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College of Human Sciences

Optimizing Human Performance


Doctoral Students 2017-2018

Tolulola Adeyewa

Ph.D., Nutrition and Food Science

  • Food immunochemistry
  • Food allergy
  • Food safety
  • Microbiology
  • Food biotechnology

Tolulola is currently a doctoral student in the department of Nutrition, Food and Exercise Sciences. She is originally from Nigeria, had her bachelors of technology in Food Science at Federal University of Technology, Akure, Ondo state, Nigeria. She obtained her Master’s degree in Plant Science and biotechnology from Florida Agricultural & Mechanical University, Tallahassee, Florida on isolation and molecular characterization of Muscadine grape allergen. She is also an entrepreneur that deals with African fabric and attire. She hopes to impact students and society through teaching and research. She is married to her lovely husband also in Food science field.

Tolulola enjoys cooking, listening to music, reading books and traveling with her husband.

Neda Akhavan

Ph.D., Nutrition and Food Science

  • Functional Foods and Nutraceuticals
  • Atherosclerosis
  • Cancer
  • Osteoporosis
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Hypertension
  • Metabolic Syndrome
  • Diabetes

Brittany Allman

Brittany Allman

Ph.D., Exercise Physiology

  • The effects of resistance training on fat metabolism in women
  • The effects of nutrient timing on fat metabolism
  • Endocrinology and exercise physiology

Brittany Allman is a Ph.D. candidate in Exercise Physiology at Florida State University and is CSCS certified.  Her research focuses on the effects of protein ingestion and resistance training on fat metabolism in women.

Outside of academia, Brittany is passionate about mentoring young women for success in higher education.  She practices jiu-jitsu and kickboxing.

Ashley Artese

Ph.D., Exercise Physiology

  • Strength training, functional training, and yoga on health, body composition, and functional outcomes in breast cancer survivors, older adults, and other special populations.

Ashley Artese is currently pursuing a PhD in Exercise Physiology at Florida State University. Her research focuses on investigating the effects of exercise interventions that include strength training, functional training, and yoga on health, body composition, and functional outcomes in breast cancer survivors, older adults, and other special populations. She is working under the mentorship of Dr. Lynn Panton. She earned a B.S. in kinesiology from the College of William and Mary and an M.S. in exercise science from the University of South Carolina.

Ashley Carter

Ph.D., Nutrition and Food Science

  • The association of cardiovascular health and calcium consumption
  • Lactose intolerance with related gastrointestinal symptoms as a barrier to calcium consumption

Ashley Carter is currently a doctoral candidate in Nutrition Science. She graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Food Science with a minor in Spanish from the University of Georgia and a Master of Science in Clinical Nutrition from the University of Alabama-Birmingham. Furthermore, she is the recipient of a Graduate Certificate in Measurement and Statistics from Florida State University. She has presented research nationally and has been recognized for her work by receiving awards. Her research has also been submitted to an international conference. Ashley plans to be a Research Scientist to create study protocols/ nutrition programs, influencing the health of various communities.

Enjoys volunteering, learning about various cultures, and plans to present research internationally.

Holly Clarke

Ph.D., Exercise Physiology

  • Hydration
  • Thermoregulation
  • Relationship between hydration / metabolism

Holly is a doctoral student within the Human Sciences department, studying within the field of Exercise Physiology. Prior to attending FSU, Holly received both her Undergraduate and Master’s degree in Kinesiology from Auburn University at Montgomery as an international student. Some of her research interests include hydration and thermoregulation, with a specific interest in the relationship between hydration and metabolism in varying populations.  Holly aspires to stay within the field of academia, looking to both teach and conduct research within a university setting.

Holly was born and raised in Norwich, a city located in England. She came to America as a student athlete, playing soccer for her previous institution during her Undergraduate and consequently coaching whilst completing her Master’s degree. She loves to watch all sporting events and is still an avid fan of her alma mater. In her spare time, Holly enjoys catching up with friends, family, traveling and reading academic journals.

Elizabeth Foley

Ph.D., Nutrition & Food Science

  • Gut Microbiome 
  • Aging
  • Functional Foods 
  • Cognition and concussions

Elizabeth Foley is a third year doctoral student at Florida State University. She graduated with an undergraduate degree in Exercise Physiology from the University of Miami in 2014. She then went on to earn her master’s degree in Exercise Physiology Nutrition for Health and Human Performance in 2015. Elizabeth hopes to use her knowledge  to educate the public about proper nutrition, make important research discoveries, and ultimately change the way food is viewed in the United States; she also hopes to teach at the university level. In her spare time, Elizabeth enjoys reading, writing, and training Brazilian jiu jitsu. Her research interests include the gut microbiome, cognition, aging, obesity, functional foods, and nutraceuticals. Favorite nutrition fact: Prunes reverse osteoporosis

Elizabeth has a blue belt in Brazilian jiu jitsu and has been to 43 states.

