Melinda Sothern, PhD, CEP, received a BA in Health and Physical Education in 1989 from Nicholls State University in Thibodeaux, Louisiana. She completed a BS in Arts and Sciences at the University of New York Regents College in New York in 1990. From the University of New Orleans, she earned a both MEd in Exercise Physiology as well as a PhD in Exercise Physiology and Curriculum and Instruction. She co-founded the Pediatric Obesity Interest Group and serves as chairwoman of the North American Association for the Study of Obesity (1993-present). Additionally, she is the Section Director and of Research and a Clinical Exercise Physiologist in the School of Public Health.