Health & Kinesiology Distinctive Service Awards

2016 marked the 100 year anniversary of the Department of Health & Kinesiology. As part of the celebration, we initiated the Distinctive Service Awards. These awards honor Purdue faculty, staff, and alumni for their influential contributions in fields represented by Health & Kinesiology.



2020 Distinctive Award Recipients


John Knote, PhD, earned a bachelor’s degree in Physical Education from Purdue University in 1959. While at Purdue, he spent two years as a manager for the football team and was the third person ever to represent the university as Purdue Pete. Dr. Knote graduated from the Indiana University Medical School in 1964 and interned at Baptist Memorial Hospital in Memphis, TN. After working at Parkview Hospital in Fort Wayne, he returned to Tippecanoe County and worked with Diagnostic Medical Imaging at Home Hospital for eighteen years. John held numerous positions in the American College of Radiology, from whom he received the Gold Medal, and the Indiana State Medical Association, including ISMA president from 1983-84. He also held numerous positions in the American Medical Association, the highest being Speaker of the House of Delegates from 2000-03. John was also a member of the Indiana Roentgen Society and belonged to the American Roentgen Ray Society, the Radiologic Society of North America, and the American College of Nuclear Medicine. John was a life-long member of the John Purdue Club, receiving the Diamond P award for distinguished service. He also served on the Purdue Athletic Affairs Committee for over 20 years and the Alumni Association Board of Directors for six years.



2019 Distinctive Award Recipients

Dr. Willard LewallenWillard (Will) Lewallen, PhD, completed a B.S. degree with honors from California State Polytechnic University at Pomona, two master’s degrees from Purdue University, and a Ph.D. from UCLA.  Dr. Lewallen has served as a college president for 12 years and since 2012 served as the superintendent/president for the Hartnell Community College District serving the Salinas Valley of California. He has 40 years of higher education experience including 5 years as an academic advisor at Purdue University and 35 years in the California Community College system. Dr. Lewallen is currently a Commissioner for the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges. He served as president of the Association of California Community College Administrators, a professional organization representing over 1,100 administrators. He is currently serving his 5th term as Chair of the Board of Directors for the Community College Facility Coalition. He serves locally on several boards including the Monterey County Workforce Development Board, the Board of Directors for the United Way of Monterey County, and the Board of Directors for the Big Sur Land Trust.


John SchraderJohn Schrader, PhD, earned a bachelor’s degree from Purdue University in 1971, master’s degree from the University of Washington and an HSD from Indiana University. In 1977, Dr. Schrader became the coordinator of the Indiana University Athletic Training Education Program. He later became the Graduate Athletic Training Program Director and Associate Chair of the Kinesiology Department. Dr. Schrader is a national leader in education and research in the field of athletic training. He has served the athletic training profession by chairing many committees. John co-chaired the NATA educational task force group that was instrumental in educational reform. He has served in many leadership roles on the state, district and national levels including President of GLATA (1984 – 87) and member of the NATA Board of Directors (1988 – 92) having served as Vice-President of the board from 1990 – 91. Dr. Schrader has received numerous awards for his service to his community and athletic training profession. He was named Sagamore of the Wabash in 1991 by Governor Robert Orr. John is a member of the NATA Hall of Fame (1998).


2018 Distinctive Award Recipients


Anthony A. Annarino, PhD, was a professor emeritus of kinesiology at Purdue University and a faculty member from 1951 until his retirement in 1986. A Pennsylvania native, Dr. Annarino served in the Air Corps from 1942 to 1945 with the 465th Bomb Group in Italy. After his military service, he attended Slippery Rock University, where he graduated with a bachelor's degree in 1948. Next, he went to Indiana for his master's degree from Purdue University in 1951 and his doctorate from Indiana University in 1961. After graduation from Purdue, Dr. Annarino joined its faculty in the Health and Kinesiology Department, where he would eventually rise to full professor. His career also includes positions as a visiting professor at World Campus Afloat, Catholic University (Chile), Kiel University (Germany), and Eastern Michigan University. Dr. Annarino also consulted on developing curriculums at numerous school districts and universities. In addition, he was a Peace Corps trainer, athletic coach, and a YMCA physical director. Dr. Annarino was selected as the first Midwest Scholar in 1984 by the Midwest AAHPERD. In 1999, he was inducted as a charter member in the Book of Great Teachers at Purdue University. 


