Department of Applied Physiology & Wellness

Kelyn Rola

Lecturer of Wellness



Ed.D., Southern Methodist University
Dedman Center for Lifetime Sports, 6000 Bush Ave., #013, Dallas, TX 75205
214-768-1025
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Kelyn Rola joined the Wellness faculty in 2016 after multiple years of service to the Department of Applied Physiology and Wellness. Ms. Rola’s career at SMU began in the Applied Physiology Laboratory, where she served as the Research Associate in charge of organizing and equipping the lab, as well as assisting in studies that investigated thermoregulation and autonomic function in individuals with multiple sclerosis. Ms. Rola’s passion for teaching eventually led her to serve as the Lab Coordinator, where she taught multiple laboratory sections offered within the Applied Physiology and Sport Management major, including Human Anatomy and Physiology, Exercise Physiology, and Advanced Exercise Physiology. After years of relying on experiential learning in her labs, Ms. Rola developed a unique teaching style that enhances her ability to create engaging, inclusive, and transformative classrooms. She enjoys forming relationships with her students, as well as encouraging students to learn from one another. She feels that Wellness is the ideal platform, as her commitment to education stems from improving her students’ lives.

Prior to joining SMU, Ms. Rola earned her B.A. in Kinesiology from Southwestern University in Georgetown, TX. In addition to her classes at Southwestern, she gained valuable experience in the health field by working in the Wellness Department at Apple Computer, Inc. She also integrated her love of fitness into her experience at Southwestern as a four-year member of the women's lacrosse team, serving as captain her senior year. Ms. Rola later received her M.S. in Exercise Physiology from Texas Christian University in Fort Worth, TX. At TCU, she taught and assisted a variety of kinesiology classes. She also assisted in data collection for a number of performance and training studies; however, her own research investigated molecular responses and adaptations to performing exercise in the heat. Following years of practical experience, Ms. Rola decided to further her expertise in higher education by pursuing a Doctorate of Education at SMU. Student development, teaching efficacy, and diversity and inclusion are mainstays of her current research interests, and she enjoys sharing empirical frameworks and theoretical models with her classes whenever possible.

While Ms. Rola enjoys teaching in the traditional classroom setting, she also thrives on engaging in all aspects of campus life. Prior to teaching in Wellness, she taught CycleFit for SMU’s GroupX program for multiple years. Further, she served as a subcommittee chair for SMU’s Sustainability Committee, the advisor for Students for a Better Society, the keynote speaker for SMU’s annual Love Your Body symposium, a mentor for the Engaged Learning program, a chaperone for Discover Dallas at Mustang Corral, an AARO faculty panelist for first-year and transfer students, and a faculty affiliate for the Residential Commons. She also proudly contributed to the development of the Foundations of Community, Inclusion, and Diversity course offered at SMU. In her free time, Ms. Rola enjoys running, being outdoors, live music, cooking, painting, and traveling. Her passion for travel has led her to study abroad multiple times, and she boasts more than 20 stamps on her passport. When not on campus, Ms. Rola is likely somewhere near White Rock Lake with her fiancé and three dogs. She loves living in East Dallas, and looks forward to getting married locally in the summer of 2017.