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Colby-Sawyer Professor Jean Eckrich Honored with University of Delaware Alumni Award

Colby-Sawyer College Professor of Exercise and Sport Sciences Jean Eckrich was honored with the 2014 Outstanding Alumni Award by the Department of Kinesiology and Applied Physiology from the College of Health Sciences at the University of Delaware (UD) on Friday, June 6, at the Health Sciences Complex on UD's Science, Technology and Advanced Research Campus. Associate Professor of Kinesiology and Applied Physiology Nancy Getchell presented the award to Professor Eckrich.

“I was truly honored and humbled when I received word from a member of the Department of Kinesiology and Applied Physiology,” said Professor Eckrich. “It was quite special to have family members at the ceremony, a former professor and current colleagues from the University of Delaware, where I had a wonderful undergraduate experience.”

Professor Eckrich earned her bachelor's degree in physical education at UD in 1977. She went on to earn her master's degree from the University of Wyoming, and her Ph.D. in physical education, with a concentration in biomechanics, from Purdue University. As an undergraduate at UD, Professor Eckrich won the Robert A. Layton Award and the Honors Day Book Award. She also delivered the 1987 baccalaureate address for the then-College of Physical Education, Athletics and Recreation.

“Because of my undergraduate experience, I know that quality teaching and advising are so important in creating an environment that allows students to develop intellectually, professionally and personally,” said Professor Eckrich.

Professor Eckrich joined the Colby-Sawyer faculty in 1995. She served as chair of the Exercise and Sport Sciences Department from 1995 to 2009 and was appointed as the David H. Winton Endowed Chair in 2012 in recognition of her excellence as an established faculty member. In addition to her teaching, advising and leadership roles, Professor Eckrich founded Colby-Sawyer's Teaching Enrichment Center in 2009 and led the Undergraduate Research Task Force in founding the annual Susan Colby Colgate Scholars' Symposium in 2003. In addition, Professor Eckrich has overseen the development and implementation of a four-day orientation program for new faculty, as well as a monthly seminar series. She has also designed online resources and small group diagnosis sessions for faculty.

“Dr. Eckrich is known for her support for student and faculty excellence through her leadership of the Undergraduate Research Task Force and of our Teaching Enrichment Center and New Faculty Learning Community programs,” said Colby-Sawyer Academic Vice President and Dean of Faculty Deb Taylor. “The award is yet another affirmation of what we are so keenly aware of: Dr. Eckrich is a faculty member who contributes deeply to every aspect of college life.”

As an expert in the mechanics and development of human motion, the changing role of women in sports, and appropriate principles and practices for coaches, Professor Eckrich has published and presented regionally, nationally and internationally with colleagues and students from Colby-Sawyer. “While my work with students is the most important aspect of my professional life, I truly enjoy talking with other faculty about their pedagogical strategies and learning about what they have found to be successful, ” said Eckrich. “It is really important to continue to adapt and adjust to the changing dynamics in teaching and learning.”

“It is a wonderful honor not just for Dr. Eckrich personally but also for [Colby-Sawyer] to have her receive the award,” Dean Taylor added. “We are very fortunate to have her [here] and we fully appreciate how proud the University of Delaware is to have her as one of its distinguished alumni.”


- Anurup Upadhyay '15

Anurup Upadhyay is a business major at Colby-Sawyer College and a student writer for College Communications.

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