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Dr. Elizabeth Ackley

Brian H. Thornhill Assoc Professor of Health & Human Perform

Director of the Center for Community Health

Department: Health and Human Performance
Office: 377 Cregger Center




  • Ph.D. Health & Human Performance - Middle Tennessee State University, Murfreesboro, TN
  • M.S. Health & Human Performance - Middle Tennessee State University, Murfreesboro, TN
  • B.S. Exercise Science - SUNY Cortland College, Cortland, NY

Research & Teaching Interests

Health equity; Health surveillence; Special populations; Chronic disease; Physical activity epidemiology; Community-based participatory research; Undergraduate research mentoring practices


Community service; trail running; mountain biking; triathlon

Recent Publications

  • Walkington, H., Stewart, K., Hall, E., Ackley, E., & Shannahan, J. (2020). Salient practices of award-winning undergraduate research mentors: Balancing freedom and control to achieve excellence. Studeies in Higher Education.
  • Walkington, H., Hall, E., Shanahan, J. O., Ackley, E., Stewart, K. (2018). Striving for Excellence in Undergraduate Research Mentoring: The Challenges and Approaches to Ten Salient Practices. (In Vandermaas-Peeler, M., Moore, J., & Miller, P. C., (Eds.), Excellence in Mentoring Undergraduate Research. Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press
  • Hall, E., Walkington, H., Ackley, E., Shanahan, J. O., & Stewart, K. (2018). Mentoring perspectives on the place of undergraduate research mentoring in academic identity and career development: An analysis of award winning mentors”. International Journal of Academic Development, 23(1), 15-27.
  • Shanahan, J. O., Walkington, H., Ackley, E., Hall, E., & Stewart, K. (2017). Award-winning mentors see democratization as the future of undergraduate research. CUR Quarterly: Undergraduate Research and Higher Education of the Future, 37(4), 4-11.
  • Shanahan, J. O., Ackley, E., Hall, E., & Stewart, K., Walkington, H. (2015). Ten salient practices of undergraduate research mentors: A review of the literature. Mentoring and Tutoring: Partnership in Learning.

Recent External Funding

2023 - "Trauma Informed Community Approach to Breastfeeding to Combat Childhood Obesity" - Virginia Foundation for Healthy Youth [$88,950]
2021 - "Northwest Roanoke Food Access Initiative" - Roanoke City American Recovery Plan Act Funds [$10.5 milllion]
2021 - “Addressing Our Missing Link: Bringing “Human Performance” to the Department of HHP” – Bane Foundation [$7,500]
2020 - “Augmenting Health & Exercise Science Education at Roanoke College” – Bane Foundation, Co-Author [$13,937]
2019 - “Financing Sustainable Local Food Systems: Healthy Food Financing Initiative” – Reinvestment Fund, [TA Grant - Awarded]
2019 - “The Roanoke Valley Community Healthy Living Index: A Catalyst for Promoting Health Equity” – VFIC [$2,100]
2018 - “Examining Best Practices in Food Retail: the ReFresh Model” – Reinvestment Fund [$22,500]
2018 - “Building Healthy, Equitable Communities for Children and Families” – ChangeLab Solutions & RWJF [TA Grant - Awarded]
2017 - “Community Investment Grant: The Roanoke Valley Community Healthy Living Index” – Freedom First Credit Union [$5,000]
2017 - “Northwest Food Access Planning Grant” – City of Roanoke HUD Grant [$55,064]
2016 - “Invest Health: Strategies for a Healthier Roanoke Valley” – Robert Wood Johnson Foundation & Reinvestment Fund, [$60,000]