South student standing on track.

Department of Health, Kinesiology, and Sport

The mission of the University of South Alabama Department of Health, Kinesiology, and Sport is to enhance theory and practice, scholarship and service, about, in, and through human movement, healthy living, physical activity, and sport.

The department emphasizes the cross-disciplinary foundations of health, kinesiology, and sport while providing both theoretical and practical knowledge related to the biological, physical, socio-cultural, philosophical, and psychological factors underlying health and all forms of physical activity and sport.

Graduates from this program can gain immediate entry into a number of physical activity, health and sport related jobs or can seek advanced study.


▼   HKS Student Awards

ZedikarAlyssa Zeidker was named the 2020 Department of Health, Kinesiology, and Sport Outstanding Exercise Science Graduate Student. Zediker recently earned a master's in exercise science from the University of South Alabama. During her time at South, Zediker was a member of Phi Kappa Phi and served as a graduate assistant in the department. She plans to take her education further by one day becoming a physician's assistant.

My passion is exercise science and the impact that exercise and health behaviors have on quality of life. I believe in empowering individuals through education and guidance to enable them to treat their bodies respectfully and rehabilitate to their full potential. I am continuously fascinated in the healing and medicinal properties that exercise has on the human body. My education and passion have driven me to help others realize this basic truth – personal health and wellness is to be protected and fostered through encouragement, daily life, and informed choices.


TheodoreAndrew Theodore was named a 2020 Department of Health, Kinesiology and Sport Outstanding Exercise Science Science Undergraduate Student. Theodore recently earned a bachelor's in exercise science from the University of South Alabama. During his time at South, Theodore was a student in the Honors College, a member of the Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi, and worked with the Department of Campus Recreation. He will be attending UAB for physical therapy school in January 2021. After graduation, he would like to work in a variety of physical therapy settings before opening his own outpatient clinic. 

I decided to study exercise science at South because I am interested in sports injuries and kinesiology. I want to pursue a career in physical therapy, and the exercise science curriculum has prepared me for that. Dr. Schwarz has been a very helpful professor and research mentor. I have worked on a few research projects with him, and I am grateful that he took the time to help me learn how to conduct research.  


GriffithCaroline Griffith was named a 2020 Department of Health, Kinesiology, and Sport Outstanding Exercise Science Undergraduate Student. Griffith earned a bachelor's in exercise science from the University of South Alabama. During her time at South, Griffith served as a Summer Undergraduate Research Fellow, Reformed University Fellow, member of the Quiz Bowl Team and member of the National Society of Leadership and Success. She plans to attend the University of Tennessee to pursue a master's degree in sport and exercise psychology with an ultimate goal of one day becoming a sports psychology consultant.

The USA College of Education and Professional Studies is unique because the professors are equally gifted in both research and teaching. While the professors are always working on projects and moving forward with their research, they are constantly helping and encouraging their students through the coursework. The professors in the college truly strive to see everyone succeed.


GulledgeDayla Gulledge was named the 2020 Department of Health, Kinesiology, and Sport Outstanding Health and Physical Education/Teacher Certification Undergraduate Student. Gulledge earned a Bachelor of Science in Physical Education P-12 Teacher Certification from the University of South Alabama. During her time at South, Gulledge was a South Alabama Softball student athlete. She is currently working at the Enterprise Early Education Center.

The thing that makes the College of Education and Professional Studies so unique are the people that helped me through my career. No matter what, I was able to go to any of the professors and ask them for help. They were always willing to answer any question I had whether it was big or small. Dr. Holden was the staff member that stood out as a positive contributor. There really isn't just one time that I can remember. Throughout my career, Dr. Holden was the one that I could go to the most if I had no clue what I was doing. Seeing Dr. Holden teach each of her classes helped me see that I wanted to teach, but not only teach, but to inspire and impact future generations.



Jason Felts was named the 2020 Department of Health, Kinesiology, and Sport Outstanding Sport and Recreation Management Undergraduate Student. Felts earned a bachelor's in sport management from the University of South Alabama. During his time at South, Felts was on the USA President's List. He plans to pursue a master's in secondary education and hopes to become a high school teacher and basketball coach to work towards his goal of becoming a division one college basketball coach.

I am passionate about sports management to be able to coach the next generation. I want to be able to mold the young men and women of the future to be their best selves through sports. Dr. Keshock stands out as the most positive contribution to my time at South. His most impactful moment was when he presented me with an opportunity for an internship. He gave me an opportunity to work beside Steve Kittrell at Spring Hill College. This moment changed my life in so many positive ways.



Liliana Klinger was named the 2020 Department of Health Kinesiology, and Sport Outstanding Therapeutic Recreation Undergraduate Student. Klinger earned a bachelor's in Recreational Therapy from the University of South Alabama. During her time at South, Klinger was on the dean's list and the president's list. She also worked with the PASSAGE USA program. Klinger hopes to find a job in Utah as a certified Recreational Therapy specialist.


JamesAshlee James was named the 2020 Department of Health, Kinesiology, and Sport Outstanding Sports Management Graduate Student. James earned a master's in sport management from the University of South Alabama. During her time at South, James served as a full-time distance learning student. The flexibility of taking courses online allowed James to teach full time in Bluffton, South Carolina. She is a member of the high school’s hospitality committee and advisor of the student news broadcast program. She hopes to one day become a high school athletic administrator.

As a first generation college graduate, my family inspires me to work hard to reach my goals. They have been my biggest supporters and I strive to make them proud. South was an excellent fit to reach my educational goals. The online master's program for sport management allowed me to work full time all while continuing my higher education. As an athlete, I learned important life lessons through sports, all of which I credit for my success in school, at work and in life. I would like to take a moment to thank Dr. Keshock and Dr. Forrester. For the past year and a half, they have been instrumental in my overall positive experience at USA. Communication is key for distance learning and they seamlessly organized and facilitated our courses throughout the program. 
▼   Recent Graduate Success

Graduates Accepted into Doctor of Physical Therapy Programs

  • Alaysia Brown - University of Alabama at Birmingham
  • John Hicks - University of Ohio
  • Danielle Harbor - University of South Alabama
  • Andrew Blake - University of South Alabama
  • Emily Kurmann - University of South Alabama
  • Katelyn Vollmuth – University of South Alabama
  • Rachel Severns – University of South Alabama
  • Catherine Bryson – University of South Alabama
  • Cynthia Jesswein – University of South Alabama
  • Laurie Graves – University of Tennessee

Graduate Accepted into Master of Occupational Therapy Program

  • Melissa Carlsisle – University of South Alabama
  • Lindsay Meyer – University of South Alabama

Graduate Accepted into Physician’s Assistant School

  • Taylor Rice - University of South Alabama
  • Makenzie Dunning - University of South Alabama

Students who completed an Undergraduate Honors Thesis

  • Andrew Theodore - Effects of Inhaled Plant-Based Caffeine on Cognitive and Physical Performance

Graduate Student Activities Enhancement Program Award Recipient

  • Alaina Brannon - Sex Differences in the Fatigability of Divergent Contraction Intensities – Mentor: Dr. Ryan Colquhoun, Exercise Science Program
  • Alyssa Zediker - Sex Differences in MicroRNA Expression Following Acute Resistance Exercise – Mentor: Dr. Neil Schwarz, Exercise Science Program

Students who passed their National Council for Recreational Therapy Certification exam.

  • Liliana Klinger