Gay's Biography - In Memory: 1950 - 2016
Richard G. (Gay) Israel passed away on April 16 after a courageous battle with pancreatic cancer. He was 65.
Israel, who served as department head of Health and Exercise Science for 18 years, was a transformational leader, building the department into a model that is respected nationally for outstanding research, teaching and service.
“Gay Israel brought a new vision and a high level of excellence to the Department of Health and Exercise Science,” said Jeff McCubbin, dean of the College of Health and Human Sciences. “His vision transformed the unit to one that is now highly respected and ranked nationwide. However, Gay’s legacy extends beyond CSU. His professional and service contributions to the American College of Sports Medicine were significant. We feel his loss keenly and he will be greatly missed by all of us at CSU.”
Read Gay’s speech below from his American College of Sports Medicine Citation Award. Gay is one of only six people nationally to receive a 2015 Citation Award. Read more about Gay’s award in CSU’s SOURCE.
ACSM Citation Award Speech by Gay Israel
In his classic American tale, “A River Runs through it,” Norman McClain, in a moment of high stress when he was searching for the just the right words quipped, “I could think of the words but not the sentences they could fit.” I hope tonight to use a basket of words that convey my humble, heartfelt gratitude for this award and to thank those who have helped me along the way in my career.
The only one of the Ten Commandments with a promise is “to honor your Father and Mother.”
I am delighted to accept this prestigious award tonight in honor of my parents, Alva and Marie Israel. For it was the solid upbringing and steady influence of my parents that motivated me to simply be the best that I could be with my limited ability. They did not spend a great deal of time talking about values like a strong work ethic, making and keeping commitments, getting a good education, caring for those in need and so on – they simply lived out and demonstrated these values with quiet humility.
One of those values was to be a person who made and kept commitments. My first major turning point on the way to my career that I have enjoyed for 39 years came about because I kept a commitment to my wife and her parents that I would be sure she finished her degree without interruption after we were married in 1973. I thought I already had my dream job at the time of Head High School baseball coach and teacher in Chesterfield, South Carolina. Unfortunately, in the early 1970’s, there were no four year institutions nearby so to keep that commitment, I went back to ASU to work on my Master’s while she finished her degree. The master plan was for me to take 2 years (2 courses per semester) and allow Karan to finish her degree. Our honeymoon suite was in the basement of a 9-story dorm with the football team on the top 3 floors and I was in charge of the dorm. So a commitment is made and kept and then the magic happened. Three weeks into the semester a professor named Ed Turner in a research methods class changed the course of my professional life. He got me so excited about research and an academic career that within 3 years of that moment, I was an Assistant Professor at Howard University having finished the Master’s in one year, published my thesis, and completed my Doctorate at WVU. One saying I always share with each class of students, is the fact that you can’t be burned out if you’ve never been on fire. Needless to say I am grateful to Dr. Ed Turner for lighting my fire.
At West Virginia, I had the privilege to be mentored by Margaret Albrink, M.D., who was the head of Endocrinology in the Medical School. She was so generous with her time and grant resources, and taught me a great deal about lipid and lipoprotein metabolism, obesity, and diabetes. It was this early experience in a clinical and medical research environment that defined much of my career.
I had 3 stops in my academic career: 5 years at Howard University, 15 years at ECU, and so far, 19 years at CSU. In each of these stops, there have been two constants: great students (especially graduate students) and great faculty colleagues and collaborators. If life was fair, this award would be chopped up into different sizes and a portion given to all these wonderful people who helped me obtain it by their hard work and creativity. For the contribution of all I am grateful.
Four of these individuals were kind enough to nominate me for this award and write letters on my behalf. Lynis Dohm from ECU, Matt Hickey from CSU, Janet Walberg Rankin from Virginia Tech, and Dave Hillary, long-time Treasurer of the ACSM Foundation.
