Our Staff

Professor and Chair, Biobehavioral Sciences

Carol Ewing Garber is Professor of Movement Sciences and Education and Chair of the Department of Biobehavioral Sciences at Teachers College, Columbia University, where she also serves as the Director of the Graduate Program in Applied (Exercise) Physiology. She is also the Director of the newly launched EXerT Clinic, in which she and her student team are providing fitness testing and exercise training advice to athletes and to the community at large. She served as a Fulbright Specialist in the Faculty of Health Sciences at the University of Balamand in Beirut, Lebanon, and she was previously on the faculty at Northeastern University and Brown University School of Medicine. Professor Garber is a past President of the American College of Sports Medicine and she is the 2019 Citation Awardee of that organization.  She also has served in leadership roles in the American Heart Association and in several regional and statewide organizations. She received her BS, MA, and PhD from the University of Connecticut.

 Dr. Garber is a clinical exercise physiologist, and her research falls under the broad umbrella of the role of physical activity and exercise in the prevention and treatment of chronic diseases. She has worked with diverse populations across the lifespan in clinical, community and laboratory settings. Her current work involves the development and testing of a theory- and scientific evidence based creative movement program in low-resourced urban toddlers and their parents and a home-based creative movement program for young children with congenital heart disease. Under her direction, her lab team has been developing new measurement tools for assessing physical activity and movement quality in young children and their parents. In addition to being a Fellow of the National Academy of Kinesiology, she is a fellow of the American Heart Association, and the American College of Sports Medicine. She is the author of over 80 original peer-reviewed articles and numerous book chapters, including the ACSM Guidelines for Exercise Testing and Prescription. In her spare time, Dr. Garber sings with the Cecilia Chorus of NYC where she can be seen on stage at Carnegie Hall, and she is an avid Pilates practitioner, urban bicyclist and wilderness backpacker.

Faculty Profile

Doctoral Student in Kinesiology

Darya Moosavi is currently a doctoral candidate in Kinesiology at Teachers College, Columbia University. She received her Bachelors’ Degree in Physical Education and Sport Sciences and then completed her Masters degree in Exercise Physiology. Darya is interested in understanding the underlying physiological mechanisms of skeletal muscle wasting and how exercise may attenuate those effects. During the COVID-19 pandemic, she conducted research on the relationship between physical activity, muscle mass and muscle strength, and immune markers in Covid-19 survivors.

In addition to her work at the Applied Physiology lab and ExerT clinic at Teachers College, she also works at Columbia University as a squash instructor. Darya is a professional squash coach certified by ASF, with over 15 years of experience in playing and coaching squash. Prior to joining Columbia University, Darya was the Squash Coordinator for StreetSquash, an urban squash program based in New York City, was responsible for coaching and training the Greens Farms Academy High School and Middle School Boys and Girls Squash teams, and was the Athletic Director and Squash Pro for Mission Squash. She created and implemented their first Squash as a Physical Education program for 200 students.


Doctoral Student in Applied Physiology

Melissa is a first-year doctoral student in Applied Physiology at Teachers College, Columbia University and a first-year recipient of the Arthur Zankel Fellowship. Melissa began her academic career at CUNY Lehman college, where she earned her BS in dietetics, food, and nutrition. She then moved on to complete her dietetic internship and MS in nutrition at the University of Saint Joseph. Melissa passed her dietetic registration exam in June 2018 and spent the past year working in an acute care facility. During her professional career, Melissa educated and provided medical nutrition therapy to older adults with a multitude of chronic diseases including diabetes, congestive heart failure, and end stage renal disease. Her research interest involves the combination of nutrition and exercise and their impact on neuromuscular function in chronic diseases. In her free time, Melissa enjoys watching animal documentaries, dabbling into make-up, and lifting weights.   

