Directory and Bios
Stark Center Director and IGH Co-editor
Jan Todd , Ph.D., the Roy J. McLean Fellow in Sport History__is both a sport historian and a well-known expert on strength training. A Professor in the Department of Kinesiology and Health Education at The University of Texas at Austin, Jan teaches courses in sport and exercise history, sport philosophy, and sport ethics and also serves as the department’s Undergraduate Advisor. For many years she also supervised the weight training and conditioning classes taught by the department. She has written two books: Physical Culture and the Body Beautiful: Purposive Exercise in the Lives of American Women (Mercer University Press, 1998) and, with her husband, Terry Todd, Lift Your Way to Youthful Fitness (Little-Brown, 1985), the first popular book to argue that weight training could be used to offset the aging process.
Jan was also a contributor to the National Strength and Conditioning Association’s (NSCA) “Position Paper on Strength Training for Female Athletes” (1989) and received the NSCA’s Presidents Award in 1990 for her work on that publication. In addition, Todd has written more than one hundred articles in popular and scholarly journals on various aspects of strength training and exercise. She also lectures frequently. In 2008 Todd delivered the Seward Staley Address at the North American Society for Sport History; in 2000 she was the keynote speaker at the New England ACSM symposium on strength training; in 1999 she delivered the keynote address at the ACSM’s Fitness Summit in New Orleans; and in 1998 she was the D. B. Dill Historical Lecturer for the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) at their annual meeting in Orlando.
Todd’s interest in the academic study of strength and exercise grew from her personal involvement in the sport of powerlifting. In the 1970s and early 1980s, Todd was considered by both Sports Illustrated and the Guinness Book of Records to be the “strongest woman in the world.” In 1982 she became the first woman inducted into the International Powerlifting Hall of Fame. In 1992 Todd received the Lifetime Achievement Award of the Association of Oldetime Barbell and Strongmen. Todd set world records in five bodyweight classes during her 12-year powerlifting career; her personal bests were 545 pounds in the squat and 1230 pounds in the partial deadlift. Todd was inducted into USA Powerlifting’s Women’s Hall of Fame in 2004, the Texas Powerlifting Hall of fame in 2005, and in 2008 she was honored by the Oscar Heidenstam Foundation in England for her contributions to the field of physical culture. Todd was also recently (2009) inducted into the National Fitness Hall of Fame. Read more about Todd’s career in this Health Magazine article (requires PDF reader) from 1999.
IGH Associate Editor and Business/Subscriptions Manager
Kim Beckwith, Ph.D. is a lecturer and the Coordinator of Strength and Conditioning in the Kinesiology Department. Kim met Jan and Terry Todd when she enrolled in a weight training class at UT as an undergraduate. With their encouragement, she joined the Longhorn Powerlifting Team and became one of the premier drug-free, collegiate lifters in the country. She set many American and national collegiate records in two different weight classes, won three national titles, and earned recognition as the strongest collegiate female, pound-for-pound, in the American Drug Free Powerlifting Association for three straight years.
Kim became interested in studying the history of physical culture and exercise while taking classes to earn her master’s degree in Sports Administration. She began volunteering her time to Iron Game History as the business/subscriptions manager and offered to help in cataloguing the Collection. Exposure and access to so much unique physical culture history piqued her interest and eventually caused her to obtain her doctoral degree in sport history. Her dissertation examined the life and impact of one of the pioneers of American weight training: “Building Strength: Alan Calvert, the Milo Bar-bell Company, and the Modernization of American Weight Training.”
Before returning to graduate school, Kim was a faculty member at Austin Community College, teaching there from 1991 to 2000. Since 1995 she has served as the coach of the Longhorn Powerlifting Team and has directed the USAPL Longhorn Open Powerlifting Championships each fall. She is also currently serving as the USAPL Texas State Chair.
Adjunct Professor in the Department of Kinesiology and Health
John D. Fair, Ph.D. is an Adjunct Professor in the Department of Kinesiology and Health Education at the University of Texas at Austin. A native of Waynesboro, Pennsylvania, he was educated at Juniata College (B.A., 1965), Wake Forest University (M.A., 1966) and Duke University (Ph.D., 1970). He has also held teaching appointments in Pennsylvania, Virginia, Maine, Alabama, and Georgia. His areas of specialization include British and Irish History, Southern History, and the History of Physical Culture and Sports. Dr. Fair is a retiree from Auburn University at Montgomery (1997) and Georgia College & State University (2012).
As an undergraduate John played intercollegiate tennis for four years and started serious weight training. Since his first meet in 1964, he has competed in 75 sanctioned weightlifting and powerlifting meets. He was also a member of the United States National Weightlifting Committee (1972-76), served as Southeast US Powerlifting Chairman (1973-76), was a judge at the 1973 Mr. America Contest, served as a volunteer in the weightlifting venue at the 1996 Olympics, and has been an official for the strongman competition at the annual Arnold Sports Festival in Ohio since 2002.
John’s academic background includes authorship of seven books, including Muscletown USA, Bob Hoffman and the Manly Culture of York Barbell, 1898-1985 (Penn State, 1999) and Mr. America, The Tragic History of a Bodybuilding Icon (Texas, 2015). He has also published 46 refereed articles, 48 miscellaneous articles, and 109 book reviews in scholarly journals. John authored all the physical culture articles in the Encyclopaedia Britannica.
