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About Dr. JES


JoAnn M. Eickhoff-Shemek, PhD, FACSM, FAWHP

Dr. JoAnn Eickhoff-Shemek is the Founder and President of the Fitness Law Academy, LLC and Professor Emeritus, Exercise Science, at the University of South Florida. She has 45+ years of experience in the exercise profession. Prior to becoming an academician in 1994, Dr. Eickhoff-Shemek worked as a fitness manager and exercise professional in community and clinical settings for nearly 20 years. She served as the Coordinator of the graduate program in Fitness and Wellness Management at the University of Nebraska at Omaha and the Founding Coordinator of the undergraduate program in Exercise Science at the University of South Florida. She received outstanding teaching awards at both institutions.

Dr. Eickhoff-Shemek is an internationally known researcher, author, and speaker in the areas of legal liability, risk management, and fitness safety. She has authored or co-authored numerous publications including four textbooks – Law for Fitness Managers and Exercise Professionals (lead author), Risk Management for Health/Fitness Professionals: Legal Issues and Strategies (lead author) and Rule the Rules of Worksite Wellness Programs (co-author of the first and second editions) -- and over 100 journal articles and book chapters. Dr. Eickhoff-Shemek was also a contributing author to The Australia Fitness Industry Risk Management Manual. She has presented her research at more than 100 professional conferences and meetings including several, invited keynote presentations.

Dr. Eickhoff-Shemek has been elected and appointed to many leadership positions, serving several fitness and wellness professional organizations. She was the Legal Columnist and an Associate Editor of ACSM’s Health & Fitness Journal for 10 years (2000-2010) and, as of January 2020, is serving as the Fitness Safety Columnist for this same Journal. Dr. Eickhoff-Shemek also serves as the Editor of the Fitness Law Academy’s quarterly newsletter that began in January 2018. During her active career, she possessed several professional certifications in Health/Fitness Management, Clinical Exercise, Exercise Physiology, Worksite Wellness Management, and Health Education. Dr. Eickhoff-Shemek is a Fellow (Emeritus) of ACSM and a Fellow of the former Association for Worksite Health Promotion (AWHP). She received her PhD from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in 1995.

           Academic Hall of Fame

In April 2024, Dr. JES was inducted into the Columbus High School (CHS) Academic Hall of Fame along with three other CHS graduates. She was honored for being selected into this inaugural class of inductees. Dr. JES graduated from CHS (Columbus, NE) in 1970. For more, see:

Arrange For Dr. JES to Speak

Dr. Eickhoff-Shemek is available to present on a variety of legal and risk management topics as a:

  • Conference speaker
  • Distinguished lecturer for colleges and universities
  • Workshop leader -- half-day or full-day training workshops for:
    • Fitness managers and program coordinators
    • Exercise physiologists and clinical exercise physiologists
    • Personal fitness trainers
    • Group exercise leaders
    • Strength and conditioning coaches
    • Health and wellness coaches
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