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Persistence and passion

Human Kinetics and Recreation professor receives national honours

Research

By Sandy Woolfrey-Fahey

Dr. David Behm, a professor in the School of Human Kinetics and Recreation (HKR), has come a long way since his spelling championship in Grade 5.

As an international scholar, he has helped elevate Canada’s recognition and status in exercise physiology research and racked up numerous impressive accomplishments along the way. But it is his most recent award that he says is his most significant recognition.

“For me this is not an award for brilliance or intellect. In my case, this is an award for persistence and passion for what we are doing.”

At its annual conference in Hamilton, Ont., last month, the Canadian Society for Exercise Physiology (CSEP) presented Dr. Behm with its highest form of recognition: the CSEP/SCPE Honour Award. This is the first time since the award’s inception 30 years ago that a researcher from Atlantic Canada has been recognized.

His acceptance speech was full of humour—like the reference to his spelling success—and also humility.

“For me this is not an award for brilliance or intellect,” he said. “In my case, this is an award for persistence and passion for what we are doing.”

He was also quick to acknowledge the team of colleagues, mentors and graduate students he’s worked with along the way who have contributed to his success.

“A teammate is always a teammate. You can’t get anywhere without a great team.”

Dr. Behm’s career has focused on various aspects of neuromuscular responses, adaptations associated with strength training responses, muscle activation and its impact on health and performance.

Dr. David Hood, a professor at York University, nominated Dr. Behm for the award. Dr. Hood says his nomination was based on the impact of Dr. Behm’s scientific work internationally and the contribution he has made directly to CSEP and Canadians through committee work and knowledge translation.

“Dr. Behm has been very productive in his research,” he said. “He has been an important leader in Canada in applied exercise physiology, especially in the areas of techniques for the measurement of muscle activation, instability resistance training and stretching.

“Dr. Behm’s work ethic, scientific impact and knowledge transfer activities serve as an exemplary role model for scientists not only in Atlantic Canada, but nationally and internationally as well.”

Read the full text of Dr. Behm’s award at http://bit.ly/1H6fD1T.


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