In the PARCI Lab, we use scientific methods from behavioral psychology and dissemination & implementation as well as the art, practice, philosophy and science of yoga to help people live the good life, or to flourish.
We measure the Flourishing Index (a holistic measure of happiness, life satisfaction, mental and physical health) and capture people’s lived experiences through qualitative methodologies.
The communities we serve are vast—from cancer survivors to academics ourselves—and we always use a participatory approach to answer questions that are both empirically and practically meaningful.
Samantha sits at a restaurant in Costa Rica
"In the PARCI lab, I have the privilege of training scientists and practitioners to impact the lives of others. As a registered yoga instructor and academic, I use science and the personal experience of clients, participants, and myself to promote that being active can change your life: You can avoid chronic disease, feel better in your body & mind, and maintain or find a better quality of life."
Samantha M. Harden, PhD, 500 RYT
Experiential learning, goal setting, and knowledge acquisition through guest lecturer or workshop for organizations or institutions. Timing can vary based on your needs.
Email email@example.com to inquire.
Summer 2023 Events
Frazier, PhD Student
Translational Biology, Medicine, + Health
Interdisciplinary Graduate Education Program
Goofball cyclist. Food fiend. Excited about dissemination & implementation science. Enjoys sweaty yoga, waving at dogs, making playlists, finishing a good book, and playing outside. Would love to teach you basic bike maintenance.
Current ResearcH Personnel
Megan Pullin, M.S., 500 RYT
Yoga Therapist and Program Manager
FIRE with a dash of WHITEWATER. Yoga Therapist, Personal Trainer, and Amateur Martial Artist. Enjoys lifting heavy things, deeeeep belly laughs, kicking it with my dawgs and dogs, trail runs with hair blowing in the wind, playing harmonium, and digging in the dirt. Believes that all beings deserve the space to step into their full potential! Let's create it together!
Clinician Research mentees
Dr. Shannon Armbruster
Dr. Armbruster is a gynecologic oncologist working to promote physical and mental health among endometrial cancer survivors (ECS). Recipient of an iTHRIV K award, for which Dr. Harden is a co-mentor with Dr. Jamie Zoellner (University of Virginia), the team aims to adapt an existing evidence-based program for the needs of ECS and their support team members.
Dr. Madalina Macrea
Dr. Macrea investigates novel exercise programs for veterans with COPD and other pulmonary disorders. We are particularly interested in interventions that are welcoming, relevant, and fit within the veteran's lifestyle and preferences.
Dr. Liz Courtney
Dr. Courtney is the Director of PREVAIL Program for Chronic Pain at the Salem VA Medical Center. She has partnered with Dr. Harden to explore the implementation of the Whole Health framework for the treatment of chronic pain. This innovative approach involves Veterans meeting with an interdisciplinary (interventional pain, psychology, pharmacy, nutrition, physical therapy) team (IDT) to develop patient-centered treatment plans based on the Whole Health and biopsychosocial models.
Clinical/Translational Research Coordinator at Vanderbilt University Medical Center
Current + past undergraduate research assistants
Human Nutrition, Food, and Exercise BS major and Senior Residential Well-Being Student Leader and President of Delta Epsilon Mu at the Alpha Gamma Chapter
Human Nutrition, Foods, and Exercise Science major. Loves cooking, staying active, and traveling!
Human Nutrition, Food, & Exercise major. Loves to run and spend time outside + is passionate about community health and wellness.
Human, Nutrition, Foods, and Exercise major with a Public Health minor. Very interested in studying all aspects of health and wellness within groups and communities. Lover of reading, the outdoors, traveling, and trying new things!
Human Nutrition, Foods, and Exercise major and Psychology minor. Loves plants, cooking, watching sitcoms, and playing tennis!
Human Nutrition, Foods, and Exercise. Certified nurse assistant and a food and fitness fan! Loves to run, lift, and get outside!
Human Nutrition, Foods, and Exercise major and Creative Writing and Integrative Health and Wellness minors. Enjoys hikes, walks, tennis, dancing, and spike ball. Aspires to become a physician.
Oker H, Harden SM. The Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans: A Pragmatic Exploration of Online Dissemination, Delivery, and Training During COVID-19. Translational Obesity Undergraduate Research Scholar. VT Undergraduate Research Summer Symposium. Summer 2020.
B.S. Cognitive and Behavioral Neuroscience; Integrative Health and Wellness minor
past graduate students
With Gratitude to Our Primary Funders
Project associate for the Family Nutrition Program
Extension Agent, FCS Spotsylvania County 540-507-7568 firstname.lastname@example.org
Extension Agent, FCS Rappahannock County (540) 727-3435 email@example.com
FCS Agent, York County and the City of Poquoson
Administrative Assistant, VCE State Office, Hokie Wellness Champion firstname.lastname@example.org
SNAP-Ed Agent, FCS Rockbridge County (540) 463-4734 email@example.com
FCS Associate Agent, Roanoke
VCE Physical activity team members
Title: Group-based exercise intervention for endometrial cancer survivors: Exploration of physical activity and quality of life impact
iTHRIV Scholars Mentored Career Development Program (iTSP); KL2-funded
Members: Armrbuster (Carilion, PI); Harden (VT) and Zoellner (UVA) co mentors
Date: July 1, 2022-June 30, 2024
Title: Yoga Inspired Movement: A multilevel approach to improve yoga self-efficacy, yoga practice, and health outcomes
Members: Harden (VT)
Date: September 1,2021- August 31, 2026
Title: Iterative adaptations of an evidence-based healthy lifestyle program for endometrial cancer survivors and their support network
Members: Harden (VT) + Armrbuster (Carilion + McCrickard (VT)
Date: July 1, 2022-June 30, 2022
Title: Translational Obesity Undergraduate Research Scholars (TOURS) (GRANT12551118)
Members: Good (VT), Harden (VT), Evans-Hoeker (VT Carilion School of Medicine)
Date: September 1, 2018--June 30, 2023