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BW exercise science and biology grad rises to pinnacle of sports medicine field

The 2023 winner of the American College of Sports Medicine's Certified Professional of the Year Award is a determined and accomplished BW graduate who's not done yet.


Louise Valentine '11 has approached her career as she pursued the 74 half marathons she completed while pregnant by putting in the step-by-step, hard work on the road to success, proving that, as she puts it, "Women are fully capable of doing hard things."

Now, the payoff is national recognition as the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) names her 2023 ACSM Certified Professional of the Year.

The award recognizes Valentine's "dedication and exceptional contributions towards enhancing the health and wellness of individuals in [her] community."

Hunger to learn

Since graduating from Baldwin Wallace University with a Bachelor of Science in exercise science and biology, Valentine has added so many credentials that it would be difficult to fit them all on a business card.

They include licenses and certifications in health education, exercise physiology, massage and personal training, topped with a Master of Public (MPH) degree and others in between.

As founder and CEO of, which offers holistic health, nutrition and fitness coaching for women 35 and older, Valentine not only draws on all of that education and expertise but on her own personal health challenges, including chronic illness in high school, hormone challenges and an osteoporosis diagnosis in her early 30s.

Breaking through

The idea for her business grew out of that personal experience and a graduate research fellowship.

"I was working on a research publication involving health data, injury research and health outcomes," she says. "And I realized that there were so many other women dealing with the issues I was dealing with." She knew she needed to "fill a knowledge gap for women 35+."

Outside her core focus, Valentine also works with a range of clients, including members of the military (she's a self-described "fierce" army wife) and professional athletes, which is where she started her career.

From Browns to BW

In fact, Valentine found her way to BW after joining the Cleveland Browns training staff without a bachelor's degree.

"As a young woman, I was working as a member of the sports medicine team with high-level individuals, including professional athletes, and I knew I needed to finish my degree," she told ACSM.

Valentine further shares, "When seeking a career in exercise science, it was suggested by a career advisor at another local university that I should transfer to BW as a best fit, based on their established and credentialed exercise science department. I'm so glad I did, as being taught by ACSM Fellows and leaders at NSCA set me up to excel early in my career, expanding my business to reach patients at medical fitness centers and doctor offices throughout Cleveland."

Valentine finished her BW degree while "juggling travel with her professional athlete clients and living between two states as a military spouse with a deployed husband at war," according to the ACSM profile.

Passion and purpose

Dr. Amy Jo Sutterluety remembers Valentine's time at BW well.

"Louise brought maturity, humor and professionalism to the classroom while at BW. Her exceptional accomplishments are a tremendous acknowledgment of her passion and purpose in helping people live their best lives," she says.

Today, Valentine is not only an award-winning health coach but also a published author of "The Art of Breaking Through: Five Simple Steps to Take on Any Challenge & Tackle Self-Doubt."

At age 38, you can bet Valentine has more to achieve for her clients, her family and herself.

Related News: New BW Exercise Physiology Master's

BW is building on the success of its undergraduate exercise science program by launching a new 12-month Master of Exercise Physiology program with concentrations in applied physiology and strength & conditioning. The program is hybrid and designed to allow students to work while they are enrolled and launches in fall 2023. 

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