About the Executive Committee

The Michael & Susan Dell Center for Healthy Living is led by an executive team, who brings together decades of experience and represents diverse areas of expertise in child health research. The Executive Committee meets regularly to review Center progress and goals, and provides guidance on the Center at the highest level.

Executive Committee

Deanna HoelscherDeanna Hoelscher, PhD, RDN, LD, CNS, FISBNPA

Director, Michael & Susan Dell Center for Healthy Living
John P. McGovern Professor in Health Promotion


Dr. Hoelscher’s research interests are in the design, implementation, and evaluation of programs, policies, and measurement tools related to child nutrition and physical activity. Dr. Hoelscher has been recognized by state, national, and international organizations for her expertise in child nutrition and physical activity research.

Evans_Sandra webAlexandra (Sandra) van den Berg, PhD

Associate Director of the Michael & Susan Dell Center for Healthy Living
Associate Professor, Health Promotion & Behavioral Sciences

Dr. Alexandra Evans is an Associate Professor of Behavioral Sciences and Health Promotion in the Michael & Susan Dell Center for Healthy Living (the Center) at The University of Texas Houston School of Public Health (UTSPH) Regional Campus at Austin. She received her Master of Public Health degree from the University of Texas School of Public Health. Subsequently, she received her PhD from the University of Texas and completed a NCI post-doctoral fellowship under the leadership of Dr. Hoelscher.


Steven KelderSteven Kelder, PhD, MPH

Beth Toby Grossman Distinguished Professor in Spirituality and Healing
Austin Associate Regional Dean

Dr. Kelder has more than 20 years of experience in design and evaluation of child and adolescent research, particularly interventions directed towards youth, schools, and parents. Recently, his emphasis is on interventions designed for promotion of physical activity and healthy eating, obesity prevention, and substance use prevention.

Bill KohlHarold W. (Bill) Kohl, III, PhD

Professor of Epidemiology and Kinesiology
Austin Associate Regional Dean


Dr. Kohl served as lead epidemiologist and team leader in the Physical Activity and Health Branch of the Division of Nutrition and Physical Activity at the CDC in Atlanta. In 2006 he was tapped to help create the first U.S. Physical Activity Guidelines, which were published in 2008. He is the founding president of the International Society for Physical Activity and Health as well as co-editor of the Journal of Physical Activity and Health, and was recently appointed Chair of the President’s Council on Fitness, Sports & Nutrition Science Board.

Cheryl PerryCheryl Perry, PhD

Regional Dean of The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston School of Public Health in Austin
Rockwell Distinguished Chair in Society and Health


Dr. Perry has authored more than 300 peer-reviewed articles, multiple chapters and books, most of which focus on health promotion and prevention programs, and has been recognized as one of the Most Highly Cited Researchers (top 0.5%) in Social Sciences. She is senior scientific editor of the 2012 Surgeon General’s Report: “Preventing Tobacco Use Among Young People: An Update.”