Darla M. Castelli
Associate Professor and Graduate Advisor
Office & Hours
Office: AHG 103 & BEL 710
Courses of Instruction
KIN 395 Cognition & Exercise Across the Lifespan
EDC 385 Research on Teacher Education in Physical Education
The University of Texas at Austin
Kinesiology and Health Education
1 University Station
Austin, TX 78712-0379
UT Mail Code: D3700
download vita (pdf)
Darla M. Castelli, Ph.D. is an associate professor of physical education pedagogy in the Department of Kinesiology and Health Education at the University of Texas at Austin. She has been working with school-age youth in physical activity settings for more than 20 years, leading several physical activity interventions (e.g., Kinetic Kidz, FIT Kids1,FIT Kids2, Active + Healthy = Forever Fit, Fitness4Everyone). Dr. Castelli has received teaching awards in both the public school, Maine Physical Education Teacher of the Year, and higher education, University of Illinois Teaching Excellence Award. As a fellow in the AAHPERD Research Consortium and past Young Scholar award recipient from NAKPEHE and AEISEP, her research has been funded by the National Institutes of Health, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, American Dietetic Foundation, and U.S. Department of Education. She has presented her work at U.S. Congress and Senate Briefings in Washington, DC in support of the FIT Kids Act. Dr. Castelli is currently a member of two Institute of Medicine committees on Fitness Measures and Health Outcomes in Youth and Physical Activity and Physical Education in the School Environment. She received a B.S. from Plymouth State University, a M.S. from Northern Illinois University, and a Ph.D. from the University of South Carolina.
2002 Ph.D. University of South Carolina, Physical Education Pedagogy/Technology
Castelli, D.M.,Hillman, C.H., Hirsch, J., Hirsch, A., & Drollette, E. (2011). FIT Kids: Time in target heart zone and cognitive performance. Preventive Medicine, 52(1), S55-S59. PMID: 2128167.
Kamijo, K., Pontifex, M.B., O’Leary, K.C., Scudder, M.R. Chien-Ting, W., Castelli, D.M., Hillman, C.H. (2011). The effects of an afterschool physical activity program on working memory in preadolescent children. Developmental Science, 14(5), 1046-1058.
Hillman, C.H., Pontifex, M.B., Motl, R.W., O’Leary, K., Johnson, C.R., Scudder, M.R., Raine, L.B., & Castelli, D.M. (2012). ERPS to Academics. Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience, 2S, S90-S98.
Parrett, A., Valentine, R.J., Sigurbjorn, A.A., Castelli, D.M., & Evans, E.E. (2011). Adiposity, activity, fitness, and c-reactive protein in children. Medicine and Science in Sport and Exercise, 42(11), 1981-1986.
Kamijo, K., Khan, N.A., Pontifex, M.B., Scudder, M.R., Drollette, E.S., Raine, L.B., Evans, E.E., Castelli, D.M., & Hillman, C.H. (2012). The relation of adiposity to cognitive control and scholastic achievement in preadolescent children. Obesity, 4, 1-6. DOI 10.1038.
- 2006 AIESEP International Young Scholar Award
- 2007 IAHPERD Past-President’s Scholar Award
- 2007 AAHPERD Research Consortium Fellow
- 2008 University of Illinois Teaching Excellence Award: Innovation in Undergraduate Instruction Using Educational Technologies
- 2012 Joe R. & Teresa Long Endowed Faculty Fellow
Current Research Projects and Grants
Illinois Soy Association. Peterson, S. (PI), Chapman-Novakofski, K, Castelli D. (Co-I), Lloyd, L. "R.U. A. Healthy Kid 2?" A comprehensive, school-based intervention for Illinois young adolescents who are at-risk for Type 2 Diabetes. $200,000 (Dec. 1, 2009).
Illinois Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation, and Dance Jump Rope for Heart Research Grant, Castelli, D. M., (PI). MP3 for a Healthy Me: Podcasting Healthy Messages for Teens, $5044 (funded 2007-2008).
NICH R01. Hillman, C., Castelli, D., (Co-I), Motl, R. ERPs to Academics: Exercise Effects on Cognition in School-aged Children, $1,474,887 (funded, Feb. 2008-2010).
Research Interests and Expertise
Dr. Castelli studies the effects of physical activity on motor and cognitive performance in school-aged children. She is also interested in the relationship between metabolic risk factors and cognition and how physical activity can reverse its effects.
Boards, Committees and Associations
- 2010-present, International Journal of Trends in Educational Research (IJOTER) editorial board
- 2010, CDC Physical Activity Strategy 2 Implementation committee
- 2010, National School Physical Activity Director’s certification task force
- 2011-present, Journal of Teaching in Physical Education, editorial board
- 2011-2012, Institute of Medicine committee on youth fitness
- 2012-2013, Institute of Medicine committee on physical activity, fitness, and academic achievement