David W. Smith, PhD, is a psychologist and educator. Dr. Smith was born in 1927 and is the son of Lowell and Ruth Smith.  He obtained his Bachelor of Science degree from Purdue University in 1949, followed by Master’s and Doctor of Philosophy degrees from Indiana University in 1953 and 1955 respectfully.  Dr. Smith also completed a two-year post-doctoral training program in rehabilitation, sponsored by the then Office of Vocational Rehabilitation, Washington, D.C. Dr. Smith is Professor Emeritus of the University of Arizona, having worked there for 50 years, including 32 years in the College of Medicine. He was Assistant Vice President for Health Sciences for six years, working for founding Dean, Monte Duval.



2017 Distinctive Award Recipients

Abdelrahman Hafez Ismail, known by most simply as “Ish”, was born in Alexandria, Egypt, in 1923.  As an athlete, Ish competed in basketball for the Egyptian National Basketball Team at the Olympic Games in London in 1948 and Helsinki in 1952. Born in Alexandria, Egypt, he received his Bachelor’s degree at Cairo University, a double Master's Degree, and a Health and Safety Doctorate from Indiana University. His work was known across the globe. He joined Purdue University in 1958 as a Professor where he studied the impact of exercise and physical fitness on such diverse human domains as personality, hearing acuity, emotional stability, the body’s biochemical make-up, and intellectuals function. He created Purdue’s adult fitness program, where for over 20 years he personally helped over 1,000 men and women experience the joy of improved vigor and health. “Exercise,” Ish often said, “is nature’s medicine.” Purdue University proudly created the Ismail Center named in memory of this extraordinary gentleman and scholar. The Ismail Center is designed to recapture Ish’s health and fitness scholarship, teaching and service model, and contribution. 


John R. Seffrin, PhD, has been on the frontlines of the war against cancer for many years, not only as CEO of the American Cancer Society, but also - for many years before that - as one of the Society's roughly three million volunteers nationwide. Under his leadership, the Society has become the world's largest voluntary health organization fighting cancer, with a billion dollars in resources to save lives by helping people stay well and get well, by finding cures, and by fighting back. Under his leadership, the American Cancer Society has become a leading advocacy organization. He spearheaded the creation of the Society's nonprofit, nonpartisan advocacy affiliate, the American Cancer Society Cancer Action NetworkSM, of which he is also the chief executive officer. Dr. Seffrin is active in numerous organizations. He currently serves on the White House Advisory Group on Prevention, Health Promotion, and Integrative and Public Health, as well as the Advisory Committee to the Director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, a Secretary-level appointment. Dr. Seffrin is a past president of the Geneva-headquartered Union for International Cancer Control (UICC), the first globally-oriented cancer non-governmental organization (NGO), and has served as chairman of the board of Independent Sector, the largest coalition of nonprofit groups. He also helped to create the National Center for Tobacco-Free Kids (now the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids), among his many collaborations and affiliations. Dr. Seffrin holds a B.S. degree from Ball State University, a M.S. degree in health education from the University of Illinois, and a Ph.D. in health education from Purdue University. Ball State University, Purdue University, Thomas Jefferson University, Indiana University, and Mercer University have also bestowed honorary doctorates upon him in recognition of his more than three decades of leadership in the worldwide fight against cancer. 


Annie Elble-Todt, PhD, has a Master of Public Health (MPH), PhD in Foods & Nutrition, and BS in Biomedical Engineering, all from Purdue University.  Dr. Elble-Todt co-founded Give Hope Fight Poverty and has been working with orphaned & vulnerable children of Southern Africa & designing service-learning programs for US college students & young professionals since 2007. Later, she lived in Swaziland, Africa & worked for Baylor College of Medicine's Pediatric HIV Clinic in Mbabane as a Visiting Scholar.  During this time, she facilitated the development of a national protocol on infant feeding pertaining to reducing the transmission of HIV/AIDS, volunteered at an HIV orphanage, & worked closely with the University of Swaziland's Nursing & Community Health department to assist with a nationwide community health needs assessment. Since returning to the states, Dr. Elble-Todt consulted with domestic and African nonprofit organizations to increase global opportunities for US college students while simultaneously implementing sustainable programs that improved the lives for orphans living in child-headed homes.