M.S. Candidate, Nutrition and Exercise Physiology

Alex is a first year master’s candidate in the department of Nutrition and Exercise Physiology at TC. Her interest in the effects of nutrition on athletic performance began as a former collegiate and national team lightweight rower and coach. Originally on the pre-med track, she graduated from Princeton University with a degree in molecular biology before becoming more interested in the impact of physical activity and nutrition on health. She spent the last two years as the assistant lightweight rowing coach at Princeton while also becoming a certified yoga teacher. She looks to integrate healthy movement patterns, nutrition, and exercise to optimize both health and athletic performance. In her free time, she is usually outside somewhere – running, biking, or rowing – or experimenting in the kitchen. 

Applied Physiology, MA Student
Jessica is currently a MA candidate in the Applied Physiology program at Teachers College, Columbia University. She was first introduced to, and fell in love with, movement sciences while studying dance at SUNY The College at Brockport where she received her BFA in Dance in 2009. Since then she has worked with diverse populations through yoga and exercise to build strength and develop a healthy lifestyle, while continuing to actively choreograph and perform contemporary dance nationally and internationally. In addition to working directly with the general population, Jessica has also mentored young professionals in the fitness industry. She served as a faculty member at The Manhattan Institute of Allied Health's 900-Hour Personal Fitness Program, and the Jai Yoga Arts 200-Hour Teacher Training, teaching fundamental anatomy, physiology, and corrective exercise strategies to aspiring personal trainers and yoga teachers alike. Jessica's research interests include the relationship between muscle fatigue and motor control, training periodization, and pain perception, specifically in preprofessional level performance artists. Upon completing the MA program she plans to pursue a Doctor of Physical Therapy degree. 
Applied Physiology Lab Clinic Coordinator

Dave started out as an ACSM certified personal trainer in college before earning his Masters degree in Clinical Exercise Physiology from Appalachian State University in North Carolina. He worked as a research assistant in the Vascular Biology and Autonomic Studies Lab while pursuing his degree. After graduation he went on to work as an exercise physiologist in a Phase 2 cardiopulmonary rehabilitation program within the Appalachian Regional Healthcare System. He also taught several undergraduate classes at Appalachian State University, including Anatomy and Physiology and Introduction to Physiological Assessment, and also served as a site supervisor for undergraduate interns. In his time at TC, Dave has also taught Applied Physiology Lab classes. When he is not in the lab, you can find him hiking or training for triathlons.

Applied Physiology, Ed.M. Student

Anamaria Amador is a first year Ed.M. student from the Applied Exercise Physiology program and a second-year recipient of the Arthur Zankel Urban Fellowship. As a fellow, she has been able to work with the SKIP! Program and teach movement activities to children and their parents, within an early childhood education setting. She has facilitated the classes in both Spanish and English, serving a diverse community of students. She is originally from Puerto Rico and already earned a BA in Psychology from the University of Puerto Rico with one year as an exchange student at CUNY Hunter College, an MFA in Dance Performance and Choreography from Tisch School of the Arts NYU, and an MA in Clinical Psychology and Education with a concentration in Spirituality Mind Body Practice from Teachers College. Her Integrative Project, Blooming Self: A Dance Curriculumwas selected as exemplary work of the Spiritual Mind Body Summer program. Anamaria has been recently accepted to the Leadership & Diversity Training Program from the American College of Sports Medicine.

Ed.M. student in the Applied Physiology

Lilliana is a first year Ed.M. student in the Applied Physiology Program at Teacher College, Columbia University. Lilliana Romero completed a BA in Elementary and Secondary Physical Education at the University of Puerto Rico, Río Piedras Campus, and a MA in Kinesiology at the University of Puerto Rico, Mayagüez Campus (UPRM). She earned a Teaching Assistant position at the UPRM for 3 years, where she was the founder and president of the Graduate Kinesiology Association. After obtaining a Kinesiology degree, she was able to continue as Professor in the Kinesiology Department. Furthermore, she presented and published research posters in the ACSM Annual Meeting related to physical activity and fundamental motors skills, obtaining the “FASEB MARC Program Poster / Oral Presentation Travel Award.” She also had the opportunity to perform an oral presentation of one of these abstracts at the Olympic Committee of Puerto Rico. Her research interests include fundamental motor skills, body composition, and physical activity. Extreme adventures like ziplines and hiking are activities that Lillina enjoys doing in her free time.

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