Scholar Gets Students, Kent State on the Move

Scholar Gets Students, Kent State on the Move

Kent State University’s Scholar of the Month for December would prefer that you read this standing up, or even doing some calisthenics. Go on, get moving.

Jacob Barkley, Ph.D., is an associate professor of exercise science in Kent State’s College of Education, Health and Human Services. During his 10 years with Kent State, he has earned a name for himself as a scholar who wants to get people thinking about how they move, and moving better so they can think better.

“Dr. Barkley is an active scholar and productive researcher, said Mark Kretovics, Ph.D., interim dean of Kent State’s College of Education, Health and Human Services. “He mentors his students and collaborates with faculty across disciplines. His recent work with Dr. Andrew Lepp on mobile phone usage has garnered national attention.”

Barkley’s research examines factors that influence physical activity and sedentary behavior, namely how social factors like peer influence and technology may impact how active a person is.

The article Kretkovics mentioned, “Who’s in Charge? You or Your Smartphone?” written by Jian Li, Ph.D., assistant professor of evaluation and measurement, and Andrew Lepp, Ph.D., associate professor of recreation, park and tourism management — both from the in the School of Foundations, Leadership and Administration in the College of Education, Health and Human Services — along with Barkley, was one of the top five studies to bring national attention to Kent State last year.

Barkley and Lepp also have published several recent studies on the relationships between various types of cellphone use and physical activity, exercise, sedentary behaviors and health outcomes like cardiorespiratory fitness.

“These works support the notion that the modern cellphone may be the new sedentary screen of choice for college-aged individuals,” Barkley said. “While some cellphone functions may promote positive health behaviors like using fitness apps or listening to music, excessive cellphone use may be just as problematic as being a traditional ‘couch potato’ seated in front of a TV screen.”

Barkley came to Kent State after obtaining his Ph.D. in exercise science and applied physiology from the State University of New York at Buffalo in 2007. He earned his Master of Science degree there as well, and his Bachelor of Arts degree in physical education and exercise physiology is from the State University of New York at Brockport.

Barkley boasts more than 50 peer-reviewed articles to his name, with another in press and eight more under review; 50 refereed presentations and workshops; and more than a dozen funded grant projects, with another in review.

He has been a peer reviewer for 18 academic journals, and he presently sits on the editorial board of PLOS ONE. Since 2015 alone, Barkley has earned five publication awards, acknowledging the impact of his work, from four separate journals.

Barkley has taught nine courses at Kent State, overseen roughly a dozen doctoral dissertations and served as a committee member on twice that many thesis committees.

He said he is humbled by this most recent acknowledgement of his scholarly efforts.

“I would like to express my gratitude to the university for the Scholar of the Month recognition and to Dr. Kretovics for nominating me,” Barkley said. “Thank you as well to my collaborator, Dr. Andrew Lepp, and my Exercise Science colleagues and students for their support. I am fortunate to be surrounded by motivated thinkers and learners who make working at Kent State University an absolute pleasure.”



Kent State’s Scholar of the Month recognizes faculty researchers and scholars whose recent work has had an important impact on their professional fields and has brought exposure to the university. Each month, a different college will have the opportunity to nominate a researcher/scholar for this recognition. There is also a month when a faculty member from the Regional Campuses will be featured.

The selection process is in the hands of the dean and his or her colleagues and faculty. Hence, this is recognition by the person’s college colleagues that is then taken up by the university. The deans communicate the person’s name to the Division of Research and Sponsored Programs for recognition as Scholar of the Month.

POSTED: Tuesday, January 24, 2017 05:09 PM
Updated: Thursday, December 8, 2022 08:35 PM
Dan Pompili