PARC Institutions

Formed in 2016, PARC is a collaboration of internationally recognized faculty, from six leading universities, with backgrounds in public health, city planning, behavioral science, and parks and recreation. Each team member is an expert in advancing research and policy in their diverse disciplines and is known for leadership in trans-disciplinary research and research translation. PARC was first funded by a $3 million grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) as part of a larger effort to build an inclusive Culture of Health across America to ensure that all children have opportunities to grow up at a healthy weight. PARC continues to receive RWJF funding to focus on dissemination efforts, with the goal of building evidence, growing the network of PARC dissemination partners and sustaining a movement.

UC San Diego School of Medicine 

The UC San Diego team is examining summertime physical activity patterns in diverse, lower-income adolescent populations.

Co-Principal Investigators:

James F. Sallis, PhD, Distinguished Professor Emeritus, Department of Family Medicine and Public Health

Medicine and Public Health

Dr. Sallis is a health psychologist and one of the world’s leading researchers in physical activity and public health. He is known for innovative studies of children and adolescents regarding school interventions, measurement, and the role of community environments, policies and programs. Read full bio here.

Terry L. Conway, PhD, Research Scientist, Department of Family Medicine and Public Health

Dr. Conway is a Research Investigator at UC San Diego and an Adjunct Doctoral Faculty Member at the Graduate School of Public Health at San Diego State University. She has an extensive research background in lifestyle behaviors such as tobacco use, physical activity, and nutrition, and she is experienced in a broad array of statistical procedures. Read full bio here.

Georgia Institute of Technology College of Design & San Diego State University 

The Georgia Tech and SDSU project assesses how policy development and training youth to be advocates for changes in the built environment can foster health and produce positive policy and environmental change.

Co-Principal Investigators:

Nisha D. Botchwey, PhD, MCRP, MPH, Associate Professor, School of City and Regional Planning

Dr. Botchwey is an Associate Professor of City and Regional Planning at the Georgia Institute of Technology, an adjunct professor in Emory University’s School of Public Health, and Associate Dean for Academic Programs at Georgia Tech Professional Education. Her research focuses on health and the built environment, health equity and physical activity, community engagement, and data dashboards for evidence-based planning and practice. Read full bio here.

Anna J. Kim, PhD, Assistant Professor, San Diego State University, School of Public Affairs

Dr. Kim is an Assistant Professor of City Planning at San Diego State University. Her research is focused on immigrant participation in the informal economy and ethnic labor markets, as well as community economic development and health outcomes related to the urban and suburban built environment. She has partnered with Los Angeles and Atlanta area municipalities on developing plans for outreach to diverse communities, with a focus on civic engagement, community health, and refugee and immigrant settlement in the region. Read full bio here.

Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health &
Baylor University, Robbins College of Health and Human Sciences 

The Johns Hopkins and Baylor team is examining whether culturally relevant Play Streets can be adapted to low-income rural communities to increase physical activity among elementary and middle school-aged children.

Co-Principal Investigators:

Keshia Pollack Porter, PhD, MPH, Professor, Department of Health Policy and Management

Dr. Pollack Porter is a Professor of Health Policy and Management in the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. Dr. Pollack Porter’s research informs the development of policies that promote safe and healthy environments where people live, work, play, and travel. Her research prioritizes injury prevention, policy change, and disparities, and addresses active transportation, transportation safety, sports injuries, and safe play for children. Read full bio here.

Renée Umstattd Meyer, PhD, MCHES, Professor, Baylor University, Robbins College of Health and Human Sciences, and PARC co-Director

Dr. Umstattd Meyer is a Professor of Public Health in the Baylor University Robbins College of Health and Human Sciences who is recognized nationally and internationally for her work with diverse underserved and rural communities. Her research aims to better understand and promote physical activity for all people across the lifespan, specifically acknowledging the importance of and interrelationships among behavioral, environmental, and policy factors. Read full bio here.

NC State University College of Natural Resources

The NC State University team studies public park use and physical activity among children in lower-income and racial and ethnic minority communities in Raleigh-Durham and New York City to inform planning decisions about park design.

Co-Principal Investigators:

Myron F. Floyd, PhD, Professor, Department of Parks, Recreation and Tourism Management

Dr. Floyd currently serves as Dean of the College of Natural Resources at NC State University. His most recent research examines how built and natural environments promote physical activity and emphasizes eliminating racial/ethnic disparities in access to parks and public green space. Read full bio here.

Aaron Hipp, PhD, Associate Professor, Department of Parks, Recreation and Tourism Management, and PARC co-Director

Dr. Hipp is Associate Professor of Community Health and Sustainability in the Department of Parks, Recreation, and Tourism Management at North Carolina State University. He measures human behaviors in public environments in an effort to better design, program, and develop policies for inclusive, healthy spaces. Read full bio here.

PARC Coordinating Center 

PARC is led by co-directors Renée Umstattd Meyer, PhD of Baylor University and Aaron Hipp, PhD of North Carolina State University. Coordination of PARC is managed by Amanda Wilson, MSRS, Research Associate in the Department of Family Medicine and Public Health at UC San Diego and Tyler Prochnow, MEd, Research Assistant at Baylor University.