Clarkson Undergraduate Travel Award
Photo caption: Colleen J. Sands, 2018 recipient of the Priscilla M. Clarkson Undergraduate Travel Award.
Colleen J. Sands, who studies Kinesiology at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, was awarded the Priscilla M. Clarkson Undergraduate Travel Award to attend the 2018 American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) Annual Meeting in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
The annual Priscilla M. Clarkson Undergraduate Travel Award was established in 2015 by a collaboration of Priscilla’s former colleagues and students to honor and continue her legacy. Among many other ACSM activities, Dr. Clarkson served as editor-in-chief of Exercise and Sport Sciences Reviews (ESSR) for several years.
Sands shared that her interest in the field and ACSM was sparked by her own passion for being active (as captain of the Division 1 University of Massachusetts Amherst Cross County and Track Teams), as well as by mentor Catrine Tudor-Locke, Ph.D., FACSM. Sands said of her mentor, “her passion and drive for research is infectious for the rest of us in her lab.” She said that Dr. Tudor-Locke’s success in the field has been inspiring to her as a young woman seeking to one day contribute in the field. She noted that “Dr. Tudor-Locke provides the perfect balance of challenges and opportunities to enhance my growth as a researcher, as well endless support, encouragement, and feedback.” One opportunity afforded to Sands by this mentorship was the chance to present at her first ACSM Annual Meeting.
Sands and coauthors presented the poster “Does Music-Based Cadence Entrainment Alter Metabolic Intensity?” The group investigated the relation between cadence (steps/min) and metabolic intensity, using music entrainment. The participants matched their steps to the beat of a song. The researchers recorded steps and used a portable indirect calorimeter to measure intensity (metabolic equivalents, METs). They found that participants succesfully matched the song tempo, with faster tempos eliciting increased intensity. The researchers concluded that this could be used as an effective method for evoking desired walking cadence and intensity.
Sands encouraged other young students and researchers to stay motivated. She said, “Be confident in where you are in your research and educational journey and use that confidence to make the most of all the opportunities available to you.” She also extolled the value of being an ACSM member — “being an ACSM member opens doors to meeting more role-model researchers and provides opportunities to further my knowledge through conferences, connections and being engaged in the research community.”
The ACSM Foundation offers one $1,000 travel award through the Priscilla Clarkson Memorial Fund. The purpose of the award is to provide assistance to help fund travel expenses accrued by one undergraduate student to present their scholarly work at the ACSM Annual Meeting.
Dr. Clarkson was a long-time ACSM member, serving at regional and national levels, including an appointment as the President of the New England Chapter and as the 44th President of ACSM (2000–2001). The College honored her with the Citation Award in 1997, as well as the Honor Award in 2005. Dr. Clarkson served as editor-in-chief of ESSR from 2006 to 2012. Her extensive academic career and service to the College shined most brightly through her passion for mentoring.
Readers interested in contributing to the Priscilla Clarkson Memorial Fund through a designated gift should contact the ACSM Foundation (go to http://www.acsm.org/acsm-membership/support-acsm-foundation or call 317–637-9200). Students interested in applying should check back at the site for submission dates. The award requirements and the application can be found at http://www.acsm.org/acsm-membership/support-acsm-foundation/grants-and-financial-support/travel-awards/priscilla-clarkson-undergraduate-travel-award.