Andrew Springer, DrPH

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Associate Professor, Health Promotion & Behavioral Sciences

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).

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Current Projects

Activate Ya

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The purpose of this study is to develop and test the efficacy of a multiple-component intervention to prevent tobacco use and promote physical activity for 7th-8th graders in Uruguay.

CATCH Middle School

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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.

CATCH (Coordinated Approach To Child Health)

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CATCH is a research-based program designed to guide schools, families and children in healthy eating and physical activity.

CATCH My Breath

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CATCH My Breath (CMB) is a middle school e-cigarette prevention program originally designed as a rapid response to the emerging teen vaping trends.

Active Play-Active Learning

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The Active Play-Active Learning project incorporates playground markings enhancements to school play areas to encourage ‘active learning’ during recess and class time.

Recent Publications

Stronger Austin: Evaluation Findings for Year 1

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12/1/18 - Co-learning about the initial delivery and effects of Stronger Austin – a community-based initiative aimed at increasing access to health and wellness programming in Austin, Texas: Evaluation Findings for Year 1 (2017-18)

Refugee Health Education: Evaluating a Community- Based Approach to Empowering Refugee Women in Houston, Texas

(Frost E, Markham C, Springer AE; Advances in Social Work; 2018)

Exploring physical activity engagement in secondary school students in Montevideo, Uruguay: A qualitative study

(Parobii, I, Springer, AE, Harrell, MB, Gomensoro, LM, Fresco, MT, Alers, N, Perry, CL, & Estol, D; Int J Child Adolesc health; 2018)

School socioeconomic disparities in e-cigarette susceptibility and use among central Texas middle school students

(Springer AE, Davis C, Van Dusen D, Grayless M, Case KR, Craft M, Kelder SH; Preventive Medicine Reports; 2018)

The relationships between sensation seeking and a spectrum of e-cigarette use behaviors in Texas adolescents: Cross-sectional and longitudinal analyses specific to Texas adolescents

(Case KR, Harrell MB, Pérez A, Loukas A, Creamer M, Wilkinson A, Springer A, Perry CL; Addict Behav.; 2017)

Recent News

Art contest aims to stop the spread of COVID-19

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A new challenge by state and local public health experts aims to empower the Rio Grande Valley's youth to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. UTHealth School of Public Health is taking a step away from the sciences and into the arts to help stop the spread of coronavirus.

Study finds vaping prevention program significantly reduces use in middle school students

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In response to the youth vaping crisis, experts at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth) developed CATCH My Breath, a program to prevent electronic cigarette use among fifth – 12th grade students.