Sara J Kovacs

Associate Professor of Instruction
Undergraduate Program Director
Health and Rehabilitation Sciences
245 Pearson Hall


Dr. Sara J. Kovacs is an associate professor of instruction in the Department of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences in the undergraduate exercise and sport science program. She received her bachelor’s degree in exercise science from Slippery Rock University and her master’s degree and PhD in exercise physiology from the University of Pittsburgh. Her dissertation was entitled “Factors Associated with Physical Activity in Patients Undergoing Bariatric Surgery.” Dr. Kovacs’s research interests include the important role that physical activity engagement plays in weight management, and identifying the best strategies for improving physical activity participation.


  • PhD, Exercise Physiology, University of Pittsburgh
  • MS, Health, Physical Activity, and Chronic Disease, University of Pittsburgh
  • BS, Exercise Science, Slippery Rock University of Pennsylvania

Curriculum Vitae 

Courses Taught




KINS 1203

Introduction to Exercise and Sport Science


KINS 3501

Research Methods in Kinesiology


KINS 4242

Exercise, Nutrition and Behavior


KINS 4364

Business Management for Exercise Professionals


Selected Publications

  • Folk, A.L., Garcia, C.A., Whitney, S.H., & Kovacs, S.J. (2022). Relationship Between Strength and Conditioning Assessments and Rowing Performance in Female Collegiate Athletes. J Strength Cond Res, 36(6), pp. 1618-1621. United States. doi: 10.1519/JSC.0000000000003698

  • Kovacs, S.J., Courcoulas, A.P., Rogers, R.J., Davis, K.K., & Jakicic, J.M. (2020). Psychosocial factors associated with physical activity in patients who have undergone bariatric surgery. Surg Obes Relat Dis, 16(12), pp. 1994-2005. United States. doi: 10.1016/j.soard.2020.07.031

  • Kovacs, S.J. & Folk, A.L. (2020). Physical Activity, Sedentary Behavior, And Social Media Use In College Students. Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, 52(7S), pp. 113-114. doi: 10.1249/01.mss.0000671292.14594.c2

  • Rogers, R.J., Kovacs, S.J., Collins, K.A., & Jakicic, J.M. (2019). Change in Visceral Adiposity with a 12-Month Behavioral Weight Loss Intervention with Varying Doses of Physical Activity: The Heart Health Study. MEDICINE and SCIENCE in SPORTS and EXERCISE, 51(6), pp. 796-796. doi: 10.1249/01.mss.0000562877.43984.b5