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Husson University Names First-Ever Geneva Allen Professor

Published on: May 6, 2024

A headshot of a man in front of a rack of exercise balls is shown.

Husson University has named Ben Sidaway as the first-ever Geneva S. Allen ’49 Professor in Health Sciences.

“It’s a tremendous honor to be the first Geneva Allen Endowed Professor in the College of Health and Pharmacy. We have so many good researchers in the college, so I am flattered to have been chosen,” Sidaway said.

The professorship is named for the late Geneva S. Allen, who graduated from Husson University in 1949 and again in 1995. As the first professor to hold the position, Sidaway plans to mentor and support professors in the College of Health and Pharmacy, encouraging additional scholarship as well as collaboration between subject areas. 

“We are so grateful that Geneva S. Allen chose to support Husson University with an unrestricted estate gift that has been used to create this endowed professorship as well as create a fund to honor outstanding Husson faculty and staff. Geneva was a very special woman and an endowed professorship is an enduring tribute to her and the highest honor we can bestow on a faculty member,” said Executive Director for Major Gifts Warren Caruso. 

Scholarship, including the publishing of peer-reviewed papers and presenting papers at conferences, is not only to advance science and medicine but also required to maintain the professor rank and align with our academic program accreditator’s expectations for faculty within their respective disciplines. Further, scholarly work provides students an opportunity to work with faculty researchers learning the value and process of research and its benefit to their subject area. 

“For newer faculty who haven’t yet established a scholarly record, it can be hard to know where to begin or what qualifies as scholarly work. I am looking forward to helping faculty initiate, develop and maintain their scholarship. I am also hopeful to bring together faculty from different disciplines to collaborate on research projects,” Sidaway said. 

Sidaway has an extensive background in both applied and basic research in motor control, motor learning, and biomechanics. He received a BS from Loughborough University of Technology in England and a MS in Physical Habilitation from Liverpool University in England. He also has a MA in Motor Behavior and Biomechanics from the University of North Carolina and his Ph.D. in Motor Control/Learning from Penn State University. 

Before joining Husson University, Sidaway was director of the Motor Behavior Lab at Louisiana State University. In his most recent research, he has examined ways in which to improve gait and skill learning in older adults and in people with Parkinson's disease. He is also currently collaborating with mechanical engineering faculty from the University of Maine in the development and use of a wearable haptic feedback system for gait training in older adults.

Sidaway received the Distinguished Faculty Research Award at the 2024 Husson University Research and Scholarship Day.

“Dr. Sidaway is an internationally recognized researcher whose work is frequently cited by other researchers. Husson University is fortunate to have an academic of his caliber on our faculty and I look forward to seeing how his experience will benefit research and scholarship at Husson in the future,” said Lynne Coy-Ogan, senior vice president for academic affairs, provost and president-elect.

For more than 125 years, Husson University has prepared future leaders to handle the challenges of tomorrow through innovative undergraduate and graduate degrees. With a commitment to delivering affordable classroom, online and experiential learning opportunities, Husson University has offered quality educational programs in business; health and education; pharmacy studies; science and humanities; and communication. For more information about educational opportunities that can lead to personal and professional success, visit

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