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Emily Murphy, PhD

Associate Professor

Professional Highlights

  • Past WVU Faculty Senate Chair (2019-20)
  • WVU Board of Governors Member
  • Research emphasis in obesity prevention for individuals, families and communities


  • PhD, Exercise Physiology, West Virginia University
  • MS, Exercise Physiology, West Virginia University
  • BS, Exercise Physiology, West Virginia University

Research Interests

  • Childhood Obesity
  • Policies, systems and environmental change related to physical activity and food access in rural communities
  • Community and school-based healthy lifestyle interventions
  • Physical activity promotion across the lifespan

Biographical Sketch

Dr. Emily Murphy is an Associate Professor in the Department of Coaching and Teaching Studies. Prior to taking her current position in August of 2020, she was a Full Professor with the Family and Community Development Program Unit within the WVU Extension Service where she served in the role of Obesity Prevention Specialist.

Dr. Murphy is a not a native West Virginian but has lived in WV since 1993 when she came to school at WVU as an undergraduate student. She received her B.S. in 1996, MS in 1998 and PhD in 2007 all in Exercise Physiology from the School of Medicine at WVU. While completing her PhD, she worked as a Research Instructor within the Department of Pediatrics with the School of Medicine on several statewide obesity prevention initiatives. Upon her completion of her PhD, she was promoted to Research Assistant Professor with Pediatrics and then transitioned to her new role with Extension in 2010. Dr. Murphy is the past chair of the Faculty Senate for the 219-20 academic year, and she is currently serving as the faculty representative to the Board of Governors at WVU.

Her teaching, research and service all focus on individual, environmental and systems changes that promote making the healthier choice the easier choice for children, families and communities throughout WV and nationwide. She has been and is currently the Principal Investigator on grants obtained from several federal agencies including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the United States Department of Agriculture. Dr. Murphy has published 18 peer-reviewed articles and has presented her research at many national meetings throughout her tenure with WVU.

She resides in Morgantown with her husband Eric, who is the Assistant Director for Service Learning and Civic Engagement at WVU, her daughter, Michal, and her son, Emerson.