Alan C. Utter, Ph.D., M.P.H., FACSM
Professor/Director: Office of
Appalachian State University
Department of Health, Leisure and
1. Please list your previous service with ACSM?
I have always considered ACSM to be the primary professional organization of which I have been a member since 1991. My service to ACSM over this 20+ year period includes elected leadership positions and serving on various ACSM committees, which has provided me with a well-rounded experience and the preparation needed to serve you as the next ACSM President and to execute the diverse educational, clinical, and research initiatives that ACSM delivers.
President of the Southeast American College of Sport Medicine (2008-2011)
Board of Trustees member (2006-2009)
Administrative Council member (2008-2009)
Associate Editor for Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise® (2002-present)
Editorial Board Member for ACSM’s Health & Fitness Journal® (2004-present)
Health-Fitness Content Advisory Committee (2006-present)
Health & Fitness Summit Program Committee (2005-2008)
Executive Council: Committee on Certification and Registry Boards (CCRB) (2005-2006)
CCRB: International Subcommittee (2003-2006), Clinical Track Subcommittee (1999-2002)
Workshop Director- ACSM Health/Fitness Instructorsm, Appalachian State University (1998-2007)
Certification Director and Lecturer- ACSM Health/Fitness Instructorsm: Beijing, China (2005); Rimini, Italy (2002); Barbados (2002)
2. What is ACSM’s greatest strength and how would you make that aspect of the organization even stronger?
One of ACSM’s greatest strengths, as reflected in our mission statement, is the dissemination of knowledge from scientific research and its practical applications for exercise science and sports. Two vehicles to relay this information are through ACSM publications and the Committee on Certification and Registry Boards (CCRB). As mentioned earlier, I currently serve as an Associate Editor for Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise® and sit on the Editorial Board for ACSM’s Health & Fitness Journal®. I have been involved with ACSM’s certifications for over 10 years, serving as a Director of the ACSM Health/Fitness Instructorsm Certification and Workshops at both domestic and international sites, Executive Board of CCRB, and international and clinical track subcommittee of CCRB. If elected President, I will continue to strive for excellence in these two components (publications and certification/registry) through soliciting involvement from selected ACSM members, promoting these endeavors among students, continuing my individual contributions, and fostering collaborations with other allied organizations and associations.
3. What is a second area of ACSM that you would like to for the College to make additional progress, and how can that best be done?
I believe that a particular strength of our College is not only our domestic membership but also our international colleagues. If elected President of ACSM I will continue to support and promote more international involvement and cultural diversity, programming, and input from our international members. A recent initiative from the Board of Trustees (which I supported) was to add a position for an “International Trustee” to our Board of Trustees. I was fortunate as a Doctoral student at the University of Pittsburgh to be surrounded by outstanding international classmates representing China, Brazil, Greece, and Ireland, all of whom have made significant contributions to ACSM throughout their academic careers. My interest in internationalization began not only as a student but also with my involvement with the CCRB International Subcommittee and my current participation in an international Ph.D. program in Physical Activity and Health administered through the University of Rome “Foro Italico”. I will continue to support the engagement of international programs, cultural diversity, research, and conferences in ACSM in collaboration with our International Relations Committee, CCRB International Subcommittee, and the Board of Trustees.
4. What would be your first strategic priority as President of ACSM?
At its core ACSM relies heavily on our Regional Chapters and student members. These two entities are closely linked, as it is in the Regional Chapter where many students are first exposed to ACSM. One of my first strategic priorities will be to visit with each Regional Chapter to ensure that their needs are being met and to see if anything could be done to assist in their operations. In the past we have been effective in making a conscious effort to attract more students to our Regional Chapter meetings. However, we as an organization must not only encourage students to attend our Regional Chapter meetings but also to attend and to get involved in the presentation of original research and new knowledge. In my current role as Director of our University’s Office of Student Research it has been rewarding to promote and facilitate both undergraduate and graduate students engaging in the research process with their faculty mentor. Having an undergraduate student present his/her research at an ACSM Regional Chapter or National meeting may indeed be the highlight of their academic experience, and thus ACSM is subsequently permanently part of that student’s experience. One of my priorities would be to work closely with Regional Chapters so that we can encourage more undergraduate students to present original discoveries at our meetings.
5. ACSM works closely with many other organizations. Indicate those organizations for which you play an advisory, consulting or leadership role?
For the past 20 years, I have been interested, from a research perspective, on weight loss issues related to health and athletic performance of athletes in weight-classified sports. Since the tragic deaths of three collegiate wrestlers within a 35-day period in 1997, I have worked closely as a research consultant with the National Collegiate Athletic Association’s (NCAA) Committee on Competitive Safeguards and Medical Aspects of Sports. In addition, I serve as the Chief Scientific Advisor to the National Wrestling Coaches Association (NWCA). I have also served on the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) Sports Medicine Advisory Committee and consulted with various state high school athletic associations in implementing statewide wrestling weight management programs. I am also a member of the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA), and currently serve as an Associate Editor for the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research. If elected as President of ACSM it would be my intent to strengthen the collaborations between ACSM and both the NCAA and the NFHS with a specific interest in the health and safety of youth sports participation.