NEACSM Ballot 2018

Candidates for President Elect (Select 1 of 2)

Paul M. Gallo, Ed.D., FACSM, ATC, CEP, EP-C, CSCS  

Norwalk Community College

Dr. Paul Gallo has been the director of Exercise Science and Wellness at Norwalk Community College since 2004 and Adjunct Faculty at Teachers College Columbia University since 2011.  He holds a doctorate of education in applied physiology from Teachers College Columbia University and is a fellow of the American College of Sports Medicine.  Paul is active in research focusing on movement economy and resistance training in both persons with Parkinson’s disease and older adults and has publications in several peer-reviewed journals.  Currently, Paul serves as the Assistant to the Editor for the Journal of Clinical Exercise Physiology and is a member of the ACSM’s International Health and Fitness Summit Planning Committee.  He has also served as an editor and reviewer for textbooks and refereed journals within his area of expertise.       


Paul has been involved with NEACSM’s leadership since 2013.  Since that time, he has served the chapter in several capacities, including Connecticut State Representative, State Representative Committee Chair, and Member-at-Large.  Paul was involved with the 2013 Strategic Planning Committee, where he proposed and spearheaded the development of the State Representative Committee.  Through the State Representative Committee, Paul led an advocacy project that targeted underrepresented colleges in the New England region to increase student and faculty involvement with chapter events.  As Member-at-Large, he has chaired the Sponsorship Committee, which included coordination of the exhibitor areas at the fall and spring meetings and developing sound partnerships with sponsors that support chapter programming.  In an effort to increase involvement of professional members with chapter services, he designed and implemented the NEACSM Volunteer Interest Booth.  Paul was also instrumental in the development and implementation of the Leadership Workshop, which was ACSM Grant Funded, and focused on engaging young professionals within our membership with career planning and networking.  He has enjoyed working with other executive committee members to help with the College Bowl planning and has written questions for this event. 


As President-Elect, Dr. Paul Gallo plans to continue contributing to the growth of the chapter.  He plans to offer sound programming that includes the translation of evidence-based science to practical application of exercise programming.  During his term as President, he looks to find new and innovative ways to engage both students and professional members through academic programming, networking, scholarship, and outreach.  A long time goal of Paul’s is to serve the same chapter that allowed him to grow professionally and afforded him many learning opportunities.        

William Lunn, Ph.D.

Southern Connecticut State University

Hello, I’m Bill Lunn.  You may remember me from such NEACSM presentations as “Please Save the Cheeseburger!” and “There’s No Such Thing as Lactic Acid!”  While these titles may be folksy and lighthearted, I am downright serious about their intent in the sports medicine community.  As an Associate Professor of Exercise Science and Director of the Human Performance Laboratory at Southern Connecticut State University, Fellow of the American College of Sports Medicine, and annual presenter at NEACSM, I have devoted my professional career to be an educator of reason and a researcher unafraid of exploring controversial topics.  What is exciting about sports medicine is it is a neophyte among the sciences- what is accepted as truth may not be so absolute.  Each week, we see empirical evidence that turns conventional wisdom on its head, whether it is nutritional intervention for disease prevention, training methodology for performance, or even new anatomical discoveries (the interstitium!)  However, we are also subject to self-professed experts in said topics who would rather use sensationalism and inferential leaps than evidence-based science to make claims.  As your chapter president, I want to provide a greater platform for our established scientists, and more importantly, our developing students, to communicate scientific discoveries that may make people ‘pleasantly uncomfortable’- that is, to provide new perspective on ideologies that are not as established as once thought.  Science is in my blood- I earned a B.S. in Chemistry at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, a M.S. in Exercise Science at Southern Connecticut State University, and a Ph.D. in Nutritional Sciences at the University of Connecticut.  As long as I have been an academic professional, I have espoused the notion of adhering to the scientific method and implored my students to be the quintessential scientist- ask questions, and develop the answer in a logical manner.  By providing opportunities for students and professionals to hear and disseminate truly worthy, contrarian research, perhaps I can turn the tide of ‘bro-science’ and loud, opinionated non-scientists holding sway over educating the layperson on sports medicine.  You have the privilege of membership in one of the most supportive and forward-thinking chapters in ACSM, and you now have the opportunity to have one of its active servants lead you in promoting more scientific reasoning in sports medicine reaching the masses.  The biggest consumer of sports medicine research is the layperson who knows little about the ‘science’ of exercise science.  I feel I can help bridge that gap between expert and layperson by providing a forum of debunking myths and introducing new ideas. 


