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Michele Olson

Dr. Michele Scharff Olson ’86

Senior Clinical Professor, Department of Sport Science and Physical Education; Director Institutional Review Board (IRB) for Human Subjects Research

Contact

Phone Number: (334) 833-4366
Office and/or Address: Flowers Hall, Room 308

Education

  • Ph.D., Kinesiology, Auburn University
  • M.Ed., Health and Human Performance, Auburn University
  • B.A., Education—Physical Education, Huntingdon College, Magna Cum Laude

Biography

Michele Olson, PhD, FACSM, CSCS

Known internationally as THE Exercise Doctor, Dr. Olson has directed numerous research studies resulting in over 90 publications in peer-reviewed professional journals. Areas of research expertise include:

  • Abdominal Exercise and Pilates
  • Energetics and metabolic responses to: Spinning, Pilates, Kettlebells and Tabata exercise
  • Body image and Eating Disorders in active women, dancers and athletes
  • Injury mechanisms with popular fitness activities: Running and Step Aerobics, etc.

Dr. Olson is a Fellow of the American College of Sports Medicine for outstanding service to research and is also an NSCA Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) and a Certified Disability Sport Specialist (CDSS II).

Her editorial and advisory boards include:

  • The ACSM Health and Fitness Journal
  • WebMed Central
  • Shape Magazine

Featured in:

  • The New York Times
  • LA Times
  • Chicago Tribune
  • Wall Street Journal
  • USA Today
  • Shape Magazine
  • Health Magazine
  • Pilates Style

Dr. Olson has also been featured in the exercise DVDS, “The 10-Minute Solution Kettlebell (style) Ultimate Fat Burner,” and “Fitness Prescription—Perfect Legs, Glutes & Abs.”

Her honorary associations include Phi Kappa Phi, Omicron Delta Kappa, and Phi Epsilon Kappa. The Huntingdon College Human Performance Lab is named in her honor: The Michele Scharff Olson Human Performance Laboratory, which Dr. Olson views as an honor to her family. Often thought of as an exemplary researcher, Dr. Olson’s love for working with learners is her greatest inspiration for working in the college setting.

Professional Experience

  • Senior Clinical Professor and IRB Director, Huntingdon College–Present
  • Distinguished Professor, Auburn University Montgomery, School of Education, 1996-2017
  • Auburn University Montgomery IRB Vice Chair
  • Accreditation Program Coordinator and External Review Chair, Kinesiology
  • Graduate Faculty, Auburn University, 2009 (Doctoral Committee)
  • Associate Professor, Huntingdon College 1990-1996, Tenured
  • Montgomery Cardiovascular Associates 1988-1990, Director of Preventive Cardiology

Selected Consulting and Boards

  • Expert Reviewer for WEB MED Central
  • American College of Sports Medicine Standards and Endorsements Committee
  • American College of Sports Medicine Health and Fitness Summit Program Planning Committee
  • American Heart Association
  • Baptist Medical Center Cardiac Rehabilitation

Education and Leadership Development in Industry

  • Reebok Fitness
  • Gaiam Fitness
  • Fitness EM (Empowerment)

CEU Leadership Provider and Consultant

  • American Medical Association
  • American College of Sports Medicine
  • American Council on Exercise
  • Aerobics and Fitness Association of America
  • Mainsail Consulting
  • Metro Fitness Center
  • Montgomery Country Club
  • Oyebog Tennis Association
  • Southwest Nevada Women’s Corrections

Advisory Board Service

  • Junior League of Montgomery
  • Ability Sport Network, Huntingdon College
  • WebMed Central
  • Girls on the Run
  • International Journal of Physical Therapy & Rehabilitation
  • Sports Medicine and Rehabilitation Journal
  • Journal of Dance Medicine and Science
  • American College of Sports Medicine Health and Fitness Journal
  • Shape Magazine
  • Health Magazine

Honors, Awards, and Commendations

  • 2013 Ida Belle Young Endowed Professorship
  • 2012 Auburn Research Week – Oral Presentation Award
  • 2009 AUM Alumni Outstanding Professorship
  • 2008 Robert Weisman Outstanding Research Award – College of Education
  • 2008 Robert Weisman Outstanding Teaching Award – College of Education
  • 2008 Alabama State Association for Physical Education Pride Award
  • 2006 Distinguished Teaching Professor Auburn Montgomery
  • 2000 Distinguished Research Professor Auburn Montgomery
  • 1999 Fellowship status awarded by the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) for outstanding service to research
  • 1998 Robert Weisman Outstanding Research Award – College of Education
  • 1998 Alabama State Association for Physical Education Research Chair
  • 1996 Who’s Who in American Education
  • 1996 American Red Cross Service Award

