Press Release


San Jose State Professor Receives Highest Honor at National Educators Conference

RESTON, VA, February 25, 2014 – Dr. Emily H. Wughalter, a professor at San Jose State University, CA, will receive the highest award given by the American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance (AAHPERD) at its 129th annual National Convention & Expo in St. Louis, Missouri on Friday, April 4. Given in recognition of long and distinguished service to one or more of the professions, the Luther Halsey Gulick Medal, designed by sculptor R. Tait McKenzie, will be presented to Dr. Wughalter at the Hall of Fame Banquet at the Renaissance St. Louis Grand Hotel.

Others to be honored that evening include Olympic legend Jackie Joyner- Kersee and Ronald S. Feingold, professor emeritus at Adelphi University, New York; National Physical Education Teachers of the Year for Elementary, Middle and High School and National Adapted Physical Education, Dance and Health Teachers of the Year. The banquet is sponsored by Human Kinetics, an employee-owned company committed to serving the physical activity field.

A dedicated scholar and distinguished professional throughout her career, Dr. Wughalter currently teaches courses in the Department of Kinesiology and in the interdisciplinary Program in Human Factors and Ergonomics. The focus of her scholarship has been in the field of motor learning and measurement, but throughout her career a profound commitment to social justice and diversity is evident. She has been a strong advocate for girls and women in sport at the local and national levels.

Examples of the service and leadership positions that Dr. Wughalter has held in AAHPERD include two terms as a Board of Governors representative, Vice President of the National Association for Girls and Women in Sport (NAGWS), the President of the Research Consortium, and member of the Social Justice and Diversity Committee of AAHPERD. Most recently, she served as a member of the Visioning Committee for the unification of AAHPERD that will become the Society of Health and Physical Educators, doing business as SHAPE America in April.

Among her many AAHPERD honors, she was inducted as a Fellow in the Research Consortium, received the Mabel Lee Award, the Distinguished Service Award from the Research Consortium, the NAGWS Honor Award, and the AAHPERD Honor Award.

Over a span of 33 years Dr. Wughalter has often served simultaneously on multiple boards to advance the fields of physical education and kinesiology. Moreover, she has provided leadership in the National Association for Kinesiology in Higher Education (NAKHE) for which she received the NAKHE Distinguished Service Award this past January. She is also a Past President of the Western Society for Physical Education of College Women. Her sustained and significant leadership and commitment to girls and women in sport, and social justice and diversity issues is a vein that runs through all the work she does and often puts her on the margins of change.

A graduate of the Herbert H. Lehman College, CUNY, with a bachelor of arts in physical education and the University of Colorado, Boulder, with a master of science in physical education, motor learning, she received her Doctor of Education degree from the University of Georgia in 1981. Dr. Wughalter has published 28 journal articles, a book, a book chapter, five book reviews, and seven abstracts and has given over 50 national, regional, state, and local presentations.

In addition, she is recognized for her teaching expertise having been awarded the Outstanding Professor Award from San Jose State University, an honor bestowed by the President of the University who selects one each year from among a large tenure track faculty as well as the Outstanding Service Award and the Outstanding Professor Award for the College of Applied Sciences and Arts.


About SHAPE America
SHAPE America - Society of Health and Physical Educators is committed to ensuring all children have the opportunity to lead healthy, physically active lives. As the nation's largest membership organization of health and physical education professionals, SHAPE America works with its 50 state affiliates and national partners to support initiatives such as the Presidential Youth Fitness Program, Let's Move! Active Schools and the Jump Rope For Heart/Hoops For Heart programs.

Since its founding in 1885, the organization has defined excellence in physical education, and our resources provide the leadership, professional development and advocacy that support health and physical educators at every level - from preschool to university graduate programs. For more information, visit