Dr. John Spengler, professor and department head of Health Promotion and Community Health Sciences at the Texas A&M School of Public Health, has been named the recipient of the W.W. Patty Distinguished Alumni Award from Indiana University School of Public Health-Bloomington.
The award is the oldest and most prestigious alumni recognition award bestowed by the school to a graduate who has demonstrated outstanding personal and professional achievement in his or her career. Since the award’s inception in 1976, recipients have characterized the ideals set forth by the school’s first dean, Dr. Willard W. Patty.
Over his career Dr. Spengler has studied policy issues relevant to sport and recreation safety, obesity prevention and physical activity; and structural environmental factors (social and physical) that influence health. Dr. Spengler’s research was funded over a twelve year period by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation to study policies environments relevant to improving opportunities for physical activity. As an American Heart Association Volunteer, his research informed AHA policy and advocacy efforts at the local, state and national level to improve community health through physical activity. He has disseminated the results of his research in over eighty journal articles, commissioned research papers, and through numerous webinars, panels and professional invited presentations. Dr. Spengler is also lead author on three textbooks, co-author on a fourth, and author of two book chapters.
Dr. Spengler has served on the advisory board of the Aspen Institute’s Project Play and Physical Literacy Working Group, President of the Sport and Recreation Law Association, Associate Journal Editor, as a member of the board for SHAPE America and the World Fit Foundation. Dr. Spengler has also received invitations from the Executive Office of the President to attend a concussion and sport safety summit at the White House, and service on an American Heart Association Policy Statement writing group. Honors include selection as a University of Florida Research Foundation Professor in recognition of research and scholarly achievements, being twice named UF College of Health and Human Performance Teacher of the Year, recipient of the Florida Sports Hall of Fame, Fame for Fitness award in recognition of his research and outreach on childhood obesity prevention, Shape America’s Distinguished Scholar award and Research Consortium Fellow, and the Sport and Recreation Law Association Research Fellow, and University of Toledo School of Law Order of the Coif Jurisprudence award.
He completed his undergraduate degree from Wake Forest University, master’s degree from Clemson University, JD from the University of Toledo and his PhD from at Indiana University.