Grants and Contracts

  • Ability Sport Network Grant-Partnership (2015. $230,000.00 Education Trust Fund Grant – Director of Research and Assessment)
  • Rodale Inc. – Metabolic Training (2013. $4,500.00).
  • Research Equipment Grant – Biopac Electromyography System
  • AUM – School of Education Equipment Grant (2012. $8,000.00)
  • Empower Fitness, Inc. – Equipment Evaluation Project (2010. $81,500.00)
  • Ida Belle Young Grant (2009. $24,000.00.)
  • AUM Research Equipment – Moxus Metabolic Cart ( 2008. $8,000.00)
  • Alabama Department of Public Health. (2009). Steps, Health Promotion in Alabama. Funded for $43,500.00.
  • Alabama Department of Public Health. (2008). Steps, Health Promotion in Alabama. Funded for $28,500.00.
  • Auburn University Montgomery. (2007). Equipment Improvement Grant. Funded for $12,000.00
  • Alabama Department of Public Health. (2006). Steps for a Healthier Alabama. Funded for $30,050.00.
  • Alabama Department of Public Health. (2006). Steps to a Healthier Alabama. Funded for $10,000.00.
  • Alabama Department of Public Health, (2005). Steps to a Healthier Alabama. Funded for $31,600.00.
  • Olson, M.S., & Williford H.N. (2000). Validation of the Reebok Fushion Cardiovascular Machine. Funded for $6,000.00
  • Williford, H. N. & Scharff-Olson, M. (1994 to 1998). Baptist Health Center Grant for a graduate student assistant. Funded for $8,000 per year.
  • Grandjean, P. & Williford, H. N., Scharff-Olson, M. (1998). The influence of a single session of exercise on lipids and lipid-related enzyme activity in sedentary African-American Women. Funded for $4,500.00.

Scholarship and Professional Publications, 2005–Present, Selected Years

Note: all publications represent peer-reviewed research works; * represents papers also presented at professional meetings and conferences.

2016

  • *Olson, M.S., Rhem, J. Dorman, L.O. (2016) Predicting energy expenditure and intensity of youth wheelchair basketball: A pilot study using accelerometry (Abstract). NAFAPA Proceedings.

2015

  • *Olson, M.S., Clarke, H.E. (2015) The effectiveness of accelerometry during wheelchair basketball (Abstract). ASAHPERD Proceedings.

2014

  • Olson, M.S. (2014) Tabata: It’s a HIIT! ACSM Health And Fitness Journal. September/October – Volume 18 – issue 5.

2013

  • Olson, M.S. (2013). Core Strength: The “Anatomy” of Investigating Abdominal Exercises. ACSM Health And Fitness Journal. July/August – Volume 17 – Issue 4. (A Top 10 Most-Cited Research Publication for the ACSM)
  • *Olson, M.S. (2013). Tabata Interval Exercise: The Caloric Cost and Effects on Post-Exercise Metabolism. Medicine and Science in Sports & Exercise 44 (5) suppl.
  • *Snarr, R.. Olson, M.S. et al. (2013). TRX Suspension Training: An EMG Study. Medicine and Science in Sports & Exercise 44 (5) suppl.

2012

  • *Olson, M.S. (2012). Analysis of Yoga, Pilates and Standing Abdominal Exercises: An Electromyographic Study. Medicine and Science in Sports & Exercise 44 (5) suppl.
  • Esco M.R., Olson M.S., Williford H.N., Mugu E.M., Bloomquist B.E., McHugh A.N. (2011). Cross-validation of two heart rate-based equations for predicting VO2max in white and black men. J Strength Cond Res. [Epub ahead of print].
  • *Esco, M.R., Williford, N.N., Olson, M.S., McHugh, A., Bloomquist. B.E. Heart Rate Variability Following Two Different Exercise Modalities. Medicine and Science in Sports & Exercise 44 (5) suppl.
  • *Snarr R.L., Esco M.R., Nickerson B.S., Williford H.N., and Olson M.S. (2012). The accuracy of two heart rate based equations for estimating VO2max in collegiate male basketball players. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research.

