Springfield College is proud to announce that it has selected Professor Samuel Headley of the School of Health, Physical Education, and Recreation in the department of Exercise Science as its inaugural recipient of the Karpovich Chair for Wellness at Springfield College. This award honors and supports Dr. Headley’s record of scholarship and innovation in exercise science.
It is a competitive three-year, honorary appointment that promotes interdisciplinary research across health science fields through the testing of ideas and the creation of new initiatives/practices that have the potential to be brought to scale and lead to a sustainable avenue of scholarship that would be competitive for future external funding. The new Chair will use the title of Karpovich Chair for Wellness for the duration of endowment support and will pursue collaborative and interdisciplinary scholarship in the area of “Wellness.”
Graduates from the Class of 1954 established an endowment in honor of their 50th reunion to recognize Dr. Peter Karpovich, a member of the Springfield College faculty from 1927 until 1969. Dr. Karpovich was a founder the American College of Sports Medicine and is widely considered the father of exercise physiology in the United States, having published over 130 journal articles in the field.
“Dr. Karpovich’s legacy lives on in the scholarly work performed by faculty teams at Springfield College, including Dr. Headley’s work in the Exercise Science and Sport Studies Laboratory,” noted Dr. James Harnsberger, Associate Vice president of Graduate Education, Grants, and Sponsored Research, while announcing the selection of Dr. Headley, following the recommendation by the Karpovich Chair for Wellness Review Committee.
A professor of exercise physiology, Dr. Headley joined Springfield College in 1992 as an assistant professor, receiving promotion to Associate Professor in 1997 and to Professor in 2003. He is a fellow of the American College of Sports Medicine and a Registered Clinical Exercise Physiologist. Dr. Headley has served as a principal investigator or co-investigator on numerous grants and contracts, including a major award from the National Institutes of Health, and most recently, a contract with Relypsa, Inc. to examine nutritional, behavioral, pharmaceutical, and counseling interventions with patients suffering from chronic kidney disease.
As the first Karpovich Chair awardee, Dr. Headley will be leading a nationwide team of twelve distinguished scholars and researchers to delve into the potential interactions of prebiotic supplementation and moderate aerobic exercise training on critical health concerns of chronic kidney disease patients, ranging from inflammatory responses that predispose kidney patients to premature death due to cardiovascular disease to psychological markers of health and well-being. “Our group is excited for this opportunity to test our hypotheses because we believe our work has the potential to positively impact upon the lives of patients who have chronic kidney disease,” Dr. Headley explained. “The study that we have proposed is the result of the collaborative efforts of members of our research team. I would particularly like to highlight the assistance of Drs. Nosratola Vaziri, Michael Germain, Britton Brewer, Jasmin Hutchinson, and doctoral student Emily Miele in the development of this initiative.” The Karpovich Chair comes with a commitment of $40,000 annually over three years to support the project.
Dr. Harnsberger added that “The Karpovich Chair further positions Springfield College to build collaborations that tackle research at the intersection of physiological, nutritional, psychological, and behavioral sciences. I am not surprised to see us demonstrating leadership in this growing area of research interest given our deep commitment to the education and welfare of our students and the broader community in spirit, mind, and body.”