Clersida Garcia, associate professor in the NIU College of Education’s Department of Kinesiology and Physical Education, has been appointed to a four-year seat on the Governor’s Council on Health and Physical Fitness.
Garcia, a 22-year veteran in the field of physical education, has given more than 100 presentations at state, national and international conferences and conventions in both teaching and research and has 24 published scholarly works to her credit.
“I am very happy with my accomplishments,” Garcia said. “As a woman and minority with English as a second language, and a family to care for, it has never been easy.”
Garcia has been a professor in the College of Education since 1992 and attributes her time at NIU as an influential factor in her educational growth and development.
“I am truly honored and excited by this appointment,” she said. “It gives me an opportunity to contribute knowledge and expertise that will enhance and promote physically active lifestyles, health and physical fitness to individuals in Illinois.”
The council, comprised of 50 members, serves to encourage Illinois citizens to participate in health and fitness activities. Members work closely with Gov. Pat Quinn in promoting and sponsoring public sporting and physical fitness events.
At NIU, Garcia designed and implemented an ongoing motor development research program centered on young children in the DeKalb community. She started the program to provide opportunities for NIU students to practice teaching and observing youth as they develop.
“She is a student-centered, caring educator with a passion for physical education,” said Jenny Parker, colleague and associate professor in KNPE.
Garcia has made it a lifelong commitment to provide a service to the community to enhance health awareness, nutrition, and physical activity, among other social issues. Holding a seat on the Governor’s Council on Health and Physical Fitness not only rewards her individual accomplishments, but underscores KNPE’s position as an intellectual leader in physical education issues statewide.
“It is critical that we are a player when important decisions are enacted by policy makers regarding the structuring of state-funded physical education programs,” said Paul Carpenter, chair of KNPE. “Her seat on the council gives NIU and the College of Education that kind of visibility and consideration.”