Luis Columna, a native of San Juan Puerto Rico, is currently an Associate Professor in the Exercise Science Department at Syracuse University. Prior to coming to Syracuse, Professor Columna was an Associate Professor at SUNY Cortland, NY. He is proud to be one of a few Hispanic Physical Education faculty at a Carnegie Classified RU/H Research University. Throughout his doctoral studies, he taught adapted physical education in the Denton, TX public schools. His research focuses on ways to increase the participation of families (especially Hispanic) of children with disabilities into physical activity and also his research focuses on ways to better prepare teachers to work with diverse populations. Columna is committed to providing service learning opportunities for students, which he does through the Cortland Adapted Swim Team, the Migrant Education Outreach Program, and SUNY Upstate Medical group visits. He also infuses Spanish and sign language into his courses so that students will develop important cross-cultural communication skills. Luis was the recipient of the “Leadership in Civic Engagement” award at SUNY Cortland.
At the national level, Columna has served on numerous committees within several organizations, including the Social Justice and Cultural Diversity Committee for both AAHPERD and NAKPEHE. Currently, he is the first Hispanic to be the Chair-Elect for the Adapted Physical Activity Council (AAPAR) and Co-Chair for the Everybody Can! Video Contest organized by AAPAR. Columna is a sought-after speaker and has given over fifty workshops and presentations at the international, national and state levels. He has authored numerous peer reviewed articles for journals such as JOPERD, Journal of Teaching Physical Education, and Adapted Physical Activity Quarterly. He was a section editor for Palaestra and has co-authored two chapters for the NASPE Assessment Series K–12. Columna also has a book under contract “Infusing Spanish and Sign Language into Physical Education.”
Columna has long been an advocate for social justice and diversity issues. His scholarly work and service activities have focused on improving physical activity opportunities for children with disabilities, particularly in Hispanic families. His work on infusing Spanish and sign language in physical education addresses an important need in the field. He is an outstanding young teacher, scholar, and leader in our profession.