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Two students play with a puppy near a fountain on the Cal U campus.Two students play with a puppy near a fountain on the Cal U campus.

Dr. Rebecca A. Hess


  • B.S.: Physical Education, specializing in Dance, West Virginia University
  • M.S.: Physical Education, specializing in Motor Learning and Development, West Virginia University
  • M.F.A. hours: Dance and Motor Development, University of North Carolina at Greensboro
  • Ph.D.: Developmental Movement Studies, specializing in Motor Learning and Control, University of Pittsburgh


Dr. Hess was the recipient of the 2009 Presidential Faculty Award for Teaching at Cal U as well as the 2004 Faculty Professional Development Committee's recipient for outstanding teaching and learning. A former certified personal trainer and professional dancer, Rebecca has extensive training and teaching experience as a dance educator and researcher in the area of human movement and postural control. Dr. Hess completed her Ph.D. in developmental movement studies, focusing on motor control, from the University of Pittsburgh, and post-doctoral research in the Balance Lab at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center's Eye and Ear Institute.

Dr. Hess has used dance as a therapeutic tool in acute care and outpatient physical therapy labs and continues this work in injury prevention regionally and nationally. While currently teaching in the Department of Exercise Science and Sport Studies, Rebecca taught in the undergraduate and graduate athletic training programs for more than 15 years, as well as modern dance for the Department of Theatre and Dance, where she also worked as a liaison for the dance minor.

Rebecca has presented with her graduate athletic training students nationally and regionally as a past associate member of the NATA/EATA and served as the vice president of dance, as well as awarded University dance teacher of the year 2011 for the Pennsylvania State Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance (PSAHPERD). She is an active member and presenter for the American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance (AAHPERD), National Dance Association (NDA), PSAHPERD, International Association for Dance Medicine and Science (IADMS), and has published articles in various journals including the Journal of Dance Medicine and Science on dance science and injury prevention as well as the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research.


  • Physiology of Exercise
  • Nutrition for Peak Performance
  • Research in Performance Enhancement and Injury Prevention
  • Sports Medicine Research

Research Interests

  • Neuromuscular training and postural deficits related to injury prevention

Service Learning Projects

  • Developing a dance minor in the Department of Theatre and Dance by promoting student-faculty choreography and performance off-campus

Academic Department(s)

  • Department of Exercise Science and Sport Studies

Academic Program(s)

  • B.S. Sport Management-Online Wellness and Fitness
  • M.S. Exercise Science and Health Promotion

Contact Information



Keystone Hall 123
Steele Hall B149


"The best part of my job at Cal U is that I can develop three important aspects of my professional career - teaching, research and service, each equally and integrally important - with the full support of my colleagues and administration."

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