Kelli George

Ph.D., Nutrition & Food Science

  • Functional foods
  • Chronic diseases

Kelli is a doctoral student in nutrition and food sciences.  She grew up outside of Richmond, Virginia and graduated with a B.S. in Human Nutrition, Foods, and Exercise from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University in 2014.  After graduating she completed her dietetic internship at Virginia Commonwealth University Health Systems to become a Registered Dietitian.  Kelli is pursuing a career as a professor and looks forward to teaching new generations of students and researching the role of functional foods in preventing and reversing chronic diseases. 

Kelli enjoys spending time outdoors, trips to visit friends and family back home, and playing with her cute little puppy Romeo. 

Sahil Gupta

Ph.D., Nutrition & Food Science

Jingwen Huang

Ph.D., Nutrition & Food Science

Xingyi Jiang

Ph.D., Nutrition & Food Science

  • Food safety and quality
  • Protein immunochemistry
  • Food biotechnology

Xingyi is a doctoral student in Nutrition and Food Science under the supervision of Dr. Rao. She graduated from Nanjing Agricultural University in 2015 and earned her Master’s degree in food science in 2017 from Florida State University. In her master’s project, Xingyi developed an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay for the detection of trace amount of porcine hemoglobin in meats. This assay will be able to fight food fraud and improve food quality. Xingyi’s career goal is to become a faculty at a research university.

She likes watching movies and traveling. She also likes the animals and has a fish.

Do Houn Kim

Ph.D., Exercise Physiology

Alex Klemp

Ph.D., Exercise Physiology

  • Resistance training program design
  • Autoregulation of resistance exercise variables
  • Nutritional strategies to augment muscular growth and strength

Alex Klemp earned his Bachelor’s degree in Exercise Science from Florida State University and completed his Master’s degree in Exercise Science and Health Promotion at Florida Atlantic University. Alex is also a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist through the NSCA. He is currently a Ph.D. candidate in Exercise Physiology under the mentorship of Dr. Jeong-Su Kim. His primary research interests include resistance training program design, autoregulation of exercise variables, and nutritional strategies to augment muscular growth and strength.

She has been to North Korea and loves to learn about other cultures.

Yeojung Koh

Ph.D., Exercise Physiology

  • Sudden Cardiac Death
  • Exercise-induced arrhythmias
  • Catecholaminergic Polymorphic Ventricular Tachycardia

Yeojung Koh is from South Korea and has been studying in sports science since undergrad. Koh became interested in exercise physiology during her Master’s – specifically studying how exercise and calorie restriction improve insulin resistance and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. After obtaining her M.S., Koh decided to study sudden cardiac death and exercise induced arrhythmias. She moved to the U.S. in 2017 to start her Ph.D. at Florida State University.

Koh’s current study involves recording mouse ECG and measuring blood pressure in different lab conditions. She is pursuing a career as a faculty member at a research university.

She has been to North Korea and loves to learn about other cultures.

Jake Martenson

Ph.D., Exercise Physiology

  • Physiological responses to strength training and aerobic exercise
  • Strength training and aerobic exercise’s impact on cardiovascular health
  • Exercise interventions for special populations
  • Physiological implications of physical, mental, and environmental stressors

Matthew “Jake” Martenson is a 1st year doctoral student in Exercise Physiology.  After earning his BS in Biology at Mercer University, he went on to complete his MPH at Mercer University and his MS in Applied Physiology and Kinesiology at the University of Florida.  Jake ultimately desires to obtain a faculty position at a research university or work for the Navy as a Research Physiologist.  With a background in public health, he possesses a broad interest in exercise physiology and it’s relevance to human health and performance.

Jake has a lifelong love of wildlife- especially reptiles and marine animals.  He volunteered at a reptile sanctuary for 4 years in Tampa, FL and worked hands-on with alligators, crocodiles, snakes, and large species of lizards.  Two years ago he traveled to a remote location in Mexico to swim with wild crocodiles.  He also loves snorkeling and scuba diving. 

