Dr. Sandra Hunter named editor-in-chief of premier sports medicine journal

By Alex Nemec, marketing communication specialist

Dr. Sandra HunterFollowing a “rigorous application and interview search process,” Dr. Sandra Hunter, FACSM, has been named the new editor-in-chief of Exercise and Sport Sciences Reviews (ESSR), one of the leading journals published by the American College of Sports Medicine.

Hunter is a professor in the Exercise Science Program in the Physical Therapy Department and has been at Marquette for nearly 20 years.

She says the role is a significant moment in her prolific career and that she was “elated and grateful” to have been selected.

“I am thrilled to lead one of the flagship journals of ACSM with the support of a dynamic and committed group of associate editors,” Hunter said in an ACSM statement. “The potential impact of the information and perspectives in ESSR reviews have been and will continue to be tremendous, providing the underlying and cutting-edge science of exercise and sport that affects all our lives.”

Hunter has published more than 130 refereed articles and has received more than $13 million in research grants, so it is appropriate that her new position will rely on research and problem-solving.

“There are so many relevant issues that face us today, including the inclusion of the women athletes, the effects of health with activity, and the interaction with diseases such as COVID, and understanding how ‘exercise is medicine’ (the slogan of the American College of Sports Medicine) that are needed in our current and quickly changing world,” Hunter says.

She says in her new role she will be an advocate for women in exercise and sport science and provide a different voice — a woman’s voice — as a leader and gatekeeper to the best and most cutting-edge science in exercise, medicine and sports. All six journals in the American College of Sports Medicine are led by men, and only about 30% of the authors are women.

“This role allows me to direct the voices that are heard in publishing and ensure greater inclusion of women and diversity of thought,” Hunter said. “It’s important to me to serve as a model to other female academics and students that women’s voices need to be and can be heard in the scientific world.”

Dr. Allison Hyngstrom, chair of the Marquette’s Physical Therapy Department, said she is excited and proud of Hunter’s achievement.

“Dr. Hunter has shattered the glass ceiling by being named the next editor-in-chief of ESSR,” Hyngstrom said. “This achievement is Dr. Hunter’s latest in her esteemed history as a researcher and professor here at Marquette. I have no doubts she will excel in her role and usher in a new era of progress and prominence for the ACSM.”

Dean of the College of Health Sciences Dr. William Cullinan says Hunter’s appointment represents another example of the pursuit of excellence happening within the college.

“Dr. Hunter has been an invaluable asset to the Physical Therapy Department and Program in Exercise Science since she stepped onto campus in 2003, and has been instrumental in helping the department climb to its No. 13 spot in the U.S. News and World Report national rankings,” Cullinan said. “Her international reputation as a researcher will allow her to see the journal’s reviews in a unique way and in a way that I am sure will shine a brilliant light onto the publication.”

As editor-in-chief, Hunter will have full content responsibility and will ensure the mission, scope and core information is considered during the submission and publication stages while working with the editorial board and journal staff.  

Hunter will train and learn from outgoing editor-in-chief Dr. Roger Enoka until she assumes her official duties on Jan. 1, 2023.