Omaha – On Aug. 25, the School of Health and Kinesiology (H&K) welcomed over 50 alumni and their guests to the H&K building atrium for a social hour celebrating the official name change from the School of Health, Physical Education, and Recreation (HPER). The event took place during UNO’s Durango Days, capturing the energy of the new semester.
During the social hour, guests exchanged fond memories and networked with the different generations of alumni. Faculty, along with representatives from student organizations PEXS and Eta Sigma Gamma, were on hand to share highlights of their recent projects. After remarks by Director Dr. Ronald Bulbulian, Assistant Director Dr. Mike Messerole conducted tours of the H&K research labs. Guests were invited to attend a soccer game at Caniglia Field after the social hour.
There is no other place like H&K on campus."
- Joy Leick (BS ‘16)
Many alumni described H&K as a unique and special place. Joy Leick (BS ‘16) recalled several unforgettable faculty members. “There is no other place like H&K on campus. I remember lifting weights one day and [Emeritus Professor] Dr. Kris Berg walks up and says, ‘Do you mind if I work in?’ and he plows through a few bench presses. I have never met anyone so passionate about health and fitness. I feel so lucky to have been a student in the last class he taught here. And, you can’t go through this program without one memory of Dr. John Noble’s outfits. Picture Dr. Noble in the middle of winter, wearing a Hawaiian shirt, shorts, and wild socks.”
Emily Rivera (BS ’13 & MS ‘16) loves returning to H&K and has maintained strong connections with the public health faculty. As an adolescent health educator with Charles Drew Health Center, Emily still works closely with the Midlands Sexual Health Research Collaborative.
One guest, an alumna from the class of 1981, passionately described her memories of the groundbreaking faculty from the physical education program. “When I attended school here, it was an era when women were just starting to have a voice. Female faculty members Dr. Sonia Green and Connie Claussen were pioneers. They were recruiting women for the physical education program, trying to change the industry. Dr. Green made a real difference for women. Dr. Daniel Blanke also changed the direction of the program. He elevated the curriculum to make even it more credible.”
Thank you, H&K alumni and guests, as well as event organizers and participants, for helping make new memories at the School of H&K.