The ninth annual Lawrence A. Golding Student Health/Fitness Scholarship winners will be honored during a keynote session at ACSM’s Health & Fitness Summit & Exposition in Atlanta, GA, April 1 to 4. The recipients, Colin O’Brochta from Linfield College and Breanna Z. Orozco from California State University, Monterey Bay, (CSUMB) each will be awarded a $1,000 scholarship, a $1,000 credit to be used in the ACSM store, and complimentary registration to ACSM’s 2014 Health & Fitness Summit.
The scholarship, awarded in honor of Lawrence A. Golding, Ph.D., FACSM, was created to publicly recognize undergraduate students in either their sophomore, junior, or senior year who have made significant contributions to their communities in health, fitness, and/or education. The annual scholarship is underwritten by ACSM and Healthy Learning™.
O’Brochta, a senior studying exercise science at Linfield College, says he’s very passionate about promoting healthy lifestyle changes in his community. In 2013, he was given the opportunity to take part in an internship at a local clinic where he led a student nutrition and activity clinic for kids (SNACK). He explained that its mission is to promote lifelong health and wellness for kids and parents in Yamhill County, Oregon. “Through the SNACK program, I have a great opportunity to help a lot of young kids make huge changes in their lives to better their overall health for years to come,” O’Brochta said.
When asked about future goals, O’Brochta explained that his eventual goal is to become a physician’s assistant. “I love working with kids and also I’d love to specialize in pediatrics. I believe that educating kids about how to live a healthy lifestyle is a very important aspect of preventative health care.” He noted before applying to graduate school that he would like to continue his work with the SNACK program.
“Winning this scholarship means a lot to me because it reminds me that I can make a difference in the lives of others and I am honored to be recognized for the contributions I’ve made in my community regarding health and wellness,” O’Brochta said. He credits his parents, who both work in the health care industry, along with his professors at Linfield College, for inspiring him to get involved with health and fitness.
Janet Peterson, DrPH, FACSM, professor at Linfield College, who sponsored O’Brochta, said, “Without students like Colin, our community-based kids nutrition and exercise program would not exist. The experience Colin is gaining is a win-win for all concerned: the patients get personalized individual attention, the families are included, the physicians have exercise science students working with their at-risk patients, and Colin is building a base that will be beneficial as he pursues his graduate studies.”
Orozco, a senior majoring in kinesiology-exercise science at CSUMB, explained that her initial spark of interest in assisting underserved populations came from her summer research experience at the University of South California, where she studied the use of exercise intervention programs on decreasing metabolic syndrome in breast cancer survivors. “After presenting my research at an ACSM conference, tackling additional research projects addressing physical activity promotion at the worksite, and finishing two peer-reviewed papers, I have set a clear scholarly path for my Ph.D. degree in Biokinesiology,” Orozco said.
Orozco plans to become a research professor in the health and fitness field and credits her education, experiences as a young soccer player, her family, and her professors for inspiring this decision. “As an aspiring Latina research professor, I will serve as an exemplar for further underrepresented minorities in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). As a professor, I will apply the benefits of exercise as an alternative form of treatment by structuring effective exercise interventions to improve survivorship in diseased populations,” Orozco said.
“Receiving this prestigious award will open many doors for me. This award attests to my commitment to peruse a career in the health and fitness field,” said Orozco. She says she looks forward to attending the Summit and being surrounded by individuals with the same passion as hers.
Lisa Janzen Leininger, Ed.D., PAPHS, assistant professor of Kinesiology at CSUMB, who sponsored Orozco, said, “I nominated Breanna because she is bright, reliable, grateful, and spirited. She will be a fantastic research professor and will make enormous contributions to the health and wellness field! Watching her grow as a research and physical activity professional has been one of the highlights of my teaching career.”
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 ofACSM’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.