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Arnold School of Public Health


Russell Pate receives 2015 Lifetime Achievement Award from President's Council on Fitness, Sports & Nutrition

May 3, 2015 | Erin Bluvas, bluvase@sc.edu 

Russell Pate, professor of exercise science, has been named a 2015 Lifetime Achievement Award recipient by the President’s Council on Fitness, Sports & Nutrition (PCFSN). Presented annually since 2007, the Lifetime Achievement Award is given to individuals whose careers have greatly contributed to the advancement or promotion of physical activity, fitness, sports and nutrition-related programs nationwide. Recipients are selected by members of PCFSN based on the span and scope of an individual’s career, the estimated number of lives they have touched and the impact of their legacy. Pate is one of five individuals receiving the award in this year.

An exercise physiologist, Pate’s research focuses on promoting physical activity and physical fitness in children and understanding the health implications of physical activity. He has published more than 300 academic papers, making major contributions to the university’s academic and research communities since joining the Arnold School in 1974. Pate was the founding chair of the Department of Exercise Science, a unit that is consistently tops in the nation for its kind in the areas of scholarship, research funding and national awards.

Outside the university, Pate has served as a national leader in the field of physical activity and public health, leading the development of the National Physical Activity Plan and serving as president of the National Physical Activity Plan Alliance. Pate has also served on the U.S. Dietary and Physical Activity Guidelines Advisory Committees, served on several panels for the Institute of Medicine, and held the office of president of the American College of Sports Medicine and the National Coalition on Promoting Physical Activity. His awards include the 2014 Governor’s Awards for Excellence in Scientific Research and Excellence in Scientific Awareness as well as the 2012 Honor Award and 1996 Citation Award from the American College of Sports Medicine.

“Dr. Pate's outstanding scientific contributions to the field of exercise science exemplify the very highest level of scientific activity in South Carolina and the nation,” says Prakash Nagarkatti, the university’s vice president for research.

Today, Pate is focused on his Children's Physical Activity Research Group (CPARG), where he leads a team of faculty, staff, postdoctoral fellows and graduate students in examining how low levels of physical activity contribute to obesity and developing programs to increase children's physical activity.

“I often say that if you ask world leaders in this area to name the top researchers in this area, Russ will be one of the first two or three mentioned,” said Steve Blair, researcher and professor in the Arnold School’s Department of Exercise Science and the Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics. Blair was a recipient of the President’s Council’s 2014 Lifetime Achievement Award.

Pate and his research team have generated over $25 million in research grant funding, much of that coming from the National Institutes of Health and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Over the past 15 years, CPARG has grown into a national leader in children's physical activity research.