Campus: CSU, San Diego -- July 20, 2001
National Health Organization Honors SDSU Professor for Research into Children and Fitness
Thomas L. McKenzie, San Diego State University professor of Exercise
and Nutritional Sciences, has been awarded the highest honor from a national
health organization for his continuous research in physical activity and
physical education among children and adolescents.
The American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance
(AAHPERD) named McKenzie the 2001-02 Alliance Scholar at the organization's
annual meeting. As the Alliance Scholar, he will be sponsored by AAHPERD
to present at a series of professional meetings throughout the country
and at the organization's national conference in San Diego. McKenzie is
the first faculty member in the California State University system to
receive this award.
McKenzie has been researching child and adolescent physical activity for
more than 25 years and says his research is especially important today
when physical activity levels among young children and adolescents are
"Obesity as well as Type 2 diabetes are increasing and are present
in a much younger population," said McKenzie. "Factors causing
this include a decline in time allocated to physical education and recess
at schools, and children having fewer places to play actively."
A former schoolteacher and administrator, McKenzie is a national leader
in designing physical education and staff development programs, which
been tested in hundreds of schools over 12 years.
"My research focuses on the decline of physical activity in youth
and tests original methods for schools, communities and parents to use
to reverse the trend," he said.
Robert Carlson, chairperson for the Department of Exercise and Nutritional
Sciences, says McKenzie's honor is well-deserved.
"Professor McKenzie's research is extremely important to the health
and fitness of children everywhere," Carlson said. "He is a
dedicated leader in the field and is an asset to the department."
AAHPERD is the largest organization of professionals involved in physical
education, health, recreation, dance and sports. It promotes and supports
creative and healthy lifestyles through high-quality programs. The organization
is known for its program "Jumprope for the Heart," which raises
funds for medical research and educational programs that teach students
the benefit of physical activity.
San Diego State University is the oldest and largest higher education
institution in the San Diego region. Since it was founded in 1897, SDSU
has grown to offer bachelor's degrees in 76 areas, master's degrees in
59 areas and doctorates in 13. SDSU's more than 31,000 students participate
in an academic curriculum distinguished by direct contact with professors
and an increasing international emphasis that prepares them for a global
future. For more information, log onto www.sdsu.edu.