Four William Woods University students recently were honored as outstanding students in their majors at the Missouri Association of Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance (MOAHPERD) State Convention.
Recipients of the award were senior exercise science major Grace Fritz of Washington, Missouri; junior athletic training major Rachel Frabotta of Sterling Heights, Michigan; senior physical education major Mariah Wheaton of Independence, Missouri; and senior sports management major James Ball of House Springs, Missouri.
“We are very proud of these four outstanding students,” said Anthony Lungstrum, chair of the science, math and human performance division and assistant professor of athletic training. “They truly represent what the Outstanding Student Major Award represents.”
He added, “The four academic programs that they represent have a lot to offer a prospective student. These four students have taken full advantage of their academic programs and we look forward to following their professional careers after graduation. MoAPHERD is a great organization and to have our students recognized by them in an honor. We look forward to increasing our students’ involvement with MoAPHERD in the future.”
The theme of the convention, held Nov. 13-16 at the Lodge of the Four Seasons, was “Strengthening Our Future One Heart at a Time.”
Each school was allowed to select an outstanding student in each of the majors offered at their institution. The students from William Woods were nominated by Lungstrum; Timothy Hanrahan, assistant professor of physical education; and Cindy Robb, assistant professor of athletic training.
“It was an honor to be nominated and even more to receive the award. Just makes me feel that all my work and time has actually come to mean something at the end of my college career,” said Wheaton.
Ball said, “To me the outstanding student award is a pretty big deal. At first I had no idea what it was or what it was about. When I went to the convention and got to meet with a bunch of great people and get an understanding of what I was being awarded, I came to understand that this wasn’t just something just handed out. I was stunned.”
He added, “I knew I was working hard and giving a lot of effort, though I didn’t know others could see it, and that itself is a great feeling. I wasn’t trying to get an award or do anything to get attention. I wanted to focus on studies and out work myself every time I sat down to complete something. I don’t strive to be better than others; I strive to be better than myself and this award to me shows that I am doing that.”
In addition to numerous workshops, the convention offered two days of physical activity leader training in an effort to develop individuals who will champion the goal of 60 minutes a day of physical activity for all school-age youth.
Left to right, Grace Fritz, Rachel Frabotta, Mariah Wheaton and Jim Ball