Los Angeles, CA -- March 26, 1998 -- Alhambra resident Karen Johnson, Associate Dean of the School of Health and Human Services, was one of four individuals presented with the Verne Landreth Award, the highest honor bestowed by the California Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance (CAHPERD) at the 65th Annual CAHPERD State Conference, March 6, 1998 in San Diego, California.
Karen Johnson started her higher education journey at the College of Idaho in 1960, where she obtained her B.A. in Physical Education. In 1965, she attended Cal State L.A. (formerly California State College at Los Angeles), where she earned her master's degree in Physical Education Administration. In 1974, Johnson received her Ph.D. in Physical Education with an emphasis on Motor Learning from the University of Southern California. Johnson began her professional career at Willow School in La Puente, California, and moved into higher education at Cal State L.A. as an assistant professor of physical education. In 1975, a leave of absence allowed Johnson to work for the American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance (AAHPERD), where she became assistant executive secretary of the National Association for Girls and Women in Sports (NAGWS) and the Association for Intercollegiate Athletics for Women (AIAW). The following year she served as executive director of NAGWS for two years.
Johnson returned to Cal State L.A. in 1979 as an associate professor. In 1982, she achieved a full professorship in the Department of Physical Education and in 1990 she became the associate dean of the School of Health and Human Services. Since 1992, Johnson has been coordinator of "On-Course," the computer-based advisement system at the University. In 1996, she served as director of the Title III Strengthening Institutions Grant for Cal State L.A.
Johnson has coached basketball and volleyball and has been very prolific in her published work and presentations in the physical education profession. Her support and drive in the field of girls' and women's sports has been a major commitment in her life.
CAHPERD activities have been an important part of Johnson's commitment to the profession. She served as vice-president for Girls and Women in Sport (1974-75), conference coordinator (1988), budget chair (1988-94), and is currently serving as a member of the CAHPERD Foundation Board of Trustees and as chair of the Investment Committee.
Johnson's awards are as varied as her career. She received the Frier Award, the Member Relations Award, and the Leader in Volleyball Award from the United States Volleyball Association. NAGWS has honored her with the Pathfinder Award, The Honor Fellow Award and the Presidential Citation, and she has received the Honor Award from both CAHPERD and AAHPERD.
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