Twins. I focused primarily on the website, which had to be entirely rebuilt in a new software. Shortly thereafter, I was offered the opportunity to work remotely on media relations for the Beloit (Wisc.) Snappers, the Class-A affiliate of the Oakland Athletics. For the remainder of my Spring 2020 Capstone, I rebuilt the Snappers’ website and assisted with graphic design, marketing and social media.

After graduating from Syracuse University in May 2020, I transitioned to a remote media relations role with the Snappers, while remaining in Pensacola, Florida. I now manage the Snappers’ social media accounts and website, as well as assist with the marketing for a new stadium and team rebranding.

This was obviously not the way I envisioned my senior Capstone playing out. I anticipated working closely with the media and players, publishing my first game stories and hopefully seeing the Twins’ top prospects in action. Instead, I spent Opening Day social distancing at home, doing my best to keep the team prepared for the season to start at any moment.

While COVID-19 has brought disappointment and heartbreak for so many, the transition taught me the importance of workplace community. I saw first-hand the value of creativity and willingness to think outside the box. I never anticipated working remotely for half of my Capstone and running a media department for a team 1,000 miles away a month after graduation. I will not say it has been easy, but I am grateful for these challenges. I know this entire experience — the planned and the unprecedented — has prepared me for anything the sport industry can throw at me in the future.

SPM Emerging Leaders Council To Launch Virtual Professional Series July 15


Falk College’s Department of Sport Management Emerging Leaders Council (ELC) will launch a virtual professional development series for young professionals July 15, 2020 called The Juice.

The Juice livestream is dedicated to supporting, promoting, and encouraging professional development and social interaction among young professionals in the sports and entertainment industry. Experienced professionals will engage in dialogue, offer guidance in professional development, and answer questions submitted by the students through a weekly live webinar series.

Mary Graham Portrait
Dr. Mary Graham
The first Zoom webinar session is slated for 2 p.m. (EST) Wednesday, July 15 and is entitled “The Importance of Diversity and Inclusion in the Workplace.” This event, moderated by Professor of Sport Management, Dr. Mary Graham, will address how and why diversity is important, challenges companies and professionals encounter throughout their careers, success stories, and ideas for how every person can help foster a more inclusive work environment. Featured panelists will share their strategies and successes building and working with diverse teams as well as highlight the positive impact diversity and inclusion can have on a corporate culture, business success, and a company’s bottom line.

Hear from licensed clinical psychologist and Syracuse University Falk College alumna Dr. Tasha Brown ’10, as well as Spelman College Assistant Professor Dr. Danielle Dickens, whose research includes identity negotiation, stereotyping, and prejudice in the workplace. Dr. Brown and Dr. Dickens will be joined by WarnerMedia Executive Director Josette Sprott and sport and entertainment professional Orestes Hernandez.

The Syracuse University ELC exists as a core group of the Sport Management Department’s most committed and influential young alumni that are focused on providing guidance in various ways to current Sport Management, Sport Analytics, and Sport Venue and Event Management students.

Register Today


Tasha Brown Portrait

Dr. Tasha M. Brown, Ph.D.

Dr. Brown graduated from Syracuse University in 2010 with a Bachelor of Science in Child and Family Studies and Psychology, and a minor in African American Studies. In 2013, she received her Master of Arts from DePaul University in Clinical Psychology. She completed a Doctor of Philosophy in clinical psychology in 2016 from DePaul University and her Predoctoral Internship and Postdoctoral Fellowship at the University of Miami’s Miller School of Medicine. She is a licensed clinical psychologist at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital and is a faculty member at Columbia University Medical Center, where she serves as an instructor in the Department of Psychiatry.

Danielle Dickens Portrait

Dr. Danielle Dickens, Ph.D.

Dr. Dickens is an assistant professor at Spelman College who received a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Spelman College, and master’s and doctorate degrees in applied social and health psychology from Colorado State University. Her research examines how members of underrepresented groups cope with and experience discrimination. She is interested in understanding how these perceived identities affect involvement in identity shifting/negotiation across multiple contexts among Black women as well as the role of identity shifting/negotiation on Black women’s psychological health and self-perception.

