Suzanne Talley, a senior in Radford University's College of Education and Human Development (CEHD), has won the Major of the Year Award from the National Association of Sport and Physical Education.
Talley, a Virginia Beach native, received the honor April 25 at the national meeting of the American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance in Charlotte, N.C. She is RU’s first Exercise, Sport and Health Education (ESHE) major to receive the award at the national level and one of only five students in Virginia to be honored this year.
Talley will graduate on Saturday, May 11, with a degree in physical and health education teaching.
"I could not have received this award without the wonderful professors in Exercise, Sport and Health Education," Talley said. "These professors have helped develop the person that I am today—a person ready to embark on the life of educating others, the life of giving back to something that has given so much to me."
To receive the award, students must be a college junior or senior, maintain at least a 3.0 GPA and conduct school or community service for a minimum of two years. Candidates for the award must major in physical education, kinesiology, sport management, exercise science, fitness and wellness, athletic training or a closely related area.
While a student in CEHD, Talley volunteered with Relay for Life, Habitat for Humanity and Meals on Wheels through the Catholic Campus Ministry. She also served as president and vice president of the ESHE Majors Club.
ESHE Assistant Professor Anna DeVito said, "It was nice to see Suzanne's leadership skills progress as she went from member to vice president and then to president of the ESHE Majors Club. The same was true of her teaching skills with children in our Physical Education Activity Kamp Program. By her junior and senior year, she frequently led small and large groups of children, and her peers, in activities and dances that that made the smallest children to the tallest college students smile."
Suzanne Saunders '97, who teaches health and physical education at Dalton Intermediate School in Radford, served as a cooperating teacher for Talley. She said Talley has a passion for teaching physical education and health, and she genuinely cares for the students.
"Ms. Talley quickly established a rapport with the students and set high expectations," Saunders said. "She is well organized, utilizes technology and offers creative lesson plans. She will be an asset to any P.E. program."
Learn more about Radford University at www.radford.edu.