California State University, Sacramento
Department of Kinesiology & Health Science
College of Health & Human Services
Irvin Faria Research Exercise Physiology Laboratory
"The will to win is useless without the will to prepare" - Henery David Thoreau -
Dr. Faria's formal education began in a three room eight grade rural school. He graduated from Mt. Diablo High School (Concord, CA) in 1949 then went on to earned an Associate of Arts degree from San Francisco City College with a major in Biology. A Bachelor's degree in Health and Physical Education from San Jose State University was awarded in 1953. Continuing his education, he earned a MA, and Ph.D. in Physical Education (specialization: Exercise Physiology) from San Jose State University and Stanford University in 1958 and 1967 respectively. At Stanford University his academic course work was primarily in the Schools of Medicine and Psychology. His disseration research addressed the training heart rate intensity required to improve work capacity. This early work remains one of the classic studies in that area of investigation.
His first professional position was at James Lick High School in San Jose serving as the head gymnastics, wrestling and water polo coach and presenting various activity classes. War in Korea took him from a teaching position into the Army Medical Corps at Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio, Texas. He served in the Division Faculty responsible for physical training and was a member of the USO Special Services touring entertainment troupe where he perfomed a hand balancing act. Upon discharge, in 1956, he returned to James Lick High School. In August of 1958, Dr. Faria accepted a facutly appointment at California State University - Sacramento (CSUS), as an Instructor and head men's gymnastics coach in the Division of Physical Education. The Division has since been renamed the Department of Kinesiology and Health Science.
Dr. Faria received an Academic Fellowship from Stanford University to pursue his doctorate. Upon completion of the degree he returned to CSUS becoming the Department Chair and serving for 13 years in that capacity. Until 1966, due to limited facility space, exercise physiology was a lecture class with some field-related activities. However, he found an unused storage closet and placed a small Quinton treadmill in the space. The chair of the Recreation Department offered him a large recreation room to serve as a laboratory. Accepting the offer, he redesigned the facility to include several independent laboratories including a hydrostatic weighing-body composition lab, pulmonary lab, cycle ergometer lab, two treadmill labs, and a motor learning lab. Additionally, two faculty offices and a lecture room were included in the space. He then become the Director of the new facility, named the Human Performance Laboratory. Some 25 years later funding become available for a new five story building to house the School of Health and Human Services of which a large portion of second floor was devoted to a new Human Performance Laboratory. With the assistance of Dr. Fred Baldini, an exercise physiologist and colleague, a state-of-the-art exercise physiology laboratory was designed.
Dr. Faria's post-doctoral work includes research with Dr. Bruno Balke at the University of Wisconsin in Madison, research at the August Krog Institute with Dr.Bengt Saltin in Copenhagen, Denmark and study in the Advancement of Science Program - Statistics and Experimental Design in the Social and Behavioral Sciences - at Stanford University. Recognized for his research, publications and service, in 1971 he was awarded a Fellow of the American College of Sports Medicine. He is one of few CSUS faculty who have been honored by receiving the CSUS Scholar of the Year award, Teacher of the Year award, and the CSUS Distinguished Faculty Award. When Dr. Faria retired in 1999, following 40 years at CSUS, the Human Performance Laboratory was renamed the Irvin E. Faria Exercise Physiology Research Laboratory. Two scholarship awards have been estabilished in this name, the Irv Faria Endowment and the Irv Faria Scholarship Award.
He can't imagine a more exciting and thought-provoking career - one that made his life a continual mind-stretching exercise - than teaching. Chief among his greatest pleasures were the opportunities to interact and learn with CSUS exceptional students. He came to appreciate the commitment in the CSUS students and especially his graduate students who shared a passion for research and a deep commintment for making a difference in the world. Dr. Faria remains active in both research and publishing. He and his wife live in Carmichael, California where they enjoy their large garden and touring on a tandem bicycle. Carving birds and watching the wild life who visit their property adds to a fulfilling life.
Dr. Faria has participated actively, for 34 years, as a presenter of scientific papers at the Annual Meeting of the American College of Sports Medicine and at other scientific gatherings. His research has covered the spectrum of exercise capacity ranging from children to elite athletes. The objective of his work is to link rigorous research to the improvement of human exercise performance. According, his professional life has been dedicated to enhancing health, fitness and quality of life. He continues to foster quality scientific research and the educational application of its findings.
More specifically, Dr. Faria's research has focused upon the cardiovascular and metabolic factors that limit exercise performance with emphasis on cycling. In doing so, he has attempted to identify the physiological factors which distinguish successful performance. Toward that end, special attention has been directed toward sports nutrition, dietary strategies and training protocols which might positively impact exercise performance.
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California State University, Sacramento
Updated: January 21, 2004