I have been blessed with a great family, who has been 100% supportive of my career. A long-term commitment that Karan and I have kept is that of our wedding vows – come June 9 we will celebrate 42 years of marriage. She gave up her career in biochemistry and nutrition after our youngest son was born to stay at home and our family. My career prospered greatly from this sacrifice on her part. These wedding vows in part will be very familiar: “for richer, for poorer, in sickness, and in health, until death do we part.” There are no words or sentences that can describe how Karan has watched my back and taken care of me over the past six months and will do so in the future. She is here tonight along with our son, Wes, and his wife, Lauren. You will want to come up and meet Wes if you would like to remember what I looked like at 33. Also, at our table tonight is Janet Rankin a longtime friend and one of my nominators. Joe Donnelly, former classmate at West Virginia and long-term research collaborator, is here. As are several colleagues from CSU – our new department head Barry Braun – he calls me coach and I call him Peyton. Thorsten Rudruff, and Jeff McCubbin, our Dean, and his wife, Debbie – thank you all for being here.
I joined ACSM 38 years ago and I have learned so much from College workshops, annual national and regional meetings, and from members. Over the years, ACSM has become my professional family. One of my first ACSM experiences was an Exercise Test Technologist 2-week workshop at Wake Forest in the late 70’s where I met Henry Miller, Paul Ribisil, and Bill Herbert for the first time. A year later, I attended an Exercise Specialist workshop at Tennessee, where I met Ed Howley. What a Master teacher. After my move to East Carolina in 1981, I joined SEACSM and it was a great experience and learning opportunity for my leadership and career development. There are many SEACSM members who still consider me a member and I must admit I still feel that way. My first leadership experience at the National level was as Chair of the Public Information Committee for a decade. The committee members did an incredible amount of work that launched a new era of PI for ACSM and we all became and still remain close friends. That experience led to a number of other requests to chair other committees and I must admit I always learned far more than the effort I brought to the table from so many committed ACSM members. A highlight of my ACSM service was my 3 years as President of the Foundation. I think it is possible that I also spent 10 consecutive years on the Board of Trustees. A constant throughout all my years in ACSM has been the competent and dedicated staff at the National Center under the steady leadership of Jim Whitehead. They are all incredibly dedicated to the College and a major asset.
The entire ACSM family has really rallied around me and supported me over the past 6 months. I can think of only one word to describe it – priceless.
When my health adventure started back at Thanksgiving, I told the oncologist that I had two bucket list items I needed his help with.
- I wanted to live to meet my Grandson – check! Graham Joseph was born on May 9.
- I wanted to be well enough to attend this meeting – check! Now my goals have changed to be sure I teach Graham to fish and attend many more ACSM meetings. Let me close with a bit more about fishing – the fisherman’s prayers.
I pray that I may live to fish, until my dying day. And when it comes to my last cast, I then most humbly pray. When in the Lord’s great landing net and peacefully asleep. That in his mercy I be judged big enough to keep! Thank you!
Gay Israel's CV
Richard Gay Israel, Ed.D.
Department of Health and Exercise Science
Colorado State University
1976, Ed.D. Exercise Physiology, West Virginia University, Morgantown, WV
1974, M.A. Physical Education, Appalachian State University, Boone, NC
1972, B.S. Physical Education, Appalachian State University, Boone, NC
1970, A.S. Physical Education, Abraham Baldwin Jr. College, Tifton, GA
Colorado State University
2000- present Executive Director, Human Performance Clinical/Research Laboratory,
1996- 2014 Professor and Department Head, Department of Health and Exercise
East Carolina University
- Professor and Director of Human Performance Laboratory
- Associate Professor, Director of Human Performance Laboratory, Founding Director of the Cardiovascular Disease Risk Factor Identification/Reduction Program
1981 Assistant Professor, Founding Director of Human Performance Laboratory
- Associate Professor, Director Graduate Studies & Human Performance Laboratory
1976-80 Assistant Professor, Director Graduate Studies & Human Performance Laboratory
Honors and Awards (selected)
2015 Alumni Association Distinguished Faculty Award
2015 Citation Award, American College of Sports Medicine
2008 Distinguished Faculty Award, School of Health and Human Performance, East
2008 Honored as a Centennial Leader, of the School of Health and Human Performance,
East Carolina University
2007 Oliver P. Pennock Distinguished Service Award, Colorado State University
2007 Superior Faculty Service Award, College of Applied Human Sciences, CSU
2005-2007 President, American College of Sports Medicine Foundation
2000 Certificate of Appreciation, from the Health & Exercise Science Faculty, Colorado
State University, presented at the ceremonial dedication of the Human Performance
Clinical/Research Laboratory, May 1, 2000
1995 Certificate of Appreciation, Board of Trustees, East Carolina University
1995 Service Award, Southeast Chapter of the American College of Sports Medicine
1995 Fellow, American Academy of Kinesiology
1985 Fellow, American College of Sports Medicine
Degree and Outreach Programs and Facilities Developed: (selected)
1978 Developed the M.A. Degree Program in Physical Education at Howard University
1981-1996 Founder and Director, Human Performance Laboratory and Cardiovascular Disease Risk Factor Identification/Reduction Program, East Carolina University.
