Eastern Student Named Emerging Leader

EWU’s Cory Wagner, a senior majoring in Health and Physical Education, recently received a highly competitive leadership award from a state association dedicated to fostering healthy and active youth in our communities.

The Roger C. Wiley award, presented by the Society of Health and Physical Education (SHAPE), Washington, was presented to Wagner as an emerging leader among students attending universities in the state of Washington. It’s the fifth time in six years an EWU student has taken home the award.

Normally, EWU will nominate students to be the emerging leader, but the past couple years faculty have instead asked students to nominate themselves to show leadership and initiative. 

Once EWU students nominated themselves, Wagner was unanimously chosen by Health and Physical Education program faculty to represent Eastern. He then went up against each emerging leader from the other state institutions, and SHAPE Washington then selected Wagner for the Roger C. Wiley award. In addition to being recognized for his distinguished efforts in and outside of the classroom, Wagner also received a $500 scholarship. 

This October, Wagner, a 23-year-old from Medical Lake, attended the annual SHAPE conference in Kent  to receive his award.​​ He was surrounded by a number of Eastern students and staff clad in their Eagle red polo shirts. Among them, faculty mentors Carri Kreider, EdD, and Laurie Morley, EdD.

Wagner stands with his award and his surrounded by Laurie Morley, EdD (on the left), and Carri Kreider, EdD from Health and Physical Education.

“This award means a lot to me, and It’s so cool that I get to represent such an amazing program at Eastern,” says Wagner. “I’d like to thank Dr. Kreider and Dr. Morley for being such amazing professors during my time at Eastern. All I have to say is they are AWESOME!”

“Cory’s dedication to the HPE profession was evident from his first day in our program,” says Kreider, who is the director of Health and Physical Education and was an emerging leader herself while attending Gonzaga University. 

“Cory has shown to have a growth mindset. He continually seeks feedback and suggestions as to how to improve as a physical educator,” she adds.

Wagner achieved a 3.78 GPA and completed a minor in coaching. He plans to look for a PE teaching position as soon as he graduates and will continue coaching. Wagner has extensive coaching experience with local youth teams in a variety of levels and sports including football, basketball and baseball. He has also volunteered for the Special Olympics, Blessings Under the Bridge, Second Harvest Food Program, Active 4 Youth cross country meets and Coats for Kids. 

“This past year has been a challenge for us all. It appears that the pandemic created a bigger struggle for people to gain motivation and get up and move. Cory, on the other hand, seized the opportunity and encouraged his peers as well. He was a ray of light in our zoom class meetings with his energy and stories about fitness adventures,” says Kreider.

Wagner feels the same way about Eastern’s PE program. “I’ve enjoyed meeting some amazing people and building relationships that will last a lifetime. My classmates and professors have been awesome and it’s made my time at Eastern excellent!” says Wagner.

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