Dr. Thom McKenzie, who joined the SDSU faculty in 1980 and officially retired as Emeritus Professor of Exercise and Nutritional Sciences in 2004, remains professionally active as a physical activity and policy researcher and program consultant. A native of Canada (degrees from the University of New Brunswick and Dalhousie University), he is a former school physical education and health teacher, coach, and administrator. He has also been an Assistant Professor at the University of Texas at Austin, the director of residential camping programs for obese individuals, and a 16-year performance enhancement consultant with the USA National/Olympic Volleyball Teams.
Thom has authored or co-authored over 250 peer-reviewed papers and chapters, developed numerous internationally-adopted assessment and curricular materials, and presented over 500 papers at state, national, and international conferences (see http://thomckenzie.com). He is a Fellow of four professional organizations: the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM), the American Academy of Kinesiology and Physical Education (AAKPE), SHAPE America (formerly AAHPERD), and the North American Society of Health, Physical Education, Recreation, Sport and Dance Professionals.
Thom been an investigator on 15 large-scale multidisciplinary research projects supported by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) over a 33-year period. These include being the co-founder (with Dr. Jim Sallis) of SPARK (Sports, Play, and Active Recreation for Kids). SPARK was developed through a series of grants funded by NIH (approximately $4.2 million over 12 years) and continues to generate funds for SDSU with royalties obtained through national dissemination (see www.sparkpe.org). Thom has also been a co-investigator on CATCH (Child and Adolescent Trial for Cardiovascular Health) and TAAG (Trial of Activity for Adolescent Girls), three obesity prevention programs targeting homes, schools, and community recreation centers, and four studies with the RAND Corporation investigating physical activity in parks across the USA.
Thom’s expertise in designing and assessing physical activity programs for diverse populations is widely recognized. He has been a member of the Science Board, President’s (US) Council for Physical Fitness and Sports (2006-2009) and many other national committees. In 2003 he received the prestigious International Olympic Committee President’s Prize for sport and physical education program development, research, and scholarship from AIESEP (International Association for Physical Education in Higher Education).
Since ‘retiring’, he has been the AAHPERD Alliance Scholar (2004), R. Tait McKenzie Award winner (2005), and Dudley A. Sargent Awardee (NAKPEHE, 2007). In 2009 he received the McCloy Lecture Award from the Research Consortium, AAHPERD, and the Public Service Award from the International Society of Behavior Analysis (SABA). He has also received three major awards from the National Association for Sport and Physical Education (NASPE): Curriculum and Instruction Academy Honor Award (2006); Physical Education Teacher Education Honor Award (2010), and the Hall of Fame Award (2012), NASPE’s highest honor. He also has received the 2016 RQES Lecture Award, an Honorary Doctorate of Sport and Health Sciences (University of Jyväskylä, Finland), and the Lifetime Achievement (2012) and Science Board Honor Awards (2014) from the President’s Council on Fitness, Sports, and Nutrition.