A significant team of individuals and organizations come together to form strong leadership at the Warrior Research Center.

 JoEllen Sefton, Ph.D., ATC, is the Director of the Warrior Research Center and Director of the Neuromechanics Laboratory at Auburn University School of Kinesiology where she is an Associate Professor.

The Advisory Board is comprised of seasoned current and former military officers and other professionals who provide expert guidance and decision making. Additionally, we have a number of top-notch associated researchers, collaborators, and supporting organizations that make the Warrior Research Center first-class. Our partners help us continually achieve success, push our knowledge forward, and equip our Armed Forces and tactical athletes with the best knowledge, training, and equipment.

Moreover, several graduate and undergraduate students, athletic trainers, and staff contribute to the important work of the Warrior Research Center. Together, we conduct innovative research and produce effective results.


Dr. JoEllen SeftonJoEllen Sefton, Ph.D., ATC
Auburn University, School of Kinesiology
Director, Warrior Research Center


Advisory Board

Lieutenant Ronald Burgess (Ret)Lieutenant General Ronald L. Burgess, Jr. (Ret.)
Chief Operating Officer, Auburn University
Senior Counsel for National Security Programs, Cyber Programs and Military Affairs


Brigader General Terrance McKenrickMajor General Terrence McKenrick
Deputy Commanding General for Operations
Army Central / III Army, Kuwait



Brigader General Ronald ClarkMajor General Ronald P. Clark
Division Commanding General
25th infantry Division, US Army Pacific Command



Todd Alan Burkhart

Todd Burkhardt, Ph.D.
US Army, Lieutenant Colonel (Retired)
Director of Campus Partnerships, Center for Rural Engagement
Adjunct Faculty, Department of Criminal Justice
Indiana University



LCDR Jake Shaw Branch Chief, Operations. US Coast Guard AUPLieutenant Commander Jake Shaw
United States Coast Guard



Col F. Wayne BrewsterColonel F. Wayne Brewster
US Army, CENTCOM, Saudi Arabia



Lt. Col. McDonald ROTC

Lieutenant Colonel K. Allan McDonald
US Air Force, Professor of Aerospace Studies
Commander, Detachment 005, Air Force ROTC
Auburn University



Nate Palin, MS, CSCSNate Palin, MS, CSCS
National Strength and Conditioning Association
Tactical Strength and Conditioning Program Manager



john_lankfordJohn Lankford
Chief, Auburn Fire Division



Dr. Michael GoodlettDr. Michael Goodlett
Auburn University Team Physician



Frank BlackwellFrank Blackwell
Division Chief, Trainers
U.S. Army Futures Command, CCDC Aviation & Missile Center
Software, Simulation, Systems Engineering & Integration Directorate
Redstone Arsenal AL 35898


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Associated Researchers

College of Education
School of Kinesiology

JoEllen Sefton, Ph.D., ATC –  Auburn University, School of Kinesiology
Warrior Research Center and Neuromechanics Research Laboratory
Research focus: human factors and evidence based medicine, rehabilitation, treatment, and performance

Mary Rudisill, Ph.D. – Auburn University, Director of the School of Kinesiology
Pediatric Movement and Physical Activity Laboratory Director
Research focus: motor learning and motivation

Wendi Weimar, Ph.D. – Auburn University, School of Kinesiology
Sports Biomechanics Laboratory Director
Research focus: lower extremity biomechanics – gait and load bearing

Matthew Miller, Ph.D. – Auburn University, School of Kinesiology
Performance & Exercise Psychophysiology Laboratory Director
Research focus: neurocognitive research and performance optimization

Gretchen Oliver, Ph.D., ATC – Auburn University, School of Kinesiology
Sports Medicine & Movement Laboratory Director
Research focus: upper extremity biomechanics of the shoulder and throwing

Michael Roberts, Ph.D. – Auburn University, School of Kinesiology
Molecular and Applied Sciences Laboratory Director
Research focus: how nutrition and exercise affect the molecular environment of different tissues

Danielle Wadsworth, Ph.D. – Auburn University, School of Kinesiology
Exercise Adherence and Motivation Lab Director
Research focus: psychological, social, and ecological influences on exercise adherence

Melissa Pangelinan, Ph.D. –  Auburn University, School of Kinesiology
Pediatric Movement and Physical Activity Laboratory Director
Research focus: neural basis of learning, particularly in children with disabilities

