Department of Exercise Science, Wellness, and Sports


Melisa MenaDr. Melisa A Salsali Program Director and Assistant Professor of Exercise Science

Dr. Salsali is the Program Director of Exercise Science at Georgian Court. She received her Ph.D. in Exercise Physiology and Educational Research from the University of Miami (2007), a M.S. in Exercise Science from the University of Florida (1998), and a B.S. in Chemistry and Spanish from the University of Pittsburgh (1994). Courses taught include Exercise Physiology, Exercise Prescription, Nutrition, and Foundations of Fitness and Wellness. Her research interest is women who perform exercise during pregnancy, and this also extends to the more broad areas of women’s health and exercise prescription for special populations. In addition to her position at Georgian Court, she also is an ACE certified group fitness instructor, a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist, and teaches group fitness classes at local commercial gyms. Previous employment includes Assistant Professor of Exercise Science at Colby-Sawyer College (2006-2009), Adjunct Instructor of Fitness and Wellness at Florida Gulf Coast University (2004-2006) and of Anatomy and Physiology at Edison College (2003-2005), and Exercise Physiologist at Lee Memorial Hospital Wellness Center (1998-1999). She has 2 daughters, Jesica and Talia.

Elizabeth HarperDr. Elizabeth Harper Adjunct Professor of Exercise

Elizabeth, currently teaches “Women in Sport” for Georgian Court University. She is originally from New York City, has a diverse background in the arts and wellness sciences. She holds a bachelor’s degree from New York University’s Gallitan Division, where her concentration was in fine arts and dance, a master’s degree in Exercise Science from the University of Massachusetts, and a doctoral degree from the department of Nutrition, Food Studies, and Public Health from New York University. Originally a modern dancer, Elizabeth found exercise science a wonderful field to combine her interest in movement with that of science. Her master’s thesis work investigated both chemical and neurological aspects of muscle tissue damage and repair. This work continued in San Diego, California where she worked for the Naval Health Research Center investigating the effects of training on biochemical markers of muscle and connective tissue damage and repair. It was in San Diego where she also began teaching courses in Anatomy and Physiology and also began her own studies in yoga. Since then she has taught extensively on both the West and East coasts. Courses she has taught include anatomy, physiology, biology, neuroscience, and clinical research design. For many years she taught students of Traditional Chinese Medicine at both Pacific College of Oriental Medicine (San Diego & NYC) and Touro College (NYC). Her work in academics and yoga lead her to seek a terminal degree in “Therapeutic Recreation” from NYU. Her dissertation work combined her backgrounds in exercise science, neuroscience and alternative/complementary medicine. Her current research will continue in this direction.
In addition to her academic work, Elizabeth teaches yoga in the Red Bank, NJ area to a variety of populations. She developed and ran “Moving through MS” a yoga based exercise program for those living in with MS in Monmouth County, as well as “Limited Mobility Yoga” for the Monmouth County Parks System. In addition she has taught an “at risk” youth program for the local YMCA, among other children and adult yoga programs. Currently she runs “Community Yoga” in Red Bank.

Jessica WardMs. Jessica Ward Adjunct Professor of Exercise Science

Jessica Ward graduated from Rutgers University in 2000 with a B.S. in Environmental Policy, Institutions and Behavior with a focus on Public Health Administration. She then received her M.S. in Recreation and Sports Management from Indiana State University in 2002 where she also held a graduate assistant position in the Office of Recreational Sports for Intramural Sports. She is an AFAA certified Group Fitness Instructor and Personal Fitness Trainer, as well as an AEA certified Aquatics Fitness Instructor. In 2008 she became a NJSIAA certified Basketball Official and is a member of the Shore Chapter #4 Basketball Officials Board. She is an active member with the National Intramural-Recreational Sports Association and with the New Jersey Recreation and Park Association. She works full time at Princeton University as the Assistant Director of Campus Recreation for Intramural Sports, Special Events and Summer Camp programs.

Keith BurnsMr. Keith Burns - Adjunct Professor of Exercise Science 






© Georgian Court University • 900 Lakewood Ave, Lakewood, NJ 08701 (Best address for GPS is 517 Ninth Street, Lakewood, NJ 08701) • 800·458·8422