Thank you for your consideration, and I appreciate your vote!   

Candidates for Members at Large (Select 2 of 5)

Nicole Mendola, M.S.

Norwalk Community College

Nicole Mendola, RCEP, C-EP, GEI, EIM III, has been a fulltime faculty member within the Exercise Science and Wellness department at Norwalk Community College since 2013.  She has also been the Group Exercise Instructor Certificate Program Coordinator since 2014.  In addition to her work within the Exercise Science and Wellness department, she currently sits as the Wellness Committee Chair at Norwalk and is committed to improving the health and wellness of the campus through targeted physical activity, nutrition and health promotion programming for the community at large.  She received her B.S. in Exercise Science and her M.S. in Clinical Exercise Physiology from James Madison University.  Her passion for clinical exercise physiology and her interest in chronic disease and the aging population has influenced much of her research.  Her current research focuses on cardiovascular adaptations to exercise training in healthy individuals as well as on resistance training adaptations in older adults.  Nicole believes that it is important to be involved in professional organizations related to the discipline of exercise physiology and therefore has also taken on leadership roles within the organizations she is involved in.  She currently holds the position of State Representative Committee Chair and Connecticut State Representative for the NEACSM and is an active member of the Clinical Exercise Physiology Association (CEPA) Membership committee.

Mario Muñoz, Ph.D.

University of Massachusetts, Boston

I’m originally from Puerto Rico where I studied Physical Education at the University of Puerto Rico, Rio Piedras Campus. Upon graduation I was offered a graduate assistantship at Northern Michigan University in Marquette, Michigan, from where I obtained an Exercise Science master degree majoring in exercise physiology. I returned to Puerto Rico and started teaching as an adjunct faculty at different colleges and universities of the island. Also, getting involved in the development of young athletes of different sports by providing consultation in strength and conditioning and overall conditioning of the athletes.

In 2006 I was accepted at Boston University where I completed a PhD degree in Rehabilitation Sciences. It was during my time at Boston University that I was offered a Lecturer position at the University of Massachusetts in Boston in the Department of Health and Exercise Sciences. It was at UMass-Boston where I met Dr. Laurie Milliken who at the moment was the president of the NEACSM and she invited me to be the representative for Massachusetts in the chapter.


As a PhD student I applied to the ACSM’s Diversity and Leadership Training Program on which I completed all three levels of the program. I’m currently in my last year of service as a member of the Membership Committee for national ACSM and on my first year as the Co-chair of the ACSM’s Minority Health Research Special Interest Group.


My current line of research is to examine the extent to which health related fitness, skill-related fitness components, self-efficacy toward physical activity, motor coordination and acculturation levels predict physical activity participation and sedentary behaviors in Latino children.

Scott Tapley, Ph.D.

Southern Connecticut State University

I am currently an Assistant Professor in the Exercise Science Human Performance department at Southern Connecticut State University. I teach in the areas of strength and conditioning, exercise physiology and exercise testing and prescription. Prior to commencing my role at SCSU in the fall of 2017, I was a postdoctoral research fellow at the Australia Center for Research into Injury in Sport and its Prevention (ACRISP) and a lecturer in the School of Health Sciences and Psychology at Federation University Australia where I obtained my Ph.D in Applied Sports Science in 2014.


My research profile is focused on enhancing athlete safety and performance through appropriate prescription of training. As an 11-year Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) with the National Strength and Conditioning Association and a practicing strength and conditioning I am able blend my teaching and research with my practical industry experience as a strength and conditioning in both the United States and Australia. I would like to help serve the New England Chapter of the American College of Sports Medicine by bringing together liked minded professionals from different disciplines within exercise science and medicine to help educate the people of region on the ‘Exercise is Medicine’ initiative.

Sarah Witkowski, Ph.D.

Smith College

I have been a member of NEACSM since my arrival to Massachusetts in 2010.  NEACSM is known for providing excellent opportunities that engage and excite students about the fields of exercise science, sports medicine, health and fitness. I first became an ACSM member in 1999.  Since that time, I have attended many National and Regional meetings, giving presentations, serving as session chair, and supporting students in their presentations.  I have served on the ACSM Research Review Committee since 2013.  I have been an ad hoc reviewer for both Medicine and Science in Sport and Exercise and Exercise and Sports Sciences Reviews.  I have been the NEACSM faculty representative for my school since 2015.