His scholarship has been recognized by various honors, including Alumni Professor of History, 1995-98 (AUM); Fellow, Royal Historical Society (London), 1996-Present; Professor Emeritus of History (Auburn University), 1997-Present; and the Excellence in Research and Publication Award, 2004-5, 2006-7, and 2010-11 (Georgia College).
You can read more about John’s involvement in physical culture from Gina Kolata’s book, Ultimate Fitness: The Quest for Truth about Health and Exercise (2003).
Assistant Professor in the Department of Kinesiology and Health Education
Conor Heffernan, Ph.D. is Assistant Professor in the Department of Kinesiology and Health Education at the University of Texas at Austin, where he works at the H.J. Lutcher Stark Center for Physical Culture and Sports. Conor’s research interests include physical culture, Irish and British history, gender history, political history and the history of medicine. Conor has published articles in Women’s History Review, the International Journal of the History of Sport Irish Studies Review, Sport in History and several more journals. He has also contributed regular online articles to websites such as Playing Pasts, Barbend, These Football Times and The Guardian.
Assistant Director for Academic Affairs
Thomas M. Hunt, J.D., Ph.D. is Assistant Professor in the Department of Kinesiology and Health Education at the University of Texas at Austin, where he also holds an appointment as Assistant Director for Academic Affairs at the H.J. Lutcher Stark Center for Physical Culture and Sports. As a faculty member in the Sport Management and Physical Culture and Sports programs at UT, he teaches classes in sport history, sport law, sport and ethics, and sport, fitness and mass media. With research interests that include sport law, history, and international relations, Dr. Hunt has published articles in, among others, the Journal of Sport History, the International Journal of the History of Sport, and Olympika: The Journal of Olympic Studies. His book, Drug Games: The International Olympic Committee and the Politics of Doping, 1960-2008, is now available from the University of Texas Press.
Ryan Blake is a native Austinite and second generation Longhorn with an MSIS and BA in English, both from the University of Texas at Austin.
Before deciding to work in libraries, he taught in middle and elementary schools. He is thrilled to be a part of the Stark Center, which allows him to combine his professional interest in archives and history with personal interests in the sports and people documented in the center’s collections.
Andrew Miller graduated from the University of Texas at Austin in 2012. As an undergraduate, he helped build the Stark Center’s first website and supported the various digital initiatives undertaken at the Center. He has remained in the Austin area ever since, and continues his work at the Stark Center as it expands its online presence in new and exciting ways.
Geoff Schmalz graduated from Macalester College in Saint Paul, Minnesota with a Bachelor’s of Arts in History in 1998. He then worked in a variety of capacities for Barnes and Noble Booksellers in both Minnesota and Texas from 2000 to 2007. He entered the School of Information at the University of Texas at Austin in the fall of 2006, graduating with a Masters of Science in Information Studies in May of 2008. He focused his studies on Archival Enterprise.
Geoff joined the Stark Center staff in August of 2009. Geoff has now completed ten finding aids for the Stark Center. He is currently working on the Bob Goldman Papers. Bob Goldman is a pioneer in the area of sports medicine. His books, Death in the Locker Room: Steroids and Sports (1984) (with the aid of Patricia Bush and Ronald Klatz), and Death in the Locker Room II: Drugs and Sports (1992) (with the aid of Klatz), exposed the dangerous body and mind-altering drugs athletes were taking (and still take) to gain a competitive edge. Geoff is excited to delve into the Bob Goldman materials, to process them and to make them available through a computer finding aid. The finding aid is an archival outline of the collection which will aid future researchers in the topics of doping and sports medicine. Geoff is delighted to aid the Stark Center in its mission of educating the public about the history of sports, weight training, bodybuilding, and fitness. Geoff loves sports, especially UT Austin sports, and claims to be thrilled to have an office in DKR Texas Memorial Stadium.
Associate Director for Library Services
Cindy Slater comes to The Stark Center from the U.S. Olympic Committee, where she was the Manager of Library & Archives for over 20 years.
As one of the few “sports librarians” in the country, Cindy has extensive experience with the sport science and medicine literature, as well as Olympic-related documentation and organizations. She will be working to catalog the 30,000+ volumes in The Center’s library collection. She is looking forward to assisting researchers and UT students with their physical culture-related research.
Christy Toms is a native Marylander making Texas her new home. She holds a Master of Science in Library and Information Science and a Certificate in Advance Study in Digital Libraries from Syracuse University.
Christy is enthusiastic about the preservation, accessibility and education of information specifically within special libraries, archives and museum environments. She is excited to be able to apply her knowledge and skills with archival practices and technology to the captivating materials about physical culture and sports at The Stark Center.
Library and Archive Technical Assistant
Alyssa Wynans is a current student at the University of Texas School of Information on the Archives track with a Museum Studies Portfolio. She graduated in 2014 from Texas A&M University with Bachelor’s degrees in English and History. In 2017, she completed a Master’s degree in English Literature at Belmont University with interests in Early Modern Literature and the Digital Humanities. She became interested in the work of archives while working as a graduate research assistant on a digital archiving grant as a student at Belmont University. She is very excited to have the opportunity to work and learn from the staff at the Stark Center.