Columna to be Honored with National Social Justice and Diversity Award

Luis Columna, associate professor of physical education and exercise science in the School of Education, has been selected to receive the 2011 Social Justice and Diversity Young Professional Award from the American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance (AAHPERD).  Columna will be presented with the award at the organization’s national convention in San Diego, CA at the end of March.

This award honors one young professional each year who has demonstrated superior promise in the areas of service, teaching, scholarship and commitment to the goals of the organization focusing specifically on under-represented and/or underserved populations and promotion of social justice and diversity.

Columna joined the Syracuse faculty in January 2011; previously holding a position as associate professor of physical education at the State University of New York at Cortland, where he also facilitated physical activities to children and their families in the Migrant Education Outreach Program.  He holds a Ph.D. in kinesiology from Texas Woman’s University in Denton, TX.  Throughout his doctoral studies, he taught adapted physical education in the Denton, TX public schools. Columna’s research interests are related to the physical, emotional, and cognitive well-being of individuals with and without disabilities and their families, including those from a minority background.

With 20,000 members, the American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance (AAHPERD) is the largest organization of professionals supporting and assisting professionals involved in physical education, recreation, fitness, sport and coaching, dance, health education and promotion, and all specialties related to achieving a healthy and active lifestyle.