Jeanne M. Barcelona

Jeanne M. Barcelona
Assistant Professor - Health and Physical Education
2171 Faculty Administration Building

Office Hours: Tuesday and Thursday 10 am until Noon or by Appointment.


  • PhD, Health Behavior & Health Education, University of Texas at Austin
  • MAE, Educational Leadership, Olivet Nazarene University
  • MAE, Curriculum & Instruction, Olivet Nazarene University
  • BA, Elementary Education, Saint Mary’s College


Dr. Barcelona’s professional trajectory speaks to her passion for helping children get a healthy start. Her career started in the elementary school classroom where she taught first and second grade urban youth. As an elementary school teacher, Dr. Barcelona was drawn to unconventional pedagogical strategies of incorporating physical activity into the core curriculum content she taught. After five years in the classroom setting, Dr. Barcelona transitioned into an Assistant Principal role where she focused on curriculum advancement and differentiation as well as providing professional development to her peers. After a decade of serving as a school practitioner, Dr. Barcelona decided to return to school in order to better refine her understanding of health in school and community settings.

A recent PhD graduate from the University of Texas at Austin, Dr. Barcelona spent the past four years studying Health Behavior and Health Education through the Kinesiology and Health Education department. Her time at UT afforded her ample opportunities to gain first-hand knowledge on school and community health. Specifically, Dr. Barcelona served as the lead research assistant on the Presidential Youth Fitness Program Evaluation where she advanced her understanding of quantitative, qualitative and mixed-methods research. In addition, Dr. Barcelona developed health curriculum for non-profit entities such as Purple Asparagus and It’s Time Texas as well as for the Chicago Public School System. Through her doctoral studies, Dr. Barcelona has taken a translational approach to research, eager to put her research into practice.   

Today, Dr. Barcelona’s line of research investigates the intersection of physical, emotional and cognitive health in early childhood. Specifically, she investigates the impact of physical activity on cognitive development and explores social, emotional and environmental mediating factors within the early childhood environment. Through her inquiries, Dr. Barcelona aims to advance the understanding of complex factors contributing to the young child’s academic readiness and lifelong success. 


Area Of Expertise

  • The relationship between physical activity and academic readiness in early childhood
  • Cognitive development in childhood 
  • School and Community Health
  • Application of the Whole School, Whole Community, Whole Child approach 




Courses Taught

 KHS 8750: Theories of Health Behavior (Winter)