Updike named Recreation Professional of Year

Huntington, Ind.—Huntington University’s Connie Updike has been named the Recreation Professional/Leisure Educator of the Year for 2007 by the Indiana Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation, and Dance.

Updike serves as assistant professor of recreation management and teaches courses designed to educate students in the exercise science, recreation management and physical education fields. She has been employed by the university for 19 years.

Through the award, IAHPERD recognizes the work of an individual who exhibits outstanding and creative leadership in the recreation profession or as an innovative leisure educator at the college/university level. The IAHPERD will acknowledge Updike and her accomplishments at the organization’s award celebration in November.

“I work with my students to develop a strong knowledge base, resource base and experiential base to develop that whole person in becoming the best leisure professional that they can be,” Updike said.

Nominees must meet several criteria to be considered for the award. Applicants must be members of the IAHPERD, be involved in recreation leadership pursuits, and have a minimum of five years professional experience in recreation/leisure. They also must deliver speeches, presentations, consultations, and/or demonstrations at workshops or conferences and demonstrate a vitality of contemporary and future-centered leisure thought and theory.

Overall, they must have made a significant contribution in the area of recreation/leisure in various areas such as publications or service on state committees. The process requires the applicant to submit written documentation demonstrating compliance with each award criteria and a letter of recommendation from the applicant’s administrator or colleague.

Examples of accomplishments and activities that have been achieved through Updike’s courses include the Huntington University Olympiad, the Huntington County Boys & Girls Club’s Fall Harvest Celebration, financial support for Earth Keeper’s Day programs for Huntington County fifth graders, financial support for Missions Emphasis Week programs at the university and a camp leadership course at Camp Living Waters in Luther, Mich.

Updike earned her Bachelor of Science degree from Manchester College in physical education, health and recreation, a Master of Science in secondary education with a physical education, health and recreation endorsement from Indiana University and has completed post graduate work in Therapeutic Recreation from Indiana University. Updike has taught and coached in both the public school and college levels and has been a community recreation director, camp counselor, intramural director, scout leader and community agency volunteer. She has taught community recreation classes. She also is involved with program development at Thornhill Nature Preserve, which is owned and operated by the university.

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Huntington University is a comprehensive Christian college of the liberal arts offering graduate and undergraduate programs in more than 70 academic concentrations. U.S.News & World Report ranks Huntington among the best colleges in the Midwest. Founded in 1897 by the Church of the United Brethren in Christ, Huntington University is located on a contemporary, lakeside campus in northeast Indiana. The University is a member of the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities (CCCU).  


Heather Barkley
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Joanne Green
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