I am currently an associate professor of Exercise & Sport Studies at Smith College. My current research evaluates changes in vascular function associated with menopause and the role of physical activity to mitigate CVD risk in women. I am highly committed to engaging students in my teaching and research.  Learning integrity, cooperation, critical thinking, and communication are life-long skills that can be developed by students through classroom and laboratory experiences.  I have witnessed the empowerment students gain from engaging in NEACSM meetings.  My students have presented their research at the NEACSM conference, won awards, listened to well-known speakers on contemporary topics, and seen the interesting work from other students around the chapter.  Therefore, I strongly support the mission of NEACSM and would be honored to support a chapter with such a rich history in our field.

Brandon Yates, M.S.

Harvard University

Brandon Yates, MS, CSCS, USAW is currently the Sr. Clinical Research Coordinator for The Football Player’s Health Study at Harvard University, Research Associate for the Sports Safety Program at the Hospital for Special Surgery, and Research Fellow in the Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Department at Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital. After completing his M.S. degree in Exercise Science at the University of Connecticut he began a research fellowship at the U.S. Army Research Institute of Environmental Medicine examining the impact of high altitude and thermal stress of military performance. He then accepted a position as Sr. Exercise Physiologist/Lab Manager at the Boston VA Medical Center, Geriatric Research and Education and Clinical Center (GRECC) to assist studies seeking to identify the effect of rehabilitative exercise on cognition and mobility in elderly adults.

Brandon is an active member of the American College of Sports Medicine, American Physiological Society, and National Strength and Conditioning Association. He currently serves on the Diversity Action and EIM-Older Adult Advisory committees at the national level for ACSM and is the NEACSM Membership Committee Co-Chair. 


Steven Davi, Ph.D. Candidate

University of Connecticut

My name is Steven Davi and I am by trade an Athletic Trainer but I also hold degrees in exercise science and neuroscience. Currently, I am pursuing my doctoral degree at the University of Connecticut and have worked as a member of both the Human Performance Laboratory and Comparative Orthopedics Research Laboratory in research areas such as ACL injury, patellar tendiopathy, neuromuscular dysfunction, biomechanics, and rodent models of muscle and joint injury.  Outside of the laboratory I work as a teaching assistant for the Athletic Training Program and as an Athletic Trainer at Eastern Connecticut State University.  These environments have given me valuable experience overseeing undergraduate students as a graduate mentor and as a clinical site preceptor at Eastern Connecticut State University.           


This past fall I was accepted into NEACSM’s peer mentor program, which proved to be a fruitful experience in terms of mentorship and networking.  This summer I will be presenting an original research poster at the ACSM meeting in Minneapolis. While I do not have prior experience working under an ACSM regional chapter I have spent the past three years working in the Connecticut Athletic Trainer Association’s public relations committee.  Here I have helped organize several educational events and fundraisers that bring professionals from our field together.   


Overall, I believe the student representative position will be a good opportunity for my expansion outside of athletic training.  This will allow me to not only gain greater exposure to the larger sports medicine community but also pass along knowledge and experience I have obtained while working with the Connecticut Athletic Trainers Association.   

Jessica Sudock, Ph.D. Candidate

Springfield College

I received my Bachelor’s Degree in Exercise Science from Central Connecticut State University. At CCSU I was a member of the Women’s Lacrosse Team, SAAC, and the Exercise Science Club, helping foster my ability to manage time and create relationships with many individuals. I presented my undergraduate research at NEACSM and participated on the CCSU College Bowl Team in 2014.

In the summer of 2015, I participated in an internship at Hartford Hospital, allowing me to see the value of research and how collaboration can be vital within our field. ACSM provides a plethora of opportunities to collaborate and grow their knowledge base. Opportunities like this, is one of the many reasons I am pursuing the position of Student Representative.


I completed my Master’s Degree in Exercise Physiology at Springfield College in 2017. My Master’s thesis looked at the effect of hypohydration on non-oxidative performance. During the NEACSM Fall’17 Conference and listening to other professional present their research, I developed my research question for my dissertation. 


I am currently working on my PhD at Springfield College and working as a graduate fellow, allowing the opportunity to interact with upcoming exercise professionals at Springfield College. This opportunity has pushed me to want to connect with other young minds within the field.   ACSM provides opportunities to grow and collaborate. Being a Student Representative will allow me to promote these opportunities for others. It would be an honor to represent NEACSM within this position.