Education professors honored for contributions to health

Brianna Pelayo

The National Academy for Kinesiology honored three College of Education professors for their contributions to their field, the University announced Friday.

Two of the honorees, Janice Todd and Jody Jensen, professors in the Department of Kinesiology and Health Education, have been inducted into the academy as fellows and have brought the total number of NAK members at the University to six. In addition, Waneen Spirduso, Kinesiology and Health Education professor emeritus, was honored with the H. Clarke Hetherington Award, the highest accolade given by the NAK.

To be a member of the NAK, one must also have shown a significant contribution to the study of and application of the art and science of human movement and physical activity.

“It is obviously very gratifying to be included in this special group of scholars,” Todd said. “I am deeply honored.”

The National Academy for Kinesiology meets annually to honor professors on their contributions in the field of kinesiology and health education. Individuals have to be nominated by a member of the academy in order to be considered for membership and special awards.

Todd started an academic journal called “Iron Game History: The Journal of Physical Culture” and founded the H.J. Lutcher Stark Center. She was sponsored by many professors from various universities, including the University of British Columbia and George Mason University. Todd’s main sponsor was colleague Spirduso. Todd said she was inducted into the NAK because she helped create a new academic field of physical culture studies.

“Jable, Wiggins and Vertinsky are perhaps the most famous scholars in the field of sport history, so to have them nominate and sponsor meant a great deal to me.” Todd said.

Jensen, another inductee, said no single contribution qualifies a scholar for induction into the academy. One of her accomplishments was co-founding the University of Texas Autism Project, a research and community outreach program focusing on services, knowledge and the best practices related to living and working, with families affected by autism spectrum disorders.

The third member, Spirduso, was honored at the conference with the Hetherington Award. Spirduso retired in May of last year, making him eligible to receive this award.

“The Hetherington Award is a career award, that is, only persons who have retired are eligible for it,” Spirduso said. “So the fact that I was awarded this honor only four months after I was eligible from this academy for which I have so much respect, gave me a feeling that my colleagues in the field have really said, ‘Well done.’”

Printed on October 11, 2011 as: Professors honored for kinesiology feats