Lawrence Armstrong, Ph.D., FACSM
University of Connecticut
Department of Kinesiology
Human Performance Laboratory
1. Please list your previous service to ACSM.
My uninterrupted membership in ACSM spans 31 years. I was elected to the National ACSM Board of Trustees, 2006-08 and have served on the ACSM Administrative Council since 2012.
I have served on the following National ACSM Committees: Annual Meeting Program Committee, 2012-2014; Publications, 2010-13; Diversity Action, 2004-14; Constitution, By-Laws & Operating Codes, 1999-2002, Chairperson 2001-07; Ethics and Professional Conduct, 1996-99; Minority Membership, 1992-94; Research Awards, 1993-96; Pronouncements, 1992-95; Project Review, 1988-91
The following Regional Chapters invited me to present keynote lectures: New England ACSM, Providence, 2005; Southwest ACSM, San Diego, 2007; and Southeast ACSM, Birmingham, 2008.
I served as a writing group member of three ACSM Position Stands: Exercise and Fluid Replacement, 1996; Heat and Cold Illnesses During Distance Running, Chairperson, 1996; Exertional Heat Illnesses During Training & Competition, Chairperson, 2007.
Since 1981, I have presented and chaired more than 25 free communications, posters, colloquia, tutorials, and symposia at National ACSM meetings and more than 20 at New England ACSM meetings.
I was an Editorial Board Member of Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise® from 2000-2012, and the Book Review Editor from 2005-2012.
In recognition of service to the New England Chapter of ACSM, I received the 1996 Honor Award.
I have served the New England Chapter of ACSM as President, 1991; Board of Trustees, 1992 to present; Board of Trustees Representative, 2004-06; Max! Newsletter Editor, 1993-98; Chairman, Honor Awards Committee, 1989-90; Chairman, Free Communications Sessions, 1986‑88; elected Executive Committee Member, 1986-88.
2. What is ACSM’s greatest strength and how would you make that aspect of the organization even stronger?
Diversity is our greatest asset. The more than 26,000 members of ACSM represent research, clinical, educational and student constituencies, in dozens of specialty areas. This variety of member backgrounds provides a wealth of knowledge and experiences that is unmatched by any other peer organization on earth. If elected, I will encourage nomination of a more diverse leadership. Diversity brings fresh ideas into an organization, which in turn enhances programs and services. My personal efforts to encourage membership diversity began in 1991, while President of the New England Chapter. I supported diversity at the national level of ACSM as a member of the ad hoc Minority Membership Committee from 1992 to1994. During the past 9 years, I have proudly served on the Diversity Action Committee, which now oversees a 3-tier mentoring program. Through this program, I also mentored a Doctoral student from UMass Boston; we presented a colloquium at the 2011 New England Regional Chapter Meeting. As an organization, we have taken strides to encourage diversity in recent years. Working through the Nominations Committee, I will encourage even greater representation of underrepresented minorities on the ACSM Board of Trustees and Executive Committee.
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?
Our second great strength involves the international relationships which ACSM has forged during the past decade. More than 10 percent of ACSM members, and 21% of annual meeting registrants, now reside outside the U.S., in over 90 countries. I strongly support ACSM policies which offer (a) free electronic access to ACSM journals for professionals and students from low income countries, and (b) scholarships for international students and professionals, who might otherwise not be able to attend annual meetings. I also believe that it is essential for ACSM to continue to influence positive health outcomes. One stellar example comes to mind: ACSM leaders participated in the United Nations Non-communicable Disease Summit in New York City. ACSM supported a successful U.N. Resolution, the first of its kind approved by heads of state, regarding the importance of physical activity in preventing and treating diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and chronic respiratory diseases. I strongly support strengthened ACSM global interactions.
4. What would be your first strategic priority as President of ACSM?
Firstly, I will encourage members to serve ACSM Regional Chapters and the National ACSM organization. The world-wide professional membership of ACSM represents a large source of creative energy, willing minds, hands and feet. Secondly, I will identify ways to link eager members with committees and projects, at the Regional and National levels. ACSM members have told me they want to get involved, but they do not understand the mechanism by which they might volunteer. I hope to make this process obvious and transparent. Thirdly, because I began my years of service to ACSM at the Regional Chapter level, I will encourage students and new members to contact Regional Chapter leaders and get involved at the local level.
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 am comfortable with international travel and multi-national corporations. I have served since 2008 as a member of the Scientific Advisory Board, Danone Research, France. During the past few years, I presented scientific lectures in England, North Wales, France, Switzerland, Spain, Indonesia, Singapore, as well as Hangzhou and Beijing, China. The latter, presented to the counterpart of the United States CDC, supported China’s efforts to establish adequate water intake standards, on the basis of regional surveys. I am also a Board Member of the Drinking Water Research Foundation of America.
During my 25-year term as a university professor, I have overseen more than 20 research investigations that were funded by U.S. government agencies and U.S. corporations. During the past decade, I have provided private consultation services to six major U.S. corporations regarding fluid-electrolyte balance, human thermoregulation, exercise metabolism, and nutritional requirements.
From 1983-90, I was employed as a Research Physiologist at a U.S. Government laboratory in Natick, MA. As a result, I understand government agencies.
I participated in the development of three policy statements of the National Athletic Trainer’s Association (NATA): Fluid Replacement for Athletes, 2000; Preseason Heat-Acclimatization Guidelines for Secondary School Athletics, 2009; Fluid Replacement for Athletes, currently in progress.
Attendance at the following professional conferences exemplifies my ongoing support of other sports medicine and exercise associations, in recent years: NSCA Connecticut Regional Conference (twice); NATA National Conference, St. Louis, MO; and NSCA Sport Specific Training Conference, Orlando, Florida.
My uninterrupted professional memberships since 1986 include the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology, the American Physiological Society, the Aerospace Medical Association, and the National Strength & Conditioning Association (NSCA).