Gina came to Kansas State University in 1998 where she earned a bachelor of science in Kinesiology and Master of Public Health emphasizing physical activity. Fascinated by the built environment and active living movement she went on to earn a doctoral degree in Health Promotion, Education, and Behavior from the Arnold School of Public Health at the University of South Carolina. In 2015, she joined the faculty at Augusta University (also known as the Medical College of Georgia) where her research focused on how built environment attributes can promote active living and address chronic illness. She is especially interested in the role of community parks and recreation facilities, and how availability, accessibility, and design of public greenspace influences physical activity. As well, she is interested in how innovative technology such as GIS and mobile applications can facilitate the use of community recreation resources for disease prevention.
The Physical Activity Research in Community Settings (PARCS) Laboratory, with Besenyi as director, seeks to better understand how the environments in which we live, work, and play affect physical activity and chronic disease. Current research projects include development of the electronic Community Park Audit Tool (eCPAT) System, a set of tools that aid data collection and dissemination to promote active use of community park resources. Another study focuses on wearable technology as a way to evaluate built environment interventions for long-term physical activity behavior change. This includes exploring the validity and reliability of Fitbit devices at varying exercise intensities as well as privacy concerns and perceptions of using Fitbits in long-term research projects. The next phase of Dr. Besenyi’s research includes working with local healthcare facilities to initiate Park Prescription programs where providers connect patients with community park resources for physical and mental health benefits. For example, Dr. Besenyi’s most recent funding seeks to reduce cardiometabolic risk and depression in outpatients with serious mental illness through park-based physical activity led by peer counseling groups. Given the public health implications of physical inactivity, she is hopeful that her research can shed light on the importance of creating healthy communities that promote active living and cultivate interventions for sustainable change.
Becky Gilmore is the Academic Advisor and New Student Services Coordinator in the Department of Kinesiology and she also manages the Student Ambassadors for the Kinesiology Department. She is a proud K-State alumnae earning her bachelor’s degree in Business Administration. Her master’s degree was completed in Higher Education Administration from the University of Kansas.
Her advising and career services experience spans the last 20+ years. Before coming to K-State in 2017 she served as an academic advisor in the Civil Engineering Department at Texas A&M University in College Station, TX, and managed the Civil Engineering Aggie Ambassadors.
Her career in higher education began at Highland Community College in Highland, KS, where she grew up. She held the position of Regional Student Services Coordinator and worked with regional students on a wide range of student services. She left Highland Community College to become a career counselor at Missouri Western State University in St. Joseph, MO, and was promoted to Assistant Director of Career Development. From 2002 to 2012 she was the Director of Career Development at Benedictine College in Atchison, KS. After leaving Benedictine she managed the Chronic Disease Risk Reduction Grant for Northeast Kansas for 3 years working with communities in NE Kansas on tobacco prevention efforts and worksite wellness. Due to her husband’s job they moved to Texas for 3 years and then to Manhattan in 2017.
In her spare time she loves spending time with her family, reading and playing piano and organ.