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Hodge first African American to receive SHAPE America’s Scholar Award

Anthony Rodriguez
July 19, 2016

Samuel Hodge, professor of kinesiology, is the first African American to receive the SHAPE America Scholar Award since it was established in 1976.

He was honored for his distinguished career and academic contributions that have made education more inclusive and socially just.

This is the second major honor Hodge has received in 2016. Earlier this year, he was named a Fellow of the National Association of Kinesiology in Higher Education.

The SHAPE America Scholar Award is presented to a scholar who encourages and facilitates research and creative activities that will enrich the depth and scope of health, leisure, sport, dance and related activities, according to SHAPE America.

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“I am pleased that this award recognizes my work,” Hodge said. “It suggests that the topic is important and we’re making progress.”

Throughout Hodge’s career, he has published more than 100 articles for peer-reviewed journals as well as books and book chapters on adapted physical education. He also organizes annual education abroad trips to Puerto Rico and Brazil to show teachers effective strategies in adapted physical education. He has mentored more than 50 masters and 13 doctoral students to their respective degrees.

SHAPE-award_Hodge Professors Phillip Ward and Samuel Hodge pose with the SHAPE America Scholar Award presented to Hodge during the Society's national convention. Ward nominated Hodge for his scholarly work during his more than 30-year career. Photo courtesy of SHAPE America.



His dedication to training the next generation of professionals and making advancements in adapted physical education made it simple for Phillip Ward, professor of kinesiology in the College of Education and Human Ecology, to nominate Hodges for the SHAPE America Scholar Award.

“Dr. Samuel Hodge has made extensive contributions in the areas of social justice, diversity and the engagement of minorities in physical education and in kinesiology,” Ward said. “He is a prolific author in these areas. He is and represents an important voice in the professoriate.”

In addition to the award, Hodge presented a keynote lecture at the Society of Health and Physical Educators (SHAPE America) national convention. There, he spoke about race, civility and social justice and the need to reposition thinking about these issues.

Hodge was introduced to social justice issues through music. That, in turn, influenced how he approaches his service and research in diversity, disability and social justice in sport and education. It also has played a major role in shaping the culture in the physical education teacher education program at Ohio State.

“We’re intentionally training a diverse group of people in kinesiology, human nutrition and physical education teacher education,” Hodge said. “Our push for inclusion and social justice is a natural part of who we are.”

This is especially important to help make advances in the social constructs of society that improve equity and inclusion for all, he said.

“We are all different and we need to embrace that.”