1985 Exercise Physiology M.A. Degree option, East Carolina University
1987-1989 Designed and equipped the New Human Performance Laboratory in the Sports Medicine Building at East Carolina University.
Degree and Outreach Programs and Facilities Developed: (selected – continued)
1985-1996 Post-Doctoral Research Fellowship Program in Exercise Physiology, East Carolina University. (Smith, Houmard, Hortobagyi, Hickey)
1996 CSU Heart Disease Prevention Program of the HPCRL. As a benchmark of quality, in 2010 the HDPP was covered within the CSU Health Benefit Plan.
1999 Department name changed to Health and Exercise Science
1996-2000 Human Performance Clinical Research Laboratory (HPCRL), CSU, Proposed, designed & chaired the building committee and fund-raising campaign for the facility. Dedicated on May 1, 2000 with no debt ($1,800,000)
2003-2012 Heart Disease Prevention for the Medically Underserved grant, Caring for CO Foundation
2007 Co-developed Ph.D. Program in Human Bioenergetics approved. (9 graduates)
2008-2014 HPCRL renovations/additions totaling ~7500 gsf ($3,000,000)
2008-2012 HPCRL named CSU Program of Research and Scholarly Excellence (renewed 2012-16)
2010 HPCRL Phase 2 Addition ($2,300,000).
2012-2014 HPCRL re-selected as a CSU Program of Research and Scholarly Excellence
2012 HES becomes the CHHS leader in indirect costs recovery from external grants
2013 HES Teaching Addition approved $1.85 million
2014 HPCRL Renovation adding 2000 square feet ($200,000)
2014 HES Youth Sport Camps Office Addition 1000 square feet ($200,000)
Referred Journal Articles (from 84 total, total citations exceed 2500. Selected citations exceeding 100 are in bold)
- Revicki, D.A. and Israel, R.G. Relationship between body mass indices and measures of body adiposity. American Journal of Public Health. 76(8):992-994, 1986. (146 citations).
- Barakat, H.A., Burton, D.S., Carpenter, J.W., Holbert, D. and Israel,R.G. Body fat distribution, plasma lipoproteins and the risk of coronary heart disease of male subjects. International Journal of Obesity. 12:473-480, 1988.
- Peeples, L.H., Carpenter, J.W., Israel, R.G. and Barakat, H.A. Alterations in low density lipoproteins in subjects with male type adiposity. 38:1029-1036, 1989.
- Houmard, J.A., Wheeler, W.S., McCammon, M.R., Holbert, R.D., Israel, R.G. and Barakat, H.A. Effects of fitness level and the regional distribution of fat on glucose metabolism and plasma lipids in middle to older aged men. 40:714-719, 1991.
- Houmard, J.A., Egan, P.C., Neufer, P.D., Friedman, J.E., Wheeler, W.S., Israel, R.G. and Dohm, G.L. Elevated skeletal muscle glucose transporter levels in exercise-trained middle-aged men. American Journal of Physiology. 261:E437-E443, 1991. (140 citations).
