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Dr. Gary Liguori

Gary Liguori serves as the University's chief academic officer as provost and senior vice president. Dr. Liguori comes to UWF from the University of Rhode Island, where he was the founding dean of the College of Health Sciences.

Prior to Rhode Island, Liguori was head of Health & Human Performance at the University of Tennessee Chattanooga, and before that, held faculty appointments at North Dakota State University, Youngstown State University and the University of Wyoming. Before working in academics, Liguori was the director of cardiac rehabilitation at the Heart Institute of the Desert, in Palm Desert, California.

A professor of kinesiology and a fellow of the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM), Liguori has taught courses focused on disease prevention, community health and cardiac pathophysiology. His research has focused on health behaviors, initially focusing on the well being of college students, and more recently he has partnered with colleagues throughout Europe to study the social and financial benefits of medically prescribed fitness as a proxy for usual health care.

In addition, Liguori has published five academic textbooks as Author, Senior Editor, or Associate Editor. He is the lead author of McGraw-Hill’s Questions & Answers: A Guide to Fitness And Wellness, now in its 7th edition. He was Senior Editor of ACSM’s 1st edition Resources for the Health Fitness Specialist; Senior Editor for ACSM’s 5th edition Health-Related Physical Fitness Assessment Manual; Associate Editor for the 10th edition of of the ACSM Guidelines for Exercise Testing and Prescription, and Senior Editor for the 11th edition of the ACSM Guidelines. Dr. Liguori also served as Associate Editor-in-Chief of ACSM’s Health Fitness Journal, and was recently named Inaugural Editor-in-Chief of ACSM’s open-access journal, Exercise, Sport, and Movement.

Liguori is the scientific chair of the board for GO fit, Spain's largest provider of fitness and wellness centers; is on the executive board of the American Association of Health and Disability; is a member of the Science Advisory panel for Playcore, the world’s largest manufacturer of playground equipment; and has previously served on the board of the Southern New England American Heart Association. He is frequently sought out for his expertise in various media outlets, including Runners World, NPR, Oxygen magazine, Real Simple magazine, SHAPE magazine, the Wall Street Journal and Reuters Health.

Liguori received a doctorate in human development and wellness from North Dakota State University, a master’s degree in cardiac rehabilitation/exercise science from East Stroudsburg University in Pennsylvania and a bachelor’s degree in fitness and wellness from the University of Central Missouri. He is married to Heidi Bills, who holds a bachelors in social work and a master’s in counseling, both from the University of Wyoming, her home state. Together they have three children, Noah, Autumn and Zoe