Faculty of Physical Education and Recreation professor Nick Holt joins two UAlberta colleagues as the newest members of the Royal Society of Canada’s College of New Scholars, Artists and Scientists.
Sitting as one of the four entities of the Royal Society of Canada, the College of New Scholars, Artists and Scientists is Canada’s first national system of multidisciplinary recognition for the emerging generation of Canadian intellectual leadership. Members of the College are elected for demonstrating a high level of achievement at an early stage of their careers, and will serve as a member for seven years.
Dr. Holt brings to the College a high level of expertise in the areas of coaching studies and sport psychology. At his lab—Child and Adolescent Sport and Activity (CASA) lab—Dr. Holt and his graduate students conduct research examining the psychosocial aspects of sport and physical activity participation among children, adolescents, and their families. His work in the area of positive youth development through sport has made him a household name among scholars and academics. In the 15 years since he graduated with a PhD, Dr. Holt has published roughly 150 articles and book chapters in this area and 4 books including Positive Youth Development Through Sport (second edition).
With the focus on improving participation in sport and physical activity for both youth and their parents, Dr. Holt has done an exceptional job of bringing his research out of the lab and into the hands of parents and athletes. With the support of current and past students, Holt has created a pan-Canadian initiative called PYDSportnet. The program is designed to connect practitioners, parents and athletes with research and researchers, ultimately improving the sport and physical activity experience for young athletes and their families, and coaches alike.
Through his mentorship, Dr. Holt has graduated many accomplished scholars that are now making an impact in communities both in Canada and abroad. While he is very humbled to be joining the College, Holt feels this honor is broadly thanks to the impact his students make.
“While I’m receiving the recognition of being elected into the College, it’s largely due to the work my graduate students have done and are currently doing in communities and in the academic world. This moment is a shared honour between us all.”
Dr. Holt, along with colleagues Justin Ezekowitz (Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry) and Darren Grant (Faculty of Science), will be formally welcomed into the College at an induction ceremony in late November. While the next seven years in this prestigious role is still fairly unknown, Holt is looking forward to the opportunity to not only connect with his peers from different areas across Canada, but to work alongside great minds to help influence positive change.
“I’m excited to meet and work with colleagues that I may not otherwise would have had an opportunity to collaborate with. My hope is that we can pool our expertise together to influence public policy, discussion and debate on the topics that are most important to Canadians.”
"I'm very excited for Nick and his students for this honour,” says Faculty of Physical Education and Recreation Dean Kerry Mummery. “His work has world-wide reach and influence and, importantly, makes an important contribution to how sport is being delivered. My congratulations to Nick and his team.”
Together, the members of the College will address issues of particular concern to new scholars, artists and scientists, for the advancement of understanding and the benefit of society, taking advantage of the interdisciplinary approaches fostered by the establishment of the College.