Hyerim Park

Ph.D., Exercise Physiology

  • Microvascular control mechanisms
  • Vascular function with aging, microgravity and type II diabetes
  • Cardiovascular adaptations to exercise training

Hyerim is a second year doctoral student in Exercise Physiology. Hyerim received her B.S. and M.S. degree in Exercise and Sport Science from Ewha Womans University in South Korea. During her master’s program, she worked in an exercise physiology laboratory and carried out research into exercise-induced physiological responses based on cellular and molecular mechanisms. She is currently interested in studying the effect of exercise and aging on microvascular control mechanisms and the vascular adaptation with microgravity as well as type II diabetes. Her ultimate goal for pursuing a Ph.D. is to develop into a professional and independent researcher specializing in this area of study. After completing the doctoral program, she hopes to continue conducting creative and novel research in the field of science.

In her spare time, Hyerim has passions for traveling and watching movies. When she stays in her home town, she enjoys spending time with her family.

Tristan Ragland

Ph.D., Exercise Physiology

  • Hormonal, metabolic, and body composition changes during dieting, exercise, and nutritional/supplemental interventions (particularly in regards to weight-loss, weight-maintenance and weight-regain)

Originally from Utah. Received my B.S. from Weber State University (Ogden, UT Grad. 2012) in Human Performance Management with an emphasis in Wellness.  My M.S. from Marywood University (Scranton, PA Grad. 2015) in Sports Nutrition and Exercise Science. Currently pursuing my PhD in Exercise Physiology here at Florida State University and I am expecting to graduate in the Spring of 2020.  I have worked in the fitness industry as a personal trainer for several years and really enjoy the application of my learning.  I enjoy trying to apply new research I read.

I’m an avid snowboarder – nothing better to do on a cold snowy day.  Enjoy spending time with my wife and daughter.  I have a desire to really get into wakeboarding – seems like the next best thing to snowboarding I can do in Florida.

Mike Rossetti

Ph.D., Exercise Physiology

  • The androgen-mediated regulation of skeletal muscle mass
  • Mitochondrial function and regulation in skeletal muscle
  • Autophagy

Mike is a doctoral student pursuing a Ph.D. in Exercise Physiology studying under the guidance of Dr. Bradley Gordon.  Mike’s area of research focuses on the regulation of skeletal muscle mass and function in both diseased and non-diseased conditions.  Prior to attending Florida State University, Mike spent the first year of his Ph.D. studies with Dr. Gordon at the University of Central Florida.  He received a M.S. in Exercise Science from East Stroudsburg University of Pennsylvania (2014), and a B.S. in Exercise Science from Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania (2011).  Mike previously worked as an instructor at East Stroudsburg University, teaching both exercise physiology and strength and conditioning courses in the Exercise Science department.

During his undergraduate studies, Mike was a 4-year varsity athlete for the Bloomsburg University baseball team.  After obtaining his undergraduate degree, Mike spent two years coaching college baseball in Pennsylvania.  He has also spent time in the strength and conditioning field as a volunteer intern at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (Olympic sports) and University of Tennessee (football).

Chris Schattinger

Ph.D., Exercise Physiology

  • Effects of Strength Training and Protein Supplementation on Special Populations
  • Effects of Pre-Sleep Protein Consumption on Special Populations
  • Effects of Diet, Exercise and Supplementation on Maximizing Muscle Hypertrophy and Weight Loss
  • Effects of Diet, Exercise and Supplementation on the Reduction of LDL Cholesterol

Chris received his B.S. in Exercise Science from the University of South Carolina in May 2015. While there, he completed undergraduate research under the guidance of Dr. Ray Thompson investigating the effect of cadence on respiratory measures during incremental cycle ergometry to max. Chris earned his M.S. from Florida State University in August 2017. Under the guidance of Dr. Lynn Panton, he investigated the effects of pre-sleep protein consumption on morning measures of appetite and metabolism in sedentary pre- and postmenopausal women. Chris continues to work under Dr. Panton and hopes to complete his dissertation on the effects of strength training and protein supplementation in special populations.

In my spare time I enjoy strength training, reading, attending music festivals, and hiking. I’m really good at giving people nicknames.

Oluwatoyin Sangokunle

Ph.D., Nutrition & Food Science

  • Food Chemistry
  • Food Biotechnology
  • Food Processing and Preservationd
  • Functional Food Products
  • Protein Purification and Biochemical Characterization
  • Protein Structure and Determination

Oluwatoyin Olaoluwa Sangokunle, is currently a doctoral student at Florida State University. His professional degree began when he moved to United States during his senior year as an undergraduate majored in Food Science and Technology from Nigeria. He completed his Master’s degree at Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University. At Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University, he was able to work as an independent researcher in carrying out a feasibility study on the production of dietary antioxidant by in-vitro cell culture of American Native grapes with the aim of providing a sustainable resources for Food, Pharmaceutical and Nutraceutical Industries.

