Trustee Candidate: Education & Allied Health
Sofiya Alhassan, Ph.D., FACSM
University of Massachusetts
Department of Kinesiology
1. Please list your previous service to ACSM.
My dedication to the goals and long-range activities of ACSM are primarily illustrated by my current and previous service to ACSM and its members. I joined ACSM as a student in 1997. From 2007-2011, I was the co-chair then chair of the Minority Health and Research Special Interest Group. I have served as a member of the Healthy Airport Travel Task Force and the Strategic Health Initiative for Women, Sport & Physical Activity. I currently serve on the Constitution, Bylaws and Operating Codes Committee, Research Awards Committee, and Exercise is Medicine®: Underserved Populations Committee. I also have been a reviewer for Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise®. During Annual Meetings, I have organized, moderated and presented in symposia and free communication sessions.
2. What is ACSM’s greatest strength and how would you make that aspect of the organization even stronger?
ACSM’s greatest strength is the diverse research background of its members and the organizations ability leverages that strength by introducing junior and student investigators to cutting edge research. As a graduate student from Auburn University in the area of exercise and lipid metabolism, ACSM played a significant role in helping me shift my research focus to physical activity and obesity prevention in children. ACSM has been instrumental in providing me with colleagues and resources to pursue my current research interest, which involves improving the health of children. More specifically, my research interest is in the utilization of community and family-based physical activity interventions to reduce obesity in ethnic-minority children. If elected, I will work with other ACSM leaders to increase the breadth of research topics presented at the Annual Meetings. I will also work to increase ACSM diversity by further improving its international standing through Exercise is Medicine® (EIM) and other mechanisms. ACSM should be the first source of information regarding physical activity including physical activity policy. In order for ACSM to be the leading organization in all aspects of physical activity, we should continue to build partnerships with other organizations such as Society of Behavioral Medicine (SBM), Active Living Research (ALR), and International Society for Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity (ISBNPA). ACSM should be known not only for its strong science, but also for its commitment to addressing health disparities by continuing the work established by two past presidents. Additionally, I will work to increase ACMS’s mentoring of student members, particularly students of color. I will work to boost student opportunity and involvement, as they are ACSM’s future.
3. ACSM works closely with many other organizations, including associations, companies, philanthropies, and governmental agencies. Indicate those organizations/companies/agencies for which you play an advisory, consulting, or leadership role.
I am a member of the African-American Collaborative Obesity Network, ALR, SBM, and belong to SBM’s Ethnic Minority and Multicultural Health Special Interest Group. I am also a member of the National Institute of Health:NIDDK:Network of Minority Health Research Investigators.