How Students Can Get the Most Out of the Annual Meeting: A Brief Guide for Faculty

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How Students Can Get the Most Out of the Annual Meeting: A Brief Guide for Faculty

Nate Bachman, Ph.D., ACSM-EP, and Kerri Vasold, Ph.D. |  March 22, 2022

students in front of the "elevate" sign at ACSM annual meeting 2018After two years of virtual meetings and social distancing, we are excited to be back together in San Diego for the ACSM Annual Meeting! Due to the meeting format of the last two years, many students have yet to experience the Annual Meeting in person. Considering this momentous occasion, we’ve put together a brief guide to help faculty members assist their students in preparing for the meeting.   

The first event that should be added to your students’ schedules is the Student and Early Career Pre-Conference session. This event takes place before the Annual Meeting officially starts (Tues., May 31 at 3 p.m.), so make sure travel arrangements are made with this session in mind. The Pre-Conference is designed to help students and early career professionals gain knowledge and skills to assist them in career development. This year’s focus is diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI). Our session will include several formats, including a keynote, research talk and expert panel discussion with academics and clinicians. This event will help attendees prepare for careers in academic and clinical settings and gain thoughtful insights on DEI approaches from leaders in their respective fields.  

male student poster presenter at ACSM Annual meetingFor many students, attending the Annual Meeting is their first exposure to ACSM’s international research community and their first interaction with fellow ACSM members from across the nation. While ACSM excels at highlighting world-class investigators, students should be sure to attend the President’s Cup (Wed., June 1 at 3 p.m.) to view the top student research projects from each ACSM regional chapter. This event showcases the diversity of research from across the college presented by the student researchers at the forefront of the latest studies. Encourage your students to come for the talks and stay to network with their peers!  

Wednesday is filled with student events – the Student Colloquium will be held shortly after the President’s Cup (Wed., June 1 at 5:30 p.m.). This event is not to be missed! One of the top leaders in the college, former ACSM President Barry Franklin, Ph.D., FACSM, will be sharing his secrets to career success. This session will be packed with tips for students looking for an edge as they prepare to enter the job market or the next stage of their training.  

regional chapter student bowl winnersStudents with a competitive spirit should finish off Wednesday by attending the 15th Annual Student Bowl (Wed., June 1 at 7:30 p.m.). This Jeopardy-inspired game will consist of the winning teams from each ACSM Regional Chapter Student Bowl. Competitors will face off by answering exercise science trivia questions in hopes of becoming national champions! The event would not be complete without your students cheering on their chapter’s team.

The sheer volume of sessions at the Annual Meeting is enough to overwhelm first-time or returning attendees. Your students may be unfamiliar with the Wolffe Memorial Lecture, Exercise is Medicine Keynote, President’s Lectures, or any of the talks centered around the theme of the Basic Science of Exercise and Vascular Health. You’ll want to spend some time going through the program to help plan out your students’ meeting experience based on the topics that interest them. Facilitating networking with other professionals will also help your students develop plans beyond graduation and prepare and empower them to speak to presenters after sessions on their own!  

Recently, we surveyed our student members to learn how ACSM can better serve them. One of the key pieces of information that emerged was that you, the faculty, are the ones who keep the students informed about events in the college. Directing your students to the ACSM student events and assisting with networking will help them get the most out of their Annual Meeting experience!  

For more information, visit the Annual Meeting student webpage.  

Download a handout to share with your students


Bachman portrait 2019_CroppedNate Bachman, Ph.D., ACSM-EP, is an instructor in the Department of Kinesiology at Colorado Mesa University. Dr. Bachman has been active with Rocky Mountain ACSM (RMACSM) since 2013 and has served as the student representative on the RMACSM Executive Board and RM regional representative on the Student Affairs Committee. His primary career interest is to promote high-quality educational experiences for students in and out of the classroom. Currently, Dr. Bachman serves as the Chair of the ACSM Student Affairs Committee.

VasoldKerri Vasold, Ph.D., is the Student Trustee on the ACSM Board of Trustees and an Evaluation Specialist at the Michigan Fitness Foundation, a non-profit focused on active lifestyles and healthy food choices.