Assistant Professor of Exercise Science

  • Office: Fayerweather Hall, 218
  • Phone: (865) 981-8105

By being a faculty member in the Exercise Science major I have the opportunity to teach freshman through senior students in the following classes:

  • Exercise Physiology (PHR 345)
  • Measurement and Evaluation in Physical Education (PHR 341)
  • Kinesiology (PHR 332)
  • Nutrition (PHR 219)
  • Community Health (PHR 336)
  • Human Health and Wellness (PHR 101)
  • First Year Seminar: C’Mon Be Happy (FYS 110)

In addition to the classes I teach, my research and academic interests include: understanding the relationship between physical activity and health, physical activity assessment, interventions to increase and promote physical activity and/or to reduce sedentary behavior, and the influence of occupational-related activity on total activity.

Whenever relevant, I enjoy discussing my research and personal academic and athletic experiences in the classes I teach. I find that this can pique students’ interest in being involved in research, sport, or graduate school, while demonstrating ways in which the course content is actively being applied in a real-world setting. I work to create opportunities for students to get involved in research early in their undergraduate careers, to maximize hands-on learning.  In addition, to engaging students in research experiences, I enjoy challenging myself and my students to engage in learning at a deeper level by trying new and innovating teaching strategies.

When I am not teaching at Maryville college or conducting research with my students, you can likely find me outside riding my bike, or running the Maryville-Alcoa greenway with my wife Betsy Anderson Steeves, who is a Registered Dietitian, and a Public Health Nutrition professor at the University of Tennessee. Growing up in East Coast Canada, my father was a high school Physical Education teacher and football coach. As a youngster, I played almost every sport imaginable, and found enjoyment through most types of physical activity and exercise.

In my previous life, football was my passion. Following my undergraduate degree in Human Kinetics from St. Francis Xavier University, a small liberal arts school in East Coast Canada, I was drafted by the Hamilton Tiger-Cats of the Canadian Football League (CFL). My dream turned quickly turned into a nightmare, when on the first day of training camp, I tore my biceps tendon in practice, which required surgery and a 6-month rehab. Thinking my football career was over, I buckled down on my academic career.  Interested in understanding how the body moves and what adaptations happen due to exercise, I started a master’s degree in Biomechanics at University of Tennessee, Knoxville (UT) in 2006. After the first year of my Master’s degree, I was given another chance at professional football in the CFL, and I played free-safety for one season with the Edmonton Eskimos in Alberta, Canada.

Having realized by childhood dream of playing pro football, I refocused my energy towards the pursuit of knowledge and a better understanding of the human body, health, and public health. I completed my masters in Biomechanics, and stayed on to receive a PhD in Exercise Physiology with a minor in nutrition from UT. Following graduation from UT, I has accepted to the Cancer Prevention Fellowship Program with the National Cancer Institute in Bethesda, MD, where I was able to receive a Masters of Public Health from Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, which is often ranked the # 1 School of Public Health in the world.

Since football, I have challenged myself with other athletic endeavors. As graduate teaching assistant at UT, I taught yoga, and social, and folk dance. I started running marathons in 2010, and typically race 1 or 2 a year. I ran my 1st sub 3-hour marathon in 2014. I also enjoy snowboarding, and triathlons. I currently instruct several yoga sessions a year on MC campus, enjoy attending MC Athletic games, and am excited to be a part of the exciting new campus initiative called Fit. Green. Happy., which provides strong connections between our Mountain Challenge program and many academic departments and courses.

No matter what you are interested in related to sports, physical activity, the body, or health hopefully my diverse academic and athletic background will provide something we can connect with and prove interesting in class. If you have more questions about my background, see a copy of my CV. Please feel free to email me if you need to get in contact with me, and stay Fit. Green. Happy. for life.