2016 Distinctive Award Recipients


David Craig

David H. Craig is an alumnus of Purdue University's groundbreaking Athletic Training program. He worked as an athletic trainer with the Indiana Pacers for 38 years — 35 of those years as the head athletic trainer. Mr. Craig is a member of the Indiana and National Athletic Trainer's Hall of Fame. He is an expert in sacroiliac joint assessments and as a clinician prescribes exercises as indicated for various abnormalities such as foot, knee, hip, low back and neck pain. He developed the "Stretching With A Purpose (SWAP)" program to address the needs of his patients. He has consulted with many college athletic training programs across the country. Using a patient-focused approach, Mr. Craig challenges colleagues and students to think creatively in pursuit of the best treatment options.



Robert D. Otten received his bachelor's and master's degrees in health education with distinction from Purdue University. He currently serves as Vice President of Health Policy at the American Medication Association (AMA). Since joining the AMA, Mr. Otten has been instrumental in the development of AMA policies on several key socioeconomic issues that impact physician practice: Medicare and Medicaid reform; containment of health care costs; economic research and analysis of high—priority AMA advocacy campaigns; and revision of current procedural terminology (CPT) codes among other health policy issues. Mr. Otten has written extensively on health care financing, delivery and review issues in leading health policy journals.




Ray Anne Shrader, PhD, began her career at Purdue University in 1959. In addition to the responsibilities of a busy faculty member, Dr. Shrader provided leadership in many ways: developing and supervising the undergraduate curriculum, serving as an academic advisor and faculty fellow, chair for various university committees, and as a member of the College of Liberal Arts Senate in several different capacities. Dr. Shrader helped develop the movement and sports science curriculumader andher long-time colleague, Dr. Jane Maver, conducted the innovative Developmental Movement Education activity program for preschool children for 25 years. Dr. Shrader also established an HK undergraduate travel scholarship. She retired from Purdue in 1993 and was named Professor Emerita.



Rebecca Spencer, PhD, graduated from Purdue University in the interdisciplinary program in Neuroscience concentrating on neural control of movement under Dr. Howard Zelaznik. Dr. Spencer's post-doctoral work on neural control of motor sequence learning was funded by a National Institutes of Health National Research Service Award and was subsequently awarded an NIH Pathways to Independence Award for studies on the age-related changed in sleep dependent consolidation of motor learning. Dr. Spencer is now a tenured associate professor at the University of Massachusetts Department of Psychological & Brain Sciences. Her current work is broadly focused on the functions of sleep. To date, she has received over $4 million in funding from the National Institutes of Health.



Mohammad R. Torabi, PhD, received his PhD from Purdue University in 1982 and is currently Chancellor's Professor and Dean of the IU School of Public Health. Dr. Torabi also serves as Co-Director of the rural Center for AIDS/STD Prevention. Dr. Torabi's research focus is public and school health behavior specifically in the area of tobacco as a gateway drug. Dr. Torabi has served on numerous boards throughout his career and currently is the Health Education commissioner for the International Council for Health, Physical Education, and Recreation. He has received many service awards and was selected as a Distinguished Alumnus of Purdue's College of Liberal Arts. Dr. Torabi is a Fellow of the American Academy of Health Behavior, American School Health Association, AAHPERD Research Consortium, American Association of Health Education and the North American Society of HPER.


Health & Kinesiology, 800 W. Stadium Ave., West Lafayette, IN 47907, PH:(765) 494-3170, Fax: (765) 496-1239

2016 Purdue University | An equal access/equal opportunity university | Copyright Complaints | Maintained by Health & Kinesiology

If you have trouble accessing this page because of a disability, please contact Purdue Marketing and Media at