Two distinct disciplines with the common goal of promoting healthy lifestyles and communities.

The Division of Health & Exercise Science at Western Oregon University prepares students to be knowledgeable, competent, and ethical professionals. Our graduates are advocates of health and fitness in schools, community centers, health departments and hospitals, and in issues of public policy.

Our Philosophy

Students come first. Our faculty work closely with students in the classroom, lab, and community. We are committed to our students personal, academic, and professional development.

In the spirit of our heritage as a teaching college, we uphold an enduring commitment to the value of teaching, and our programs emphasize the impact of educators on health promotion.

We believe in allowing each faculty member the autonomy to express their uniqueness as teachers, scholars, and community members. Our diverse perspectives are what fosters learning, passion, and innovation.

Dr. Emily Vala-Haynes

Associate Professor, Community Health

“My passion is global health. Specifically, women’s reproductive health – access to contraception, unintended pregnancy, maternal mortality, and intimate partner violence.”

Dr. Laura Ellingson-Sayen

Assistant Professor, Exercise Science

“My research and teaching center around understanding how being physically active positively influences mental health and wellbeing.”

Tom Kelly

Assistant Professor, Exercise Science

“It really is up to the student and what their interest is and I think that is one of the strengths here. It’s student directed.”

Hands-On Experience


Gain Real-World Experience

All our students have the opportunity to complete an internship as part of their program. Internships are the chance to apply what you've learned, gain some relevant work experience, and network with potential employers.


Make the World Your Classroom

Our students are encouraged to study abroad. The experience of living and learning in another country gives you first-hand observation of different cultures and their health practices.


Dig Deeper

Take advantage of the chance to work on research and creative projects alongside professors who serve as mentors. Students also have access to a new fully-equipped exercise science lab that provides research, learning, and fitness testing opportunities.

2019 Outstanding Student Awards in Community Health & Exercise Science

2019 Outstanding Student Awards in Community Health & Exercise Science Each year, the Division of Health & Exercise Science holds an awards ceremony to recognize our outstanding students in Community Health and Exercise science. This year, 12 of our best students...

Michael Weaver – a SHAPE America “Major of the Year”

Congratulations to Exercise Science student Michael Weaver for being recognized as a 2019 “Major of the Year.”

Alumni Spotlight on the Kellys

Sam and Rebecca Kelly share their work experiences and reflect on lessons learned during their time at WOU.

Division of Health & Exercise Science

Richard Woodcock Education Center 239
345 Monmouth Ave North
Monmouth, OR 97361


Jenna Otto

Administrative Program Assistant

P: 503-838-8908