Department of Kinesiology

School of Health and Human Sciences

Dr. Jennifer Etnier to Chair Department of Kinesiology

JUNE 17, 2021 - In a message to School of Health & Human Sciences faculty and staff, Dean Mattacola announced the appointment of Dr. Jenny Etnier as Kinesiology's next chair:

Dear Colleagues, 

We are excited to announce that Dr. Jennifer (Jenny) Etnier has accepted the role of chair of the Department of Kinesiology.  

Dr. Etnier is the Julia Morton Distinguished Professor of Kinesiology, an award-winning researcher, thought leader, mentor, and respected colleague. She has served as Associate Chair of Kinesiology since 2017.

Dr. Jennifer (Jenny) EtnierDr. Etnier is renowned for her research on exercise and cognitive performance and has authored over 90 publications mostly focused in these areas. She is frequently sought out as a thought leader for podcasts and other media outlets. Her work on the benefits of physical activity on older adults with a family history of Alzheimer’s was featured in the spring 2020 issue of UNCG Research magazine

As principal investigator, she has received over $3.8 million in external funding and is currently conducting an R01 Physical Activity and Alzheimer’s Disease – 2 (PAAD-2) focused on the effects of physical activity on cognitive performance, blood-based biomarkers, and cerebral structure and function of adults with a family history of Alzheimer’s disease. 

Dr. Etnier has received numerous awards in recognition of accomplishments across the range of faculty responsibilities and at both the School and University levels. These include awards for research (HHS Senior Research Excellence Award 2020, UNCG Senior Research Excellence Award 2021); teaching (HHS Teaching Excellence Award 2016, UNCG Alumni Teaching Excellence Award 2011); graduate student mentoring (HHS Graduate Mentoring Award 2013, UNCG Graduate School’s Outstanding Faculty Mentor Award 2014); and service (Kinesiology HUMARTS Award 2018).

In addition to her data-based scholarship, she has written two books for youth sport participants: “Bring your ‘A’ Game” in 2009 and “Coaching For the Love of the Game” in 2020. Dr. Etnier serves as a founding co-chair for the Scientific Advisory Board of MOJO Sports, and she is a Fellow of the American College of Sports Medicine and the National Academy of Kinesiology (NAK). She previously served as President of the North American Society for the Psychology of Sport and Physical Activity. She served as editor of the Journal of Aging and Physical Activity (JAPA), associate editor for the Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology (JSEP) and JAPA, and section editor for Research Quarterly for Exercise and Sport. She is currently Member at Large for NAK and an editorial board member for Sport, Exercise, and Performance Psychology; JAPA; JSEP; Journal of Sport and Health Science; and Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise.

Dr. Etnier finished her PhD in Sport and Exercise Psychology at Arizona State University after receiving her master’s from UNC Chapel Hill in Sport Psychology.

In addition to Dr. Etnier’s reputation as a scholar and expertise in the area of exercise and cognitive performance, she brings a wealth of experience in administration and is well positioned to lead the Department of Kinesiology. 

Please join us in welcoming Dr. Etnier to the position of chair of the Department of Kinesiology!

Carl S. Mattacola