AKA Jerry R. Thomas Distinguished Leadership Award
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AKA Jerry R. Thomas Distinguished Leadership Award

The American Kinesiology Association recognizes outstanding administrative and leadership performance of an individual at an AKA member institution who contributes to the attainment of their kinesiology unit’s strategic goals.

An award will be given for each level of institutional membership:

  • Doctoral degree granting departments;
  • Master’s degree granting departments;
  • Undergraduate degree granting departments; and
  • Associate degree granting departments.

Awards at any level are given only when an eligible nominee clearly meets the stated criteria and no more than one award is presented for each level per year.

Individuals who have served at least 3 years as a chair or director of an AKA-member department and currently hold an administrative appointment as a chair/director, associate/assistant dean, dean, or an administrative appointment at a level above the dean are eligible for this award. Regardless of administrative appointment, the nominee must be from an institution with a current AKA-member department.

The selection committee will consider many characteristics to determine the winners, including specific examples of accomplishments aligned with the following criteria while serving as an administrator and leader. Significant contributions will be evident in at least two or more of the following areas:

  • Advanced successful diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives in the unit
  • Built innovative curricula to strengthen the undergraduate core of kinesiology
  • Expanded faculty and student research productivity focused on physical activity
  • Established partnerships and outreach activities that significantly impact the unit
  • Achieved success in obtaining new or renovated facilities for teaching and research
  • Inspired others to achieve at a high level
  • Made significant changes that enhanced the effectiveness and efficiencies of programs and services


  1. Letter of nomination (written by nominator)
  2. Two Supporting Letters
  3. Abbreviated Vita (2-page)

Note: Above listed nomination materials should be combined into a single pdf file with materials in the order listed and labeled with the nominee’s name (last name, first name, Institution). Once all materials are ready, complete the submission form linked below.

Deadline for Receipt of Nomination Materials is 5:00 pm CT on September 9, 2022.
Nomination Submission Form