The multiple standing ovations by Springfield College for the Distinguished Professors of Humanics, both past, present, and future, could not have been any more heartfelt on Tuesday, April 18. The annual Humanics lecture took place in Fuller Arts Center’s Appleton Auditorium at 4 p.m.
Former Distinguished Professors of Humanics were identified by elegant white boutonnieres and a supportive essence. These Distinguished Professors of Humanics have been appointed since 1967 and display the philosophy unique to Springfield College, one of spirit, mind, and body for leadership in service to others.
The audience was filled with students, faculty, President Mary-Beth Cooper, the 2017-18 Professor of Humanics to be, and recipients of the Friends In Humanics scholarship.
Provost Martha Potvin introduced 2016-17 Distinguished Professor Samuel Headley and the Humanics lecture.
“It’s easy enough to speak about the balance of emotional, intellectual, and physical characteristics and helping students in spirit, mind, and body,” said Potvin. “To see it lived out on this campus is a pleasure.”
Headley, a professor in the Exercise Science Department, started off his riveting lecture by acknowledging and thanking his family, his father (who was the inspiration for his study), the Humanics team he put together to assist the first year of research in his multi-year study, and the Springfield College community.
“This has been a team effort,” said Headley. “Unless you play as a team you don’t win, and we have put together an outstanding Humanics team.”
The goal of Headley’s research team was to assess sedentary behavior at Springfield College, and to ultimately change this behavior. By administering surveys to the Springfield community and having participants wear activPAL monitors, the Humanics team was able to conclude an average of hours spent sedentary.
In his organized and informative presentation, Headley defined sedentary behavior, and explained how our patterns of sitting down for an average nine hours per day affects our health. Headley shared those findings.
“There’s a whole laundry list of negatives of being sedentary: increased obesity, increased metabolic syndrome, risk of type 2 diabetes, risk of colon cancer in men and women… and finally, increased mortality. This is a reality,” he said.
Headley even interacted with the audience, displaying his research by having everyone stand up in the middle of his lecture to take a break from living the sedentary lifestyle. His lecture was both inspiring and relevant to a college as active as Springfield, where Headley feels physical activity should be modeled. He concluded by telling the audience to “stand up, sit less, move more and move often… or else the Humanics team is going to get you.”
Following Headley’s passionate presentation, Potvin introduced next year’s Professor of Humanics through the words of the community. This individual was described as an individual who “seems to make those around her better, leads with enthusiastic expertise, and is a strong mentor for the faculty.”
Sue Guyer is a professor in teaching courses such as the Prevention of Athletic Injury, Research Methods in Education, Injury Rehabilitation, and Therapeutic Exercise in Human Anatomy. She has 10 years experience prior to Springfield College in Athletic Health Care and was Program Director of the Athletic Training program at Stetson University. Guyer is also an alum, having received her doctorate from Springfield College in 2003. She gladly accepted the nomination certificate and honors from Potvin.
A humbled Guyer said, “I always though about the Humanics Professor as unreachable and intangible. When you get that phone call you’re speechless, and I was. I didn’t know what to say.”
With time ahead of her, Guyer informed the audience that she has already started thinking about what research study she will carry through and has several different projects in mind. She also shared that she is thrilled to be in such an honored position, one with Headley as her predecessor.
“My dad said the best day for a boat owner is the day you buy it and the day you sell it,” said Guyer. “It kind of feels like I just bought a boat, and Sam sold it to me.”