- Spiegelman, D., Israel, R.G., Bouchard, C. and Willett, W.C. Absolute fat mass, percent body fat, and body fat distribution: Which is the real risk factor for diabetes and hypertension? American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. 55:1033-1044, 1992. (124 citations).
- Houmard, J.A., Hortobagyi, T., Neufer, D.P., Johns, R.A., Fraser, D.D., Israel, R.G., and Dohm, G.L. Training cessation does not alter GLUT-4 protein levels in human skeletal muscle. Journal of Applied Physiology. 74:776-81, 1993.
- Donnelly, J.E., Sharp, T., Houmard, J.A., Carlson, M.G., Hill, J.O., Whatley, J.E. and Israel, R.G. Muscle hypertrophy with large scale weight loss and resistance training. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. 58:561-565, 1993.
- Houmard, J.A., Shinebarger, M.H., Dolan, P.L., Leggett-Fraizer, N.,Bruner, R.K., McCammon, M.R., Israel, R.G., and Dohm, G.L. Exercise training increases GLUT-4 protein concentration in previously sedentary middle-aged men. American Journal of Physiology. 264:E896-E901, 1993. (121 citations).
- Israel, R.G., Sullivan, M.J., Cayton, R.S., Marks, R. and Chenier, T., Relationship between cardiorespiratory fitness and lipoprotein(a) in men and women. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, 26:425-431, 1994.
- Houmard, J.A., Bruno, N.J., Bruner, R.K., McCammon, M.R. Israel, R.G., and Barakat, H.A. Effects of exercise training on the chemical composition of plasma LDL. Arteriosclerosis and Thrombosis. 14:325-330, 1994.
- Hickey, M.S., Carey, J.O., Azevedo, J.L., Houmard, J.A., Pories, W.J., Israel, R.G. and Dohm, G.L. Skeletal muscle fiber composition is related to adiposity and in vitro glucose transport rate in humans. American Journal of Physiology. 268:E453-457, 1995. (153 citations).
- Hortobagyi, T., Hill, J.P., Houmard, J.A., Fraser, D.D., Lambert, J. and Israel, R.G. Adaptive responses to muscle lengthening and shortening in humans. Journal of Applied Physiology.80(3): 765-772, 1996. (153 citations).
- Hickey, M.S., Israel, R.G., Gardiner, S.N., Considine, R.V., McCammon, M.R., Tyndall, G.L., Houmard, J.A., Marks, R.H., and Caro, J.F. Gender differences in serum leptin levels in humans. Biochemical and Molecular Medicine. 59:1-6, 1996. (137 citations).
- Hickey, M.S., Houmard, J.A.., Israel, R.G., al. Gender dependent effects of exercise training on serum leptin levels in humans. American Journal of Physiology 272: Endocrinology and Metabolism 35:E562-E566, 1997. (110 citations).
- Hickey, M.S., Pories, W.J., MacDonald, K.G. Cory, K.A., Dohm, G.L., Swanson, M.S., Israel, R.G., al., A new paradigm for type 2 diabetes mellitus: could it be a disease of the foregut? Annals of Surgery 227: 637-644, 1998. (153 citations).
- Terjung, R.L., Clarkson. P., Eichner, E.R., Greenhaff, P.L., Hespel, P.K., Israel, R.G., al. The physiology and health effects of oral creatine supplementation. Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise. 32(3): 706-717, 2000. (215 citations).
- Cordain, L., Melby, C. L., Hamamoto, A.E, O’Neill, D.S., Cornier, M., Barakat, H.A., Israel, G., & Hill J.O. Influence of moderate chronic wine consumption on insulin sensitivity and other correlates of syndrome X in moderately obese women. Metabolism 49:1473-1478, 2000.
- Rodearmel, S.J., Wyatt, H.R., Barry, M.J., Dong, F., Pan, Dongmei, Israel, R.G., Cho, S.S., McBurney, M.I. & Hill, J.O. A family-based approach to preventing excessive weight gain. 14:1392-1401, 2006.
