Dr. Springer’s research interests the promotion of child and adolescent health, including the prevention of childhood obesity and promotion of physical activity and healthy eating. Dr. Springer has served or is currently serving as a principal investigator or co-investigator on research projects with funding from Robert Wood Johnson, CDC, and Michael & Susan Dell Foundation that include: the evaluation of state-mandated legislation to promote physical activity in elementary and middle school children, reduction of sedentary behavior in Hispanic children living on the Texas-Mexico border, implementation and evaluation of the CATCH program in elementary and middle school students, evaluation of a school and community-based physical activity and healthy eating promotion program (“Marathon Kids”), and testing of low-cost strategies to promote elementary school children’s physical activity during recess and structured activity break time in Austin, Texas and Pueblo, Colorado.
Dr. Springer maintains an active public health practice focus, which includes experience with planning, implementation and evaluation of rural-based health promotion projects in Latin America via organizations that include Amigos de las Americas, Save the Children- El Salvador, and the United Nations Development Program in Guatemala. Since 2008, Dr. Springer has served as the President of the Austin Chapter of Amigos de las Americas, a nonprofit organization that recruits, trains and fields young leaders in community health and development projects in Latin America.
Research Interests – Adolescent health promotion; physical activity; childhood obesity prevention; socio-ecological influences of health behavior; epidemiology of child and adolescent health behaviors in Latin America.
Honors – Philip C. Johnson, III Veteran Service Award, Amigos de las Americas, 2005; Environmental Health Scholar Award, BFI, 1998, UTHealth School of Public Health Community Service Award recipient (2012), and 2nd Place Winner, UTHealth School of Public Health McGovern Teacher of the Year (2012, 2016); Nominated by Health Promotion and Behavioral Sciences Department for UTHealth School of Public Health Annual Award for Excellence in Teaching (2016, 2018).
The Central Texas CATCH Middle School Project (CATCH MS) was a school-based health promotion initiative aimed at promoting physical activity, healthy eating and obesity prevention among middle school students living in central Texas.