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>> Health & Physical Education

News, honors and awards


Students and faculty member join scholastic honor society

Left to right: Robert Hautala, Hilda Rosselli, Tracy Smiles, Maria Dantas-Whitney, Christina Reagle of Teaching Research Institute, and Provost Kent Neely
Faculty and administrators, l. to r.: Robert Hautala, Dean Hilda Rosselli, Tracy Smiles, Maria Dantas-Whitney, Christina Reagle of Teaching Research Institute, and Provost Kent Neely

April 2012 - A select group of WOU students and faculty in the College of Education will join the local chapter of Phi Kappa Phi honor society in an April 18 ceremony. The COE group comprises 32 percent of inductees this year, which includes 28 juniors, 19 seniors, eight graduate students, and four faculty members. The chapter, founded in 1979 as WOU's only interdisciplinary honor society, advocates for scholarship and recognizes academic excellence. Faculty inductees include Maria Dantas-Whitney and Tracy Smiles, both associate professors of Teacher Education; as well as Robert Hautala, associate professor of Health and Physical Education.


This is the first year that graduate students have been inducted into the chapter and inductees include Alexandria Majors and Gaynelle L. O'Neil of Rehabilitation Counseling; and Kim Ellen Daniels, Kimberly Hartman and Mercedes Rochelle Strowbridge of Teacher Education. Undergraduate inductees include Amber O'Hara, American Sign Language; Angela Haslam, ESL Teacher Education; Tara A. Carn, Curriculum/Instruction; Trish Dowell and Colin Michael Albi of Public Health; and Teacher Education majors Amy Keithley, Jessie C. Harden, Jill Turner Whitney, Kaitlin L. Hodgin, Samalta Maree Badzik, Sheryl Mae Schiefelbein and Stephanie Jane Adams.


Some WOU runners (Elke Asleson, left) after Lincoln City Half Marathon on March 4, 2012Health/PE students run beyond the classroom

March 2012 - WOU was represented by 34 students at the fourth annual Lincoln City Half Marathon on March 4, coordinated by Lincoln City Parks and Recreation Department. The 13.1 mile run, on rural roads along Drift Creek and with about 500 participants, was an optional grade for students in classes instructed by Elke Asleson, pictured far left, who also ran the race and took fourth in her age category at 2 hours, 5 minutes. The fastest finisher in the WOU group was William Johnson of Portland, who took 9th overall at 1 hour, 32 minutes. Asleson said the students trained on their own prior to the event, building to 10 miles of jogging and walking by race day. Everyone from WOU finished under the four hours cut-off and received medals. "I so enjoyed seeing the students' efforts as I competed in the event, too," Asleson said. "We had glorious weather, lots of new friendships and bonding," she added. The WOU Bookstore gave the group a discount on logo t-shirts. Click for complete race results.


Health educator tapped by governor

August 2011 - Daniel Lopez-Cevallos, assistant professor of health and physical education, was appointed by Gov. John Kitzhaber to the Coordinated Care Organization (CCO) Criteria work group. The Oregon Health Authority (OHA), under House Bill 3650 Section 13, establishes a process to inform development of an Oregon integrated and coordinated health care delivery system. The goal is a system where CCOs are accountable for care management that is both integrated and coordinated. The work group provides input on the CCO statement of work and certification criteria that support delivery system innovation and transformation. Read more.


Three students honored with leadership awards

From left: Wilfred Poton, Annan Applebee, Seven VedderMay 2011 - Three students were singled out for outstanding exercise science and physical education major of the year awards at the annual WOU student leadership recognition event. The awards are sponsored by WOU and the National Association for Sport and Physical Education. Award criteria include both academic achievement and service to school and community. 


- Annan Applebee, Major of the Year for Physical Education Teacher Education -- With a 3.80 GPA, she is in the undergraduate Teacher Education program and plans to become a licensed physical educator. As a top WOU athlete, she represented WOU five times at national competitions in track and cross country. Examples of her service include state track meet field event coordinator, middle school PE student teacher and assistant track coach, activity leader and mentor for abused and neglected foster children, “Conversation partner” with international students at WOU, and registration helper at Oregon Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance Conference.


