Advancing health through science, education and medicine

Vice President Candidate:


NiCole Keith, Ph.D., FACSM

Associate Professor, Department of Kinesiology
Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis
Center Scientist, IU Center for Aging Research
Research Scientist , Regenstrief Institute, Inc.
Indianapolis, IN

1.  Please list your previous service to ACSM.

For two decades I have served on committees with a focus on mentoring students to ACSM membership, members to ACSM leadership, and leaders to ACSM Fellowship. I have committed to this focus through a lens of diversity and inclusiveness.  The following is a list of my previous and current service to ACSM.

1994-1995: NEACSM Student Representative

  • Attended NEACSM Executive Board meetings to offer a student’s perspective on the NEACSM Annual Meeting
  • Presented the Careers in Sports Medicine campaign that NEACSM delivered to several New England high school students

2002-present: Member, Minority Health and Research Special Interest Group

  • Network with and mentor other members with similar interests
  • Submit, chair, and present symposia with other interest group members

2003 – present: Chair, Ad hoc Committee on Diversity Action

  • 2005, co-authored ACSM’s first diversity statement
  • Monitor trends related to membership race/ethnicity
  • 2007-present: Oversee the ACSM Leadership and Diversity Training Program which is an application-based, competitive program to mentor and retain underrepresented minority members by offering three different levels that support ACSM membership; requiring involvement in ACSM meetings and committees; and requiring pursuit of ACSM professional presentations, publications, and Fellow status.

2008-2011 : Member, Membership Committee

  • Promoted membership engagement of student, professional, and Fellow members

2008-present: Advisory Board Member, American Fitness Index

  • Review American Fitness Index data report
  • Serve as a resource to staff and chairs regarding AFI presentation and community partners

2009-2012 : Member, Board of Trustees

  • 2011-2012 Administrative Council
  • Reviewed ACSM committee reports
  • Served as a resource to ACSM staff and Executive Director

2010-2013 : Member, Program Committee, Health and Fitness Summit

  • Reviewed and submitted Summit Program proposals for the Select Populations and Healthy Behavior Change and Motivation tracks

2010-present: Member, Strategic Health Initiative for Health Equity

  • Evaluate continuing education and certification materials from a standpoint of health equity

2010-present: Advisory Board Member, Exercise is Medicine® (EIM)

  • Provide support though research and presentation to continue the progress of EIM   

2010-present: Member, Exercise is Medicine for Special Populations Workgroup

  • Review EIM materials to ensure they are sensitive to individuals with special needs and/or who have limited access to health care or fitness professionals

2012-present:Member, ActivEarth Task Force

  • Serve as a resource to this initiative which focuses on environmental resource conservation through active transport

2013-present: Member, Nominating Committee

  • Review nominations and recommend nominees for the Board of Trustees and Executive Offices

I also have served as a reviewer for Medicine and Science in Sport and Exercise, The Health and Fitness Journal, and as an ad hoc reviewer for the Foundation Research Grant Program. 

I have organized, moderated/chaired and presented in several symposia and free communication sessions at both regional and national levels. 

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

ACSM’s greatest strength is our members, especially those who volunteer their time, talents, and resources.  ACSM benefits from the approximately 50,000 members and certified professionals who combine a wealth of knowledge and expertise to supply the nation and world with recommendations for health, fitness, and athletics participation prescription and policy. 

I began as a student volunteer with ACSM 20 years ago by encouraging students to consider pursuing a major related to exercise science, physical activity, or sports medicine.  My role was to recruit student members.  Student member participation continues to be vital in shaping the current and future state of the College. I will continue serving as a mentor to students and new members.  I also will work hard to recruit other professional members to serve as mentors in order to help grow and develop ACSM’s membership base. I will strive to strengthen membership impact by leveraging our members’ knowledge of racial/ethnic, cultural, professional, and experiential diversity related to exercise and health to influence national and international recommendations and policy that will work toward achieving health equity for underserved populations. 

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?

I would like to see ACSM create stronger mentoring opportunities for all Annual Meeting and Health and Fitness Summit attendees who desire this option. Our meetings can be overwhelming for those who are unfamiliar with the meeting programs, and very lonely for those who do not attend with a cohort of students and/or colleagues. The Annual Meeting already has the Women’s Breakfast, the Meet the Expert Luncheon, and several other events that provide networking opportunities.  Similarly, the Summit has a session on the first day that helps students and first-time attendees maximize their meeting experience and many opportunities to be physically active while socializing throughout the meeting. However, at both meetings, most events occur only once and could be missed due to lack of an invitation, limited event capacity, or discomfort on the part of the new attendee.  If a new practitioner, junior faculty member, or student arrives at either meeting without direction, meeting navigation and networking could be difficult.  ACSM could make progress by establishing formal mentoring programs at the Annual Meeting and Health and Fitness Summit and thereby helping new members feel more engaged and more inclined to retain their membership and return to subsequent meetings. 

4.  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.

In Indianapolis I am a Research Scientist of the Indiana University Center for Aging Research in the IU School of Medicine and an Investigator in Regenstrief Institute, Incorporated. I have several service roles to the YMCA of Greater Indianapolis. I am on the Steering Committee of the Top 10 by 2025, a group convened by the YMCA that aims to be a catalyst for individual, policy, system, and environmental change by aligning stakeholders’ strengths to make Indianapolis one of the 10 healthiest cities as evaluated by the ACSM American Fitness Index by 2025. I serve as advisor to the Health Equities Coach for the Indianapolis award from the YMCA of the USA’s Community Transformation Grant.  I also serve on the Health and Wellness Committee which oversees the Association wide health and wellness programming. Lastly I am a member of the Medical Advisory Sub Committee which annually reviews and advises the YMCA of Greater Indianapolis for successful implementation of national YMCA policy guidelines.

Nationally, I am a member of the Society of Behavioral Medicine (SBM) and belong to SBM’s Ethnic Minority and Multicultural Health Special Interest Group as well as the Physical Activity Special Interest Group. I have reviewed SBM conference abstracts.  I also have served as a program reviewer for the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Active Living Research Meeting and as a Guest Editor for the 2014 American Journal of Health Promotion, Active Living Research Supplement. I am an affiliate in the African American Collaborative Obesity Research Network (AACORN) which is a collaboration of U.S. researchers, scholars-in-training, and community-based research partners who are dedicated to improving the quality and quantity of research to address weight related health issues in African American communities.  I also serve on the American Kinesiology Association Diversity Task Force which aims to improve racial/ethnic diversity among Departments of Kinesiology across the United States.



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