Title: Health and Built Environment Specialist
Organization: Urban Design 4 Health, Inc.
Location: Kansas City, MO
With extensive research experience regarding topics in exercise sciences, psychology, and physical activity in public health, Nicole Alfonsin is especially passionate about developing and promoting evidence-based, health-driven strategies for innovative community development and design strategies related to movement. Nicole worked as an intern on the Standard Development team at the International Well Building Institute, where she conducted secondary research to ensure that the standard reflected a quality scientific basis. In addition, Nicole authored two editorial board posts regarding the health benefits from various forms of movement and the economic benefits of active transportation. Further, Nicole co-authored a commentary piece for the Journal of Physical Activity and Health. As a Well Accredited Professional, Nicole is passionate about working across disciplines in order to ensure that design teams have effective tools to inform design practice and create spaces that promote health and well-being. Recently, Nicole was selected to participate in the inaugural Scholar Program at the Health in Buildings Roundtable Conference at the National Institutes of Health, where she presented a framework that informs design professionals to prioritize active transportation features at the building- and community-level.
Nicole became passionate about the impact that the built environment has on health while studying and working as a Graduate Assistant at George Washington University for two consecutive years. Nicole earned a Master’s in Public Health, and received specialized training in physical activity and public health. She taught both undergraduate and graduate level exercise physiology courses, conducted metabolic and body composition testing and analysis for the general public, and served on faculty research regarding youth sport participation. In addition to her work at George Washington University, Nicole developed a cost-effective evaluation plan for the U.S. Soccer Foundation’s Safe Places to Play mini-pitch initiative, which converts underutilized spaces into soccer pitches to promote physical activity through sport. Further, Nicole assisted on a pilot study in the Energy Balance Lab at Children’s Mercy Hospital in Kansas City, coded classroom-based physical activity programs and provided writing support for two research papers. With her eclectic experiences in the field of physical activity and public health, Nicole looks forward to working with colleagues who share a passion for translating research to practice to create a happier, healthy world.