Orestes Hernandez

Orestes Hernandez

Hernandez is an entrepreneurial, innovative, bilingual executive with business development experience in highly competitive markets. He is a collaborative communicator focused on building relationships and promoting synergy across businesses and organizations to drive positive change. Previous business endeavors include working for the Miami Marlins, the PGA TOUR, and the Mascot Hall of Fame. Hernandez earned a Bachelor’s in Business Administration and Sports Management from the University of Miami.

Josette Sprott Portrait

Josette Sprott

Sprott is an Executive Director at WarnerMedia, provides strategic business partnership to leaders of the WarnerBros brand to deliver employee-focused solutions to achieve strategic business initiatives and deliver results. Passionate about strong inclusive company cultures, Sprott thrives on understanding and evaluating the business needs to develop, execute, and champion people strategies that have a direct impact on the employee experience.

Upcoming Events

Future topics in the professional development series include:

  • Personal Brand Development and Selling Yourself
  • A Player’s Perspective: From Professional Athlete to Business Professional
  • Emerging Trends and Categories in Sport/Entertainment
  • Navigating Internships: Finding and Landing the Job
  • Starting Your Own Business

Congratulations 2020 Falk Student Research Celebration Winners


The Falk Student Research Celebration is an annual event that takes place to highlight undergraduate and graduate student research projects Students submit posters for display and are judged by a committee of faculty, staff, and peers. Participants compete for educational funds to present their posters on a larger stage, to attend a conference to gain further insights into their respective fields, or for other educational endeavors. This year’s celebration took place virtually.

Falk College congratulates the following winners of the 2020 Falk Student Research Celebration:

Undergraduate Winners

Sentiment Analysis and Video Assistance Referees (VAR) in Professional Soccer
Name: Dylan Blechner
Program/Major: Sport Analytics
Faculty Research Mentor: Rodney Paul

Insecticide Treated Nets and Insecticide Resistance on Malaria Prevention in sub-Saharan Africa
Name: Rachael Church and Dr. David Larsen
Program/Major: Biology Major with a Public Health Minor and Environment & Society Minor
Faculty Research Mentor: David Larsen

Examining Wealth Trends in Kombewa, Kenya
Name: Alizée McLorg, Dr. David Larsen, Dr. Andrea Shaw, Dr. Bhavneet Walia, Kennedy Omolo, and Peter Sifuna
Program/Major: Public Health
Faculty Research Mentor: David Larsen

Energy Availability in Female Collegiate Athletes: A Pilot Study
Name: Jessica Neidel and Dr. Jessica L. Garay
Program/Major: Nutrition Science
Faculty Research Mentor: Jessica L. Garay

Graduate Winners

The Role of Diet Quality and Micronutrient Content on Sleep Parameters in Children Aged 9-11
Name: Nicholas Marino and Dr. Margaret Voss
Program/Major: Nutrition Science
Faculty Research Mentor: Margaret Voss, Lynn Brann, and Brooks Gump

Father Involvement, Couple Relationship Quality, and Maternal Postpartum Depression: The Role of Ethnicity among Low-income Families
Name: Ying Zhang and Dr. Rachel Razza
Program/Major: Human Development and Family Science
Faculty Research Mentor: Rachel Razza

Congratulations Class of 2020


Congratulations and best wishes to the Class of 2020 from the students, faculty, staff, advisory boards, alumni and friends of Falk College! The courage and resiliency you have demonstrated in these challenging times prove you are prepared to respond to society’s greatest needs. Now more than ever, our world needs all you have to offer. We look forward to hearing about your achievements as our newest Falk alumni and eagerly await the future in-person celebration at Falk Convocation and Syracuse University Commencement.

The Dean’s video message to the Class of 2020 was recorded late last year when we were fully expecting our traditional campus celebrations to take place this spring. Since then, the global coronavirus pandemic has impacted all of us in many difficult ways. We recognize how hard this has been for all of our students, and particularly the Class of 2020. While we will celebrate with you at distance for now, we look forward to celebrating together in person when it is safe to do so.

Join the Syracuse University community for the Class of 2020 Virtual Degree Conferral.

2020 Falk College Scholars Announced


Portraits of 8 scholars arranged in a collage

Falk College Scholars from the Class of 2020 represent undergraduate students in the College who display academic excellence, exceptional campus and community engagement, independent research and creative work, evidence of intellectual growth and/or innovation in their disciplinary field, and personal integrity.

