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Headley Named Karpovich Chair for Wellness at Springfield College

SPRINGFIELD — Springfield College 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 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 and 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 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 Peter Karpovich, a member of the Springfield College faculty from 1927 until 1969. He was a founder the American College of Sports Medicine and is widely considered the father of exercise physiology in the U.S., having published more than 130 journal articles in the field.

A professor of exercise physiology, 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. He 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, Headley will lead a nationwide team of 12 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,” Headley explained. “The study that we have proposed is the result of the collaborative efforts of members of our research team.” The Karpovich chair comes with a commitment of $40,000 annually over three years to support the project.

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