Major Spotlight: Physical Education
Judy Sloan, PhD, was born and raised in Washington state before she went to the center of the United States, Nebraska, for her undergraduate in physical education and history. She then worked in several Adventist academies before getting her masters from Central Washington University and her doctorate from the University of Nebraska. In 2001, Professor Sloan responded to a call from Southern to fill a brand new position in the School of Physical Education, Health, and Wellness. She has been a part of the Southern family since then.
- Can you share your favorite quote and why you like it?
My favorite quote is in 2 Corinthians 10:5. (But read verses 4 and 5 for the context.) “For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds; Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ…” Very powerful, because to me it’s like if every thought every thought was captive and brought into the obedience of Christ, I would never do anything wrong. No person would do anything wrong. That’s the highest, ultimate thing I can even imagine.
- What is your favorite class to teach? Oh, my word. I am teaching 11 classes this semester, and you’re asking me which one is my favorite? Let me just say this, the reason why I am teaching so many classes is that if it were humanly possible on this planet earth, I would teach every class in this department. I love teaching so much I even teach during JumpStart. This is what I wish: I wish that all of my classes had twelve students so I could truly get to know each student personally and make a difference in their lives permanently.
- There seems to be a mindset that physical education majors get teaching jobs only.
It is true that if a person is going to graduate from Southern Adventist University with a physical education degree, they’re going to be certified to teach. They went through that degree intentionally to be teachers. For people who love sports and other activities but don’t want to teach, we intentionally created, probably about 10 years ago, a degree called sports studies which allow them to have a different emphasis like public relations, marketing, management, or human performance. That way they can go into the field that they like that’s not teaching. So like someone with human performance would go to do something like athletic training. That’s just the PE thing. If you talk about the fact that we have a wellness degree, which is not PE, for people that are interested, for example, in corporate community wellness. We also have a health science degree for students going on to physical therapy, occupational therapy, or dentistry.
- Last words for high school students undecided at what major to take?
That’s not a bad thing. That just means you probably have more gifts and talents, so it’s harder for you to decide or you haven’t discovered one area. What college will help you do is discover more of those talents, skills, and abilities, because you can get involved in so many different activities and classes. One thing I would say is that when you do decide to go to college, at the very first semester, take at least one class in the area that you’re interested in pursuing as a career. You do not want just to take a bunch of general education classes; you want to take classes that you’re interested in so that you learn what you like and don’t like. And it’s okay if you change your major multiple times; you just want to narrow it down.
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