Franco appointed chair of the Department of Kinesiology and Health Sciences
R. Lee Franco, Ph.D., has been appointed as chair of the Department of Kinesiology and Health Sciences effective July 1, 2020. Dr. Franco will replace Joann Richardson, Ph.D., as chair. The College would like to thank Dr. Richardson for her strong leadership over the past three years.
Dr. Franco has been affiliated with the Department of Kinesiology and Health Sciences since 2004 and previously served as the associate chair and director of graduate studies in the department, as well as special assistant to the dean for space and finance. He is also an alumnus of the VCU Grace E. Harris Leadership Institute.
As chair, Dr. Franco is looking forward to working with the faculty and staff in preparing students to be global citizens who demonstrate competence, character and compassion, and continuing toward goals that align with the College’s Excellence Beyond Boundaries strategic plan.
Kinesiology and Health Sciences is a unique department with more than 1,500 undergraduate students, who are each required to complete 360 internship hours of clinical experiences, leading the College’s effort to enhance VCU’s REAL initiative. The department also offers a post-baccalaureate health behavior coaching certificate, an M.S. in health and movement science, and the only collaborative Ph.D. program (rehabilitation and movement science) between the two VCU campuses.
Dr. Franco emphasizes that “it’s easy to understand how the success of our unit is driven by faculty, staff and student engagement. We thrive on being a department that prioritizes success for a diverse student body and acts as stewards of community engagement. Our faculty efforts are purposeful in bridging the future landscape of academia. And that excites all of us!”
In addition to being chair of the Department of Kinesiology and Health Sciences, Dr. Franco is looking forward to maintaining his active research efforts as director of the Exercise Physiology Research Laboratory, which focus on the immuno-inflammatory response to physical activity and exercise, and continuing to serve as a mentor for his students.