Research Spotlight: Morgan Hughey

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“Movement, including sports and play, have always been a key part of my life. I played softball in college and as an undergraduate student, I joined my first research study to help collect data on how community members were using a newly constructed rail trail. I have been passionate about community physical activity ever since!”

Today, Morgan Hughey has traded the softball field for the world of research.

As an Associate Professor in the Department of Health and Human Performance at the College of Charleston, Morgan’s research interest lies in the impact of the built environment on physical activity, particularly emphasizing parks, recreation, and active transportation.

Her goal is to apply high-quality research methods and practices to facilitate evidence-based solutions, ultimately contributing to the enhancement of community health.

Current Work

At the moment, Morgan primarily dedicates her attention to two projects:

  • Playgrounds for Health in partnership with the World Playground Research Institute. Morgan has been studying play patterns on three unique public playgrounds in Charleston, South Carolina as well as examining the physical activity and community impacts of a playground renovation in North Carolina.
  • Park Equity Policy Scan in collaboration with the Trust for Public Land. Her primary role has been to lead a project to identify, categorize, and better understand policy solutions to increasing access to parks and green spaces in cities.

Additionally, Morgan was appointed to the City of Charleston’s Health and Wellness Advisory Committee earlier this year. The committee, comprising roughly 20 professionals from different sectors, gives recommendations to the City Council and the Mayor on community health and wellness initiatives. These recommendations play a vital role in raising awareness and providing educational opportunities on significant health issues, including physical activity and nutrition.

Future Plans

Morgan plans to continue her lifelong dedication to promoting active communities by expanding the two research initiatives. This involves conducting additional experiments on playground renovation projects with community engagement and training, while also evaluating specific policy initiatives to increase access to parks and green space.

Learn more about Morgan’s work at the College of Charleston:


Please feel free to contact the listed team members below. Select the team member to view their full profile, social media and contact details.