By Jo Kadlecek, Senior Writer
She might teach recreation and leisure studies, but Professor Valerie Gin takes her work seriously. As a result, colleagues from across the country honored her last month for her international contributions to the field.
During the Christian Society for Kinesiology and Leisure Studies (CSKLS) conference held June 7–9 at Indiana Wesleyan University, Gin, who is a resident of Magnolia, MA, and chair of Gordon’s Recreation and Leisure Studies department, received The Glen Van Andel Distinguished Service Award. The Award "honors a current professional member who has provided extensive meritorious service to the profession within or outside of the society." Recipients of the award are recognized as "leaders in the Society, who have worked to enhance and advance CSKLS goals," and have earned the respect of fellow members through extended dedication to the Society.
Gin was recognized because of her extensive international involvement lecturing, presenting papers, and consulting with athletes and coaches in over 20 countries over the past decade, including Argentina, Australia, Canada, China, Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic, Egypt, England, Greece, Guatemala, Honduras, Hong Kong, India, Jamaica, Kenya, Korea, Lebanon, Portugal, Romania, Singapore, South Africa, Thailand, Ukraine and Zambia.
"I am humbled and honored to receive an award named after one of the most respected academicians in the field of therapeutic recreation," Gin said. "Dr. Van Andel endured my first professional presentation of my doctoral dissertation and has been a patient mentor, friend and colleague. I have been blessed professionally and personally to be a member of this Society."
Gin has also created sport ethics curriculum that is now used in sport leadership schools and trainings around the world. She was the 2009–2011 Research Fellow at Sport in Society at Northeastern University as well as the co-editor of the Journal of the Christian Society for Kinesiology and Leisure Studies. Gin was recently elected president of the CSKLS, the second woman to serve in that role.