Jaimie Roper, Ph.D. – Auburn University, School of Kinesiology
Locomotor and Movement Control Laboratory Director
Research focus: biomechanics

Leadership and Technology

James Witte, Ph.D. – Auburn University, College of Education
Professor of Adult Education
Department of Educational Foundations, Leadership, and Technology Department

School of Nursing

Davis R. Crumbley, MSN, CWCN – Auburn University, School of Nursing
Assistant Clinical Professor

College of Engineering

Mark Schall, Ph.D. – Auburn University, College of Engineering
Industrial and Systems Engineering
Research focus: developing, evaluating, and applying direct measurement technologies to assess exposure to occupational risk factors and prevention of musculoskeletal injury

Michael Zabala, Ph.D. – Auburn University, College of Engineering
Biomechanical Engineering Laboratory Director
Research focus: utilizing motion capture and measuring ground reaction forces to create prosthetics and assistive devices

Thomas S. Denney Jr., Ph.D. – Director, MRI Research Center

College of Liberal Arts

James Birdsong, Ph.D. – Auburn University, College of Liberal Arts
Program Coordinator and Lecturer, Department of Aviation
Research focus: training aviators and improving training of FAA safety personnel

Ana Franco-Watkins, Ph.D. – Auburn University, College of Liberal Arts
Associate Professor, Department of Psychology
Research focus: using psychological theories and methodologies to elucidate decision making processes

Jennifer Robinson, Ph.D. – Auburn University, College of Liberal Arts
Associate Professor, Department of Psychology
Research focus: cognitive and affective neuroscience

College of Architecture, Design, and Construction

Jerrod Windham, B.IND. – Auburn University, College of Architecture, Design, and Construction
Bauhaus Associate Professor, Industrial Design
Research focus: Assistive technologies, design, and development

College of Human Sciences

Drew Frugé, Ph.D., R.D. – Auburn University, College of Human Sciences
Assistant Professor and Director, Didactic Program in Dietetics
Department of Nutrition, Dietetics and Hospitality Management

Mallory Lucier-Greer, Ph.D. – Auburn University, College of Human Sciences
Associate Professor, Department of Human Development and Family Studies

College of Veterinary Medicine

Vitaly J. Vodyanoy, Ph.D. – Auburn University College of Veterinary Medicine – physiology and innovation 

Iryna B. Sorokulova, Ph.D., DSCI – Auburn University College of Veterinary Medicine, physiology

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Captain Bethany Shivers, Ph.D. – Fort Rucker, AL
Injury Biomechanics Branch, Warfighter Protection Division
Biomechanical injury and head-supported mass researcher

Carol Chancey, Ph.D. – Fort Rucker, AL
Chief, Injury Biomechanics Division
U.S. Army Aeromedical Research Lab – Research Biomedical Engineer

Kenneth Games, Ph.D., ATC – Indiana State University, College of Health and Human Services
Assistant Professor, Department of Applied Medicine and Rehabilitation
specializing in neuromechanical approaches to injury and pathology

Kaelin Young, Ph.D. – Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine (VCOM – Auburn)
Assistant Professor, Cell Biology and Physiology, Biomedical Research Department
Research focus: physiological effects of nutrition and exercise

Gregory Fischer, Ph.D. – Worcester Polytechnic Institute
Director, Automation and Interventional Medicine Laboratory

Rob Orr, TSAC-F, MPhys, Ph.D., ADFPTI, BFET – Bond University
Tactical Research Unit, Gold Coast Australia

Rod Pope, Ph.D., BAppSc(Phty), GradDipPsychStud, GradCertUniL&M – Bond University
Tactical Research Unit, Gold Coast Australia

City of Auburn Fire Division – Auburn, AL

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Supporting Organizations

Auburn University (Auburn, AL)

AU School of Kinesiology (Auburn, AL)

US Army Aeromedical Research Laboratory (Fort Rucker, AL)

  • John Crowley, Ph.D. – Research Director
  • Lori St. Onge, Ph.D. – Grants and Contracts

US Army Medical Research and Materiel Command Armor School (Fort Detrick, MD)

US Army Maneuver Center of Excellence (Fort Benning, GA)

Lackland Air Force Base (San Antonio, TX)

Army Maneuver Center Battle Lab (Fort Benning, GA)

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