Exercise science room named after Dr. Patricia Collins

May 7, 2014

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PLATTEVILLE, Wis. — More than 100 current and former University of Wisconsin-Platteville students, faculty, staff and community members attended the formal dedication of the Dr. Patricia Collins Exercise Science Room on May 6, in Williams Fieldhouse. The dedication was in honor of Collins, a leading force in the university's physical education, health promotion and athletics programs from 1960-93.

Dr. David Markee, former chancellor of UW-Platteville; Dr. Carol Sue Butts, former interim chancellor of UW-Platteville; as well as Dennis J. Shields, chancellor of UW-Platteville, were present to honor her.

“I am humbled and very proud,” said Collins. “It was a wonderful 33 years. We had so many wonderful students and I was fortunate to be asked to work on the curriculum for the new physical education major, which included Kinesiology and Physiology of Exercise Science. I am glad that I am still involved and will continue to be involved as long as I can. I appreciate this honor very much.”

Guest speakers included Chancellor Shields; Dr. Elizabeth A. Throop, dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Education at UW-Platteville; Dr. Colleen McCabe, associate professor and chair of the new UW-Platteville Department of Health and Human Performance; and Lois Peart, UW-Platteville alumna and past student of Collins.

“Dr. Collins provided great learning opportunities for all of her students and her lessons served us well,” said Peart, now the athletic director at the Iowa Grant School District. “She has had a lasting impact on me. I am currently teaching in the field and I use something I learned from her every single day. The Dr. Patricia Collins Exercise Science Room has a perfect ring to it. It is fitting that the field of exercise science will be bolstered by the person who started it. It is my pleasure to see this honor bestowed upon her. How great that her former students and others can give back and create a lasting legacy to her.”

The exercise science laboratory classroom, which opened in 2012 and is located in Room 210 of Williams Fieldhouse, is a dual-purpose laboratory/lecture space that features an interactive SMART Board classroom on one side and a metabolic cart, treadmills, exercise bikes, flexibility tests and mat area on the other. The state-of-the-art facility also provides a space for undergraduate health and human performance research opportunities.

Health Promotion Fit Lab interns are trained in this classroom to interact and perform the Health and Human Performance 1000 course physical fitness assessment protocol that each UW-Platteville student goes through as part of the “wellness” requirement.

The classroom was made possible through a laboratory modernization grant, funds from the UW-Platteville College of Liberal Arts and Education dean’s office and gift dollars raised by the UW-Platteville Foundation from donors wishing to honor Collins.

“This dual-purpose laboratory/lecture space has allowed the HHP program the opportunity to revise its degree program curricula to include an in-depth experience with exercise science and training principles,” said McCabe. “Our students are now able to see and feel theory and concepts through experiential learning. Learning first-hand how the body, and specifically your body, responds to exercise allows for the internalization of ‘physiological response.’”

During Collins' 33-year service, she began the women’s athletics program in 1966; was the director of women’s athletics from 1972-84; coached volleyball, badminton and track; and served as a liaison to the university’s Alumni Board as a member of the UW-Platteville Foundation. In 1992, she was inducted into the UW-Platteville Athletic Hall of Fame, and in 2012 was awarded the UW-Platteville College of Liberal Arts and Education Arts and Letters Hall of Fame.

Collins has been recognized as a pioneer in women’s athletics statewide and nationally. She helped found the Wisconsin Women’s Intercollegiate Athletic Conference in 1971 and served as its first president. Most recently, she was inducted into the first-ever WIAC Hall of Fame class of 2012-13.

Collins continues to be involved in university events and regularly supports UW-Platteville athletics, the Alumni Association and Foundation. In 1993, she established the Patricia A. Collins Scholarship fund to support UW-Platteville School of Education students.

UW-Platteville students, faculty, staff, former students of Dr. Collins, donors to the room naming and community members are invited to attend an open house being held for Collins on Saturday, May 17. Guests will meet at the Dr. Patricia Collins Exercise Science Room at 1 p.m. to view the room, then gather at the Platteville Golf and Country Club, 6729 N. Water Street in Platteville, at 2 p.m. for complimentary appetizers.

Contact: Dr. Colleen McCabe, health and human performance, (608) 342-1796, mccabec@uwplatt.edu

Written by: Laurie Hamer, College of Liberal Arts and Education, (608) 342-6191, hamerl@uwplatt.edu

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