In Memory of


Travis W. Beck, Ph.D.


Travis Wayne Beck died Sunday, February 26 after a brave fight with cancer. He was born on December 6, 1979 at Hastings,  Nebraska to Wayne and Maria (Hart) Beck of Edgar, Nebraska. His early years were spent helping out his dad on the family farms. He graduated from Sandy Creek High School in 1998 and Doane College in 2002.

Travis then went onto his graduate studies. After the completion of his Ph.D. at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in 2007, Travis accepted a position at the University of Oklahoma in the Department of Health and Exercise Science where he taught undergraduate and graduate courses in exercise physiology and statistics. He became a tenured Associate Professor in 2013. He made significant contributions to the fields of surface electromyography, mechanomyography, digital signal processing, and neuromuscular physiology and was considered by many to be in the top 1% of his field. He served as an Associate Editor for the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, and reviewed manuscripts for dozens of other journals. Travis was a respected and accomplished scientist with over 250 peer-reviewed publications to his credit. However, his greatest impact to the field was through the mentorship of doctoral students in the Biophysics Laboratory, all of whom have gone onto their own successful academic careers where they teach and mentor their own students using many of his techniques. He was loved and admired by his students. His legacy will forever live on through his teachings and scientific work.

In his free time Travis enjoyed weight lifting, welding and spending time with his family. While his academic career brought success, his favorite place was still his family home in Edgar. He found great joy in helping his dad with farming duties, driving tractors and watching his nieces and nephews play.                 

He is preceded in death by his nephew Paul Bertellotti; grandparents Harold and Lovena Beck; Robert and Lucille Hart.    

Travis is survived by wife Mary Beth Beck and stepdaughters Rachael and Rebecca of Noble, Oklahoma; parents Wayne and Maria Beck of Edgar, Nebraska; sisters Carrie (Robert) Bertellotti of Omaha, Laura (Kelly) Hoffart of Hickman; nephews Lincoln and Merrick; nieces Halsey and Sara Grace, aunts, uncles and cousins. 

Contributions to the Travis Beck Memorial Scholarship can be made at the
 OU Foundation website or by clicking on this link. 

The Department of Health and Exercise Science

Our interdisciplinary program is one of the largest in the College of Arts and Sciences. The program integrates the biological, physiological, medical, and behavioral sciences as they relate to physiological responses to exercise and other aspects of human health. Our faculty specialize in the areas of Exercise Physiology and Health Promotion and have expertise in muscle and nerve physiology, body composition, bone physiology, endocrine function, health and aging, biological signal processing, stress management, designing and evaluating theory-based health programs, prevention of childhood obesity, public health and individual nutrition behaviors, physical activity measurement, tobacco use prevention, social marketing, health disparities, efficacy of health coaching on chronic disease management, impact of historical trauma on diabetes risk and management, social determinants of health, obesity and weight management, and functional movement assessments.

Career opportunities exist in hospitals and other medical and clinical settings, research laboratories, physical therapy and other rehabilitation facilities, health and fitness centers, academic institutions and public health agencies.

The Department of Health and Exercise Science is a member of the
 American Kinesiology Association