Katie Ciolli (from left), Kyle Burza, Chris Albrecht and Cori Hilton presenting their research at IAHPERD.

Northeastern Illinois University takes home several awards at Illinois physical education conference

Monday, December 3, 2018

Thirty-three Northeastern Illinois University undergraduate students in the Department of Health Sciences and Physical Education attended the Illinois Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance (IAHPERD) state conference.

The IAHPERD conference is open to all physical education professionals and students and is helpful for professional development and networking. This year’s convention was held at the Pheasant Run Resort in St. Charles, Ill., from Nov. 15-16. Nine students won awards and one was chosen as IAHPERD’s president-elect.

Cori Hilton earned the Top Scholar Award, which comes with a $2,000 scholarship. Miriam Varela also earned a $1,500 scholarship.

Chris Albrecht, Kyle Burza, Katie Ciolli and Cori Hilton were awarded a $200 prize for their student research presentation, “An Evaluation on Elementary P.E. Teachers’ Perspectives of Female Students Based on Self-Determination Theory.”

Several Illinois universities also competed in a “Jeopardy”-style competition at the conference. Northeastern’s team of Ann Almeda Hanke, Phil Farino, Jazmin Roman and Alex Wade won first place and were awarded a trophy.

In addition to these accolades, Al Ramirez, Northeastern’s Health Sciences and Physical Education Student Organization treasurer, was voted IAHPERD’s president-elect. Ramirez will serve a two-year term starting in 2018.

Kimberly Maljak, an assistant professor in Northeastern’s Department of Health Sciences and Physical Education, helped students prepare for the IAHPERD state conference and the Society of Health and Physical Educators (SHAPE) America national conference by working with them to complete applications and presentations as well as rehearse speeches.

“It feels amazing,” Maljak said, reflecting on the awards students earned. “I think the students feel very accomplished. We were competing against much larger schools for these awards. We really held our own.”

Top photo: Katie Ciolli (from left), Kyle Burza, Chris Albrecht and Cori Hilton presented their research at IAHPERD and will present at SHAPE America National in Tampa, Fla., in the spring.