Alumni News

Alumni News

Each year, the Department of Kinesiology and Health Studies recognizes a graduate whose professional achievements distinguish them among their peers. Recent honorees and their activities are described below.



2012 - Valerie Altazin
Valerie Altazin
Valerie Altazin completed an undergraduate degree at Southeastern in Health and Physical Education followed by a master's degree and certification as an Adapted Physical Education teacher.  She has worked in area school systems for over 30 years, serving as Health and Physical Education teacher, Adapted Physical Education teacher, and most recently as coordinator of the East Baton Rouge system's Adapted Physical Education program.

Valerie has engaged in service to the special Olympoics and the Louisiana Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance (LAHPERD) organization, and has been significantly involved in the development of assessments and curricula for the Louisiana State Department of Education.

Her work has been recognized by her peers, evidenced by her receiving the Ellen Gilletine Adapted Physical Education Teacher of the Year Award in 2008. She is a vocal advocate for Southeastern and the Department of Kinesiology and Health Studies.


2011 - Kenneth Jenkins
Ken Jenkins
Ken Jenkins is a dual graduate of Southeastern, receiving an undergraduate degree in Health and Physical Education in 1966, and a master’s degree in Educational Administration in 1969.

He has a long distinguished career in the East Baton Rouge Parish School system as a teacher, coach, assistant principal and supervisor. He served many years as the system’s Supervisor of Health, Physical Education, Driver Education and Athletics, and at the time of this award was the system Director of Student Activities.

Jenkins was named the Louisiana Elementary Physical Education Teacher of the Year in 1985, received the Educational Merit Award from the Louisiana Tennis Association in 2001, and was honored as the Outstanding Athletic Director in the state in 2001 by the Louisiana High School Athletic Director’s Association.



2010 - Reggie Stone
Reggie Stone

Reggie Stone received an undergraduate degree with a double major in Athletic Training and Exercise
Science from Linfield College in Oregon, and his master’s degree in Health and Kinesiology fromSoutheastern Louisiana University.

At the time of this award, he was employed as an Athletic Trainerwith the New Orleans Saints, where he worked since 2002. He has extensive work experience at anAthletic Trainer that includes the NFL, the New Orleans Voodoo Arena Football Team, and Ochsner SportsMedicine.

He is certified by the National Athletic Training Association Board of Certification and is
an active member of the NATA and Louisana ATA.



2009 - Mary Martin Nordness
Dr. Linda Synovitz and Mary Martin Nordness
Mary Martin Nordness earned a BS in Nutrition from the University of Alabama-Birmingham in 1989 and a MA in Health and Kinesiology from Southeastern in 2001. She is a Registered Dietitian as well as a Certified Health Education Specialist (CHES).

At the time of this award, she served as the Director of Nutrition Communications for the Southeast Dairy Association, a post that includes creating nutrition education resources, coordinating the association's nutrition affairs program, and serving as a media contact for the organization

Prior to her current position, Mrs Nordness was employed by the Baton Rouge General Health System as Chief Clinical Dietitian, and Coordinator of Community Wellness. In addition to this award, she was one tabbed as an Ambassador of the National Dairy Council and named to theNational Dairy Council's Editorial Board.



2008 - Lisa Johnson

Lisa Johnson

Lisa Johnson completed the BS in Health and Physical Education from the Mississippi University for Women, the MA in Health and Kinesiology from Southeastern, and the PhD in Kinesiology from LSU.

Prior to coming to Southeastern, Lisa taught in the public schools in Iberia and Pointe Coupee Parishes and worked as a sales representative. After completing the master's degree, she was hired as a faculty member by the LSU Department of Kinesiology. Initiated with her work as a graduate assistant at Southeastern, Dr Johnson continued to collaborate with Southeastern faculty on research projects, and had 13 national publications as of 2007.

In addition to her teaching and research, Lisa has been a leader in LAHPERD (Louisiana Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance), serving in numerous roles in including Vice-President (2001-2003) and President (2007-2008). In addition to this award, she received the Tiger Athletic Foundation's Undergraduate Teaching Award in 2000 and 2003.

