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Samantha Harden, PhD

Associate Professor
  • Graduate Program Faculty
Harden, Samantha
1981 Kraft Drive
1032 Integrated Life Sciences Building
Blacksburg, VA 24061


Dr. Harden is a behavioral psychologist and dissemination and implementation scientist, as well as a 500 hour registered yoga teacher. She explores the intersection of evidence-based behavior change interventions and their uptake in existing delivery systems such as Cooperative Extension and Carilion Clinic. Current projects include, but are not limited to, exploration of endometrial cancer survivors' exercise preferences; older adult lifestyle modification programs; statewide, group-based wellness challenges; and bridging principles of yoga and Ayurveda for public health. She is currently funded by an undergraduate summer experiential learning program (NIDDK R25, MPI Harden and Good), through partnership with the Family Nutrition Program (PI Serrano), an investigation of a school-based asthma treatment program (NHLBI R01, PI Arcoleo), and a multi-level approach to address high-obesity in Petersburg, VA (CDC, PI Hosig) as well as funding from the National Institute for Occupational Health and Safety (NIOSH) to explore dissemination and implementation science integration within the federal system.

  • Harden SM. Making Space and Time for Activity. VCE Newsletter. May 2019.
  • Phillips S, Rosenberg D, Harden S, Trinh L. 5 Easy Ways to Get More Active. Society of Behavioral Medicine.
  • Good D, Harden SM. Advancing science, changing lives: processors provide an obesity undergraduate research program. Oct. 9, 2018. 
  • Harden SM. Understanding the benefits of Yoga. Good Day, Virginia. Virginia First, WFXR. June 21, 2018.
  • National Extension Association of Family and Consumer Sciences (NEAFCS) Community Health and Wellness, Impact 2018. Increasing physical activity (Wyoming outcomes).

2013 ‐ Present: International Society of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity
2011 ‐ 2012: American Public Health Association
2010 ‐ Present: Alpha Epsilon Lambda
2009 ‐ Present: Society of Behavioral Medicine

2017: Early Career Investigator Award, International Society of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity 
August 2013‐July 2014: Canadian Institutes of Health research funded postdoctoral fellowship
November 2013: Killam postdoctoral fellowship finalist
April 2012: Who's Who Among American Universities and Colleges Scholars

2012, Ph.D., Human Nutrition, Foods, and Exercise, Virginia Tech
Dissertation: Group Dynamics in Physical Activity Promotion: Research, Theory, and Practice

2008, B.S., Biology, Bridgewater College