Advancing health through science, education and medicine

Trustee Candidate: Student

David P. Ferguson, Ph.D., RCEP
Postdoctoral Fellow
Children's Nutritional Research Center
Baylor College of Medicine
Houston, TX

1. Please list your previous service to ACSM.

I have been a member of ACSM for five years.  My first experience with service for ACSM was when I assisted the Southeast Student Representative with running the regional student bowl.  Since then I have been passionate about serving ACSM from the standpoint of increasing student involvement. I have directly served ACSM for the past three years.  I have been the student representative for the Texas Chapter of ACSM (2011-2013), where I served on committees to identify and honor undergraduate scholars; additionally I helped to refine the regional student bowl.  I have served National ACSM in two capacities. Both have allowed me to combine my two passions which are Motorsports Physiology and mentoring students. I serve on the ACSM Motorsport Health and Safety Committee (2010-2013).   My efforts on the Task Force for Motorsports Safety have been to increase awareness of the need for ACSM’s involvement in automobile racing.  Additionally, I a member of the Student Affairs Committee (2012-2013), where I was able to arrange for strength and conditioning coaches from the auto racing industry to speak at the 2013 ACSM Student Colloquium.  This event was a great success because it provided students with an opportunity to learn about a potential career path. Furthermore, it was beneficial for the strength and conditioning coaches because they were able to meet students that could be future interns or employees.  I wish to continue to serve ACSM with my goal being to provide students the opportunities to further their careers by participating in ACSM.

2. What is ACSM’s greatest strength and how would you make that aspect of the organization even stronger?

The ability of ACSM to disseminate knowledge is its greatest strength.  I am a product of ACSM showcasing how research can translate to practical sport applications. As an undergraduate kinesiology major and amateur racecar driver I attended a presentation at ACSM on the physiological demands of driving a race car.  The topics covered in this talk astonished me and inspired me to pursue a PhD in Exercise Physiology.  Because of this talk I have been able to publish several papers on Motorsport Physiology and work with NASCAR, IndyCar and Formula 1 teams.  Thus, ACSM has allowed me to disseminate knowledge to the racing community to help improve performance and safety. I am truly grateful for this and I wish to add to this strength by providing students with similar opportunities.  While there is potential to provide students with opportunities in motorsports there is a much larger need for ACSM involvement in other nontraditional sports (Mixed martial arts, snowboarding, etc.). By allowing passionate students to present abstracts, engage in discussion groups and interact with a diversity of ACSM professionals there will be an increased effectiveness in disseminating critical knowledge in these underrepresented areas.  

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.
As mentioned above I am very passionate about Motorsport Physiology.  Following the death of high profile racecar drivers I have worked to increase awareness on safety, health and fitness of both the drivers and pit crew members of race teams.  I have served as a consultant on proper physical conditioning practices for the NASCAR teams Stewart-Haas Racing, Hendrick Motorsports, Michael Waltrip Racing, Earnhardt Ganassi Racing, and Performance Instruction and Training.  I also consult with the Indycar team Novo Nordisk Ganassi racing and the Mercedes Petronas AMG Formula 1 team.  Lastly, I have taken a scientific advisor role with PitFit Performance and Training to help improve the physical fitness of youth who wish to become professional racecar drivers.  If elected to this position within ACSM I would like to increase the relationship of ACSM to motorsport racing and other nontraditional sports, specifically providing career opportunities in these areas for ACSM certified students.  

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