Professor of Kinesiology Dr. Judi Phillips recognized in front of peers during fall convocation

There is no higher honor presented by Del Mar College (DMC) to its faculty than the Dr. Aileen Creighton Award for Teaching Excellence. During fall convocation today, the College announced Dr. Judi Phillips, professor and chairperson of the Kinesiology Department, as the 2018 Creighton Award recipient.

“It’s a tremendous honor to be selected for this award,” Phillips said after accepting this year’s honor.   “I know I made the right choice in choosing to teach people how to have a better quality of life though swimming and being more active.”

Phillips is the 17th recipient of the award, which DMC first established in 2002 and named in honor of Dr. Aileen Creighton, Dean Emeritus of Arts and Sciences. The award represents the late educator’s legacy as a “master teacher” during her 41-year career at the College and serves as the benchmark faculty must emulate to receive the honor. Dr. Creighton was known for her dedication to students and higher education, along with the inspiration she provided to other educators.

In all of these areas, Phillips lives up to the standard and tradition of the Creighton Award. Letters of support from colleagues and former students supported Phillips’ nomination for the award.

“Dr. Phillips continually re-evaluates course curriculum and revises assignments to best meet her students’ needs,” wrote DMC colleague and assistant instructor Laurie Jones. “Her passion for the field and interest in her students’ learning and success shines through every interaction between Dr. Phillips and her students.”

Dean of the Division of Arts and Sciences, Dr. Jonda Halcomb, wrote in her support letter that for over 30 years, Phillips has been an integral part of the Kinesiology Department. Halcomb adds, “When I observed (Phillips’) swimming class, I found her to be an engaging instructor and the ultimate professional. She used a variety of instructional methodologies to increase student success among those students who had varying degrees of swimming skills.”

One of Phillips former students wrote that the professor’s compassion and dedication to a student’s learning and achievement impacted her so much that she changed her major from education to kinesiology. Another wrote that their relationship started as a teacher and student but then she realized that she wanted a profession in kinesiology just like Phillips. Today, she considers Phillips a colleague and friend since she serves as a kinesiology senior lecturer at a university.

“Over the past 31 years at DMC, the greatest resource from which I have received information and feedback regarding my teaching has been from my students,” adds Phillips. “I have learned more about what works and what doesn’t work from them than any other source.”

Outside of the classroom, Phillips has served on numerous college-wide and departmental committees, including the Curriculum Committee and Faculty and Chairs councils. She has also worked with the dance ensemble as an assistant director. As chair of the Kinesiology Department, Phillips began the Employee Wellness Program that offers a fitness challenge every semester. Other activities she’s involved with are Beach Clean-up, Harbor Bridge Walk, Functional Movement Screenings and Living a Healthy Lifestyle Seminar.

An active member of the Texas Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance (TAPHERD), Phillips has served on numerous committees and was recognized as an outstanding leader in the field in Texas. In 2012, she won the Honor Award highlighting her service to TAHPERD and the kinesiology field.

“The one thing I can say about myself, is that if there is an occasion to learn something new, expand my perspective, or to grow professionally and personally, I will seize the opportunity,” says Phillips.

When she began teaching online and completed training for WebCT, Blackboard and Canvas, she served as a part-time instructional designer for the Distance Learning Department and took advantage of workshops to expand her teaching and technology skills. She designed the department’s webpage and currently serves as its web content manager.

A member of the Del Mar faculty since 1987, Phillips earned a bachelor’s degree in physical education and biology and a master’s degree in physical education from Stephen F. Austin State University in Nacogdoches. In 1999, she received her doctoral degree in physical education from the University of Houston.