Exercise and Sport Science Faculty | Judson University Christian College

Exercise & Sport Science Faculty

Dana Pautsch
Dana Pautsch
Department Chair
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Dana Rae Pautsch earned her Bachelor of Science in Exercise Science from Truman State University, and her Master of Science in Sports and Exercise Science from West Texas A&M University. Prior to joining Judson's faculty, Pautsch served as an academic coordinator and instructor for Northern Illinois University. More Info

Jeremy Butler
Jeremy Butler
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Dr. Jeremy Butler teaches courses within the Health Promotion and Performance major. Prior to joining the faculty at Judson, he worked as a police officer, where he also served as the use of force instructor for his department. His research interests include using a social cognitive framework to evaluate how physical training, specifically in martial arts and police defensive tactics, impacts performance and behavior. He has a passion for applying his martial arts experience in various areas of his life including as a form of ministry, community development, and advocating for police training reform. More Info 

Jack Groppel
Jack Groppel
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Prior to his time at Judson University, Jack served as the Co-Founder of the Johnson & Johnson Human Performance Institute. He is an internationally recognized authority and pioneer in the science of human performance. Jack has addressed the issue of worksite wellness and performance at such policy events as the United Nations Side Event for Physical Activity and Non-Communicable Disease, three U.S. Congressional Briefings on Worksite Wellness & Health Promotion, and represented the worksite wellness industry at the historic Surgeon General’s Call to Action on Walking and Walkable Communities. More Info 

Nikki Fennern2
Dr. Nikki Fennern
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Dr. Nikki Fennern has served as an adjunct for Judson University’s Exercise and Sport Science Department since 2020. Dr. Fennern currently serves as Judson University’s Executive Vice President. Prior to arriving at Judson University, Dr. Fennern has accumulated over 20 years of experience in higher education—as an executive officer, athletic director, and coach. She enjoys connecting with undergraduate students and sharing experiences from her time as an athletic director. These real life scenarios provide wonderful points of application and discussion for her courses.  

Heather Johnson
Heather Johnson
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Heather Johnson loves drawing from her experiences as a collegiate student-athlete as she teaches. Heather was inducted into Judson University’s Athletics Hall of Fame in 2016. She was a member of the most accomplished Women’s Basketball Program for Judson (1998-99), which finished in the Elite Eight of the NAIA National Tournament and won the CCAC regular-season championship. Heather utilizes her background in athletics to create a welcoming environment in our general education physical activity courses. She also serves as Judson University’s Dean of Student Academic Support Services.  

VanderPal
Dr. Geoffrey VanderPal
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Dr. Geoffrey VanderPal holds a Doctorate in Finance and Business, and a Post-Doctorate in Global Leadership. He is also a Certified Financial Planner and Certified Treasury Professional. With more than 18 years of experience teaching courses, Dr. VanderPal brings a wealth of experience in the business industry to his Sport Management classrooms. 

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