From a young age, Department of Kinesiology Professor Ken Lodewyk knew he wanted a career as a health and physical education teacher. Now, at the onset of his 15th year at Brock University, he is being honoured as the recipient of the 2020 Teaching Excellence Award from the Faculty of Applied Health Sciences.
“Looking back, I have everything to be thankful for,” says Lodewyk, who acknowledges he is “one of many who are also deserving of this recognition.”
Lodewyk, whose teaching and research speciality is pedagogy (the method and practice of teaching), considers teaching an ongoing pursuit of excellence that one never really attains as there are always ways to improve.
“For me, teaching is an extension of and represents who you are as a person,” Lodewyk explains. “It is skills knowledge, but it also reflects your own journey.”
Before coming to Brock in 2005, Lodewyk’s career has included 13 years as a high school physical education and health teacher, coach and athletic director, and six years as an assistant professor at universities in British Columbia and Ohio. He also completed his master’s in human kinetics and PhD in educational psychology while working.
“I think I have a lot of previous experiences that are related to what I currently teach,” he says. “Also, as a parent of six children, I’ve gained a better understanding of the developmental phases of children and youth all the way up to age 22 and some of the factors which help them flourish.”
Reflecting on some of the core principles which guide his teaching, Lodewyk finds it hard to summarize all that is involved in good teaching.
“I believe that our program is very strong partly due to the emphasis on experiential learning,” Lodewyk says. “It is my hope our graduates see their degree as a gateway to further growth and service to others. Being honoured with this award, I realize how much performance is dependant on other factors beside myself. I am deeply thankful to those who have contributed to any success as an educator that I have experienced over the years; namely, God, my wife and children, mentors and supportive colleagues, and students.”
In recognition for being a leader in his field and having provided extensive contributions to his profession over the course of his career, Lodewyk recently received the 2020 North America Society Fellow Award from the Society of Health and Physical Education America and Physical and Health Education Canada.
Also recognized is Kinesiology Professor Kimberley Gammage, who is the recipient of the 2020 Research Excellence Award from the Faculty of Applied Health Sciences for her research into body image and getting diverse populations active.
Born and raised near St. Catharines’ Glenridge Ave., Brock was a part of Gammage’s youth and helped to shape some of her early experiences.
“Even though I didn’t attend Brock as a student, I have lots of good memories from my high school years watching basketball games with my dad and attending Sports School,” says Gammage. “My mom would get up at 4 a.m. to line up and register me in-person, because at the time there was no phone or internet registration.”
She describe the opportunity of teaching at Brock a “no brainer.”
“I didn’t even need to think about it,” says Gammage. “I just knew this was going to become my home.”
Celebrating her 18 year anniversary at Brock on July 1, the award comes at a time in Gammage’s career when her research has expanded into diverse areas that all relate back to one of two common threads within different populations.
“I didn’t get this award alone,” says Gammage. “It is the graduate students whose interests really evolve my research and the colleagues who have partnered with me and supported me. Without them, none of this would be possible.”
She also notes that the diversity and wide range of backgrounds and expertise among the department has been instrumental to her career and research.
“We represent a microcosm of the university,” says Gammage. “When I think about all of the research projects I’ve been fortunate to collaborate on, with such diverse groups of people in our department, I could not have done it without their expertise. On the surface, it may seem like we have nothing in common, but we study things we would never have the opportunity to without each other. I am very fortunate for how much support I have in terms of research, graduate students, funding and recruitment.”
Gammage is also the Graduate Program Director for the master of professional kinesiology program, Director of the SeniorFit Program at the Brock-Niagara Centre for Health and Well-being and was recently awarded a Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) Discovery Development Grant.