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New Faces and New Spaces in the Department of Health and Exercise Studies

Image to show an empty dance studio

New Faces

In Fall 2021, the Department of Health and Exercise Studies was fortunate to welcome three new full-time faculty members to the department. Read more about them below.

Dr. Sarah Ball – Assistant Teaching Professor

Dr. Sarah Ball


  • B.S. Exercise Science, University of Mississippi
  • M.A. Parks and Recreation Management, University of Mississippi
  • Ph.D. Health Behavior, University of Mississippi

Teaching Emphasis

  • HESF 111 Indoor Group Cycling
  • HESF 105 Aerobics and Body Conditioning
  • HESF 103 Water Aerobics
  • HESF 102 Fitness Walking
  • HESF 110 Adapted Physical Education

Additional Information

Dr. Sarah Ball has been serving as an assistant teaching professor in the Department of Health and Exercise Studies at North Carolina State University since the 2021 fall semester. In this role, Dr. Ball teaches a variety of fitness courses including indoor group cycling, aerobics and body conditioning, water aerobics, fitness walking, and assists with adapted physical education. Starting in the 2022 spring semester, Dr. Ball will also serve as an assistant department head for the HES Department.

Before joining the HES Department, Dr. Ball spent five years serving as an assistant professor in the Health, Human Performance, and Recreation Department at Pittsburg State University in which she taught and advised under the recreation program. Prior to that, she spent eight years working in Oxford, MS where she served three years as a director of a community volunteer center, and before that worked five years in a recreation therapy department at a state mental health facility for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD), during which she served two years as the Director of Area 4 Special Olympics Mississippi. Since 2011, Dr. Ball has instructed group fitness classes in a variety of settings including a municipal older adult fitness program, a worksite wellness program, and a private wellness center.

Dr. Ball holds the following degrees, Bachelor of Science in Exercise Science, Master of Arts in Parks and Recreation Management, and Doctor of Philosophy in Health Behavior all from the University of Mississippi. Dr. Ball has previously been a member of several health and recreation associations and societies and is a current member of the Society of Health and Physical Educators (SHAPE).

Dr. Ball’s research interests include combining the fields of recreation and health that creates a cross-disciplinary collaboration. She has presented at several state, regional, and national conferences for various recreation and health related associations.

Dr. Jerry LoflinAssistant Teaching Professor

Dr. Jerry Loflin


  • Ph.D., Kinesiology, UNC Greensboro
  • M.S., Health and Physical Education, NC A&T State University
  • M.S., Mathematics, NC A&T State University
  • B.S., Mathematics and Physical Education, Greensboro College

Teaching Emphasis

  • HESF 102 Fitness Walking
  • HESR 242 Badminton
  • HESR 255 Pickleball
  • HESR 256 Racquetball

Additional Information

Dr. Loflin has been a faculty member in the Department of Health and Exercise Studies at NC State University since 2021.  Prior to joining the Department of Health and Exercise Studies, he spent 16 years teaching physical activity and fitness and wellness theory courses in the North Carolina Community College System.  Dr. Loflin has experience teaching over 25 different physical activity and fitness and wellness courses.  He is an active member in the American College of Sports Medicine, National Strength and Conditioning Association, and Society of Health and Physical Educators.  Dr. Loflin’s research focuses on implementation fidelity and physical activity interventions.  He has authored over 15 peer-reviewed publications and given over 10 national and state presentations.

Dr. Brenda Watson – Assistant Teaching Professor

Dr. Brenda Watson


  • Ph.D. Public Health, Community Health, Walden University
  • M.S. Food Science, North Carolina State
  • M.S. Comparative Biomedical Sciences, North Carolina State University
  • B.S. Biological Science and Animal Science, North Carolina State University

Teaching Emphasis

  • HESF 101 Fitness and Wellness
  • HESF 109 Step Aerobics
  • HESF 112 Kickboxing
  • HESF 111 Group Cycling
  • HESF 105 Aerobic and Body Conditioning
  • HESF 107 Run Conditioning
  • HESS 237 Weight Training
  • HESM 377 Methods of Health Promotion
  • HESM 211 Strength Training and Conditioning

Additional Information

I have been racing since high school. I have run many half marathons, 10Ks, and 5k races, placing in the top 5 in most of the 5k. I have completed over 15 marathons, including NYC and Boston marathons. Currently, I have been competing in Spartan races. I have completed approximately 10, earning a trifecta twice. I am also heavily involved in martial arts. I am a black belt in taekwondo, and have been involved in kung fu for over fifteen years, earning the rank of copper tiger. I am an AAU National referee in taekwondo. I have over thirty years of weight training experience and I am currently a certified strength and conditioning specialist (CSCS) with the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA).

I am extremely interested in the health of others. Helping others become and stay healthy is my life’s work. I believe every individual has a purpose in life, and this is mine. Working at NC State is the perfect place for me to do this. I hope to inspire students to start and maintain an exercise program for life. I make sure to practice what I preach. I believe, in the Health and Exercise Studies Department, we keep students healthy so they can go on to become the leaders of tomorrow

New Spaces

The Department of Health and Exercise Studies is also extremely excited to introduce two new and improved spaces in Carmichael Gym. 

Room 1309

In 1987, the first and only dance studio on NC State’s campus was constructed in Carmichael Gym. This space was originally used for academic classes and the academic dance company, along with a few of the older dance groups on campus, such as the clogging team, Dance Visions, and Dance with Wolves. All other dance organizations, and students enrolled in classes, had to use all-purpose studios or racquetball courts in order to practice. For decades, there was simply not enough space to meet the needs of those on campus who needed a place to practice. Oftentimes, rehearsals would last until the gym closed every night in these alternative spaces. 

When the Department of Health and Exercise Studies established the dance minor in 2016, creating or renovating a space became additionally important. With the construction of the Wellness and Recreation Center underway, this finally opened an opportunity to create a space in Room 1309 that would help ease the burden of housing 30 different dance organizations on campus, in addition to the dance team, academic classes, and two academic companies.

Once the Wellness and Recreation Center was completed, Room 1309 was renovated into a second dedicated dance studio with a sprung marley floor, mirrors, and appropriate teaching technology. It will be used for academic classes and companies. The older studio will continue to be used for the same purposes but will also allow for open “practice time” for students in academic classes, as well as dance clubs that require a dance floor, and cannot use an all-purpose studio.

Rooms 1319/1320

Throughout the duration of the Wellness and Recreation Center construction project, Room 1319 was used as a makeshift lecture space for Health and Exercise Studies classes, while Room 1320 was used as additional storage space for the department. Faculty members within the department discussed and voted on post-renovation use of the spaces to become an activity space, primarily for 101, 102, and 107 classes to use as they have limited opportunity to reserve other spaces for strength, mobility, and other types of training.

Rooms 1319 and 1320

Three cased openings have been created to create one larger space to use as these classes typically enroll 30-32 students. Additionally, the ceilings have been lowered and closed off from the indoor track and other courts to allow for better sound in the room.

Renovated doors in Room 1315

As a part of this renovation, the 1315 Combat Room has had its door expanded to two glass doors, allowing for better traffic flow and consistent aesthetic of doors in this area of Carmichael Gymnasium.