NYS AHPERD recipients Sheldon Sucre and Christina Cobucci.

by Ela Schwartz

Here’s how the New York State Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance (NYS AHPERD) goes about determining the recipients of the Jay B. Nash Outstanding Major Awards: Every year about 50 colleges and universities in New York State submit the names of two outstanding students—one male and one female. NYS AHPERD then selects the final two recipients from this pool. In 2012, something highly unusual happened…the two winners came from the same school—Adelphi’s Ruth S. Ammon School of Education.

The award recipients, Sheldon Sucre and Christina Cobucci, obtained bachelor’s degrees in physical education in December 2012. The graduates exemplify all the qualities the organization looks for: high academic achievement, leadership and community involvement.

Ms. Cobucci and Mr. Sucre were active members of the Physical Education Majors Club. In fact, Ms. Cobucci resurrected the club and served as president, as well as being one of the founders of the Delta Phi Epsilon sorority. She recently landed a job coaching track and field at North Shore Middle School and plans to attend graduate school in the future. Her goal is to “teach students how to be healthy and have lifelong fitness goals.”

For his part, Mr. Sucre initiated a swimming program in Flushing Meadows-Corona Park that he’s run for the past three years, even handling fundraising so that minority students from third grade to high school have the opportunity to participate in what can be an expensive sport. He also works with Angela Beale, Ph.D., assistant professor in the Department of Exercise Science, Health Studies, Physical Education and Sport Management, in Project Guard: Make A Splash: End Needless Drowning New York, a program offered at Hempstead High School that teaches swimming and water safety.

After graduating, Mr. Sucre will continue his education at Adelphi by pursuing a master’s in adaptive physical education and possibly a Ph.D. He hopes to work with children with disabilities in a public school and one day perhaps open a facility that would provide physical therapy and recreation for children with physical disabilities or autism.

After going through the physical education program together, Mr. Sucre and Ms. Cobucci are proud of the recognition they’ve received and happy to represent Adelphi together. As Ms. Cobucci put it, “Winning this award together is pretty cool because it doesn’t usually happen.”

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