August 2, 2018

Adelphi Gets in Shape to Host International Conference

Fitness counts if you want to hike Arthur’s Seat, a three-mile climb up an 822-foot-high summit from which you can get a spectacular bird’s-eye view of Edinburgh, Scotland. Not surprisingly, Emilia Zarco, M.D., chair of Adelphi’s Department of Exercise Science, Health Studies, Physical Education and Sport Management, was up for the challenge.

But Dr. Zarco was in Scotland for a higher purpose, so to speak, than experiencing the area’s rugged terrain, scenic beauty and rich history. She and four other faculty members from the department were attending the AIESEP World Congress 2018, held July 25-28 at the University of Edinburgh. (AIESEP stands for Association Internationale des Écoles Supérieures d’Éducation Physique—in English, the International Association for Physical Education in Higher Education.)

After networking and sharing research, the Adelphi contingent “officially received the AIESEP banner as next year’s host and showed a video to introduce Adelphi University to current participants and invite them to come to New York,” Dr. Zarco said.

Adelphi will be hosting the conference June 19-22, 2019, and she expects approximately 400 attendees.

AIESEP is an international, nongovernmental, nonprofit, professional association that aims to promote high-quality research worldwide in the areas of physical education, physical activity and sport pedagogy across the lifespan.

“AIESEP has members from all continents, and the quality of research is amazing,” said Dr. Zarco. “By being part of this organization, we share research and best practices and can collaborate to find solutions to issues we grapple with.”

Building International Bridges

Dr. Zarco explained that when choosing the host for its conference, the organization took into consideration logistics—the venue itself, proximity to airports and transportation, lodgings, capacity—but also Adelphi’s proposed conference theme: Building Bridges for Physical Activity and Sport. Dr. Zarco said the theme describes how physical education has grown to connect with other areas, which will be explored in the conference’s subthemes:

  1. Education for physical literacy
  2. Physical activity and public health
  3. Social-emotional learning through physical activity and sport
  4. Youth and community development
  5. Maximal individual and team performance

She added that the theme also plays up the physical environment of New York City’s many bridges. “New York City is a big draw, so we’re capitalizing on that,” she said, adding that social events and excursions to local sights are planned, and the conference will close with a gala that will take place on a boat tour around Manhattan.

Dr. Zarco and Ronald Feingold, Ph.D., professor emeritus, are serving as Local Committee co-chairs and Professor Sarah Doolittle, Ed.D., is the Scientific Committee chair. The conference will also include preconference seminars.


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Adelphi University, New York, is a highly awarded, nationally ranked, powerfully connected doctoral research university dedicated to transforming students’ lives through small classes with world-class faculty, hands-on learning and innovative ways to support academic and career success. Adelphi offers exceptional liberal arts and sciences programs and professional training, with particular strength in our Core Four—Arts and Humanities, STEM and Social Sciences, the Business and Education Professions, and Health and Wellness.

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