URI’s Mia Dunn named national ‘Major of the Year’ by SHAPE America

KINGSTON, R.I., — April 19, 2023 — Mia Dunn ’23 has been chosen as a Major of the Year recipient by the SHAPE America-Society of Health and Physical Educators. The award celebrates outstanding undergraduate students in the health, physical education, recreation, and dance professions.

Dunn, a health and physical education major with a minor in kinesiology at the University of Rhode Island, was honored during a ceremony on March 30 at the organization’s 137th National Convention & Expo in Seattle.

Dunn was nominated for the award by Professor Furong Xu, coordinator of URI’s health and physical education program in URI’s School of Education.

“Mia is a well-rounded student who is academically strong and is a promising prospective educator,” said Xu.

A native of Norwalk, Connecticut, Dunn will receive a bachelor’s of science degree in education at URI’s May 21 commencement exercises.

Dunn served as a program leader for the 2022 Rhode Island Food, Fitness and Fun community outreach program, where she developed an eight-week physical activity curriculum for middle school girls and has led activities that promoted and expanded students’ physical, emotional and social growth. 

As program assistant and certified personal trainer for URI’s F45 Training Program, which combines elements of high-intensity interval training, circuit and functional training, she continuously works to boost an interest in lifelong fitness. She is also a member of URI’s club pickleball team.

Dunn student taught health and physical education this spring at Narragansett Elementary and Cole Middle schools in East Greenwich. 

“I am honored to receive the Major of the Year award from SHAPE America, and I am so thankful for the opportunities that URI offered to me, along with the support of the School of Education, especially Professor Xu. With the valuable experiences I have gained through URI, I look forward to sharing the lifelong benefits and my passion for physical fitness to all communities,” said Dunn.

SHAPE America is the nation’s largest membership organization of health and physical education professionals. Since its founding in 1885, the organization has defined excellence in physical education. Its national standards for K-12 physical education serve as the foundation for well-designed physical education programs across the country. SHAPE America provides programs, resources, and advocacy to support health and physical educators at every level, from preschool to university graduate programs. 

“The outstanding achievements of future professionals like Mia is integral to the future of SHAPE America and our profession.” said Kymm Ballard, president of SHAPE America.