2016 Election Results
American Academy of Health Behavior
Renée Umstattd Meyer, PhD MCHES
Dr. Renée Umstattd Meyer is an Associate Professor of public health in the Robbins College of Health and Human Sciences in the Department of Health, Human Performance and Recreation at Baylor University. Her research focuses on understanding and promoting physical activity across the lifespan, specifically acknowledging the importance of and interrelationships among behavioral, environmental, and policy factors. Much of her effort focuses on collaborating with underserved rural and U.S.-Mexico border communities, which continually enhances her awareness and understanding of the deeply rooted health disparities prevalent in these communities.
Since first being introduced to The Academy in 2000, I have felt at home. I believe this is due to a sense of shared vision and comradery that I have experienced with fellow members, in addition to the parallels I have always seen between my own professional mission and The Academy’s mission and call to excellence, integrity, mentoring, and equity in health behavior research with the aim of improving the health of those around us. As a graduate student in 2000, The Academy embodied the pinnacle of where I aimed to be, and almost 16 years later this still persists today.
The past few years have brought The Academy through a strategic planning process that verified and reinforced many strengths including our strong foundation and history. In addition, the strategic planning process also identified membership, professional development, and equity and diversity as priority areas. Increasing Academy membership to 200-300 members while retaining our standards of excellence is an important goal for the longevity of The Academy and would remain a priority of mine as President. The addition of a student membership category this year was an important step towards achieving this goal; however, we will need to further expand our efforts to meet this goal through honing membership benefits, marketing, and committing to improving diversity and equity in The Academy.
Since the beginning of my involvement as a full member in The Academy 7 years ago, I have served in various roles aimed at fostering professional development and mentoring. We have seen important improvements in this area for young scholars and students, including the establishment of the Research Scholars program, however, The Academy needs to continue expanding efforts to support and encourage professional development for all members. In addition to continuing efforts to mentor young scholars and students, we specifically need professional development efforts for mid-career scholars and those aimed to help foster and support diversity and equity across The Academy.
As we move forward towards The Academy’s 3rd decade, we need to stay grounded in the strength of our foundation and mission while simultaneously striving for greater internal growth and external reach. The Academy needs to be the voice of health behavior research and expertise beyond our metaphorical organizational walls and the Annual Meeting. Strategic discussions of how to best accomplish this have been occurring the past few years. Now, we need to act. As President I would work with the Board to select, derive, and implement high quality and meaningful mechanisms to ensure that the voice of The Academy and the collective expertise of our membership is being disseminated to help improve our public’s health through application in policy and practice, and continued research in priority areas. This approach needs to include varied mechanisms to disseminate information within and from The Academy to include Academy publications, Academy sponsored webinars to highlight the robust expertise of our members, Academy sponsored research briefs and position statements, and continued efforts to connect and foster communication between members and with the Board.
The next few years in The Academy’s future are important and hold great promise; I would be honored to add to the efforts of previous and current Presidents and lead The Academy towards reaching these goals.
Anna E. Greer, PhD, MS
Dr. Anna E. Greer is an Associate Professor in the Department of Physical Therapy & Human Movement Science at Sacred Heart University (SHU) in Fairfield, CT. Dr. Greer teaches in both the undergraduate and graduate Exercise Science and Nutrition programs. She is a member of the SHU Center for Community Health and Wellness and is the Academic Director of SHU’s Living and Learning Communities. Dr. Greer’s research focuses on environment and policy supports for active living and healthy eating in economically disadvantaged communities. Dr. Greer earned her B.S. in Exercise Science from Furman University (2004), her M.S. in Health Education and Behavior from the University of Florida (2006) and her Ph.D. in Health Promotion, Education, and Behavior from the Arnold School of Public Health at the University of South Carolina (2009). She is a Certified Health Education Specialist (CHES) and an American College of Sport Medicine Certified Exercise Physiologist (C-EP). Dr. Greer began attending American Academy of Health Behavior (AAHB) annual meetings in 2007 and has been an AAHB member since 2012. She served as the 2015 AAHB Research Review Chair and is currently serving as the 2016 Conference Planning Committee Chair and as a member of the 2016 AAHB Awards Council.
Julie M. Croff, PhD, MPH
Member Delegate- appointed to fulfill Renée's term 2016-2017
Dr. Julie M. Croff is the Founding Director of the MPH program and an Assistant Professor of Health Education and Promotion at Oklahoma State University. She currently serves as the Secretary of the HIV/AIDS Section of APHA and has previously served as the co-chair of HIV/AIDS section program planning. She has been a member of the American Academy of Health Behavior since 2012, and was an affiliate member prior to that. She has served AAHB as a conference abstract reviewer and as a member of the membership committee. Her research includes examinations of the interactions between individuals and their environments, most notably at the intersection of substance use and sexual behavior. She received her doctorate with emphasis in Health Behavior from the joint program in Public Health between the University of California San Diego and San Diego State University, her Masters in Public Health from Boston University and her Bachelors in Biology from San Diego State University.
Mary A. Steinhardt, Ed.D
Professional Development and Mentoring Chair (2016-2019)
Dr. Mary Steinhardt is a Professor of Health Behavior and Health Education in the College of Education at The University of Texas at Austin. She also serves as the University Faculty Ombuds. Dr. Steinhardt’s research program explores the determinants and methods for building resilience and strength when challenged with change and stressful situations. Current projects focus on resilience-based diabetes self-management education (RB-DSME) interventions, examining the role of positive emotions in reducing depressive symptoms, and the relationship between stress and metabolic function. She has worked with such companies as 3M, Motorola, Dell, and Applied Materials, as well as the Army’s 4th Infantry Division at Fort Hood and Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio. Mary is the recipient of the first annual Dean’s Distinguished Teaching Award in the College of Education, the Texas Excellence Teaching Award presented by the Texas Exes, and the Regents Outstanding Teaching Award from the University of Texas System. She is also a member of the Academy of Distinguished Teachers and serves as a Senior Provost Teaching Fellow.