Awards and Funded Projects

Members of the Physical Activity and Life Skills (PALS) Group have received many awards, as well as funding for projects.

Selected Awards

  • Paul Wright, Faculty Associate, Center for Southeast Asian Studies, Northern Illinois University, 2023.
  • Paul Wright, Board of Trustees Professor, Northern Illinois University, 2023.
  • Paul Wright, Distinguished Engagement Professor, Northern Illinois University, 2023.
  • Paul Wright, Fellow #625, National Academy of Kinesiology, 2022.
  • Paul Wright, Honors Faculty Fellow, Honors College, Northern Illinois University, 2022.
  • Paul Wright, Illinois Scholar of the Year, Illinois Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation, and Dance (IAHPERD), 2022.
  • Jenn Jacobs, Journal of Sport for Development, Early Career Scholar Award, 2021.
  • Paul Wright, Journal of Teaching in Physical Education, Metzler-Freedman Exemplary Paper Award, 2021.
  • Jenn Jacobs, University of Illinois College of Applied Health Sciences, Young Alumni Award, 2021.
  • Zach Wahl-Alexander, NIU College of Education, Excellence in Outreach/Community Service, 2020.
  • Jenn Jacobs, NIU College of Education, Exceptional Contributions to Diversity and Social Justice Award, 2020.
  • Paul Wright, NIU College of Education, Lane-Zimmerman Endowed Professorship, 2020.
  • Zach Wahl-Alexander, SHAPE America, Research Consortium Fellow, 2020.
  • Victoria Shiver, AIESEP, Young Scholar Award, 2019.
  • Jim Ressler, NIU College of Education, Senior Faculty Fellow, 2019.
  • Paul Wright, NIU Presidential Engagement Professorship, 2018
  • Steve Howell, Mid-American Conference Academic Leadership Development Fellow, 2018

Selected Projects

  • Southeast Asian martial arts curriculum development. Wright with Center for Southeast Asian Studies at Northern Illinois University, 2024
  • Evaluation of an after-school soccer program designed to promote social and emotional learning. Wright, Kuipers, Fetters and Pasillas. Contracted by Chicago Fire Foundation. 2014-present.
  • Evaluation of Camp Power summer camp program. Wright and Kuipers. Contracted by Kishwaukee YMCA. 2014-present.
  • Morgridge Research Partnership Accelerator Grant, Transformative Social and Emotional Learning in Physical Education. Wright with Ricklefs, Ressler and Shiver, $20,000, College of Education, Northern Illinois University, 2021.
  • A Comprehensive Sport Leadership and College Readiness Program for Incarcerated Youth. Illinois Department of Juvenile Justice, $45,000, Jacobs & Zach Wahl-Alexander, 2020.
  • United States Youth Soccer school intervention: Building youth character and soccer enjoyment, United States Youth Soccer Association. Kelly Simonton, University of Memphis, project director with Shiver, 2020.
  • She Believes in Belize: The First National Women’s Sports Summit. Jacobs and Kuipers, Citizen Action Fund, U.S. Department of State, $10,000, 2019.
  • Training teachers/coaches in Hellison’s Teaching Personal and Social Responsibility Model. Association for Applied Sport Psychology Seed Grant, $500, Kuipers and Jacobs, Northern Illinois University, 2019.
  • Locked In, Not Locked Up: A Targeted Intervention to Increase College Readiness of Incarcerated Youth. NIU Great Journeys Assistantship Program, $13,500, Jacobs and Wahl-Alexander, 2020.
  • Project FLEX Leaders Program: Taking it to the next level. Northern Illinois Great Journeys, $14,330, Wahl-Alexander and Jacobs, 2019.
  • Assessing the Impact of a Physical Activity-based Summer Camp on Psychological and Physical Outcomes for a Diverse Urban Youth Population. NIU College of Education Dean's Research Grant, $2,500, Henert and Jacobs, 2019.
  • ENVEST Sri Lanka. Wright and Jacobs, project directors, with Howell and Ressler. A $50,158 sub-award from Virginia Commonwealth University as part of a cooperative agreement funded by the U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, 2017-2018.
  • Belizean Youth Sport Coalition (BYSC): Promoting youth development and social change through sport. Wright, project director, with Jacobs, Ressler and Howell. Grant funded for $224,956 by the U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, 2013-2016.
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