2007 - Dee Jacobsen

Dee JacobsenDee Jacobsen completed the BA in Health, Physical Education, and Safety at Southeastern, followed by the MEd in Physical Education from the University of New Orleans, and the PhD in Human Performance from the University of Southern Mississippi.

She was an accomplished student-athlete in college, playing both basketball and volleyball. For several years she taught, coached, and served as Assistant Principal and Athletic Director at Archbishop Chapelle High School in New Orleans, then returned to Southeastern as an instructor in the Department of Kinesiology and Health Studies.

At the time of this award, she was making the transition to LSU in Baton Rouge where she took a faculty position in their Department of Kinesiology. Dee was an outstanding faculty member recognized for her teaching, advising, and service. In addition to this award, she received the Excellence in Service Award by the KHS Department in 2001, and the Pathfinder Award by the National Association for Girls and Women in Sport in 1998.



2006 - Al Link

Al LinkAlbert “Al” Link received an undergraduate and masters degree in Health, Physical Education, and Recreation from Southeastern Louisiana University and also completed certification in Educational Administration and Supervision.

He served the Hammond community and the Tangipahoa Parish School system for over 30 years working as teacher, coach, and administrator, including a 6-year stint as Principal of Hammond High School.

Upon his retirement, he continued his association with the area’s education as a member of the Tangipahoa Parish School Board.

Mr. Link is also recognized for his work in sports officiating, particularly basketball. He was instrumental in the formation of the first organization of basketball officials for women’s high schools and colleges, supervised women’s basketball officials for the Southeastern Conference, American South Conference, and Sun Belt Conference, and served as Chair of the National Board of Women’s Basketball Supervisors. In 1997 he was named Citizen of the Year by the Hammond Daily Star newspaper.



2005 - Tammy Louk Swindle

Tammy LoukTammy Louk Swindle received the BA in Kinesiology (1991) and MA in Health Studies (1994) from Southeastern Louisiana University.

At the time of this award, she was Senior Health Educator for the Cancer Center of Greater New Orleans, where she worked since 1996. Her work centers on tobacco prevention and cessation, and each year her programs reach 13,000 students in K-12 schools, and another 10,000 adults.

Tammy is a regular presenter at professional conferences and participant in community organizations including the Coalition for a Tobacco-Free Louisiana, and Louisiana Cancer Control Partnership. In addition to this award she was named the 1999 Outstanding Tobacco Control Educator by the Louisiana Office of Public Health.


2003 - Michael Berry

Mike Berry

Michael Berry received the BS in Physical Education from Jacksonville State University in 1977, the MA in Physical Education from Southeastern Louisiana University in 1978, and the PhD from Texas A&M University in 1983.

At the time of this award, he was a Professor in the Department of Health and Exercise Science at Wake Forest University. Dr Berry is a renowned scholar in Exercise Physiology, having published a number of research articles in journals such as Journal of Applied Physiology, American Journal of Physical Therapy, and Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise. His work has been funded by the National Institute of Health, National Institute of Aging, and National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute.

In addition to this award, he received the 1991 Sears-Roebuck Foundation Teaching Excellence Award.



2002 - W. Leroy Fanning

W. Leroy FanningLeroy Fanning received the BA in Health, Physical Education, and Recreation from Southeastern Louisiana University in 1964 (where he was the first Roomie the Lion), followed by an EdD from the University of Georgia.

At the time of this award, he was a Professor in the Department of Health and Human Performance at the University of Tennessee-Chattanooga, where we worked since 1971.

An active participant in professional organizations, Dr. Fanning has been President of Southern District AAHPERD, and served the AAHPERD organization on committees and activities too numerous to mention. In 2002, he was awarded the AAHPERD R. Tait McKenzie Honor Award, and the National Association for Girls and Women in Sport Presidential Award.

He is also a notable contributor to sport, having served as Tournament Director and Senior Sport Manager for USA Basketball for the 1996 Olympics, and tournament coordinator for several AAU/USA Girls Basketball National Championships.