Anne Lindsay’s commitment to improving public health and wellness stretches back more than three decades. After receiving her first bachelor’s degree in ergonomics and physical education from the University of California-Santa Barbara in 1982, the UNLV School of Integrated Health Sciences Alumna of the Year made the trek to the desert and enrolled at UNLV, where in 1988 she earned her master’s degree in exercise physiology. While pursuing that degree, Lindsay became a research assistant and later a UNLV adjunct faculty member, positions she held from 1986 to 1994.
At the same time, Lindsay launched a career with the singular mission of promoting a healthy lifestyle in both children and adults. In addition to working for several YMCA locations in Southern California for 11 years, including serving as senior physical director, Lindsay was the health promotion director at the Nevada National Security Site from 1990 to 1997. From there, she started HealthWorks, her own health and wellness business. Her clients included both the Florence McClure Women’s Correctional Center and Choices Group, working in their drug-court program.
Lindsay operated HealthWorks until 2006, at which point she re-entered the world of academia as an associate professor of public health & exercise physiology at the southern campus of UNR’s Nevada Cooperative Extension. She continues in that role today, conducting research and promoting health-and-wellness programs focused on two specific areas: childhood obesity, particularly health, nutrition, and physical literacy in preschool children; and gender-responsive education for women and girls in correctional settings who suffer from eating pathologies, body-image issues, obesity, substance-use disorders, and addiction. Currently, she’s involved with WestCare Women and Children, the Nevada Department of Corrections, and Judges Specialty Courts such as the Youth Offender Court, and Women in Need Court, among other institutions.
Several years into her work with Nevada Cooperative Extension, Lindsay returned to UNLV and earned her 2015 doctorate in public health. Over the years she’s received numerous awards for her work and has served on several national committees related to preschool health and adult energy-balance issues, including the Nevada State Early Childhood Obesity Task Force, the Nevada State Dietary Advisory Group, the National Extension Opioid Crisis Response Team, and the National Institute of Food & Agriculture.
Besides being a dogged public health advocate, Lindsay plays acoustic and electric guitar and sings for ChickBand, an all-female Christian rock band that performs and ministers to various groups in Las Vegas, nationally, and abroad. She also has collaborated with such artists as Frankie Scinta and Nany Seibert to write and record music and dance media to promote physical activating and health in young children.
A proud dual graduate of UNLV, Lindsay continues to support the university by working to raise money for the Dr. Larry Golding Endowment Fund, which provides new equipment each year for the university’s exercise physiology lab.
How did your time at UNLV positively impact your career and the person you are today?
Las Vegas was a relatively small community when I arrived from California, and what impressed me then — and continues to impress me today — were the strong ties between education and community outreach. The opportunities UNLV provided me through advancing research in a community setting really paved the next couple decades of my life. One of my professors, Dr. Larry Golding, was particularly instrumental in my growth, as he not only offered me numerous opportunities to collaborate and conduct research on local community- and nationally based projects, but he also launched the first translational journal in the field of sports medicine and exercise — in other words, bridging the gap between science and practice. I even served as one of the first editorial reviewers. Together, these experiences would forever change how I viewed the role of science and academics.
What does it mean to be a Rebel, and how would you define “Rebel Pride”?
To me, Rebel Pride is synonymous with changemaker. After all, degrees are just paper in a frame; the true value lies in the impact they leave behind. In my current position, I have often been referred to as “the breeder,” which I accept as a term of endearment, because to truly take pride in one’s degree means using that degree to positively affect the greater good of the community through your actions. So UNLV instilled that pride in me, and I’m passionate about paying it forward, about providing opportunities for local students to translate and fully integrate their academic experience — that is, turning book knowledge into real-life transformation.
What’s your message to current and future Rebels?
At the heart of “Rebel Pride” is collaboration, cooperation, and building alliances. Change doesn’t happen in a vacuum, and we don’t solve problems by taking sides and yelling louder. We need to listen to each other and come up with creative solutions. Opportunity and success come from learning from the past, recognizing strengths, identifying gaps, and engaging stakeholders and successful partners in what you bring to the table for the good of the whole community.
As a UNLV graduate and a current UNR faculty, I’m passionate about collaboration and teamwork. I believe no person, organization, or institution is at its best when it stands alone. Collaboration changes lives, and I hope to see current and future Rebels reach with their advocates and across the aisle to their adversaries and work in tandem to creatively solve the problems of their generations.