Gina Besenyi, PhD, MPH



Dr. Gina Besenyi is an assistant professor in the Department of Clinical and Digital Health Sciences, director of the Physical Activity Research in Community Settings (PARCS) Lab, and serves as coordinator for the Environmental Health concentration in the Master of Public Health program. Her research explores how built environments contribute to active living behaviors and population-level health outcomes across geographic and cultural contexts and how disparities within these relationships might be understood and rectified, including through citizen engagement in creating healthier communities. Within this broader field of environmental health promotion, she has a specific interest in the role of parks, green space and recreational facilities, and how availability, accessibility and quality of such community resources influence physical activity, especially among youth populations. She is a up-and-coming expert in how innovative technology such as geographic information systems (GIS) and mobile applications can be utilized within this public health research agenda to promote community participation and healthy environments.

Gina Besenyi
Gina Besenyi, PhD, MPH

Assistant Professor
MPH Coordinator, Environmental Health
Director, Physical Activity Research in Community Settings Lab
Department of Clinical & Digital Health Sciences
College of Allied Health Sciences
Augusta University
1120 15th Street, EC-4312
Augusta, GA 30912






Parks and Environmental Justice: GIS spatial analyses of disparities in access to quality park environments

Park Prescriptions: Linking the health care system to nature to create healthier, more active communities

eCPAT: Development of mobile technology to engage youth in active living policy, systems and environmental health promotion efforts

ParkIndex: Development of a prototype tool for advancing parks and public health research and practice

Healthy Community Study: Relationship of objective neighborhood quality attributes with youth physical activities


Community Park Audit Tool (CPAT)
Electronic Community Park Audit Tool (eCPAT)



Besenyi, G.M., Fair, M.L., Hughey, S.M., Kaczynski, A.T., Powers, A., Dunlap, E., & LiveWell Greenville Park Hop Team (in press). Park Hop: Pilot evaluation of an inter-agency collaboration to promote awareness, visitation, and physical activity in Greenville County. Journal of Park and Recreation Administration Programs that Work section.

Besenyi, G.M., Kaczynski, A.T., Wilhelm Stanis, S.A., Bergstrom, R., Oestman, K.B., & Colabianchi, N. (in press). Exploring sex differences in the relationship between park proximity and features and youth physical activity. Children, Youth, and Environments.

Parsons, A., Besenyi, G.M., Kaczynski, A.T., Wilhelm Stanis, S.A., Blake, C.E., & Barr-Anderson, D.A. (2015). Investigating issues of environmental justice in neighborhoods surrounding parks. Journal of Leisure Research, 47(2), 285. 

Kaczynski, A.T., Besenyi, G.M., Wilhelm Stanis, S.A., Koohsari, M.J., Oestman, K.B., Bergstrom, R., Potwarka, L.R., & Reis, R.S. (2014). Are park proximity and park features related to park use and physical activity among adults? Variations by multiple socio-demographic characteristics. International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity, 11(146), 0146-4.

Besenyi, G.M., Kaczynski, A.T., Wilhelm Stanis, S.A., Bergstrom, R., Lightner, J., & Hipp, A. (2014). Planning for health: A community-based spatial analysis of park availability and chronic disease across the lifespan. Health and Place, 27, 102-105.

Besenyi, G.M., Kaczynski, A.T., Wilhelm Stanis, S.A., & Vaughan, K.B. (2013). Demographic variations in observed energy expenditure across park activity areas. Preventive Medicine, 56, 79-81.