“Congratulations to our students named Falk College Scholars. Their outstanding accomplishments exemplify academic excellence, creativity, personal achievement and commitment to the campus and local communities, and they are exceptional role models for their peers,” says senior associate dean of academic affairs, Eileen Lantier.

The Falk Scholars from the Class of 2020 include:

Emma Susan Asher, Nutrition Science
April M Hill, Nutrition
Alizee Mclorg, Public Health
Bijal Patel, Public Health
Connor David Monzo, Sport Management
Brandon M Pollack, Sport Management
Nicholas Richard Riccardi, Sport Analytics
Alexandra Tulowiecki, Social Work

“The combination of their outstanding academic accomplishments and dedication to sharing knowledge and experiences outside of the classroom to engage the world represents what Falk College is all about: social responsibility, social justice and service to others,” adds Falk Dean, Diane Lyden Murphy.

Two Falk sport analytics teams win at SABR Diamond Dollars competition


For the sixth straight year, members of the Department of Sport Management’s Sabermetrics Club participated in the Society of American Baseball Research (SABR) Analytics’ Spring Diamond Dollars Case Competition. Due to Covid-19, the SU students did not travel last month to Phoenix, Arizona, but instead presented virtually from SU’s campus on March 13, 2020.

The competition is for undergraduate and graduate students from universities across the country to compete against each other by researching and presenting on a baseball analytics topic.

Four SU teams competed in the research-based case competition, with two SU teams winning their respective divisions. Students on SU’s winning teams were: Steven DiMaria, Hughston Preston, Ben Ayers, Joey Deaton and Cameron Mitchell; as well as Joe Pickering, Sean Kenney, Brendan McKeown, Cooper Shawver and Drake Mills.

Their assignment was to analyze the factors that contribute to a starting pitcher’s effectiveness when navigating a lineup for the third time in a game. Teams made their presentations by using programs such as R, Excel, and Tableau. They virtually presented their analysis and recommendations to a panel of judges in Phoenix that included Major League Baseball executives T.J. Barra (MLB), Paul Bien (San Francisco Giants), Cody Callahan (Arizona Diamondbacks), Tani Cohen (MLB), Evan Eshleman (Colorado Rockies), Ben Jedlovec (MLB), Katie Krall (Cincinnati Reds), Travis Petersen (MLB), Joe Rosales (Baseball Info Solutions), Kevin Tenenbaum (Cleveland Indians), Max Weinstein (Los Angeles Dodgers), and Keith Woolner (Cleveland Indians).

With the help of gifts from Falk College donors Jeff and Andrea Lomasky and Andrew Berlin, 20 Syracuse University sport analytics students were able to compete in this prestigious event.

Read more about the competition

Teams are pictured above. On the left is Team 1 (left to right): Steven DiMaria, Hughston Preston, Samual (Ben) Ayers, Joey Deaton, Cameron Mitchell. On the right is Team 3 (left to right): Joe Pickering, Sean Kenney, Brendan McKeown, Cooper Shawver, Drake Mills.

Sport Management Club raises $57,021 at 15th Charity Auction


A check is presented on a basketball court during a game
Syracuse University’s Sport Management Club presented a check for $57,021 to representatives from Make-A-Wish Central New York on Feb. 11 at the Carrier Dome. Shown here are (from left) Make-A-Wish CNY Director of Corporate Philanthropy Kate Veley, Auction Co-Chair Caroline Johnson ’21, SPM Club President Sam Marteka ’21, and Make-A-Wish CNY President and CEO Diane Kuppermann.
The Sport Management Club at Syracuse University raised $57,021 for Make-A-Wish Central New York as a result of its 15th Annual Charity Sports Auction. During the SU men’s basketball game on Nov. 16, 2019, at the Carrier Dome, supporters placed bids on more than 500 items, including sports memorabilia, electronics, jewelry, gift baskets, trips, and tickets to sporting events.