- Donovan, R., Nelson, T. Peel, J. Lipsey, T., Voyles, W.A. & Israel, R.G. Cardiorespiratory fitness and the metabolic syndrome in firefighters. Occupational Medicine. 59:487-492, 2009.
- DeVoe, D., Israel, R.G., Lipsey, T., & Voyles, W. A long duration (118d) backpacking trip (2669 km) normalizes lipids without medication: a case study. Wilderness and Environmental Medicine, 20 (4): 347-352, 2009.
Books and Book Chapters
- G. Israel, Karan D. Israel and J. B. Longenecker. Nutrition, Exercise and Weight Control for Better Health: A Practical Guide for the Layperson (Chapel Hill, NC: Institute of Nutrition) 1995.
- S. Hickey and R.G. Israel. Exercise and Adipose Tissue Production of Cytokines. In: Endurance Exercise and Adipose Tissue. Ed. B.J. Nicklas. Boca Raton, FL CRC Press. pp. 79-100. Invited, 2001.
- Israel, R.G. Succeeding in Graduate School. ACSM Fellows Offer Advice to Students: (pp.19-30) Indianapolis: American College of Sports Medicine. 2005.
Professional research presentations (180 total – selected invited lectures listed below)
- Effects of Aerobic and Anaerobic Exercise on Plasma Lipids, Glucose Tolerance and Insulin Levels in College Males. VIII Pam American Sports Medicine Congress, San Juan, Puerto Rico, March 1979.
- Reclassification of Morbid Obesity Using Hydrodensitometry. North American Association for the Study of Obesity, Banff, Alberta, Canada, August 1988.
- Relationship Between Body Mass Indices, Skinfold Measures and Hydrostatic Measures of Body Adiposity. Society for Epidemiologic Research National Meeting. Chapel Hill, NC, June 1985.
- Definition, Classification and Measurement of Obesity. Channing Laboratories and Department of Epidemiology, Harvard Medical School, Cambridge, MA, April 1989
- Health Implications of Obesity. AAHPERD National Convention, San Francisco, CA, April 1991.
- Regional Fat Distribution: Lipids and Lipoproteins. American College of Sports Medicine Annual Meeting, Dallas, TX, May 1992.
- Influence of Physical Activity and Body Composition on Plasma Leptin Levels in Obese and Non-obese Adults. American College of Sports Medicine Annual Meeting. Denver, CO. May 1997.
Funded grants and contracts as PI and Co-Investigator 1976-2014 (80: $4.4 million)
(Funding from: NIH, Paralyzed Veterans of America, Slimfast, Outlast, INVISTA, Agilent, Coco-Cola, Institute of Nutrition, Wine Institute, Pfizer, and Caring for CO, Elf, PVH, & HCR Foundations)
Professional Activities (selected only those for the American College of Sports Medicine)
2005-2007 President, ACSM Foundation
2002-2005 Chair, Strategic Planning Committee
2002-2004 Vice President, American College of Sports Medicine
2000-2005 Chair, Advancement Committee,
2003 Chair, 50th Anniversary Task Force
2001-2009 ACSM Foundation Board of Directors
2002-2007 Member, Budget and Finance Committee
2002-2004 Member, Program Committee
1991-2000 Chair, Public Information Committee
1993-1996 Member, Board of Trustees
1994-1995 Member, Administrative Council
1991-2000 Member, Publications Committee
1991-1994 President, Southeast Chapter American College of Sports Medicine
Community involvement (selected)
2004 – Present Co-Founder and Steering Committee Member, Fort Collins CAN DO! (The
Coalition for Activity and Nutrition to Defeat Obesity). A community program of Poudre Valley Health System.
2002-2003 Chair, Second Hand Smoke Committee, Community Partnership for Tobacco Prevention and Cessation. In October 2003 we were successful in obtaining a smoking ban in all indoor restaurants and bars in Fort Collins.
2000-2008 Board Member, Healthier Communities Coalition of Larimer County
1976-2014 Over 360 health related outreach lectures to community groups in 3 states + Colorado