alexandra szarabajko

Dr. Alexandra Szarabajko

Program Chair

Assistant Professor and Program Chair of Exercise Science

Busch Science Center | 240

803.786.3855 Email


Dr. Szarabajko is the Program Chair and Assistant Professor of Exercise Science at Columbia College. She holds a Ph.D. in Kinesiology and a M.P.H. in Health Promotion/ Health Behavior from Oregon State University, as well as a M.S. in Physical Education, M.S. in General Psychology, and a B.S. in Psychology from Eastern Kentucky University. Originally from Germany, she came to the USA as a Division I student-athlete in Track & Field.

Dr. Szarabajko is interested in advancing science and practice within the field of Psychosocial Kinesiology, which is demonstrated through her published scholarly achievements. For example, “Life Beyond Sport” appeared in the 2020 book, Performance Excellence: Stories of Success from The Real World of Sport and Exercise Psychology. The contribution examines her transition from athletic identity to becoming a professional in exercise and sport psychology. Some of her recent work has also been nationally recognized, including receiving the 2022 Doctoral Scholar and Graduate Writing Awards from the American Kinesiology Association, the 2021 Joanna Davenport Poster Presentation Award from the National Association for Kinesiology in Higher Education, and the 2021 Lawrence Bruya Original Research Award from the Western Society of Kinesiology and Wellness.

Awards & Accomplishments

  • Graduate Writing Award, 2022 | American Kinesiology Association (AKA)
  • Doctoral Scholar Award, 2022 | American Kinesiology Association (AKA)
  • Lawrence Bruya Original Research Poster Award, 2021 | Western Society of Kinesiology and Wellness (WSKW)
  • Joanna Davenport Poster Presentation Award, 2021 | National Association for Kinesiology in Higher Education (NAKHE)


  • Szarabajko, A., Campos-Hernandez, V., Cardinal, B. J. (2021). Physical education graduation requirements in Oregon’s tertiary institutions. Journal of Kinesiology and Wellness, 10, 56-64.
  • Szarabajko, A., Cardinal, B. J., Dailey, D., Ughelu, N.E., & Wambaugh, D. (2021). Field audit of strength and conditioning coaches instructional and motivational language repertoire. Journal of Anthropology of Sport and Physical Education, 5(3), 3–10. doi
  • Massey, W. V., Szarabajko, A., Thalken, J., Perez, D., & Mullen, S. P. (2021). Memories of school recess predict physical activity enjoyment and social-emotional well-being in adults. Psychology of Sport & Exercise. 55.
  • Szarabajko, A. (2020). Life beyond sport. In M. L. Sachs, L. S. Tashman, and S. Razon, Performance excellence: Stories of success from the real world of sport and exercise psychology (pp. 24-27). Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield.