Research Assistant

Melissa is a passionate “prac-ademic” is in her final year of the Ph.D. Sport Management program at the University of Florida. Her research agenda focuses on evaluating and improving wellbeing of amateur and elite athletes pursuing personal and professional betterment of their lives during and after sport. The long-term goal of her research is to bridge the research-practice gap and enhance interventions and policies designed to assist players’ personal and athletic development during life transitions. Her dissertation will assess career trajectory of athletes and how they can accentuate their transition experience through navigating their vocational identity statuses, behaviors, and environment.


Melissa is an Ohio native and former NCAC Division III athlete who played basketball and lacrosse for Denison University. She ventured to UF to pursue a master’s degree in applied physiology and kinesiology and arrived with over four years of experience as a performance enhancement coach for collegiate student athletes and former NFL players through The Trust. While attending UF, she has been the research assistant for the Laboratory for Athlete and Athletics Development & Research (LAADR) and teaching assistant for Athlete Development, Sport Science, and Sport and Society courses. She has presented her research for the Professional Association of Athlete Development Specialists (PAADS), where she is also an active member. She finds no greater motivation than to serve and promote the holistic development of men and women in the greater community of sport. 


  • Ph.D. in Health & Human Performance; Concentration: Sport Management - University of Florida (Expected May 2020)

  • Master of Science in Applied Physiology and Kinesiology – University of Florida (December 2016)

  • Bachelor of Science in Athletic Training – Denison University (May 2015) 

Weinsz CV

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