The eighth annual Lawrence A. Golding Student Health/Fitness Scholarship winners will be honored during a keynote session at ACSM’s Health & Fitness Summit & Exposition in Las Vegas, NV, March 12 to 15. The recipients, Amanda Fett, from the University of South Florida (USF), and Stacey McCutchan, from Loyola Marymount University (LMU) in Los Angeles, each will be awarded a $1,000 scholarship.
The scholarship, awarded in honor of Lawrence A. Golding, Ph.D., FACSM, was created to publicly recognize undergraduate students who have made significant contributions to their communities in health, fitness, and/or education. The annual scholarship is underwritten by Healthy LearningTM and awards a $1,000 to two undergraduate students in their sophomore, junior, or senior year.
Fett is a senior in the Exercise Science Program at USF and is currently completing a worksite health promotion internship at MediFit in New York City. She also teaches group fitness classes in addition to personal training. “In a non-job-related sense, health and fitness are a way of life for me. I seize every opportunity to share what I know about wellness, educating friends, family, clients, and acquaintances, and empowering people, including myself, to live healthy and find balance,” Fett said.
Fett, who is an ACSM Certified Personal TrainerSM, said that she plans to attain both ACSM’s Health Fitness Specialist certification and the ACSM/ACS Cancer Exercise Trainer certification. “I believe strongly in the health benefits and power of exercise, and I think it would be a tremendous opportunity to be able to work with cancer patients — helping them gain a sense of peace and strength as they fight or recover from such a terrible disease,” she said. Fett says one of her ultimate goals is to develop a wellness education and coaching program for school-aged children, particularly teens and young adults. “I really enjoy working with teenagers and feel that there is great room for improvement in terms of their wellness education, self-confidence, and appreciation of living a healthy lifestyle as they begin to establish themselves as individuals,” Fett explains.
Fett, who credits her upbringing and life experience for her inspiration to pursue health and fitness, is excited to attend ACSM’s Health & Fitness Summit. “I am absolutely thrilled and honored to be accepting the Golding Scholarship. I am really looking forward to meeting other health and fitness practitioners and professionals who also share my enthusiasm for wellness and having the opportunity to learn about the most recent research and developments related to health and fitness,” Fett said.
Bill Campbell, Ph.D., CSCS, FISSN, assistant professor of Exercise Science at USF, who nominated Fett, had this to say, “It is exciting to have the opportunity to be around a future leader in the health/fitness industry such as Amanda Fett. She possesses a philosophy of exercise and fitness that is very comprehensive in nature, one that will transform the lives of those whom are blessed to be educated by her. Whatever her future holds in the fitness industry, it will be one of impact and advancement of the ideals that ACSM has advanced.”
McCutchan, a senior studying Natural Science, with an emphasis on Pre-Physical Therapy, at LMU, credits her parents as her inspiration. “My parents instilled in me the importance of physical activity. From a young age, they encouraged me to maintain an active daily lifestyle through participation in various sports and other activities,” she explained. “Their encouragement helped form and strengthen my appreciation for exercise and physical activity and my desire to share that passion with others.”
In addition to her studies, McCutchan serves as a teaching assistant for a course on Exercise Physiology and volunteers as a coach and mentor for an inner-city running team of at-risk youth. “As a coach, I help the team train for a 5K race — teaching the importance of health and fitness therein — while mentoring them on ways to increase physical and mental health, self-esteem, confidence, and interpersonal relationship skills,” she explains.
McCutchan said that winning the Lawrence A. Golding Scholarship means a great deal to her and noted that she is grateful for the myriad of opportunities this scholarship presents. She also plans to attend ACSM’s Summit and looks forward to networking with other students, fitness enthusiasts, and industry professionals to expand her knowledge of and passion for health and fitness.
When asked about future goals, McCutchan said, “After completing my undergraduate studies at LMU this spring, I will pursue my Doctorate of Physical Therapy in the fall. I then plan to complete a pediatric physical therapy residency program in efforts to become board certified as a pediatric specialist.” McCutchan explains, “My aspiration to become a pediatric specialist stems from my passion for and desire to help future generations overcome their physical limitations and prevent injuries while teaching them the importance of daily physical activity as a means to achieve lifelong health and wellness. I believe working in the future role as a pediatric physical therapist will further strengthen my commitment to health and fitness and enable me to achieve my goal of helping others lead happier, healthier lives.”
Professor Silvie Grote, M.S., who nominated McCutchan for the scholarship, said, “Nominating Stacey for the award was a natural choice. Her enthusiasm and passion for fitness are infectious. She values fitness for its obvious health benefits and also for the values they teach people of any age: dedication, commitment, and self-respect, among many attributes that aid in a journey to a healthier lifestyle. Stacey also is an excellent role model; she is a humble, patient, self-confident young health professional in training that leads by example.”
For the first time in the history of this scholarship, two runners-up also have been named, Tiffany McNeil and Marina Mejia Aguilar. The runners-up received $500 worth of products from Healthy LearningTM.
McNeil is a senior at the University of Utah majoring in Exercise Sport Science with an emphasis in Fitness Leadership and a minor in Nutrition. She is a figure skating coach at the Park City Ice Arena, where she works with skaters of all ages and abilities on achieving their competitive or recreational goals. She was a competitive figure skater for 15 years and said it wasn’t until she was injured that she realized she had a great passion for fitness and health. McNeil said she wants to continue her education to help her community achieve its optimum health and well-being.
Aguilar is a fourth year honor student at California State University–San Bernardino with a double major in Kinesiology-Exercise Science and Health Science-Health Care Management. She aspires to obtain a doctoral degree in Exercise Science with an emphasis in Exercise Physiology. Moreover, she would like to use her knowledge to create effective exercise programs that can help decrease cardiovascular disease and chronic illness rates. In 2012, she participated in six community clinics where she helped deliver health services and promote healthy living to more than 2,000 individuals.
Lawrence A. Golding, Ph.D., FACSM, has been a member of ACSM since 1961 and has been a professional in the field of kinesiology and physical education for more than 50 years. Dr. Golding is the founding editor-in-chief of ACSM’s Health & Fitness Journal® and was the chair of ACSM’s Health & Fitness Summit Program Planning Committee for 12 years. To learn more about the Lawrence A. Golding Student Health/Fitness Scholarship and other student resources, visit http://www.acsm.org/about-acsm/student-corner.