Freedson retires after 35 years at UMass Amherst

Patty Freedson in her lab

January 19, 2017

Professor of Kinesiology Patty S. Freedson retired at the end of December 2016 after serving as a faculty member at the University of Massachusetts Amherst for the past 35 years, including 9 years in which she served as chair of the department.

“Patty Freedson is highly recognized in her field and has contributed to the Kinesiology Department and the School of Public Health and Health Sciences in so many significant ways,” says Dean Marjorie Aelion. “She has excelled as a mentor to undergraduate and graduate students and as a researcher. But her impact goes beyond these roles. Patty has a generous spirit and she was always willing to share her knowledge and assist more junior faculty in all departments across the SPHHS. She spent her entire career at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, and her dedication will have a lasting impact on the department and the SPHHS. She will be sorely missed.”

“Patty Freedson’s cumulative accomplishments reflect her lifetime devotion to the research, teaching, and service missions of the university,” adds Catrine Tudor-Locke, Professor and Chair of the Department of Kinesiology. “She is a much beloved leader and unquestionably exemplifies all the professional attributes associated with the esteemed title of Emeritus Professor at UMass Amherst. Her record will serve as a model for young academics to emulate moving forward.”

Beginning in 1981 as a visiting assistant professor in what was then known as the Department of Exercise Science, Dr. Freedson dedicated her career to the university, her students, and the pursuit of knowledge. She earned a national reputation as a top researcher in the field of physical activity, its measurement, and its relationship to health. The recipient of multi-million dollar grant funding through the NIH, she has over 160 published papers to her credit and has lectured countless times in the United States and abroad.

Dr. Freedson founded the Physical Activity and Health Laboratory at UMass Amherst and played a fundamental role in the formation of the Center for Personalized Health Monitoring, one of three centers in the university’s new Institute for Applied Life Sciences. She was also instrumental in bringing the International Conference on Ambulatory Monitoring of Physical Activity and Movement (ICAMPAM) to the UMass Amherst campus in 2013.

In addition to her numerous administrative and leadership roles on campus, Dr. Freedson has worked tirelessly as an officer with numerous professional organizations including the National Academy of Kinesiology, and the American College of Sports Medicine and its New England Chapter. She is a fellow of the Research Consortium, the American College of Sports Medicine, and the National Academy of Kinesiology.

Just as important as her impact on the field of kinesiology is the immeasurable impact Dr. Freedson has had on the graduate and undergraduate students she has worked with, instructed, and mentored. Over the years, she has taught a countless number of students in courses such as Human Physiology, Exercise Physiology, Pediatric Exercise Physiology, Physical Activity and Health, and Exercise in Health and Disease. To those individuals who have taken her classes, attended her lectures, or worked with her in her lab, she has been more than a professor; she has been a trusted friend, a thoughtful sounding board, and a staunch advocate.

In 2015, the department established the Patty S. Freedson Undergraduate Scholarship in Kinesiology. The scholarship honors Dr. Freedson by providing financial support to a deserving undergraduate student who plans to pursue a career in the health, fitness and wellness field.

Click here to make a gift in support of the Freedson Scholarship.