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

Regional Dean, UTHealth School of Public Health in Austin
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, MPH

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

Dr. Alexandra Evans is an Associate Professor of Behavioral Sciences and Health Promotion in the Michael & Susan Dell Center for Healthy Living at The University of Texas Health Science Center (UTHealth) School of Public Health in 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
Coordinator of External Affairs, Michael & Susan Dell Center for Healthy Living

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, Epidemiology and Kinesiology
Associate Regional Dean of Academic Affairs, UTHealth School of Public Health in Austin

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.

Gabriel_Kelley Kelley Pettee Gabriel, PhD, MS, FACSM

Associate Professor, Epidemiology, Human Genetics and Environmental Sciences
Coordinator of Research, Michael & Susan Dell Center for Healthy Living

Dr. Gabriel has over a decade of experience in physical activity and chronic disease epidemiology. Her areas of research expertise fall within two broad areas, including: 1) methodological work to optimize the precision of physical activity and related construct assessment (e.g., sedentary behavior, physical fitness, and physical functioning) within the context of population-based research and 2) exploring novel relations of physical activity and related constructs with chronic disease risk factors, diseases, and clinical events. She applies a life-course epidemiological framework to much of her research, with a key focus on the midlife to older adulthood transition.