Dr. Rebecca A. Hess


Department of Exercise Sciences and Sport Studies


Dr. Hess was the recipient of the 2009 Presidential Faculty Award for Teaching and the 2004 Faculty Professional Development Committee's award for outstanding teaching and learning at PennWest California.  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. Serving as vice president of dance, Rebecca also received the University dance teacher of the year 2011, for the Pennsylvania State Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance (PSAHPERD). 


Rebecca is a member and presentor for PSAHPERD, the International Association for Dance Medicine and Science (IADMS), and International Somatic Movement Education and Therapy Association (ISMETA), and currently serves on the Research Committee for the Pilates Method Alliance (PMA).

Professional Presentations/Scholarship

  • Research for the Fitness Professional.  Podcast for National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM) on the role of research for the fitness and Pilates professional.  June 12, 2020.

  • Practicing conscious movement:  Creating clarity, eliminating the noise. Workshop presented at the Association of Theatre Movement Educators (ATME) Colloquium, Department of Music and Theatre, PennWest California.  May 31, 2019.

  • Developing movement potential through conscious practice; A theoretical examination.  Lecture demonstration presented at the Emerging Pathways joint conference for International Somatic Movement Education and Therapy Association (ISMETA) and the National Dance Education Organization (NDEO).  New York, NY.  June 23, 2019. 

  • Evidence-based Practice in Pilates; Finding and Applying Quality Research. Hess R., Cowen V., & Ruby, C. Workshop presented at the Pilates Method Alliance Conference (PMA).  Monterey, CA.  Oct. 25, 2019. 
  • Using Ideokinesis to facilitate Estill Voice Training.  Eisiminger, B., Pagen M., & Hess R. Paper presented at the 9th Estill World Voice Symposium: London, England.  Aug. 9, 2019.

Professional Service/Student Research

  • Current professor in research, dissertation chair, and dissertation committees for D.H.Sc. program in Health Science and Exercise Leadership (2017-present)
  • Faculty advisor/ reviewer for the Honors Program student theses and current Honors Advisory Board member (1999-present)
  • Adjunct research fellow for Rocky Mount University of Health Professions doctoral research (2014-2016)
  • Past University Research Director (URC) for Kappa Omicron Nu Honor Society for the Human Sciences at PennWest California.  .
  • Past Graduate faculty advisor and committee member for Athletic Training Education student thesis research, Department of Health Science & Sport Studies (1993- 2009); Department of Health Science (to 2015).
  • 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

Email: hess_ra@pennwest.edu

Phone: 724-938-4356