2011

  • Olson, M.S. (2011). The Metabolic Cost of a Commercialized Video Fitness Program. International Journal Of Exercise Science 5(2) Article #2.
  • *Olson, M.S. and Williford, H.N. (2011). Body Shape Questionnaire Scores and Estimates of Bulimia in Women Aligned with Fitness Leadership (abstracted). Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise 36 (5) suppl. (A Top 25 Most-Cited Research Publication for the ACSM)
  • Esco MR, Williford HN, Olson MS. (2011). Skinfold thickness is related to cardiovascular autonomic control as assessed by heart rate variability and heart rate recovery. J Strength Cond Research 25(4): 2304-10.
  • Esco MR, Olson MS, Williford HN, Lizana SN, Russell AR. (2011). The accuracy of hand-to-hand bioelectrical impedance analysis in predicting body composition in college-age female athletes. J Strength Cond Research 25(4):1040-5.
  • *Esco M.R., Williford, H.N., & Olson, M.S. (2011). Resting Short-term Heart Rate Variability Is Different For Race And Aerobic Fitness Level. (abstracted). Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, 36 (5) suppl
  • Esco, M.R., Williford, H., & Olson, M. (2011). Abdominal skinfold thickness is related to cardiovascular autonomic function as assessed by heart rate variability and heart rate recovery. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research 25 (8), 2304-2310.

2010

  • *Olson M.S., Esco, M.R., & Williford, H.N. (2010). Body image concerns in African American college women: Athletes versus non-athletes (Abstract). National Strength and Conditioning Association Annual Conference Proceedings.
  • *Esco, M.R., Olson M.S., & Williford, H.N. (2010). Heart Rate Recovery and Aerobic Fitness: The Importance of Accounting For Race (Abstract). Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, 42(5).
  • Esco, M.R., Olson, M., & Williford, H. (2010). The relationship between selected body composition variables and muscular endurance in women. Research Quarterly for Exercise and Sport 81(3), 272 – 277.
  • Esco, M.R., Olson, M., & Williford, H. (2010). Racial differences exist in cardiovascular parasympathetic modulation following maximal exercise. Journal of Applied Research in Clinical and Experimental Therapeutics 10(1), 24 – 31.
  • Esco, M.R., Olson, M., Williford, H., Blessing, D., Shannon, D., Grandjean, P. (2010). The relationship between resting heart rate variability and heart rate recovery. Clinical Autonomic Research 20(1), 33 – 38.
  • Esco, M.R., Olson, M., Williford, H., Lizana, S.N., and Russell, A.R. (2010). The accuracy of hand-to-hand bioelectrical impedance analysis in predicting body composition in college-age female athletes. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research (published online first).
  • *Esco, M.R., Olson, M.S., Williford, H.N., Russell, A.R., and Gaston K. (2010). Skinfold thickness is related to cardiovascular autonomic control as assessed by resting heart rate variability (Abstract). National Strength and Conditioning Association Annual Conference Proceedings.
  • *Esco, M.R., Williford, H.N., Olson, M.S., Russell, A.R., and Gaston, K. (2010). The relationship between selected anthropometric variables, VO2max, and heart rate recovery (Abstract). National Strength and Conditioning Association Annual Conference Proceedings.
  • *Williford, H.N., Esco, M.R., Olson, M.S., Gaston, K., and Russell A.R. (2010). The accuracy of selected equations to predict maximal heart rate in African American men (Abstract). National Strength and Conditioning Association Annual Conference Proceedings.
  • *Kim, H., Esco, M.R., Russell, A.R., Lizana, S.N., Olson, M.S., Williford, H.N., Gaston, K. (2010). Body fat percentage in college-age female athletes as estimated via four selected skinfold equations: A dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry validation (Abstract). National Strength and Conditioning Association Annual Conference Proceedings.
  • *Russell, A.R., Esco, M.R., Lizana, S.N., Williford, H.N., Olson, M.S., and Kim, H. (2010). The accuracy of a BMI-based equation in predicting percent body fat in college-age female athletes (Abstract). National Strength and Conditioning Association Annual Conference Proceedings.
  • *Williford, H.N., Gaston, K, Esco, M.R., & Olson, M.S. (2010). The acute physiological responses of youth to an interactive video game (Abstract). Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, 42(5).

2009

  • Olson, M., Esco, M.R., & Williford, H. (2009). Body image concerns in a cohort of active college-aged men: A descriptive inquiry. Physical Educator 66, 45 – 54.
  • Esco, M.R., Olson M.S., & Williford, H.N. (2009). Influence of race on cardiac autonomic function following maximal exercise (abstracted). Journal of Cardiopulmonary Rehabilitation and Prevention.
  • Esco, M.R., Olson, M., & Williford, H. (2009). The relationship between selected body composition variables and muscular endurance in women. Research Quarterly for Exercise and Sport.
  • Esco, M.R., Olson, M., & Williford, H. (2009). Importance of Heart Rate Recovery in At-Risk or Clinical Clients. Strength and Conditioning Journal 31, 91 – 93.

