Each year, faculty in the College of Education and Human Development (CEHD) come together to select an outstanding student in their program to receive the honor of being named as their program award winner. Students selected for this award embody the very best of their program: they excel in their studies; they demonstrate leadership in classes and internships; and they have a genuine and tenacious passion for their discipline.
The College of Education and Human Development faculty in Health and Physical Education have chosen
as the recipient of the
2021 Tony DeGregorio Memorial Award for Outstanding Student in Health and Physical Education
Q & A with the Tony DeGregorio Memorial Award for Outstanding Student in Health and Physical Education recipient, Gregory Coogan:
What part of your Mason experience are you most proud of?
I’m most proud of my involvement with the Physical Education Teacher Education Society (PETES). I was one of the founding members, and thanks to the hard work of Jessica Baker and our executive board, PETES has grown into a dynamic, robust organization with many active members. The work we’ve done has brought our membership closer and made us better pre-service teachers. It’s something I’m incredibly proud of.
What are your future plans, goals, and dreams?
Following graduation, I’ll be attending the University of Virginia to pursue a graduate degree in Kinesiology for Individuals with Disabilities. Beyond that, I’m not sure whether I’ll begin teaching full time or pursue a doctorate, given how much I’ve enjoyed the research opportunities I’ve experienced at Mason under the tutelage of Dr. Risto Marttinen. No matter what I do, my ultimate goal is to empower disadvantaged youth through physical activity and health literacy.
What is your favorite memory from your time in the College of Education and Human Development?
There are so many to choose from! Row boating with my friends for our PRLS 316 project was so much fun, but I think my favorite memory would have to be the weekly virtual conversations we had as part of our secondary methods course (PHED 404). Instead of having a weekly class meeting, our professor offered optional meetings where we all would get on Zoom and discuss a particular topic for about an hour. It generated really meaningful discussion and healthy debate, which I thoroughly enjoyed.
What advice do you have for fellow CEHD students?
Just be kind. It’s great to be smart, good-looking, and hilarious (I should know) but the most important thing in life is how you treat others.
Would you like to give any shout-outs to those who supported you along the way?
Definitely. My family: Dad, Mom, Jackie, Rick, Tim, and Sarah for supporting my education from Terra Centre to George Mason. My best friends: Jessica, Lexi, and Olivia for sticking with me throughout our time at Mason. Nate Silvis and Derek Burda guided me through my first student teaching experience and showed me what it means to teach with passion and care. I’m eternally grateful for the entire PHED faculty. Specifically, Dr. Risto Marttinen who has supported me personally and professionally for the last 3 years. I wouldn’t be the educator I am without his humor and guidance. Lastly, I need to thank this award’s namesake, Anthony DeGregorio, whose love for Physical Education will forever be seared upon my soul and woven into my practice.