Assistant Professor of Exercise Science


           I completed my undergraduate degree at Saginaw Valley State University and then attended the University of Tennessee in Knoxville where I earned my M.S. in Exercise Physiology and my Ph.D. in Kinesiology and Sport Studies with a concentration in Exercise Physiology. Following graduation, I continued my training by way of a postdoctoral fellowship with the Children’s Physical Activity Research Group, housed within the Dept. of Exercise Science in the Arnold School of Public Health at the University of South Carolina. Following my postdoctoral fellowship in August 2016, I returned to East Tennessee and joined the Maryville College family.

           The classes I have been privileged to teach primarily involve the human body: how it works, how physical activity and the outdoors influence it, and how to keep it healthy. My courses taught include:

  • Human Anatomy and Physiology I (BIO/EXS 217)
  • Human Anatomy and Physiology II (BIO/EXS 218)
  • Human Health and Wellness (PHR 101)
  • Natural Environments and Health (OST 215)
  • First Year Studies: Get Out and Play! (FYS110)

              Although the human body tops my list of favorite things, my passion has always been, and continues to be, the great outdoors. Growing up in rural Northeast Michigan, I spent most of my time outdoors which has fostered a love for nature, outdoor activities, and conservation. When I’m not in the classroom, you can usually find me with my husband and our dogs in a boat, on a riverbank, or in the woods. I consider myself incredibly lucky to have the opportunity to combine my interests through my teaching, research, and the Fit.Green.Happy™ initiative at Maryville College. My research interests highlights the relationship between physical activity, outdoor time, and health in children and adults. Further, I am interested in strategies and programs that provide children with opportunities to spend more time outdoors, either through sport or free play and becoming stewards and advocates for the environment. I am involved in several organizations at the regional and national level, including the American College of Sports Medicine and the North American Society for Pediatric Exercise Medicine as well as on the Board of Directors for the American Forest Kindergarten Association.  

For more information about my professional background, see my curriculum vitae (visit HERE!)

Selected Publications


  • Flynn, J.I., Bassett, D.R., Fouts, H.N., Thompson, D. L., and D.P. Coe. Active Families in the Great Outdoors: A program to promote family outdoor physical activity. Journal of Adventure Learning and Outdoor Education. (In press). 2017.
  • Pate, R.R., Flynn, J.I., and M. Dowda. Policies for promotion of physical activity and prevention of obesity in youth. Journal of Exercise Science and Fitness. (In press). 2016.
  • Ross, S.E., Flynn, J.I., and R.R. Pate. What’s really causing the obesity epidemic? A review of reviews in children and adolescents. Journal of Sports Sciences. (In press; Published ahead of print on September 23, 2015)
  • Chandler, J.L., Flynn, J.I., Bassett, D.R., Fitzhugh, E.C., Waller, S.N., Aaron, K., Walsh, J., Manuel, K., Fernandez, R., Epperson, B., and E. Zavisca. A Community-Based After-School Program to Promote Bicycling Skills and Knowledge: Kids Can Bike! Journal of Park and Recreation Administration. 2015. 33(4):90-99.
  • Crouter, S.E., Flynn, J.I., and D.R. Bassett. Estimating physical activity in youth using a wrist accelerometer. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise. 2015. 47(5):944-951.
  • Coe, D.P., Flynn, J.I., Wolff, D.L., Scott, S., and R.S. Durham. Children’s physical activity levels and utilization of a traditional versus natural playground. Children, Youth, and Environments Journal. 2014. 24(3):1-15.
  • Flynn, J.I., Coe, D.P., Rider, B.C., Conger, S.A., and D.R. Bassett. Detecting indoor and outdoor environments using the ActiGraph GT3X+ light sensor in children. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise. 2014. 46(1):201-206.
  • Gregory, D.A., Pfeiffer, K.A., Vickers, K.E., Aubrey, A.J., Flynn, J.I., Connolly, C.P., and D.P. Coe. Physiologic responses to running with a jogging stroller. International Journal of Sports Medicine. 2012. 33(9):711-715.