An athletic leap

Kinesiology achieves faculty status for new academic year

The U of W’s department of kinesiology has officially become a faculty. Dylan Hewlett

With the sod turned on the new UNITED Health & RecPlex at the University of Winnipeg, there’s more excitement on the horizon for those interested in recreation and athletics.

As of July 1, the department of kinesiology has officially become a faculty, splitting from general arts to become its own entity. This comes on the one-year anniversary of the formal announcement of the faculty’s creation.

With the increase in unilateral power, David Fitzpatrick, acting dean of the new faculty, is ready to see students and professors alike spread their wings.

“The faculty gives students a dean to go to senior administration to speak on their behalf,” said Fitzpatrick.

“Before we were a faculty, the department was part of the faculty of arts and had 25 other programs alongside it.”

David Telles-Langdon, a coaching professor, will also see opportunities thanks to a stronger connection to the athletics department.

“We’ve always lived in the same space but we now have greater ties between our students and the athletes on the teams, which is obviously a big part of learning kinesiology,” said Telles-Langdon.

One of those athletes is Wesmen men’s basketball point guard Andrew Cunningham, who is in his fourth year of kinesiology.

With graduation a year away, Cunningham admits he doesn’t see much of a difference between being in a department or a faculty.

“Wanting to become a gym teacher, I’m interested in learning about the body and physical activity and this field has helped me the most,” said Cunningham.

For Fitzpatrick, kinesiology has been developing for the past 35 years, since the department of athletics and the department of kinesiology were introduced separately in 1967.

“Now, the faculty (of kinesiology) has been formed and joins with the department of athletics that’s responsible for teams, intramural activities and community involvement,” said Fitzpatrick.

That involvement has been a point of emphasis for the university as they hope to involve the faculty with the surrounding community as much as possible.

“We’re here to provide opportunities to become engaged with the community. Our students that are looking to be physical educators will be working with youth in the community as part of their course work,” said Fitzpatrick.

“This is a major part of what I’ll be working on as dean.”

Correction (Monday, Sept. 24): An earlier version of this article indicated that the University of Winnipeg’s department of modern languages lost several tenure track faculty positions due to budget cuts. This is false. The department lost no tenure track positions.

Published in Volume 67, Number 3 of The Uniter (September 19, 2012)

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