Jessica Meendering, an associate professor in South Dakota State University’s Department of Health and Nutritional Sciences, has been named a fellow of the American College of Sports Medicine. The fellowship recognizes professional members who have provided significant service to the organization.
ACSM has more than 22,000 members in the United States and more than 50,000 members worldwide from 90 countries representing 70 occupations within the sports medicine field.
Meendering, a certified exercise physiologist, leads the undergraduate exercise science program and the transdisciplinary obesity prevention certification program at SDSU. She is also co-director of the behavioral nutrition and physical activity laboratory.
“It’s an honor to be named a fellow. It’s exciting to have that title because I can show my students how this is an organization through which they can grow and continue to learn and give back to others through service,” Meendering said.
She has been a professional member of the organization for 10 years, but joined ACSM as a student in 2002. “I have presented at ACSM meetings since I was doing my master’s and Ph.D. work,” said Meendering, noting that her graduate mentor, University of Oregon professor Christopher Minson, was an active ACSM member. “He taught me the importance of getting involved in professional organizations for dissemination of research, but also for service to the profession,” she said, noting she tries to pass this message on when working with undergraduate and graduate students.
“You get connected as a student with people doing work similar to yours,” she pointed out. Meendering and her students have regularly presented at their research at meetings of ACSM’s Northland Regional Chapter, which covers North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska and Minnesota.
“The regional meetings are close by, so the exercise science faculty members go together and take graduate and undergraduate students,” Meendering said. “We introduce them to the organization and how these meetings can help them learn new, innovative information and gain continuing education for certification renewal.”
During the last five years, Meendering has served on the ACSM regional board and committees. In particular, she served as Northland Regional Chapter president in 2014 and worked with the 2018 strategic planning committee. She also was a co-author for a chapter on cardiorespiratory fitness assessment and exercise programming in an ACSM book titled “Resource for the Health and Fitness Specialist.”