Sara J Kovacs

Undergraduate Program Director
Associate Professor of Instruction
245 Pearson Hall


Dr. Sara J. Kovacs is an assistant professor of instruction in the Department of Kinesiology in the undergraduate program track of Exercise and Sport Science. 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 1018

Fitness for Life


KINS 1203

Introduction to Exercise and Sport Science


KINS 3501

Research Methods in Kinesiology


KINS 4242

Exercise, Nutrition and Behavior


Selected Publications

  • 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

  • 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

  • Kovacs, S.J., Courcoulas, A.P., Rogers, R.J., Davis, K.K., & Jakicic, J.M. (2018). Social Support is Associated with Change in Physical Activity Following Bariatric Surgery. Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, 50(5S), p. 68. doi: 10.1249/01.mss.0000535305.38902.6f

  • Collins, K.A., Kovacs, S.J., Raybuck, S.D., Collins, A.M., Marcin, M.L., Carne-Clark, A.L., Harris, A.M., Foster, G.D., Wojtanowski, A., Jakicic, J.M., & Rogers, R.J. (2018). Changes In 6-Minute Walk Performance Is Associated With Weight Loss Following A 6-Month Weight Loss Program. Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, 50(5S), pp. 465-466. doi: 10.1249/

  • Kovacs, S., Courcoulas, A., Rogers, R., Davis, K., & Jakicic, J. (2017). A5089 Behavioral Constructs of Physical Activity in Post-Bariatric Surgery Patients. Surgery for Obesity and Related Diseases, 13(10), p. s106. doi: 10.1016/j.soard.2017.09.233

  • Creasy, S.A., Rogers, R.J., Davis, K.K., Gibbs, B.B., Kershaw, E.E., & Jakicic, J.M. (2017). Effects of supervised and unsupervised physical activity programmes for weight loss. Obes Sci Pract, 3(2), pp. 143-152. United States. doi: 10.1002/osp4.107

  • Kovacs, S.J., Rogers, R.J., McGuire, M.R., & Jakicic, J.M. (2017). Association Between Health-related Quality Of Life And Weight Loss, Fitness, And Physical Activity. MEDICINE and SCIENCE in SPORTS and EXERCISE, 49(5), pp. 992-992. doi: 10.1249/01.mss.0000519712.08825.ef

  • Kovacs, S.J., Kalarchian, M.A., Marcus, M.D., Courcoulas, A.P., Levine, M.D., Rogers, R.J., & Jakicic, J.M. (2016). Change in Physical Activity Prior to Bariatric Surgery does not Predict Post-Surgery Weight Loss. MEDICINE and SCIENCE in SPORTS and EXERCISE, 48(5), pp. 155-155. doi: 10.1249/01.mss.0000485466.46945.d5

  • Jakicic, J.M., Rogers, R.J., Kovacs, S.J., Byard, T.D., Collins, K.A., Creasy, S.A., Gomberg, M.A., Mccoy, S.M., Peluso, A., Raybuck, S.D., Rupp, K., Wojtanowski, A., & Foster, G.D. (2016). A Commercial Program is Effective for Weight Loss and Improving Health-Related Outcomes in Adults. MEDICINE and SCIENCE in SPORTS and EXERCISE, 48(5), pp. 1083-1084. doi: 10.1249/01.mss.0000488260.34379.33

  • Rogers, R.J., Schelbert, E.B., Gibbs, B.B., McGuire, M.R., Creasy, S.A., Kovacs, S.J., McCoy, S.M., Peluso, A., Rupp, K., & Jakicic, J.M. (2016). 12 Month Behavioral Weight Loss Intervention With Varying Doses Of Physical Activity: The Heart Health Study. MEDICINE and SCIENCE in SPORTS and EXERCISE, 48(5), pp. 155-155. doi: 10.1249/01.mss.0000485465.46945.0e

  • Rogers, R.J., Lang, W., Gibbs, B.B., Davis, K.K., Burke, L.E., Kovacs, S.J., Portzer, L.A., & Jakicic, J.M. (2016). Applying a technology-based system for weight loss in adults with obesity. Obes Sci Pract, 2(1), pp. 3-12. United States. doi: 10.1002/osp4.18