Stephanie Forgas

Stephanie Forgas
Mentor: Dr. Christine Stopka
College of Health and Human Performance
"When I started at the University of Florida, I knew I wanted to get involved but needed to find my niche in research. After taking a course with Dr. Christine Stopka, Advanced Exercise Therapy, Adapted Physical Activity, & Health, it became apparent that the effects of exercise on health is of great interest to me. For the past two years, Dr. Stopka has been an extremely inspiring professor, and I really wanted to be a part of any research she was carrying out. I am so very thankful she has agreed to be my mentor for the University Scholars Program, during my last year of college."


Applied Physiology and Kinesiology - Exercise Physiology



Research Interests

  • Effects of Physical Activity on Cognitive Functions
  • Prevention of Cardiovascular Disease through Health Intervention Programs
  • Effects of an Exercise Therapy Program on Cardiovascular Disease

Academic Awards

  • Florida Opportunity Scholarship
  • UF Gold Scholarship
  • Health and Human Performance Dean's List
  • University Scholars Program


  • Florida Opportunity Scholars Academy of Leadership
  • H.E.R.O.E.S. - Health and Education through Research, Outreach, Empowerment, and Service
  • Sidney Lanier at UF


  • Sidney Lanier at UF
  • Westwook Middle School Nutrition Class
  • Classroom Volunteer at Florida Autism Center of Excellence

Hobbies and Interests

  • Singing
  • Reading
  • Practicing Yoga
  • Relaxing on St. Pete Beach

Research Description

Physical Activity and How it Affects Cognitive Functioning in Adolescents With Intellectual Disorders
The Sidney Lanier Research and Service Program takes place during Fall and Spring, bringing together University of Florida students and Sidney Lanier students. Sidney Lanier is a school for individuals with intellectual disorders, just northwest of the UF campus. During the program, a group of students come to UF twice a week to work with fitness coaches and take part in hands on physical activities. Our research is looking at the effects of physical activity on cognitive functions. The students take a pre-test and a post-test when taking part in the Sidney Lanier program. Whether or not exercise is beneficial for cognitive functions is a hot topic, and we are very interested in looking at this specifically in individuals with intellectual disorders.