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Positive Youth Development through Sport

Sarah Ullrich-French, Ph.D.

Associate Professor, Sport Science

Washington State University

About Dr. Ullrich-French:

Sarah Ullrich-French received her BA in Sociology at Seattle University (1997), MS (Kinesiology) and PhD (Kinesiology – emphasis in Sport and Exercise Psychology) at Purdue University (2003, 2006). Dr. Ullrich-French is currently an Associate Professor in Kinesiology at Washington State University and is the program coordinator for Kinesiology. She is the Communication Director and serves on the Executive Committee for the North American Society for the Psychology of Physical Activity.


Dr. Ullrich-French is an active reviewer, serving on the Editorial Boards for the Journal of Sport & Exercise Psychology, Qualitative Research in Sport, Exercise, & Health. In addition, she is on the Editorial Board and is Associate Editor for the Sport, Exercise, & Performance Psychology journal. Dr. Ullrich-French has 35 peer reviewed journal publications and four book chapters. She is on the graduate faculty with WSU’s Prevention Science PhD program.


Dr. Ullrich-French’s research examines social psychological factors of physical activity motivation and how physical activity experiences build social, emotional, cognitive, and physical growth. She is passionate about the power of physical activity to inspire positive growth and change. Currently she is also examining ways to increase positive and enjoyable physical activity experiences through mindfulness and “tuning in” to one’s bodily experience.


Dr. Ullrich-French has been a long-time distance runner. Highlights of her running career include representing the US on an international cross-country tour to Ireland (high school), running for Seattle University, qualifying for and running in the Boston Marathon, and dabbling in 50 kilometer trail runs. 


Currently she is spending most of her free time driving around the West to watch her 12 and 14 year-old’s sporting events.  A native of Pullman, she thinks there isn’t a better place to live than the Palouse.