In May 2017, he got married during his short trip back to Nigeria and gained admission to his doctoral program at the department of Nutrition and Food Sciences. His research interest is in Food Chemistry and Biochemical Characterization of major Tropical Beans with the aim of contributing to the wealth of knowledge already in existence in the area of leguminous protein.

‘Wealth’ popularly called by friends and family, has passion for writing and teaching. He has published his first self-help book, “Youth Desire.” His friends know him to be a motivator, an encourager and a teacher. He has mentored young men and women in Christian ideas and ways to fulfilling their purpose early in life. In his free time, he enjoys playing soccer, reading Christian literature and hanging out with his wife.

Brandon Willingham

Ph.D., Exercise Physiology

  • The effects of nutritional interventions as it relates to human performance and body composition

I am currently pursuing a doctorate in Exercise Physiology (Spring 2020) and working in the Institute of Sports Sciences and Medicine (ISSM) Lab.  Prior to attending FSU, I received an undergraduate degree in Nutrition and Dietetics from the University of Florida (2012) and an MS in Nutrition from Auburn University (2014).  While attending Auburn University I completed my dietetic internship and became a Registered Dietitian.

I enjoy playing competitive beach volleyball and have beaten the world record for one-hand clapping. I once went fencing with the Scottish Olympic Fencing Coach. I’ve also been snorkeling on the Great Barrier Reef, hot air ballooning over Scotland, and to South Africa as part of a study abroad trip and have a selfie with a zebra.

Philip Worts

Ph.D., Exercise Physiology

  • sport-related concussion
  • injury-induced muscle atrophy
  • therapeutic exercise
  • evidence-based practice

Phillip Worts is currently studying Exercise Physiology as a doctoral candidate at Florida State University under the supervision of Dr. Jeong-Su Kim.  Phillip received his Bachelor’s degree in Health Science with an emphasis in Athletic Training from the University of Central Florida in 2009.  He also completed his Master’s degree in Sport and Exercise Science at the University of Central Florida in 2012.  Phillip is a certified athletic trainer and Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist®.  He plans to utilize his training to collaborate with sports medicine practitioners while examining various therapies to improve patient outcomes.

Phillip enjoys exploring the outdoors and going on adventures with his daughter, Dylan and his wife, Christina. He also won a collegiate football bowl game as a player at Fullerton College and as a graduate assistant athletic trainer at the University of Central Florida.

Ming-Chia Yeh

Ph.D., Exercise Physiology

Valerie Zaffran

Ph.D., Nutrition & Food Science

  • Food allergies
  • Protein immunochemistry
  • Protein purification

Valerie earned her Bachelor’s degree from Florida State University in 2014 with a double major in food science and chemical science. She continued her education at FSU and obtained a Master’s degree in food science in 2016 studying the effects of thermal processing on the structure of the major almond allergen as a member of Dr. Sathe’s lab. Valerie continues to work with Dr. Sathe, now as a doctoral student, where she plans to purify several major allergenic proteins from various tree nuts and compare them in terms of their structure and immunoreactivity.  She was the 2016-17 president of the CHS Graduate Student Advisory Council (GSAC) in which she served as an advocate for the graduate students of the college. Valerie is in her second year of the PhD program and plans to graduate in summer 2020.

Valerie has been a tap dancer for 13 years and is currently a member FSU’s Seminole Tap Troupe. You can find her performing at various events around campus and within the Tallahassee community.

Yitong Zhao

Ph.D., Nutrition & Food Science

  • Aging
  • Autophagy
  • Zinc and zinc transporters
  • Antioxidant capacity of berry polyphenol extracts

Yitong is a doctoral candidate in Nutrition Science. Yitong’s research interests include investigating the role of zinc and zinc transporters in inducing autophagy, which is a protective pathway in cells, that prevents aging development in cardiovascular system, and the protective role of berry polyphenol extracts, which contain high antioxidant capacity, in reducing oxidative stress and delaying aging. Yitong graduated from Florida State University with her M.S. in Nutrition Sciences, focusing on the role of berry polyphenol extract in promoting osteoclast differentiation. Her career goal is to continue to work on researches and to spread knowledge of aging.