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Dee Dlugonski

Dee Dlugonski

Assistant Professor | Sports Medicine Research Institute, University of Kentucky | Class of 2013

She earned her Ph.D. here, bought her first house here, celebrated the birth of her first child here.

So yeah, you could say C-U holds a special place in Dee Dlugonski’s heart.

“I have so many fond memories of my time in Champaign-Urbana and at the University of Illinois,” she says from Lexington, Ky., home since 2019 for the assistant professor at the University of Kentucky’s Sports Medicine Research Institute.

“I came to U of I in the fall of 2008 to start a master’s degree in kinesiology. My plans quickly changed after taking Dr. Rob Motl’s Exercise & Health Psychology class.

“At the end of this class, he invited me to join his research lab, where I saw for the first time the impact that research can have on the health and wellbeing of individuals. I was hooked and decided to pursue my Ph.D. in kinesiology under Rob’s mentorship.

“Rob gave me space to explore my own academic interests, provided a challenging and supportive environment and role modeled the hard work necessary for a successful academic career.

“When I think about my time in Illinois, great food always comes to mind. Some of my favorites were Espresso Royale donuts, a Farren’s burger and truffle fries, or anything you can buy at the awesome summer farmer’s market.”