Joseph Lightner, PhD, MPH
Dr. Joey Lightner is an Assistant Professor and Program Director of the Bachelor of Science in Public Health at the University of Missouri, Kansas City. He earned his Bachelor of Science in Biology, Master of Public Health with an emphasis in physical activity, and PhD in Kinesiology from Kansas State University in Manhattan, Kansas. Dr. Lightner presents locally and nationally on topics related to public health and physical activity. Dr. Lightner’s research is focused on increasing physical activity for large populations. His current projects attempt to understand how to improve social relationships that may lead to improvements in physical activity behavior. In the past, Dr. Lightner has conducted studies on community capacity building, active transportation, LGBT health, health inequity, and several other areas. Dr. Lightner enjoys improv, Sporting KC matches, hiking, kayaking, SUP boarding, skydiving, and, of course, anything that has to do with physical activity.
Amanda Grimes, PHD, MCHES
Dr. Amanda Grimes joined School of Nursing and Health Studies faculty in 2013 teaching in the Bachelor of Health Sciences program and began a tenure-track position in 2018. Dr. Grimes’s area of focus is on the health and social factors associated with bicycling throughout the lifespan as well as the promotion of active transportation. She has conducted research on several bicycle-focused research projects that engage diverse rider populations; an assessment of the barriers and motivators for middle to older-aged cyclists in the Kansas City metropolitan area, an in-depth exploration of the impacts of earn-a-bike programs among homeless men in Kansas City, and impacts of earn-a-bike programs among low-income South African citizens. Dr. Grimes serves on the board of BikeWalkKC since 2014 and is currently the Board President for Bike Share KC – both are nonprofits active in this arena. Other research interests include social isolation and fall prevention in older adults. She is an active member of the UMKC Aging Consortium.
Bridget Wray, BHS
Bridget Wray is the Program Manager for More More, Get More. Bridget recently graduated from the University of Missouri-Kansas City and will begin her Master’s in Urban Planning at the University of Kansas this fall. Her area of focus is related to physical activity, social connectedness, and health equity. Bridget enjoys recreational sports, photography, and illustrating.
Graduate Research Assistants
Katlyn Eighmy, BSPH
Katlyn Eighmy is a Graduate Research Assistant for the ACTIVE Lab at the University of Missouri- Kansas City. Katy is currently completing her Masters in Public Health with a concentration in Population Health at the University of Kansas Medical Center. Her areas of focus is related to improving movement proficiency in adolescents and promoting physical activity among underserved populations. Other research interest includes gender equity in intramural sports. Katy enjoys bouldering, hiking, and gardening.
Ella Valleroy, BS
Ella Valleroy is a Graduate Research Assistant for the ACTIVE Lab. Ella is currently completing her Masters in Public Health with an emphasis in Epidemiology at the University of Kansas Medical Center – A partner of the ACTIVE Lab. Her research focus areas address infectious disease and community health in Midwest America. In her free time, Ella enjoys cooking and baking, buying and tending to her plants, and playing with her cat.
Denise Dean, BHS
Denise Dean is a Research Assistant for the ACTIVE Lab. Denise recently graduated from the University of Missouri-Kansas City and plans to pursue her Master’s in Public Health with a concentration in Global Health. Her area of focus is related to gender equality and health disparities among low- and middle-income countries. Denise enjoys reading, volunteering, and nature.