Theresa D. Hernández has been named the first director of CU Boulder Athletics’ Crawford Family WHOLE Student-Athlete Program, a nationally recognized initiative that prepares student-athletes for life success by comprehensively focusing on their physical, psychological, academic and career health. Hernández comes to the Athletic Department from the College of Arts and Sciences, where she served as associate dean for research since 2016.
An expert in the study of traumatic brain injury (TBI), Hernández has implemented basic and clinical neuroscience methods that optimize recovery from TBI in veterans, civilians and athletes by reducing the effects of stress and promoting psychological health. She has collaborated with the WHOLE Student-Athlete Program since its inception and recently completed research for the Pac-12 that assesses student-athlete health and well-being from recruitment through graduation and beyond.
“After working closely with the WHOLE Student-Athlete Program as a collaborator, I’m looking forward to continuing its important work as program director,” Hernández said. “This program really revolutionizes the student-athlete experience by factoring in all the elements that set a person up for success well beyond their time at CU Boulder. I am looking forward to utilizing my expertise for the benefit of our student-athletes.”
“We’re delighted to be bringing Dr. Hernández on to serve as director of our WHOLE Student-Athlete Program,” said Athletic Director Rick George. “Since its creation, the WHOLE program has set the national standard for student-athlete wellness, and we look forward to its continued evolution under the leadership of Dr. Hernández, whose experience in this field is unmatched.”
The WHOLE Student-Athlete Program focuses on a person’s overall wellness amidst the pressures of the college athletics experience by incorporating their physical, psychological, academic and career goals, giving them the tools to succeed both while they are at CU Boulder and well after they leave. The landmark program is a cornerstone for CU Boulder, which continues to be a leader in mental as well as physical resources for student-athletes.
While at the College of Arts and Sciences, Hernandez was responsible for cost-sharing for grant proposals, overseeing the college’s centers, and promoting the research, scholarship and creative works of arts and sciences faculty from all divisions, particularly in relation to health and human performance. She will maintain an appointment in the college to oversee the Southern Colorado Partnerships to promote their sustainability and enhance their reach. These partnerships include the Southern Ute Tribe Department of Education and the CU@Fort Lewis College postdoctoral teaching fellowship program, which she co-created with former Dean James W.C. White.
“Dr. Hernández has been an invaluable member of the College of Arts and Sciences, and we look forward to her continuing her important work in this new role with athletics at CU Boulder,” said Glen Krutz, dean of arts and sciences. “Her knowledge of and passion for health and wholistic human wellness make her uniquely positioned to take on this new challenge, one I’m confident at which she’ll excel.”
Hernández will begin her new role on Aug. 1.