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Huffines Institute Staff

Institute Director: Dr. J. Timothy Lightfoot

 

PhD FACSM RCEP CES, Omar Smith Endowed Chair in Kinesiology, Dept. of Health & Kinesiology, Texas A&M University.

Dr. Lightfoot received his Bachelors and Masters degrees from Northeast Louisiana University and his doctorate from the University of Tennessee. He then completed a research consultantship with NASA at Kennedy Space Center in the Biomedical Laboratory and then a three-year National Institute of Health postdoctoral research fellowship in the Division of Physiology at Johns Hopkins University. He was an Assistant and Associate Professor at Florida Atlantic University for 6 years, and a Professor at the University of North Carolina Charlotte for 14 years, 11 years of which he was Chair of the department. Dr. Lightfoot has published over 50 scientific, peer-reviewed articles on the genetics of daily physical activity and exercise endurance, as well as the physiological response to high-G exposure and hemorrhage and is currently funded by the National Institutes of Health to conduct research on the genetics of physical activity. His lab also has an unique interest in the physiological responses of motorsports athletes to the race environment. His research has been featured in numerous general media outlets including the Los Angeles Times, Time.com, National Public Radio, the Rush Limbaugh show, CNN, the NBC Today Show, MSNBC, Charlotte Talks radio show, Revista Epoca (a Brazilian weekly magazine), and on Australian National Radio. 

Director of the Texas A&M Coaching Academy: Dr. John Thornton

 

PhD, Executive Professor, Health and Kinesiology Department

As the inaugural Director of the Texas A&M Coaching Academy, Dr. Thornton brings a wealth of experience as an athlete, coach, and athletic administrator to the position.  After playing high school and junior college basketball in San Antonio, Thornton came to Aggieland to play for Coach Shelby Metcalf. Thornton was the 1973-1974 Southwest Conference Newcomer of the Year after being the second-leading scorer and rebounder on the Aggie squad. In 1974-75, Thornton was the team captain and helped lead the Aggies to the 1975 SWC Championship title.                        

Taking full advantage of the opportunities presented to him by Texas A&M, Thornton graduated cum laude from Texas A&M in 1975. Thornton was named the Department of Education's Distinguished Honor Award winner. Thornton spent two years as a graduate assistant basketball coach on Metcalf's staff and earned his master's degree in educational administration from Texas A&M. He would become the basketball head coach at Athens High School, spend a brief time at UT-San Antonio before taking the athletics director and head basketball coaching job at Hill Junior College in Hillsboro. In 1981, Metcalf would call and ask Thornton to serve as an assistant basketball coach. From 1981 until the 1990, Thornton would serve as Metcalf's assistant helping the Aggies to one NCAA appearance (1987) and four NIT appearances. During the middle of the 1990 season, Thornton was asked to serve as interim head basketball coach and finished with a 5-7 mark as the Aggies' head coach.

Lead Institute Administrative Assistant: Ms. Danielle Sanders

 
Ms. Sanders is a Senior Community Health and Nutritional Science double major. She started out by volunteering in the Institute helping with  podcasts, and now is the Lead Administrative Assistant. Danielle is interested in pursuing a career in the health field incorporating both of her degrees and the basics of exercise science as it relates to the body. 

Institute Executive Producer: Mr. Kenneth McIntyre

 


Kenneth is a Junior Industrial and Systems Engineering major from Fort Worth, Texas.  He volunteered his Freshman year to become involved with the Institute, and now works as the Executive Producer over all the Institute's media content. His continued desire to learn about the world of sports and sports medicine has led to his continued involvement with the media production of the Institute. 

Communications Specialist: Mr. Dell Billings

 

Mr. Billings, '95 (Agricultural Journalism), is the Communication Specialist for the Dept. of Health and Kinesiology at Texas A&M, but his services are displayed throughout the Huffines Institute's website.  Mr. Billings has a long history in local media, having worked at KBTX for 10 years and KWTX for two years before joining Texas A&M's HLKN Department.

Ms. Heather Vellers, MS RCEP

  Heather is currently a fourth-year doctoral student in Exercise Physiology, having recently defended her dissertation. She has a Bachelors degree in Exercise Science and a Masters degree in Clinical Exercise Physiology from the University of North Carolina Charlotte. Heather is also a Registered Clinical Exercise Physiologist. After graduation, she will be completing a post-doctoral fellowship at the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences in Durham, North Carolina.

 Mr. Jorge Granados, MS

 

Jorge is currently a second-year doctoral student in Exercise Physiology. He received his Bachelors degree in Sports & Exercise Science and Masters degree in Exercise Physiology from West Texas A&M University in Canyon, TX.

Mr. Ayland Letsinger, BS

  Ayland is a first-year doctoral student in Exercise Physiology with interest in genomics.He completed his Bachelor's in Kinesiology with a concentration in motor behavior and a minor in psychology at Texas A&M in the Spring of 2015. His enthusiasm to learn about the latest information about health and human development led him to work for the Huffines Institute as the Lead Podcast and Huffines Human Performance Minute Producer as an undergraduate, and to transition into the doctoral program.

Mr. Carlos Guevara

 

Coming soon...

 

Ms. Alexis Appelquist


 
 Coming soon...

Coming soon...