Paul M. Wright, the Lane/Zimmerman Endowed Professor of Kinesiology and Physical Education at Northern Illinois University, has been named recipient of the 2014 Distinguished Alumni Achievement Award from the University of Illinois at Chicago College of Applied Health Sciences.
Wright accepted the award at the AHS Alumni and Faculty Awards Dinner on May 3.
Wright earned a master’s degree in kinesiology at AHS in 1998. He is now an internationally recognized expert in positive youth development through sport and physical activity. After graduating from AHS, he earned his doctorate in curriculum design at UIC and joined the faculty of the University of Memphis. There he earned a Fulbright Research Award; served as co-principal investigator on a massive obesity-prevention grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation; and served as principal investigator in evaluating a national initiative to increase physical activity among children in Head Start centers.
Now at NIU, Wright holds the College of Education’s first endowed chair and directs NIU’s Physical Activity and Life Skills Group, which promotes healthy youth development. In fall 2013, he received a grant from the U.S. Department of State to develop the Youth Sport Coalition in Belize, which promotes youth development and social change through sport. In spring 2014, he delivered lectures in Finland and Germany as a visiting Erasmus Mundus Scholar for the European Master’s Degree in Sport and Exercise Psychology.
The Distinguished Alumni Achievement Award is the highest honor bestowed upon alumni by the UIC College of Applied Health Sciences.