2008

  • *Olson, M., Esco, M.R., & Williford, H. (2008). Prediction of Superficial Versus Deep Abdominal Muscle Activity During Selected Pilates Exercises (Abstract). Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, 40(5).
  • Esco, M.R., Olson, M., & Williford, H. (2008). Relationship of push-ups and sit-ups tests to anthropometric variables and performance results: A multiple regression study. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research 22 (6), 1862 –1868.
  • *Esco, M. R., Olson, M., & Williford, H. (2008). Sit-ups Performance In Pre-menopausal Women: Association To Waist Circumference And Abdominal Skinfolds (abstracted). Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, 40(5).
  • Williford, H. N., Scharff-Olson, M., Ford, T., Reilly, E., & Thornton, L. (2008). The status of Alabama youth and adults regarding physical activity and obesity. The Southern Business and Economic Journal, 29(3&4), 1-7.
  • Williford, H. N. & Olson, M. S. (2008) Selecting and effectively using an elliptical trainer. American College of Sports Medicine. www.ACSM.org.
  • Williford, H. N. & Olson, M. S. (2008) Selecting and effectively using a stair stepper/climber. American College of Sports Medicine. www.ACSM.org.
  • Williford, H. N. & Olson, M. S. (2008) Selecting and effectively using a health/fitness facility. American College of Sports Medicine. www.ACSM.org

2007

  • Olson, M., Esco, M. R., & Williford, H. (2007). The EMG of conventional abdominal exercise and exercise with a semi-upright commercial device: comparative effects and technique considerations. Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness 48, 43 – 48.
  • *Olson, M.S., Esco, M., Williford, H.N. (2007). Prediction of Selected Skinfold Measurements from Anthropometric and Performance Variables. Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, 39 (5) suppl, S—356.
  • *Corliss, C., Olson, M.S., Williford, H.N., (2007). Self-Reports of Female Athlete’s Experiences With a Parent-Coach in Youth Sports: A Qualitative Inquiry (abstracted). Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, 39 (5) suppl, S—410.
  • *Esco, M., Olson, M.S., Williford, H.N. (2007). Prediction of Selected Skinfold Anthropometric and Performance Correlates of Push-Ups and Sit-Ups Tests (abstracted). Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, 39 (5) suppl, S—353.
  • *Ramirez, E.B., Williford, H.N., Olson, M.S. (2007). Effects of a Static Stretching Versus Conventional Warm-Up on Power Output During Wingate Cycle Performance. Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, 39 (5) suppl, S—354.

2006

  • *Olson, M.S., Esco, M., Williford, H.N. (2006). Body Image and Muscularity is
    Regionally-Based in Young Men. Medicine & Science in Sports &
    Exercise, 36 (5) suppl, S—207.
  • *Esco, M.R., Olson, M.S., Williford, H.N. (2006). Body Image Perception Among Active College-Aged Men. Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, 36(5) suppl, S—267.
  • *Williford, H.N, Olson, M.S., Esco, M., Edwards, P., Bui, Y. (2006). EMG Activity of the Superficial Abdominal Musculature Using the Core Master Abdominal Trainer (abstracted). Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, 36 (5) suppl, S—239.
  • *Langer, K.M., Williford, H.N., Olson, M.S. (2006). Effect of Warm-Up condition on Drop-Jump Performance in Competitive Female Gymnasts. Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, 36 (5) suppl, S—239.

2005

  • Olson, M.S., & Myers-Smith, C. (2005). Pilates Exercise: Lessons From the
    Lab. IDEA Fitness Journal 2 (10), 38-43.
  • *Olson, M.S., Lindsay, A., Williford, H.N., Golding, L., Reilly, E., Esco, M., Ford, T. (2005). Body Image, Exercise and Substance Use in a Large Sample of Incarcerated Women (abstracted). Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, 36 (5) suppl, S—407.
  • Esco, M.R., Olson, M.S., Williford, H.N, Ellis, M., St. Martin, R., Woollen, E. & Ford, H.T. (2005). An Electromyographic Study of Current Abdominal Exercises Including Pilates. ASAHPERD Journal 1, 39-41.
  • Esco, M.R., Olson, M.S. & Williford, H.N. (2005). Muscle Dysmorphia: An Emerging Body Image Concern in Men. NSCA Strength and Conditioning Journal 27 (6), 76-79.
  • *Ford, T., Wang, Y.T., Olson, M.S., & Williford, H.N. (2005). EMG Analysis of Muscle Firing Patterns at the Shoulder and Elbow During the Volleyball Serve. Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, 36 (5) suppl, S—616.

Departments

Sport Science & Physical Education

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