Patricia Griffin named recipient of R. Tait McKenzie Award

Patricia Griffin, professor emerita, College of Education, has been named a recipient of the 2011 R. Tait McKenzie Award from the American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance (AAHPERD). The award provides the means through which the Alliance recognizes significant contributions of its members made outside the framework of the Alliance, but which reflect prestige, honor, and dignity on the Alliance. Named after the distinguished Canadian physician, sculptor and physical educator, Dr. R. Tait McKenzie, it epitomizes McKenzie’s professional ideals, his service to humanity, and his dedication to the advancement of knowledge and understanding of physical and health education, recreation and dance.

Griffin became a member of the College of Education faculty in 1980. Her scholarly contributions reflect her commitment to social justice, particularly in kinesiology, physical education, and athletics. She is the author of “Strong Women Deep Closets,” which provides a critical analysis of discrimination and prejudice against lesbians in sport. She has published numerous articles in the Journal of Teaching Physical Education; Journal of Physical Education, Recreation, and Dance; Research Quarterly; and Quest. She is the winner of the Research Consortium’s Research Writing Award. Her authored chapters have been included in anthologies on homophobia, equity in education, heterosexism, transgender athletes, and qualitative research.

Griffin was one of the first people to openly address the issue of homophobia in sport. She has led seminars on heterosexism/homophobia in sport at numerous colleges and universities, as well as at coaches' and athletic administration conferences. She also serves as a media expert for stories on homophobia in athletics. She has consulted on social justice in education and athletics working with organizations before and after litigation because of homophobia. Her career is marked by 25 AAHPERD presentations and many national, regional, and state presentations. She served on the AAHPERD Social Justice Committee and the Human Rights Task Force. Griffin participated on the National Education and Advocacy Project of the Women’s Sports Foundation, It Takes A Team! Education Campaign for LGBT Issues in Sport. She has been on ABC Wide World of Sports and ESPN, and has her own sports blog.