Emma Zuk will soon receive her PhD from UConn in the Department of Kinesiology, focusing on physical activity engagement in children. Zuk attended High Point University in North Carolina as an undergraduate and studied athletic training. Originally from the New England area, Zuk returned north for graduate school at UConn, where she joined UConn Husky Sport and was the club sport athletic trainer. Her dissertation focuses on the influence of race on physical activity engagement in low socio-economic communities.
Last year Zuk worked with the Boys and Girls Club in Hartford. She found ways to help children be physically active and donated sports equipment. She is inspired by the kids. “Kids are just really appreciative of the time and energy that you put into them and they will call you out if they think you are not putting that energy into them…when you build those relationships, they rely on that stability of seeing the same people,” says Zuk. She also enjoys working with elementary children. “The kids are a little bit more moldable to develop these healthy habits at an earlier age” she says.
Zuk has accepted a position as a Clinical Assistant Professor at the University of North Carolina Charlotte. She plans to continue establishing relationships with schools to help incorporate physical activity. “It starts with building a relationship, understanding their needs and how I can fit in and help,” says Zuk.
Involvement with CSCH
Zuk’s advisor, Dr. Lindsay DiStefano, encouraged her to join the Collaboratory. DiStefano and others were involved in a workshop for early professionals and graduate students, discussing their ideas for their professional development opportunities. Zuk was asked to give input on the things that needed to be improved. “It’s powerful when we bring together like-minded individuals who are all very passionate about working with children or school systems to make life better for the generation after us,” says Zuk.
Zuk has run four marathons and has a dog named Cooper. You can follow her on Twitter @emma_zuk
Undergraduate Researcher Jannell Brown interviewed Emma Zuk and wrote this profile.