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Michelle Pebole, PhD

Exercise Physiologist 

VA Boston Healthcare System

Harvard University 

I use my knowledge to empower others.

I have ~ 10 years of experience creating exercise programs for people with histories of trauma and conducting research about exercise and trauma. I specialize in working and researching with women with histories of sexual and gender-based violence.

I use this knowledge to empower trauma survivors to pursue their physical and mental wellbeing. I also use this experience to educate and empower exercise professionals to make their spaces safe and inclusive. Lastly, I advocate for exercise to be integrated into our mental healthcare system.

My work is informed by personal experience, professional training, and the voices of trauma survivors I have the privilege of working with.

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Postdoc: Polytrauma, Boston VA & Harvard University 

PhD: Community Health, University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign

MA: Exercise Physiology, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

BS: Exercise and Sports Science, Elon University

Recent honors and awards:

New Investigator Award, American College of Sports Medicine (2023)

Health and Behavior International Collaborative Award (2023)

Co-chair, Lifestyle Interventions for Traumatic Stress, ISTSS (2023)

Research Award - Lifestyle Interventions for Traumatic Stress, ISTSS (2021)

William H Creswell Jr. Graduate Student Award, UIUC (2021)

Teacher Ranked Excellent by Their Students, UIUC (2020 - 2022)

Graduate Student Travel Award, UIUC (2020)

Out of Office Michelle

When I'm not working, I'm finding a new trail to hike or place to visit, playing volleyball, listening to an audiobook, teaching a rowing class, or hyping up my friends' dogs. I would love to know your favorite travel location!

Recent honors and awards:

Most likely to have a strong opinion about pizza 

Barbie (Movie) Superfan  

Least likely to fit in small cars 


“If you are always trying to be normal, you will never know how amazing you can be.”

                                 ― Maya Angelou

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