March 21-24, 2019 • Hilton Chicago • Chicago, Illinois

Meet faculty member, Heather Chambliss!

Heather Chambliss, Ph.D., FACSM, University of Memphis, Memphis, TN Heather’s bio Did your career path start off with fitness? I was a Biology/PreMed major as an undergraduate and received my master’s in Counseling.  I grew up participating in gymnastics and cheerleading.  I always had a love and appreciation of all sports.  I knew I wanted to go on to get my PhD when I discovered the field of Exercise Psychology… a field that combined all of my academic interests in Biology and Psychology and incorporated my passion for athletics and fitness.  What is the most important career move you have made in your life so far? Choosing the degree of Exercise Psychology and completing a post-doc at the Cooper Institute in Dallas, TX were the two most impactful career decisions.  My graduate degree of Exercise Psychology provided the academic and scientific experience that allowed me to explore opportunities in both research and applied settings.  At the Cooper Institute, I was able to explore different career opportunities including research, writing, program design, and health coaching. Did you have a mentor, or was there a person in your life that inspired you along your path to get into this field? I have had several mentors in my life.  I have been blessed to have incredible teachers throughout my academic pursuits.  I have also enjoyed great relationships with colleagues that continue to inspire, challenge, and inform my path.  I am grateful that there are people I can call on for advice, whether it is for my career or to provide assistance with professional projects.  I encourage everyone to develop that network of...

Meet faculty member, Mary Yoke!

Mary Yoke, M.A., Adelphi University, Stormville, NY Mary’s Bio 1.     Did your career path start off with fitness? No.  My first two degrees are in voice performance (in other words, opera—with a minor in piano and ballet)!  I was quite successful as a young singer; I sang with the San Francisco Opera Merola Program when I was 24.  Unfortunately, I had vocal problems in my late 20’s, and I was fortunate to just wander into the field of fitness.  I got my second masters, in Clinical Exercise Physiology, in 1988.  2.   What is the most important career move you have made in your life so far? I guess it would have to be switching careers from music to exercise physiology.  Within the fitness field itself, I have been fortunate to have been asked to write, initially by AFAA, the Aerobics and Fitness Assoc. of America.  Subsequently, I’ve written and co-authored four books.  I never thought I’d become a writer! 3.   Did you have a mentor, or was there a person in your life that inspired you along your path to get into this field? Yes.  I owe a huge debt of thanks to Dr. Bob Otto, head of the Department of Human Performance at Adelphi University.  I returned to school because of him; he has always supported me and believed in me, even though I have the unlikely background of voice performance! 4.   What motivates you to exercise? I feel better; I look better; I know it’s the right thing to do.  I love the way my body feels when I’m feeling fit; I feel alive, vital, real, and...

Meet faculty member, Wojtek Chodzko-Zajko!

Wojtek Chodzko-Zajko, Ph.D., FACSM, University of Illinois, Urbana, IL Wojtek’s Bio Did your career path start off with fitness? My career paths started as a physical education teacher in London England. What is the most important career move you have made in your life so far? Deciding to leave PE teaching and become a graduate student at Purdue University. Did you have a mentor, or was there a person in your life that inspired you along your path to get into this field? I have been fortunate enough to have been blessed with a number of mentors and senior colleagues that have had a profound influence on me personally and the direction taken by my career. What motivates you to exercise? I am physically active because I feel good when I am active. What fitness activities do you participate in? I start my mornings with 10-15 minutes of resistance  exercises, then I walk my dog and run to work.  By choosing a healthy form of commuting, I do not have to worry about when to get my workouts in. What inspires you:  Personally.  Professionally.  Spiritually? I try to make a difference. How did you first become familiar/involved with ACSM? I attended my first ACSM national conference in 1984 and have not missed one since. What one piece of advice would you provide to up and coming health and fitness professionals? Have fun and strive to make a...

Meet faculty member, Wayne Westcott!

Wayne Westcott, Ph.D., Quincy College, Abington, MA Wayne’s Bio Did your career path start off with fitness? I began my college studies in the field of engineering at Penn State University.  At one point during my freshman year, my track coach asked me to consider a career in physical education/coaching. I thought that was an excellent recommendation, and proceeded to change my major to physical education (this was before the field of exercise science existed). What is the most important career move you have made in your life so far? Perhaps my most important career move was to leave my position as assistant professor of physical education at Florida State University to become a YMCA fitness director in the emerging field of physical fitness. I wanted to have some first-hand experience at exercise instruction for average adults and older adults, and then return to college teaching as a more knowledgeable professor in a new exercise science curriculum. My experiences were so positive working in YMCA fitness (especially the research studies) that it took me 30 years to come back to full-time college teaching. Did you have a mentor, or was there a person in your life that inspired you along your path to get into this field? As mentioned above, my college track coach (Dr. John A Lucas) was definitely instrumental in directing me into physical education. As time went on, I made the decision to move more towards exercise and fitness with less emphasis on sports skills and competitive athletics. What motivates you to exercise? My main motivation is to be healthy, and to be as fit as...