Campus Advisory Classes are in session remotely through the end of spring semester. Our satellite centers in Manhattan, Hudson Valley and Suffolk County are closed; however, all staff and units are accessible remotely. Adelphi's Garden City campus is operational with only essential personnel on-site. » COVID-19 Response
 
 
 

Coronavirus Updates on Operations: Department or campus operations may be modified during this time. Please call or email the department for more information or visit adelphi.edu/coronavirus.

News

Published:

December 18, 2019
 

Adelphi Program Promotes Physical Activity for Neurodiverse Students


by Taylor Damian '14

Adelphi University’s Bridges to Adelphi program and the Department of Health and Sport Sciences have joined forces for a collaborative mentorship program focused on promoting comprehensive physical activity for neurodiverse students.

Exercise can be a daunting task, especially for individuals on the autism spectrum. The Active Panther Partners program aims to provide positive movement experiences for students in Adelphi’s Bridges program with help from their peers as part of a course called Physical Activity Coaching.

As a part of the class, each Active Panther Partner, a major from the Department of Health and Sport Sciences, will undergo training from instructors regarding working with neurodiverse students. Each student within the Bridges program is paired with an Active Panther Partner and they meet twice a week to exercise together. Physical activities focus on cardio and weight training, but also include yoga and sports like badminton, pickleball and basketball.

This partnership aims to increase confidence and self-esteem and promote positive attitudes toward physical activity, providing scaffolding for individuals to acquire skills at a recreational level. “The course is repeatable, so we welcome continued participation and encourage students to engage in additional campus offerings and other physical activity and fitness courses,” said Anne Gibbone, EdD, associate professor of Health and Sports Sciences at Adelphi.

For students in Bridges to Adelphi, the program helps create a smoother transition from high school to university settings and promotes a more positive, successful way to be active. The physical activity coaches are learning to better work with a range of differing abilities and neurodiversity.

The Active Panther Partners program, first piloted in 2017, was conceptualized by Professor Gibbone, Paul Rukavina, PhD, professor and coordinator of Adelphi’s Physical Education and Physical Activity Studies programs; Ellen Kowalski, PhD, associate professor of Health and Sport Sciences; and Emilia Zarco, MD, associate professor and department chair of Health and Sport Sciences. The four met with Mitch Nagler, MA ’06, director of Bridges to Adelphi, to bring the program to life.

“This collaborative program highlights how we are able to transform lives through peer mentoring while creating a model for diversity and inclusion,” said Dr. Rukavina.

This fall, 12 Active Panthers (peer mentors) and 14 Bridges students were enrolled in the program supervised by Dr. Gibbone and Jeremy Cash. The program, which will continue in the spring semester, has received grants from Adelphi’s Women’s Giving Circle and the Allison Keller Education Technology Program.

 

Want to read more stories like this?

 
More Adelphi News

About Adelphi: A modern metropolitan university with a personalized approach to higher learning

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.

Recognized as a Best College by U.S. News & World Report, Adelphi is Long Island’s oldest private coeducational university. It serves almost 8,000 students at its beautiful main campus in Garden City, New York—just 23 miles from New York City’s cultural and internship opportunities—and at dynamic learning hubs in Manhattan, the Hudson Valley and Suffolk County, as well as online. 

More than 116,000 Adelphi graduates have gained the skills to thrive professionally as active, engaged citizens, making their mark on the University, their communities and the world.


For further information, please contact:

Todd Wilson
Strategic Communications Director 
p – 516.237.8634
e – twilson@adelphi.edu