Lecturer & Director of Wellness
Ed.D., Lamar University
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Dr. Donna Gober joined the faculty of the Department of Applied Physiology and Wellness in the fall of 2008 after earning an Ed.D. in Educational Leadership with a cognate in Higher Education from Lamar University in Beaumont. She has been teaching full time in higher education for 15 years. Dr. Gober earned a Master of Science in Wellness with minors in Exercise Physiology and Counseling from the University of Mississippi while employed as a graduate assistant and instructor teaching courses in the Department of Health, Exercise Science, and Recreation Management. Prior to graduate school, Dr. Gober was an elementary school teacher for 7 years, and earned a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education with specialization in Life/Earth Science from Lamar University in 1988. Her career as an educator spans 22 years and includes teaching appointments in 4 Texas school districts and three universities.
Currently, Dr. Gober teaches several sections of Choices I: Concepts of Wellness, and a variety of Choices II activity classes. She has been teaching fitness classes for 26 years and is certified in Group Exercise Leadership by the Cooper Institute of Aerobics Research in Dallas. Dr. Gober enjoys blending her fitness knowledge with eighteen years of formal dance training to teach Bench Aerobics and Power Yoga. Interestingly, she originally joined the Wellness Department at SMU in 1998 as an instructor of wellness and fitness classes, and went on to accept a faculty position at Lamar University in the fall 2000 where she taught full time for more than 8 years in the Department of Health & Kinesiology and was the Coordinator of the Health & Human Performance Laboratory for several years. Returning to the Wellness program and faculty at SMU was always a part of her long term plan. Her dissertation, entitled, The Effects of a One-Semester Wellness Course on Student Perceptions of Success in College, examined pre- and post-course results of student perceptions in wellness classes at SMU as measured by the College Success Factor Index (Hallberg, Hallberg, & Saur, 1993). Significant results were found in 5 of the 8 factors associated with success in college.
Dr. Gober is committed to providing a meaningful, student-centered approach to learning for students in her wellness courses. Her research interests include retention and attrition of college students, intervention programs for retention of minority and non-traditional students as well as traditional students, and holistic approaches to teaching, mentoring, advising, retaining and graduating college students. Health and wellness programs that address the subjective needs of the student and may aid students with transition and matriculation to the university are of primary interest as well. Additionally, she enjoys developing innovative teaching and learning strategies to meet the demands of a diverse student population.
During her career in higher education, Donna served on numerous committees and development teams. The most personally valued experience was serving as an academic advisor to Zeta Tau Alpha Sorority and as an advisor and director of the Health & Kinesiology Majors Club for many years. Working with students in the classroom, the lab, and in the community are her most treasured experiences. Developing professional relationships with students and helping them succeed in college, assisting them with career plans and graduate school, and seeing them flourish and grow is what fuels her passion for what she does.
Peer Reviewed Publications:
Hernandez, B., Gober, D. Boatwright, D., Strickland, G. (2009). Jump Rope for Fun and Fitness in
Grades K-12. The Journal of Physical Education, Recreation & Dance, 80(7), 15-22.
Wallace, M., Gober, D., Lambert, J. & Harris, S. (2009). Identifying at-risk first time in college
students: An equity audit. Graduate Research Journal. [In print. To be accessed from
Dupper, M.A., & Gober, D.L. (1998). Control theory and reality therapy: Counseling methods for
health and wellness professionals. Journal of Health Education, 29(4), 230-233.
Texas State Board of Education, Texas Teacher Certificate. (1) Life, Provisional Elementary, Grades 1-
8, General. (2) Life, Provisional Elementary, Grades 1-8, Life/Earth Middle School Science.
American Red Cross, certified instructor of CPR, First Aid & Safety, AED Essentials. Beaumont Chapter,
Beaumonth, TX .
Kenneth Cooper Institute of Aerobics Research, certified in Group Exercise Leadership (GEL). Cooper Center,
Gifted and Talented Endorsement, Texas Education Agency, completed 30 hours of staff development
through Harlingen CISD and Beaumont ISD in 1990-1991.
Professional Development Affiliations
Texas Association of Health, Physical Education, Recreation, and Dance (TAHPERD)
Chair of the Health Division - Health Instructional Program Section, Texas Association of Health, Physical
Education, Recreation, and Dance. 2005-2007.
Southwest Educator Research Association (SERA)