Peter Ronai has been committed to the professional organization and students throughout his career
FAIRFIELD, Conn.—The New England Chapter of the American College of Sports Medicine (NEACSM) recently honored Peter Ronai, exercise science professor at Sacred Heart University, for his stewardship and innovation by naming its annual College Bowl after him.
The NEACSM is a resource for exercise science, sports medicine, health and fitness information and networking opportunities in the New England area. It conducts and assists with public and professional programs, provides a member forum and publishes educational and research materials for public and professional use. The NEACSM is one of 12 regional chapters of the American College of Sports Medicine, the world’s leading sports medicine and exercise science organization.
Ronai, a professor at SHU for the last 10 years, founded the NEACSM’s College Bowl in 2004. The Jeopardy-style academic contest challenges select students from the member institutions with various sports medicine questions over the course of two rounds. The competition takes place at NEACSM’s annual, two-day, professional development conference each fall.
“The are many purposes to this competitive event,” Ronai said. “First, it connects students with the American College of Sports Medicine and the NEACSM, their two most important professional organizations. It allows them to meet with peers, network for jobs and learn about graduate schools. Another goal of the bowl is to encourage students to excel and do a good job throughout the semester. Students who excel get chosen to compete. So, the bowl is really about achievement, professional development and fun.”
Ronai conducts surveys to learn the types of topics and lessons each school teaches and then develops questions for the bowl. He is also the event’s emcee.
The bowl has grown under Ronai’s leadership and vision. All 12 chapters of the national American College Sports Medicine conduct contests at their individual conferences. The 12 winning teams compete against each other at the annual national conference.
“We have schools across the country competing to win the national crown,” Ronai said. The winning team receives prizes from sponsors.
Ronai said he never thought the bowl would bear his name. “It never occurred to me,” he said. “I did this so students could get involved and excel in sports medicine. I’m honored. I was just having fun and thought it would be good to connect students with their professional organizations and give them an incentive to work harder … I am very grateful to the organizations and to SHU for supporting me.”
“In reaching the conclusion to name the event after Peter, the committee also considered Peter’s longstanding service to NEACSM as a member-at-large, past president and board of trustee member, the quality presentations he delivers at our conferences every year, his reputation in the field of strength and conditioning, clinical exercise physiology and his selfless dedication to the chapter, its students and professionals,” said Dain LaRoche, past president of NEACSM.