The University of Lynchburg has announced that exercise physiology professor Dr. Jeffrey Herrick will lead its newly founded University Research Center. The center is part of the University’s Lynchburg Tomorrow initiative, which includes, among other projects, the reimagining of community-based research for faculty and students on Lynchburg’s campus.
As President Dr. Alison Morrison-Shetlar explained when Lynchburg Tomorrow launched in June, “Lynchburg Tomorrow connects areas of need and potential in the city with our campus’s unique resources, such as the expertise of our faculty, staff, and students.”
Herrick, she said, is a great choice to lead the University Research Center. “I am delighted to work with Jeff on expanding our reputation on campus and as the city of Lynchburg’s research hub. His track record as a scholar and mentor is impressive, and I am confident that he will provide excellent guidance as a researcher and expert to our students and the greater Lynchburg community.”
Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Dr. Allison Jablonski agrees.
“I look forward to working with Jeff as he enhances the research culture of our institution, leading to greater research funding and research-friendly support,” she said in a campuswide email announcing his appointment.
“I am honored to receive both President Morrison-Shetlar and Provost Jablonski’s support and trust in developing and leading the University Research Center,” Herrick said. “I look forward to developing the center, which will aim to support and expand community-based research programs for both faculty and students.”
Herrick, who has been at Lynchburg since 2018, directs the University of Lynchburg Active Aging Program, a community-based theory-to-practice research initiative that aims to understand effective exercise program models to improve fitness, functional capacity, sleep quality, and cognitive function in older adults.
He has spent his career engaging in community-based research and has used exercise and physical activity interventions to improve health and function in a wide range of populations.
Prior to his appointment at Lynchburg, Herrick directed George Mason University’s Older Adult Exercise Program, served as an associate investigator at the National Institutes of Health Rehabilitation Medicine Department, and co-directed an adult weight-management program at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville.
In addition, Herrick served as the exercise and sleep education director for the Insomnia Hub, an open-access resource center for translation of sleep research. He is in his second term serving on the American College of Sports Medicines Strategic Health Initiative on Aging.
Herrick’s formal education includes a BA in psychology from Utica College of Syracuse University, an MS in kinesiology from James Madison University, and a PhD in rehabilitation and movement science from Virginia Commonwealth University.