Project History and Coordination
The Iowa FitnessGram Initiative is managed by faculty and students affiliated with the Physical Activity and Health Promotion Lab within the Department of Kinesiology at Iowa State University. The Iowa FitnessGram Initiative was launched to help support and promote physical education programming in Iowa. It is operated as a "participatory research network" to provide benefits to both researchers and practitioners. Many graduate students have contributed to the project over the years as part of their doctoral training including Dr. Yang Bai, Dr. Joey Lee, Dr. Pedro Saint-Maurice, Dr. Jodee Schaben, and Dr. Michelle Ihmels. The current members of our research group are listed below.
Dr. Greg Welk
Dr. Welk is a Professor in the Department of Kinesiology at Iowa State University. He has served as the Scientific Director of the national FitnessGram program for the Cooper Institute since 1996. He works closely with the Cooper Institute staff to oversee the evaluation for the FitnessGram / NFL Play 60 Partnership project and other national projects and initiated the Iowa FitnessGram project to provide support for local Iowa schools. Please contact Dr. Greg Welk by email (email@example.com) for more information about the project. Information is also available on our lab webpage (www.physicalactivitylab.org)
Dr. Gabriella McLoughlin
Dr. McLoughlin is a post-doctoral research associate in the department of Kinesiology at Iowa State University. Her research focuses on children's health promotion through the school environment with a particular emphasis on physical education and school health policy. She works with Dr. Welk on the FitnessGram/ NFL Play 60 project in collaboration with the Cooper Institute and works to connect with teachers in Iowa through professional development and outreach. Please contact Gabriella by email (firstname.lastname@example.org) for more information about her work. Information is also available on our lab webpage (www.physicalactivitylab.org)
Dr. Joey Lee
Dr. Lee is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Health Sciences at the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs. He specializes in school physical activity and nutrition environments and the promotion and implementation of wellness programming in schools. Through the Iowa FitnessGram Initiative, he is working to develop a better understanding of school conditions that impact wellness programming and how fitness and wellness programming can be feasibly implemented within schools. Schools interested in better understanding their school wellness environment can reach out to the Iowa FitnessGram Initiative network or Dr. Joey Lee directly (email@example.com) to learn more about how to accomplish this and for support.
Dr. Andrew Pitchford
Dr. Pitchford is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Kinesiology at Iowa State University. He is a Certified Adapted Physical Educator (CAPE) and specializes in motor development and physical activity promotion in children with and without disabilities. Through the Iowa FitnessGram Initiative, he is offering a project on motor skill assessment with the Test of Gross Motor Development, Third Edition (TGMD-3). Please contact Dr. Andrew Pitchford by email (firstname.lastname@example.org) for more information on the project. Additional information is also available on our lab webpage (www.physicalactivitylab.org)
Matt is an undergraduate research assistant and intern with the Physical Activity and Health Promotion Lab that links with our Iowa FitnessGram team. He has been leading the planning and programming to pilot the Dragon Challenge physical literacy assessment and he is also contributing to the ongoing evaluation of the Youth Activity Profile with Dr. McLoughlin. He has specific skills in physical education programming and lesson plan development through coursework and related professional experiences and is looking forward to career options related to school physical activity promotion.