HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - This is a news release from USM.
Physical education students, faculty and alumni from The University of Southern Mississippi received awards and recognitions at the Mississippi Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance (MAHPERD) 2014 Convention in Jackson, Miss. Nov. 6 -7.
"One of the major goals of a teacher preparation program is preparing students to be lifelong learners and professionals in our field," said Dr. Robert Doan, assistant professor of physical education. "The success we had at the MAPHERD conference last week provides evidence that the physical education program is achieving our goal."
The Southern Miss students won the "SuperStars" competition, where they demonstrated their physical education knowledge and skills against fellow Mississippi students. To continue the winning trend, Chiquita Thomas, a senior from Canton, Miss. majoring in sport coaching education and physical education, was honored as Student of the Year.
"I would like to give all praises to God because without Him none of this would be possible," said Thomas. "Secondly, I would like to thank Dr. Doan for an outstanding recommendation for the award. He is the reason behind this accomplishment. He believes in me and encourages me to believe in myself."
"Chiquita works hard to balance Mississippi Army National Guard and school," said Doan. "She is a leader in the classroom and demonstrates a high level of enthusiasm. I am proud of the developing professionalism she has shown going through our teacher preparation program at Southern Miss."
Thomas, along with fellow physical education majors Andre Jackson, LaPrecious Thompson, Raquele Beech and Josh Pipkins presented "Test your Skills with the Exciting Game of Speedball." Dr. Melanie Perreault, assistant professor of sport coaching education, presented "Reducing Feedback Dependency: Strategies for Delivering Feedback to Students and Athletes." Doan presented "Everyone is Moving When You Teach Using Grids." Doan was elected to serve on the MAPHERD board of directors.
Lauren Smith, a 2010 Southern Miss alumna, was awarded a $500 grant from MAPHERD. She plans to purchase weights for her students at Hawkins Elementary School, where she teaches Physical Education.
"We do not have a gym, so generally during the winter months we do a lot of exercising indoors," said Smith. "This winter will be more exciting with our new purchase."
Smith graduated in 2010 with a bachelor's degree in human performance, physical education emphasis and health endorsement from the School of Human Performance and Recreation. She currently works with physical education and sport coaching education majors completing their practicum.
"Having a recent alumni who works closely with our students win a grant gives us evidence that our program is producing lifelong learners who are leading professionals in the state of Mississippi," said Doan.
For more information about the School of Human Performance and Recreation, visitwww.usm.edu/hpr.