Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Cortland Rugby Player Makes All-Star Team

From SUNY Cortland News:

Cortland Rugby Player Makes All-Star Team
Michael Compton, a SUNY Cortland senior who spent three years as an Army ranger, is once again part of a respected, select group: the Northeast Rugby Union All-Star Team.

Compton, a physical education major who plays prop for the Cortland Rugby Team, traveled to Colorado last week to play in the national Men’s Collegiate All-Star Championship after being selected for the team. The Northeast Rugby Union is the coordinating body for rugby throughout New York and New England.

“We are very proud of Mike’s accomplishment,” said SUNY Cortland President Erik J. Bitterbaum. “He’s been recognized as one of the best rugby players in the country, and he learned to play the game here at SUNY Cortland.”

Compton, a former high-school football and baseball player, from Jeffersonville, N.Y., spent more than a year serving with the Rangers in Iraq. He began playing rugby about three years ago, after coming to SUNY Cortland.

“I knew I wanted to play ball in college, but I didn’t want to sit on the bench,” Compton said. “I tried rugby. I enjoyed the camaraderie. I enjoyed the sport. I never thought it would take me this far.”

Compton made the starting, 15-man lineup that the Northeast Rugby Union fielded against the West All-Star team in Glendale, Colo. on June 9. He played prop, a key position in the center of a rugby scrum. The Northeast lost 21-14, but won a consolation match the following day against the West’s second squad, 41-15.

Men’s rugby is one of 34 competitive club sports offered to SUNY Cortland students through the College’s Recreational Sports Program. The clubs range from standards like baseball and football to less mainstream athletic activities such as ultimate Frisbee, kickline, hoop dance, Tae Kwon Do and Quiddich, an earthbound adaption of the magical game depicted in “Harry Potter” books and movies.

Compton, 25, walked in Commencement ceremonies last month, but is still enrolled in the College because he will be completing his student teaching requirement this fall. He will teach physical education at Liberty Middle School and Liberty Elementary School in Liberty, N.Y.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Music Video Backs National Fitness Campaign

Reposted from SUNY Cortland News:

Music Video Backs National Fitness Campaign

About 50 SUNY Cortland students from two physical education courses took to YouTube recently with a music video parody to promote awareness for First Lady Michelle Obama’s “Let’s Move” campaign against childhood obesity.
The clip, which features Assistant Professor Stephen Yang’s students, is a response to Beyonce’s "Move Your Body,” a workout video re-written with new words to her hit song "Get Me Bodied." The Grammy award-winning singer released the tune earlier this month to encourage dance exercise among children as part of the First Lady’s effort.
Yang saw an opportunity to teach his students, mostly aspiring physical education teachers, in a memorable way. Students performed a choreographed routine similar to Beyonce’s, with old dance moves like the Running Man and new ones like the Dougie.
“We can’t just talk about current issues,” Yang said. “We’ve got to give students opportunities to create social moments.”
Yang’s students banded together to form a group dubbed the P.E. Rockstars. All of his students are required to maintain their own blogs related to physical education. Yang has even created an all-inclusive blog of relevant course material.
J. Trenton Jones, a junior from Clifton Springs, N.Y. and a physical education major, volunteered to edit the raw video footage, which was shot from four cameras.
“Dr. Yang gives you the tools and he allows you to teach yourself,” said Jones, who knew little about video editing before Yang’s class. “He puts you in a situation and you have to work through it.”
The production of a music video made sense, given the relevance of the First Lady’s fitness campaign and the fact that May is National Physical Fitness and Sports Month.
“This was a great way to move and get people doing cardio,” Jones said. “Dancing is lifelong fitness activity and that’s pretty much where physical education is heading – lifelong fitness.”
Yang said he would like physical education students to create exercise-encouraging music videos every year. SUNY Cortland’s Department of Physical Education is one of the largest and most respected in the United States, attracting about 800 students every year.
“Obviously, we’re not professional dancers,” Yang said. “But this is a baby step towards a much larger goal: to create agents of change.”

30 Under 30: Innovative Educators - Pat Colgan (PE Alum)

Cortland APE Alum Pat Colgan - Prince Georges County in Maryland. Lots of Cortland PE Alum (approximately 30) in the same or neighboring districts including recent grads Jerry Greenlaw and Caleb Olsen.  They love fitness and Jerry's elementary school just got a bronze level for the national healthy school program. Congrats and keep up the great work Cortland Alum!

Name: Patrick Colgan
Age: 26
Location: Beltsville, Maryland
School: Buck Lodge Middle School and High Point High School
Position: Adapted Physical Education Teacher, Girls' Varsity Soccer Coach, Unified Bocce Ball Coach and Middle School Girls’ Soccer Coach

Technology and television screens aren’t always counterproductive to physical education, a fact popularized by the Nintendo Wii’s Fit. Patrick Colgan is popularizing this technology at Buck Lodge Middle School and High Point High School. By incorporating the video game console, LCD projectors, and board maker software into his general and adapted physical education program, Colgan makes it a whole lot easier for his students to design and enjoy their own individualized education program. Possibly more unique is Colgan’s involvement in the creation of a fully inclusive fitness club called Tutors and Tournaments that combines education, physical fitness, and technology into one club allowing students with and without disabilities to work together.

What are your goals for your work?
“My goals for the Wii Technology is to provide students with a[n] innovative way to develop their fitness and skills while having fun. I also hope that if students are stuck in the house that they may be able to use what we do in the after school club and in the classroom at home.”

What challenges do you face trying to break the mold?
“The biggest challenge is securing enough funds to hook up the 15 Nintendo Wiis to televisions and LCD projectors. We have significantly more Wiis than televisions, which prohibits us from using all of them during class and the after school program.”

In your opinion, what’s the biggest flaw with the American education system today?
“To me, the biggest flaw in the education system today is standardized testing. It takes a lot of creativity away from the teachers and how they use their specific curriculum. The high stakes testing can be stressful for teachers and students.”

Growing up, what educators made the biggest impression on you and why?
"My father, Ed Colgan, was a high school biology teacher and a coach for over 30 years.  His incredible work ethic, discipline, morals, values, and ability to balance a successful career and family are a constant inspiration to me everyday."

What do you hope your students take away from you?
“I teach students with disabilities in Physical Education and I would like to see them being physically active in the community when they graduate high school. Whether it be at a fitness center or at home. I also would like my students and athletes to take the ideas of respect, commitment, humor, dedication, discipline, an open mind, and a serious work ethic wherever they go.”