Hayley RussellFaculty

Associate Professor and Department Chair in Health and Exercise Science

Hayley Russell, PhD developed a lifelong love of sport and physical activity growing up in a small town in Nova Scotia. She further explored this interest by completing an undergraduate degree at St. Francis Xavier University in Antigonish, Nova Scotia, where she studied Human Kinetics and Psychology and completed an honors thesis on how psychological responses to sport-related injuries influence adherence behavior in injured varsity athletes. This first research project sparked her excitement to continue research in the field of sport and exercise psychology. 

Hayley went on to Wilfrid Laurier University in Waterloo, Ontario, to work with Dr. Jill Tracey exploring the role of health care professionals in addressing psychological responses to sport-related injuries in injured athletes, and ultimately completed a PhD at the University of Minnesota School of Kinesiology. Her dissertation work was with Dr. Diane Wiese-Bjornstal and examined the role of psychological responses to ACL reconstruction surgery in predicting physical outcomes, while also working on other research looking at psychological responses to marathon training in novice marathon runners.

After completing her PhD, Hayley was an Assistant Professor at Penn State Altoona for two years before joining the Department of Health and Exercise Science at Gustavus in the fall of 2016. She continues to conduct research in sport and exercise psychology and has most recently been exploring the long-term consequences of sport-related injuries in retired athletes and the impact of Strava use in runners. 

Hayley teaches classes in Sport Psychology, Exercise Psychology, Lifespan Development, and a First-Term Seminar on Youth Sport. Although Hayley loves sport and physical activity, she believes strongly that we should be mindful to not let our love of something limit our ability to think critically about it. She is passionate about helping students learn to critically evaluate their own biases about sport and physical activity, helping them to explore sport and physical activity as domains that can be both health-promoting and health-sacrificing, both inclusive and exclusionary, and to ultimately consider strategies to have more people have positive physical and psychosocial experiences in these domains. 

Hayley enjoys running, X-country skiing, reading, doing jigsaw puzzles, and spending time with her husband, JJ Akin ‘11, their cat Cleo and their dog Duke. 

Schedule a meeting with Hayley here

Recent Publications: 

Russell, H. C., Arendt, E., & Wiese-Bjornstal, D.M. (2024). Psychological responses during latter rehabilitation and return to sport following ACL reconstruction surgery, Journal of Athletic Training.

Russell, H. C., Potts, C., & Nelson, E. (2022). "If it's not on Strava it didn't happen": Preceived psychosocial implications of Strava use in collegiate club runners. Recreational Sports Journal.

Wilson, P. B., Russell, H. C., & Pugh, J. (2020). Anxiety may be a risk factor for experiencing gastrointestinal sympotims during endurance races: An observational study. European Journal of Sport Science


Certified Mental Performance Consultant - Association for Applied Sport Psychology

Certified Coach Level 1 - Road Runners of America


BA Human Kinetics - St. Francis Xavier University, M.Sc. Kinesiology - Wilfrid Laurier University, Ph.D. Kinesiology - University of Minnesota

Courses Taught

HES-212 (Lifespan Development), HES-391 (IS: Sport Psych Research), NDL-244 (ST: Advising Day), and PBH-330 (Health Behavior)

Synonym Title Times Taught Terms Taught
HES-212 Lifespan Development 17 2023/FA, 2022/FA, 2021/SP, 2020/FA, 2020/SP, 2019/FA, 2019/SP, 2018/FA, 2018/SP, 2017/FA, 2017/SP, and 2016/FA
HES-226 Exercise Psychology 6 2023/FA, 2023/JN, 2022/S1, 2022/FA, 2022/JN, and 2021/FA
FTS-100 FTS:Youth Sport 6 2022/FA, 2020/FA, 2019/FA, 2018/FA, and 2017/FA
HES-211 Health Behavior 4 2020/SP, 2019/SP, 2018/SP, and 2017/SP
HES-221 Adolescent Health 3 2017/FA, 2017/SP, and 2016/FA
NDL-323 Peer Malt II 2 2023/FA and 2022/FA
HES-244 ST:Exercise Psychology 2 2021/SP and 2021/JN
HES-344 ST:Sport Psychology 2 2020/SP and 2019/SP
HES-240 Sport Psychology 2 2019/JN and 2017/JN
HES-101 Foundatns of Wellbeing 2 2018/FA and 2018/SP
NDL-142 Intro to Sport Management 1 2024/JN
NDL-298 Challenge Seminar:Peer Malt I 1 2023/FA
HES-291 IS: Research Spo Psy 1 2023/FA
HES-326 Sport Psychology 1 2023/SP
HES-391 IS:Sports Psych Research 1 2023/JN
NDL-223 Peer Malt I 1 2022/FA
HES-115 Beginning Running 1 2022/JN
PBH-330 Health Behavior 1 2021/SP
PSY-242 Forensic Psychology 1 2020/JN
HES-218 Foundations of Coaching 1 2019/SP