Jan Kiger, Fairmont State University Health and Human Performance Department Chair, was recently named the 2020 Recreation and Leisure Leadership Award recipient by the Society of Health and Physical Education for West Virginia (SHAPEWV). SHAPEWV is a professional education association in which members work collaboratively for the betterment of the organization, local institutions of learning and the State of West Virginia to provide a healthier place to play, learn, work, grow and live.
The SHAPEWV Recreation and Leisure Leadership Award is designated for a member exhibiting outstanding and creative leadership in the recreation profession or as an innovative leisure educator at the collegiate level.
“Jan has made a profound impact on the lives of our students, and I can think of no one more deserving of this recognition,” said Fairmont State University President, Mirta M. Martin. “This award is a testament to her creativity and innovation, but most importantly, her leadership. She ignites a passion for health and recreation in others, and we are grateful to have Jan as a member of our Falcon Family.”
In addition to chairing the Health and Human Performance Department, Kiger serves as an assistant professor and coordinator of the Fairmont State Outdoor Recreation Leadership Program, which increases student employability post-graduation through the development of leadership skills utilizing outdoor platforms. Kiger also leads the University’s Explorer’s Club, further providing students with leadership opportunities, networking, skill development and community service projects to improve and increase recreation access in West Virginia.
“I strive to instill leadership and citizenship within students through outdoor leadership programming,” Kiger said. “I am certainly honored to receive a state level recreational and leadership award, as these are both areas where my passion is. However, this wouldn’t have been possible without my colleagues and our students.”
Kiger explained her nomination submitted for the SHAPEWV Recreation and Leisure Leadership Award highlighted the Falcon Park and Trail project, which was launched in 2020 to establish a green space at Fairmont State to improve creativity, problem-solving and academic performance through nature-based learning.
“The Falcon Trail is such a unique project because it was implemented at a time when many other programs weren’t able to move forward during the COVID-19 pandemic,” Kiger continued. “This initiative was brought to life from the collaborative efforts amongst the Fairmont State Foundation, Student Government Association and the Facilities and Grants Departments. We are very fortunate to be able to provide a space that allows our campus and surrounding communities to engage in the outdoors.”
To learn more about Fairmont State outdoor recreation opportunities, visit www.fairmontstate.edu/outdoorleadership.