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KSC Human Performance and Movement Science Seniors Receive National Recognition

Story By:
Will Wrobel | Videographer/Producer
Human Performance and Movement Science Seniors

For the first time ever, two students from the same institution will be honored as Outstanding Future Professionals (OFP) at the Society of Health and Physical Educators (SHAPE) conference.

Keene State students Brandon Castor ’21 of Southwick, Massachusetts, and James Emery ’21 of Essex Junction, Vermont, were recognized at the New Hampshire Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance (NHAHPERD) virtual conference in November 2020 and subsequently named New Hampshire’s Outstanding Future Professionals.

Any higher education institution with a health, physical education, recreation, or dance major in New Hampshire is eligible to put forth candidates for consideration as New Hampshire’s Outstanding Future Professionals. For the first time ever, both winners come from the same institution. Brandon and James will now go on to represent New Hampshire at the 2021 SHAPE America National Convention in April 2021.

The SHAPE America National Convention and Expo is an opportunity for James and Brandon to meet their peers from around the United States. “For the national conference, we will be representing New Hampshire as OFPs by attending professional development meetings held virtually. We will be provided with multiple learning opportunities to grow as educators. As OFP’s, we’ll also be recognized for our achievements in Keene State’s Human Performance and Movement Sciences Program and be provided with an opportunity to discuss our accomplishments with our peers at the conference,” said James.

When Brandon was asked how he’d like to be remembered as an educator, he said, “As a teacher, I want to be remembered as a spark to all students who stepped foot into my unforgettable activity spaces. I want to be remembered for creating an ambiance of inspiring and gratifying moments that enriched their minds, bodies, and lives and helped them develop character and the initiative to lead.” Aside from being recognized as excellent scholars in the field of physical education, the SHAPE America conference will give both James and Brandon a leg up when they enter the workforce after graduation. “Being recognized as an OFP is very significant as we look to start our careers. To be recognized at the national level for my academic achievements will give me tremendous support as I look for professional opportunities,” said Brandon.

James said that he chose to study at Keene State’s Human Performance and Movement Sciences Program because he wanted to positively impact the youth of today and believed he can do that through teaching physical education.

James is already in the process of looking for work as a physical educator near his hometown. Brandon intends to take the Massachusetts Test for Educator Licensure (MTEL) and is applying to work in the Springfield public school system. Both Brandon and James will pursue a master’s degree.

Both James and Brandon credit faculty members Dr. Fitni Destani, Dr. Donna Smyth, and Dr. Beverly King as instrumental in their selection as OFPs because they provided an excellent knowledge base from which to draw.

“At any moment I could reach out to one of these professors with a question or concern and they would immediately get back to me. They also took the time to write letters of recommendation for Brandon and me, advocating for our credibility for this award. Although ‘James Emery,’ and ‘Brandon Castor’ are the names on the award, the Outstanding Future Professional is a win for Keene State College and the Department here,” said James.

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