Howard Payne University’s Department of Exercise and Sport Science recently announced that it has changed its name to the Department of Kinesiology to better reflect the department’s mission and purpose.
Dr. Graham Hatcher, head of the department and professor of exercise and sport science, said many academic departments nationwide have adopted similar name changes since the National Research Council recognized kinesiology as an academic discipline in the life sciences in 2006.
“Our focus is on the multidimensional study of physical activity and its impact on health, society and quality of life,” he said, “so this is an especially appropriate designation for us and our bachelor’s degrees in kinesiology and athletic training as well as the Master of Education in Sport and Wellness Leadership degree.”
Dr. Hatcher mentioned the department has had several other names throughout Howard Payne’s history: elocution and physical culture (1898), physical education (1923), athletics and physical education (1934) and health and physical education (1955). It was named the Department of Exercise and Sport Science in 1994.
“In the past two-and-a-half years we have crafted our mission statement, revised both undergraduate degrees, gained national accreditation for our Athletic Training Education Program and introduced the Master of Education degree in Sport and Wellness Leadership,” said Dr. Hatcher. “Those efforts were conducted intentionally as a prelude to this name change, which better reflects our core programs focusing on physical activity and human movement.”
The mission statement for HPU’s Department of Kinesiology is “To provide a Christ-centered approach to the field of human movement through study, practice, and service.” Fall 2015 enrollment in the department was 191 majors, minors and graduate students. The department employs six full-time faculty members and 19 adjunct instructors.
Kinesiology major Xavier McFalls, senior from Amarillo, said the department has opened doors for him regarding his future career options.
“The kinesiology program not only academically challenges me but also helps me take what I learn and apply it outside the classroom,” he said.
For more information about HPU’s Department of Kinesiology, visit www.hputx.edu/kinesiology or contact Dr. Hatcher at (325) 649-8966 or via e-mail at email@example.com.