Mt Pleasant News

Wash Journal   Fairfield Ledger
Neighbors Growing Together | Aug 18, 2018

IW student presented national award

Apr 10, 2018

SHAPE America — Society of Health and Physical Educators honored Iowa Wesleyan University student, Ariel Smale, as a Major of the Year.

This award was presented during the organization’s 133rd National Convention & Expo March 20 through 24, in Nashville, Tenn. The award celebrates outstanding undergraduate students in the health, physical education, recreation and dance professions who are nominated by a faculty adviser or professor.

“Ariel is extremely deserving of this national recognition,” said Valerie Unkrich, Associate Professor of Physical Education, Exercise Science and Wellness at IW. “She is a very talented and task-oriented student who will make an impact in the reputation and career fields of health, physical education, and exercise science.

“Ariel’s work ethic, motivation, passion, dedication, and thirst for education, makes her a role model for all students,” Unkrich continued. “Alongside her academics, volunteer work, and campus activity involvement, Ariel is also an excellent volleyball player. On or off the court, Ariel represents Iowa Wesleyan at the highest level.”

As for Smale’s future? “I am pleased, honored, and humbled to have received this award and to join past recipients who I admire and respect,” she said. “Promoting health and physical literacy is something I firmly believe in, so being able to represent an organization that thrives off helping students gain the confidence and desire to be physically active for life excites me.”

“My thirst for knowledge has not only allowed me to receive this award but also will propel me into my future as an educator where I can truly impact the lives of students,” Smale said.

The outstanding achievements of future professionals like Ariel is integral to the caliber of the individuals SHAPE America is looking for to teach standards-based health and physical education programs to our nation’s children, SHAPE America President Fran Cleland said.

To learn more about students on the move at Iowa Wesleyan University, please visit

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