The SPM Club is a student-run organization in the Falk College of Sport and Human Dynamics’ Sport Management Department. Since its founding in 2005, the club has now raised $524,000 for local charities. Previous beneficiaries of the club’s annual charity auction have included Meals on Wheels, Boys & Girls Clubs, Golisano Children’s Hospital at Upstate, the Ronald McDonald House Charities of CNY, the Central New York SPCA, the Upstate Cancer Center, Special Olympics New York, Food Bank of CNY, the Salvation Army, Rescue Mission Alliance, American Diabetes Association, and McMahon/Ryan Child Advocacy Center.

“Once again, the outstanding Syracuse University Sport Management students have exceeded our expectations,” said Diane Kuppermann, president, and CEO of Make-A-Wish Central New York. “Their energy, effort, and passion for our mission was evident throughout the process. Their professionalism and drive resulted in this extraordinary gift that will benefit local kids battling a critical illness. Their contributions to the most vulnerable in our community will have a lasting impact.”

Make-A-Wish serves 15 counties around Central New York, granting wishes and helping strengthen and empower children battling critical illnesses.

“Our Sport Management Club was founded on the principles of teaching our members the value of civic engagement, community service, and social responsibility through sports,” said Michael Veley, Rhonda S. Falk endowed professor and director of Sport Management, who also serves as the organization’s faculty advisor. “The countless hours of dedication by these students to ensure that the charity auction would make wishes come true for local children and their families is extremely gratifying. Collectively, we are honored to support our community.”

The Sport Management Club meets at 7 p.m. Tuesdays during the academic year in Falk 200. For more information, contact SPM Club president Sam Marteka,

For more information about the annual Charity Auction, visit Twitter @SPMAuction, Facebook and Instagram @spm_auction.

SPM alumnus Matt Samost ’13 selected for Sports Business Journal’s ‘New Voices Under 30’


Matt Samost PortraitSports Business Journal’s (SBJ) New Voices Under 30 inaugural list announced in January 2020 recognizes 30 accomplished professionals who, as today’s young influencers, embody the skillsets needed to lead the next generation in sports business.

Two Syracuse University alumni are featured in this select group of 30 under 30. Matt Samost, a graduate of Falk College’s sport management program, is currently vice president of new ventures for Tampa Bay Sports & Entertainment. Megan Rand, an alumna of the School of Architecture, is an architect/associate at Populous architectural and design practice specializing in sports facilities.

The New Voices Under 30 selection process was announced by SBJ and founding partners Anheuser-Busch and Turnkey Search in 2019. After convening a select group of industry executives, the review process began. Applicants were evaluated for achievements, influence and individual impact on the organization or the sports industry, and their blueprint for the future.

“We have always wanted to spot the ‘new influencers,’ those fresh voices representing generation next. That’s why we’re introducing a new platform that will recognize potentially the next generation of leaders in sports business,” writes Abe Madkour, publisher and executive editor of SBJ.

In his role as vice president of new ventures for Tampa Bay Sports & Entertainment (TBSE), the parent company for the Tampa Bay Lightning and Amalie Arena, Samost oversees emerging properties such as digital network internal start-up The Identity Tampa Bay and esports internal start-up Bolts Gaming. He previously served as a business analyst for the organization. He also worked as the senior business intelligence and data warehouse developer for the Kraft Analytics Group, an entity of the Kraft Group that also includes the New England Patriots and New England Revolution.

“I entered Syracuse University needing to push myself outside my comfort zone,” says Samost. “I needed opportunities to grow as a leader and public speaker and was fortunate the SPM program afforded me so many chances to grow and improve, both in the classroom and through extracurricular activities and experiential learning.”

Samost graduated summa cum laude from the sport management program in 2013, where he also completed his senior thesis as part of the University’s Honors Program. On social responsibility and giving back to the local community, the values instilled in Samost through Falk College’s sport management program, he notes the TBSE organization has a strong commitment to the community, where each employee participates in volunteer opportunities throughout the year.

“Matt exemplified excellence in every sense as an undergraduate student,” says Michael Veley, Rhonda S. Falk endowed professor, and director and chair of sport management. “He was extremely intelligent and exuded strong leadership qualities, motivation, and civic engagement. Matt was visionary and an analytical thinker. He has parlayed all of these attributes into a distinguished career, and while we’re very proud of his accomplishments to date, I assure you, he’s only getting started!”

Read more on Syracuse University’s Alumni Association website

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