Melanie T. Tucker, PhD, CHES is an assistant professor in the department of community and rural medicine and the director of clinical investigations in the college of community health sciences at University of Alabama. She has adjunct appointments in the department of medicine at University of Alabama at Birmingham and within the college of human environmental sciences at University of Alabama where she teaches program planning and evaluation and principles of weight management. Dr. Tucker serves as a member of the Institutional Review Board and coordinates scholarly activities and research for University of Alabama, school of medicine. Her research interests include physician’s use of technology for health education, clinical health coaching and pediatric obesity issues. Dr. Tucker enjoys spending her free time with her family and traveling, especially the Gulf Coast beaches.
1. What made you decide to pursue a career in exercise and sports science? I am a health educator and researcher with an interest in exercise and sports science. I am on the faculty at a school of medicine and I see that exercise and sports are essential aspects of overall health and wellness – an aspect that is often missing in our patients with chronic diseases. I am interested in how exercise and sports can transform the health status of our chronically ill patients.
2. What excited you about the opportunity to teach at UWS for the online ESS program? I am new to online teaching so reaching students in a non-traditional distance education format was intriguing. I am always interested in assisting students in learning and meeting them where they are in their educational journey. Teaching in the ESS program is particularly exciting because it moves me out of the health clinic and allows me to explore new areas of exercise science.
3. What’s your favorite stress-relieving activity? Not ironically, I like to exercise and engage in many forms of workouts. I am learning more about the mind/body benefits of yoga. I love the way it helps me deal with my stressors and helps me change the way I perceive stressful situations. I like all kinds of music and anything on Food Network. I enjoy spending time with my four boys but I can’t say that this is always a “stress-relieving” activity.
4. What has been your favorite moment on the job? As I mentioned, I am new to online teaching so I haven’t worked with students yet but I suspect this will be quite interesting and fun. So far, my favorite moment has been getting to know all of the staff at UWS. Everyone has been so attentive and willing to help me learn the webCampus system and online teaching in general. Their help has been invaluable.
5. What’s your favorite sport and why? I was born and raised in Alabama so I am pretty much required to be a college football fan, which I am. Working at the University of Alabama makes it easy to be a fan of the Crimson Tide. I have gained a real appreciation for Major League Baseball – my husband is a big fan and we both are involved in fantasy baseball leagues. I like baseball because there is so much statistical strategy that goes on behind the scenes.