Health and Human Development

Karl Newell named 2013 Alliance Scholar

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- Karl M. Newell, professor and head of the Department of Kinesiology, has been named the 2013 Alliance Scholar by the American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance (AAHPERD).

The Alliance Scholar program promotes scholarship among AAHPERD's members and seeks to encourage and facilitate research and creative activities that enrich the depth and scope of health, leisure, sport, dance and related activities. As the Alliance Scholar, Newell will present the Alliance Scholar Lecture at the 2013 AAHPERD National Convention & Exposition in Charlotte, NC. He also will work to disseminate findings to professionals in the field and to other interested audiences through presentations at institutional venues as well as through an Internet Web-cast presentation.

“Karl Newell has arguably had more impact over the past 40 years on the shape of contemporary kinesiology than any other individual,” said Scott Kretchmar, professor of kinesiology at Penn State who nominated Newell for the award. “His ground-breaking articles, which promoted 'kinesiology' as the name of the profession, expanded the scope of the field from sport to physical activity and re-conceptualized relationships between theory, practice and performance.”

Newell is a leading researcher in the field of motor behavior. His research focuses on coordination, control, and skill of normal and abnormal human movement across the lifespan, as well as the influence of drugs on motor behavior. His research on motor learning and control emphasizes a dynamical systems approach to human movement as well as on practical interventions and manipulations that can be put to work in rehabilitation, educational and therapeutic contexts.

Among Newell's many academic honors is the Distinguished Scholar Award of the North American Society for Psychology and Sport Activity, the University Scholar Award of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and the Faculty Scholar Medal of Penn State. He has edited or co-edited eight books and has authored or co-authored more than 80 book chapters and 300 articles in refereed journals. He previously served as head of the Penn State Department of Kinesiology from 1993 to 2001 before being appointed associate dean for research and graduate education in the Penn State College of Health and Human Development, a position he held for six years. He earned a doctoral degree in physical education at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 1973.

Newell can be reached at or 814-863-1163.

Karl M. Newell, professor and head of the Department of Kinesiology at Penn State Credit: Penn StateCreative Commons

Last Updated April 24, 2012