Stopka, Christine, Ph.d.

Professor Emeritus
Department of Health Education & Behavior

  • Director, University of Florida Adapted Physical Activity Program
  • Ph.D. in Adapted Physical Activity, University of Virginia (1981)
  • M.Ed. in Education (Athletic Training and Sports Medicine), University of Virginia (1978)
  • B.S. in Education (Health and Physical Education), University of Virginia (1976)
  • Curriculum Vitae
  • Brief Biographical Information


P.O. Box 118210
Gainesville, FL 32611-8210




Christine Stopka, Ph.D., has spent the past three decades with the College of Health and Human Performance, principally focusing on community-based participatory research, teaching and service. Shortly after her arrival in 1982, Stopka established the athletic training and sports medicine undergraduate and graduate specializations, the Student Injury Care Center and the athletic training community outreach program serving high schools in three counties in North Central Florida, plus P.K. Yonge and Santa Fe Community College. Simultaneously, she established the special physical education and exercise therapy specializations and the UF Special Physical Education and Exercise Therapy Lab, along with the special physical education/exercise therapy community outreach program, providing adapted physical activity services to more than 50 schools, centers, sites and events each semester. In addition, since the early 1990s, she has directed the UF Adapted Aquatics teaching program serving Gainesville children and youth with disabilities.

Throughout her distinguished career, Stopka has more than 300 publications, the most recent being the fifth edition of her book, Applied Special Physical Education and Exercise Therapy. In addition, Stopka has been invited to speak at more than 300 state, national and international conferences regarding adapted physical activity and sports medical topics and has generated more than $2.5 million in funding.

For her dedication to her field, Stopka has received more than 80 honors at the state, regional, national and international levels. She has won HHP Teacher of the Year two times, and she has been recognized by the University of Florida by receiving the President’s Humanitarian Award, as well as the University of Florida Superior Accomplishment Award. In 2007, she received the “Athletic Training Service Award” from the National Athletic Trainers’ Association, as well as the “William A. Hillman Distinguished Service Award” from the National Consortium on Physical Education and Recreation for Individuals with Disabilities. In 2008, she received the “University-Wide, UF Teacher of the Year Award,” the Departmental “Faculty Teaching Award,” and the College’s Inaugural “Charles S. Williams Distinguished Service Award.”

Research Interests:

  • Physical activity effect on improving the quality of life for people of all ages with disabilities
  • Exercise therapy for people with peripheral arterial disease
  • Sports medical considerations for people with disabilities
  • Stretching techniques for improved function & health
  • Fitness programs for people with intellectual disabilities
  • Inclusive teaching methods and equipment for people with disabilities


  • HSC 3201 Community & Environmental Health
  • HSC 3232C Exercise Therapy, Adapted Physical Activity & Health
  • HSC 3537 Medical Terminology
  • PET 3126 Instructors of Adapted Aquatics
  • HSC 5618 Advanced Exercise Therapy and Adapted Physical Education
  • PET 5655 Medical Aspects of Individuals with Disabilities in Adapted Physical Activity
  • PET 5127 Advanced Instructors of Adapted Aquatics
  • HSC 5536 Medical Terminology for the Health Professions