Professor/Chair, Health,Physical Education and Recreation
Lynn Stanley was working for one of the largest travel agencies in Arkansas as a leisure and corporate agent when she got the urge to teach.
“I really enjoyed the job as a travel agent, but I really wanted to teach,” Stanley said. “Being an athlete, physical education was a good fit.”
Stanley enrolled at the University of Central Arkansas to major in health, physical education and kinesiology. After graduating, she pursued her master’s degree and applied for and was granted a graduate assistantship at Arkansas Tech University in the exercise physiology lab.
After earning her master’s degree, Stanley worked for University of Ozarks in the Health and Physical Education Department. She said a board member convinced her to pursue a doctorate in College Teaching and Higher Education Administration.
“I enrolled at UALR and was accepted,” Stanley said. “During that time, I accepted another job at the University of Arkansas-Monticello as director of student recruitment and enrollment.
“But my passion was in the classroom and that is why I applied for the position of instructor at Henderson and was hired in 1998.”
Stanley, who is now a professor, became chair of the Health, Physical Education and Recreation Department in 2008.
“I enjoy motivating, inspiring and encouraging students to strive for success,” she said. “It is my responsibility, as an educator, to prepare students for the ‘real world’ experiences they will receive in the classroom.”
Stanley said a lot of children have the misconception that they will not do well in physical education because they don’t play sports.
“Physical education is not sports. Physical education is the proper instruction in physical exercise and games,” she said. “If taught correctly, it aims to develop students’ physical competence and knowledge of movement and safety, and their ability to use these to perform in a wide range of activities associated with the development of an active and healthy lifestyle.
“I make sure my students know that all children should have the opportunity to receive the best education available to them no matter their social economic status or race.”
For students considering a career in physical education, Stanley advises them to “make sure you are very passionate about the field for grades K-12, and that you have an understanding that physical education encompasses areas such as adventure education, experiential learning, outdoor education, teaching games for understanding, cultural studies in physical education, and fitness and wellness.”
With their degree, students can teach physical education in grades K-12. They can also coach with an added coaching endorsement.
“Our department highly encourages students majoring in Health and P.E. to strive for another area of licensure for marketability,” Stanley said.
One of the most satisfying aspects of Stanley’s job is “witnessing the success of the students I have helped prepare for their chosen field, and hearing from a former student that my classes prepared them for many lifelong experiences.”
If she hadn’t chosen a career in health and physical education, Stanley said would be a veterinarian.
When Stanley is not in the classroom, she enjoys raising chickens and gardening.
“The peace you get from watching animals and plants grow is a great, great feeling,” she said. “Plus, neither one will tell anybody what you talk about.”
Health and Physical Education
Degree and School:
Ph.D. in College Teaching and Higher Education Administration, UALR
Obesity in Arkansas children due to lack of physical education K-12
I've been at Henderson since: