Jaci VanHeest, PhD

Associate Professor, Educational Psychology & Kinesiology (Affiliate)

Research Overview

Dr. Jaci L. VanHeest is an Associate Professor in the Department of Kinesiology, NEAG School of Education, at the University of Connecticut. She currently holds a joint appointment in the Department of Educational Psychology at the University of Connecticut. Dr. VanHeest’s specialization is in the area of endocrine control of body weight and metabolism. Her two primary research arms are in the areas of overweight children and exercise and bioenergetic demands and endocrine function in elite female athletes. Dr. VanHeest has written several book chapters and articles on women, children, performance and obesity. Her before school physical activity program for overweight children called PawPALS is currently in its 4th year. Her program has gained local and national recognition in the Hartford Courant, Sports Illustrated, NBC Nightly News, and MS NBC.


Doctoral degree, Michigan State University, 1993 (exercise endocrinology)
NIH Postdoctoral Fellow, University of Cincinnati (physiology and biophysics)
Postdoctoral Fellow, University of Colorado (pediatrics)
Master’s degree, Michigan State University, 1985 (exercise physiology)
College degree, Hope College, 1980 (physical education)

Recent Publications

Contact Information
Mailing AddressEducational Psychology and Kinesiology
Neag School of Education
2095 Hillside Road, Unit 1110
Storrs, CT 06269-1110
Office LocationGentry Building, Room 331