- Wil Poton, Major of the Year for Exercise Science: Pre-Education Track -- With a GPA of 3.70, he is in the Master of Arts in Teaching program and plans to become a physical educator. He also has his own Taekwondo school in Salem. Examples of Wil’s service include youth Bible teacher, music director, youth leader, assistant choir director and counselor for Seventh Day Adventist Pathfinder Club; registration helper at Oregon Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance Conference; and PE student teacher at three schools. In addition, he is tutor, “Big Brother,” and martial arts instructor for youth at a farmworkers housing development community. This organization provides emergency assistance to migrant farmworkers and offers classes and homework assistance and distributes food and clothing.


- Steve Vedder, Major of the Year for Exercise Science: Applied Track -- With a GPA of 3.75, he was on the WOU football team and was recently accepted into the Oregon Health and Science University Accelerated Bachelor of Science program. He plans a career in ER, ICU and/or anesthetic nursing. Examples of his service include high school peer counselor, teacher's aide in high school special education classes, football coach at two high schools, and adapted physical activity for people with special needs in Monmouth.


From left: Brittany Mason, Jill Biden, Fran Visco and Jessica HendersonBreast cancer education advocates gather in nation's capitol

May 2011 - Brittany Mason, a senior community health education major, visited Jill Biden, Ed.D., wife of Vice President Joe Biden, at their home in Washington, D.C. Mason's visit was in reocgnition of her efforts to promote breast cancer research and education. She attended with Dr. Jessica Henderson, professor of health and physical education, and a small group of women from around the U.S. to discuss recent efforts and initiatives. Mason is president of the WOU student group Wolves Against Breast Cancer, which raised $1,000 this year for research. She is the only college student in the nation to twice complete a national training session called Project LEAD (Leadership, Education and Advocay Development).



Dozens compete in fifth annual triathlon

April 2011 - Swimming, biking and running events brought out 160 people, including about a dozen teams, to WOU's fifth annual triathlon. The top finishing team completed in one hour, 18 minutes, 26 seconds. Event organizer Elke Asleson, adjunct instructor in the Division of Health and Physical Education, said the triathlon combines her passion for fitness along with the camaraderie of students on teams. "I love the mix of students, faculty, staff and community," she said. "This year with the remodeled pool and the new Health and Wellness Center, everyone had an opportunity to enjoy our new addtiion. It was a nice way to showcase WOU." Race results are available at - go to the results link and event date April 30.


Two faculty join honor society

April 2011 - Two faculty members were recently inducted into the WOU chapter of Phi Kappa Phi. They are Daniel Lopez-Cevallos, assistant professor of Health and Physical Education; and Daryl Thomas, adjunct instructor of Health and Physical Education.. The organization is the nation's oldest, largest, and most selective collegiate honor society for all academic disciplines.


Cardinal named NAS Fellow

February 2011 - Marita Cardinal, professor of health and physical education, will be inducted as a NAS Fellow at the spring conference of American Alliance of Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance (AAHPERD) in San Diego. NAS is the North American Society of Health, Physical Education, Recreation, Sport, and Dance Professionals, which includes the U.S. and Canada. She was nominated for the award by a dance and physical education colleague, Theresa Purcell Cone, on faculty at Rowan University in New Jersey.


Free medical clinic secures significant support

March 2011 - Volunteers with a variety of skills are needed for the Polk Community Free Medical Clinic in Dallas. For an application, please visit the Salem Free Medical Clinic or e-mail Gail Saxowsky. Read more.

January 2011 - Polk Community Free Medical Clinic is becoming a reality through the efforts of Gail Saxowsky, adjunct instructor of health, and others. The clinic, set to open later this year in space provided by Trinity Lutheran Church in Dallas, recently received $40,000 from Wheat Ridge Ministries, a Lutheran outreach group. The three years of funding will help start-up efforts; other sources of funding and partnerships have also been secured and more are in the works. The clinic is being designed to serve low income individuals and families without health care coverage and is also slated as a practicum site for students in WOU nursing and community health programs.


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