Dr. JoAnn Eickhoff-Shemek
Dr. JoAnn Eickhoff-Shemek, Ph.D., FACSM, FAWHP, Professor Emeritus
Dr. Eickhoff-Shemek, professor emeritus, is a distinguished academician in the Exercise Science program at USF. She served as the founding coordinator of the USF undergraduate Exercise Science program from 2003 – 2012. This nationally-recognized undergraduate Exercise Science program is well-known for providing course work and practical experiences that have prepared students to be successful professionals in a variety of job settings. Dr. Eickhoff-Shemek also developed and coordinated another successful academic program -- a master’s degree in Fitness and Wellness Management at her former institution, the University of Nebraska at Omaha (UNOmaha). Dr. Eickhoff-Shemek was nominated by her students for outstanding teaching awards that she has received at both USF and UNOmaha.
Dr. Eickhoff-Shemek is an internationally known researcher, author, and speaker in the area of legal liability, risk management and fitness safety. She has authored or co-authored numerous publications including 85 articles in refereed journals and 10 book chapters. She is the lead author of a groundbreaking, comprehensive textbook titled Risk Management for Health/Fitness Professionals: Legal Issues and Strategies. Published by Lippincott Williams & Wilkins in 2009, this is the first textbook to address the law, legal liability, and risk management principles designed specifically for exercise science and health/fitness students and professionals. Dr. Eickhoff-Shemek also is a co-author of another groundbreaking and comprehensive text published by the American Bar Association in 2017 titled Rule the Rules of Workplace Wellness Programs. (Barbara Zabawa, JD, MPH is the lead author of this text). This is the first text to cover worksite wellness laws/regulations and how to apply them in the design and delivery of high quality programs.
Dr. Eickhoff-Shemek presents several papers at professional conferences each year. She gave the keynote presentation – Risk Management and Trends in the Fitness Industry: What Australians Can Learn from the U.S. Experience -- for a national conference in Sydney, Australia in 2013. Dr. Eickhoff-Shemek was invited to assist with the Australia Fitness Industry Risk Management (AFIRM) project, a 3-year study funded primarily by Australia’s National Research Council and Fitness Australia. One of the outcomes of this project was a manual published in 2014 entitled The Australia Fitness Industry Risk Management Manual in which Dr. Eickhoff-Shemek was a contributor. She was invited back to Australia in 2017 to give another presentation and participate in a Forum sponsored by La Trobe University Law School in Melbourne.
In addition to teaching academic courses in legal liability/risk management/fitness safety, she has taught courses in fitness management, worksite wellness, health behavior theories/models, stress management, and professional development. Prior to becoming a full-time academician in 1994, Dr. Eickhoff-Shemek worked as a health/fitness manager and consultant in various settings (e.g., community, clinical, and corporate) for nearly 20 years. She is an active member of professional organizations having served in numerous elected and appointed leadership positions at the national level for over 30 years including serving as an Associate Editor and the Legal Columnist for ACSM’s Health & Fitness Journal for 10 years (2001-2011). Over her 40+ year career, Dr. Eickhoff-Shemek possessed several nationally-professional certifications in exercise science, worksite wellness, and health education. She received her Ph.D. from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in 1995 and was awarded Fellow of the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) in 1997 and AWHP in 1990.