Carol Ewing Garber, Ph.D., FACSM, FAHA
Associate Professor (Movement Science)
Director, Graduate Program
in Applied Physiology
New York, NY
1. Please list your previous service to ACSM.
The honor you have given me by nominating me as a candidate to be the President is humbling. My broad experience as a clinician, community interventionist, researcher, and academic provides me with a unique perspective that will be an asset if I am elected. Through active membership in ACSM, I have become familiar with many aspects of the organization and have gained valuable leadership experience. In ACSM, I have had the honor of serving in numerous of roles since I joined as a graduate student in 1982. I began my active involvement in ACSM with the New England Regional Chapter, where I have served many roles including committee member, President, Treasurer and a long-term member of the Board of Trustees. Nationally, I have served as Vice President, a member of the Board of Trustees, interest group leader, certification committee executive committee, and chair of a writing group for an ACSM Position Stand. I have been a member of the membership, regional chapters, interest group, publications, pronouncements, public affairs, program, finance, and several ad hoc committees of ACSM, served as an associate editor and editorial board member of Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise®, and as a section editor and author/contributor to several ACSM publications including the ACSM Guidelines and Resource Manual.
2. What is ACSM’s greatest strength and how would you make that aspect of the organization even stronger?
ACSM’s greatest strength is its diverse membership, encompassing scientific and professional expertise ranging from the bench top to the sidewalk. Few other organizations have the depth and breadth of expertise to take knowledge gained through basic and applied research and translate it to “real world” settings: the clinic, playing field, training room, workplace, school, and the community. We have extensive expertise in many disciplines ranging from biomechanics to psychology, and in widely varied populations ranging from the elite athlete to the frail older person. In my opinion, a priority of ACSM is to foster interdisciplinary dialogue and strengthen the bonds between basic and applied scientists and practitioners, because we all have a lot to learn from each other. For example, basic and applied scientists can learn about real life problems encountered by practitioners that may help them identify new research problems, and practitioners can learn more about research that can inform their practice. For example, a dialogue about fatigue from physiological, biomechanical, psychological, and clinical perspectives may uncover new ways of thinking about how to improve athletic performance and reduce fatigue in people with chronic diseases.
3. What is a second area of ACSM that you would like for the College to make additional progress, and how could that best be done?
A second area where the College can make further strides is to continue to strengthen opportunities for mentoring and research support to students and junior scientists through formal and informal mentoring programs and by increasing ACSM funding for research. Concurrently we need to step up our advocacy efforts to increase funding for physical activity research. This advocacy effort needs a broad focus that must include keeping physical activity on the public policy and public health agenda. Decision-makers continually must be reminded how vital physical activity research and policies are to global health. Providing informal and formal activities at the annual and regional chapter meetings and via social networking can provide more opportunities for mentoring. Increasing ACSM funding is a more challenging goal, but it is an area in which I believe we can do much better. This work will help to strengthen our membership, foster future leaders of the College, and provide the necessary support to nurture the next generation of scientists and practitioners.
4. What would be your first strategic priority as President of ACSM?
Enhancing communications across our large ACSM membership is a challenge that should be a priority for our organization. As ACSM grows, we are involved in an increasing spectrum of initiatives, and it is important that we can effectively communicate with each other about these efforts. ACSM needs to direct efforts to develop and maintain multidirectional lines of communications among and across our many constituent groups to share ideas, encourage innovation, and to take on challenges presented by new opportunities. Strong lines of communications will help to effectively engage our greatest resource—our members-- and allow us to achieve ACSM’s strategic priorities. Continuing our dialogue across the membership areas of basic and applied science, allied health and education and medicine is key, and will help to ensure that ACSM can best meet the diverse interests of our membership and continue to grow as an organization.
5. 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 have had previous leadership experience in several other organizations. As the former president of the Rhode Island Affiliate of the American Heart Association, and the Rhode Island Prevention Coalition, and other organizations, I have been actively involved in fund raising, media relations, community coalition building, administering grants programs, administrative oversight, and advocacy efforts. I have served as a peer reviewer for numerous journals (including MSSE), the National Institutes of Health, American Heart Association, and the UK National Health Service. I have been active in my faith community as a committee chair, Board member, and teaching classes for adults and children. My work as a Fulbright Senior Specialist in Beirut, Lebanon, and other international experiences has provided me with a global perspective, and the knowledge that I can survive under adverse conditions. My athletic avocations of urban bicycle rider, long distance backpacker, and choral singer provide the stamina to meet challenges-- both physical and mental. In short, I am physically and mentally ready to serve. Thank you for your consideration of me for this position.