Weston Kensinger, Ph.D.

Weston Kensinger, Ph.D.
Associate Teaching Professor of Biobehavioral Health, School of Behavioral Sciences and Education
Program Coordinator , Biobehavioral Health
Director, Douglas W. Pollock Center for Addiction Outreach and Research
Olmsted Building, W319

Dr. Weston Kensinger currently serves as the Director of the Douglas W. Pollock Center for Addiction Outreach and Research, an Associate Teaching Professor of Biobehavioral Health, and Program Coordinator of Biobehavioral Health at Penn State University. As Director of the Pollock Center, Dr. Kensinger oversees and manages an endowment of $2.5 million dollars which provides training, resources, and tools to community-based organizations and veterans throughout the state of Pennsylvania. His team at the center is focused on various projects that marry community outreach and evidenced based research to provide tangible outcomes in the area of Substance Use Disorder.

As an Associate Teaching Professor and Graduate Faculty Member at Penn State, Dr. Kensinger instructs courses and advises students in both the Health Education and Biobehavioral Health programs, as well as serves on numerous college and university level committees. Prior to directing the Pollock Center, Dr. Kensinger served as the Professor-in-Charge for the Health Education Graduate Program.

Dr. Kensinger earned his Ph.D. in Health and Human Performance at Oklahoma State University in 2010, his M.Ed. in Health Education at Penn State Harrisburg in 2006, and his B.S. in Allied Health Science at Bridgewater College in 2004. Dr. Kensinger has authored several peer-reviewed publications, presented his research throughout the country and internationally, and has been PI, Co-PI, or Faculty Sponsor over $12.7 million in external funding. His current outreach and research efforts are primarily focused on motivations of high risk health behaviors and stigma reduction, specifically as they apply to the opioid epidemic.

When not on campus, Dr. Kensinger is an avid fitness enthusiast and amateur paleontologist.


  • Community engagement to prevent opioid abuse
  • Motivations of high risk health behaviors in college students
  • Drug and alcohol use/abuse
  • Implementation of wellness programs
  • Therapeutic recreation activities in an elderly population

Whipple, C., Kaynak, O., Bonnevie, E., Grossman, J., Saylor, E., Stefanko, M., McKenon, C., Smyser, J., & Kensinger, W. S. (2022). The Opioid Epidemic and the State of Stigma: A Pennsylvania Statewide Survey. Substance Use and Misuse, 11.

Bonnevie, E., Kaynak, O., Whipple, C., Kensinger, W. S., Stefanko, M., McKeon, C., Mendell, G., & Smyser, J. (2022). The Life Unites Us Campaign: A Novel Approach to Addressing Stigma against Opioid Use Disorder. Health Education Journal, 13.

Siedschlag, A., Lu, T., Jerkovic, A., & Kensinger, W. S. (2021). Opioid Crisis Response and Resilience: Results from a Multi-Agency Tabletop Exercise at the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency. Journal of Homeland Security and Emergency Management, 18(3).

Luqius, R.L. & Kensinger, W.S. (2018). Applying the Health Belief Model to assess prevention services among young adults. International Journal of Health Promotion and Education, 56(4-5), 1-12. 

Kensinger, W.S., Barney, D., Baghurst, T., Tapps, T., & Divin, A.L. (2018). Barriers that affect African-American female college students from using the campus exercise and wellness facility. Asian Journal of Physical Education & Recreation. 24(1), 6-12.

Luquis, R.L., & Kensinger, W.S. (2017). Perceptions of health care and access to preventative services among young adults. Journal of Community Health, 42(6), 1204-1212.

Baghurst, T., Tapps, T., Kensinger, W.S. (2015). Setting goals for achievement in physical education settings. Strategies: A Journal of Physical and Sport Educators, 28, 27-33. 

Woolsey, C., Barnes, L., Jacobson, B., Kensinger, W.S., Niels, C.B., & Resnik, A. (2014). Frequency of energy drink use predicts prescription stimulant misuse. Journal of Substance Abuse, 35(1), 96-103.

Tapps, T., Baghurst, T., Kensinger, W., & Bruning, P. (2014). Exercise to reduce depression among the elderly: A practical application. Academic Exchange Quarterly, 18(1), 99-104.

Kensinger, W.S., Woolsey, C., Divin, A.L., & Tapps, T. (2014). College student motivational determinants for combining alcohol and energy drinks: Early identification could be the key. Drugs: Education, Prevention and Policy 21(1), 50-55.

Tapps, T., Passmore, T., Lindenmeier, D., & Kensinger, W. S. (2014). High school physical education students and experiential learning in the community: A classroom assignment. Strategies: A Journal for Physical and Sport Educators 27, 9-12.

Woolsey, C.L., Mannion, J., Williams, R.W., Steffen, W., Aruguete, M., Evans, M.W., Spradley, B., Jacobson, B.H., Edwards, W.W., Kensinger, W.S., & Beck, N.C. (2013) Understanding emotional binge eating: From sports training to tailgating. The Sport Journal, 16, ISSN: 1543-9518 (online).

Kensinger, W.S., Tapps, T., & Luquis, R. L. (2013). Assessing employee interest in wellness programs at colleges and universities. The Journal of the Oklahoma Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance, 50(2), 51-62.

Kensinger, W.S. & Divin, A.L. (2013). Perceived positive reinforcements experienced by college students when combining alcohol and energy drinks. Journal of Alcoholism and Drug Dependence 1(2). 

Ph.D, Health, Leisure, and Human Performance, Oklahoma State University, 2010

M.Ed, Health Education, The Pennsylvania State University, 2006

B.S, Allied Health Science, Bridgewater College, 2004

BBH 101 Introduction to Biobehavioral Health
BBH 301W Values and Ethics in Biobehavioral Health Research and Practice
BBH 310 Research Strategies for Studying Biobehavioral Health
BBH 411W Research and Applications in Biobehavioral Health
BBH 420 Developing Stress Management Programs
BBH 451 Pharmacological Influences on Health
EDUC 440 Educational Statistics and Measurements*
EDUC 586 Educational Research Designs*
HLTH 306 Physical Education, Health, and Safety in Elementary Schools
HLHED 406 Human Sexuality*
HLHED 415 Planning Health Education Programs*
HLHED 443 Alcohol and Drug Education*
HLHED 456 Advanced Educational Techniques in School and Community Health Education*
HLHED 530 Research Techniques in Health Education*
HLHED 552 Current Health Education Issues*
HLHED 590 Colloquium*
HLHED 591 Capstone Seminar in Health Education*
HLHED 596 Individual Studies*
HLHED 597 Special Topics – Social Marketing*
KINES 061 Fitness Theory
KINES 081 Wellness Theory
KINES 492W Programming for Businesses and Agencies
*Denotes Graduate Level Course