Barry Lavay has been a key member of Long Beach State’s Kinesiology Department since he began teaching at the university in 1988. After a career full of contributions to the Adapted Physical Education community, Lavay has been selected to receive the SHAPE America Julian U. Stein Lifetime Achievement Award.
Lavay said that he wasn’t expecting to receive the award, but it was a pleasant surprise. Lavay was nominated for the award by his colleagues Tiffanye Vargas, the Department of Kinesiology’s Chair, and Melissa Bittner, an assistant professor for APE at CSULB.
“Dr. Barry Lavay is highly respected within our department, college and the adapted physical education community,” Vargas said. “As a faculty member, he brings a wealth of experience and knowledge to not only our students, but also to our younger faculty. We are incredibly proud… and are thrilled that he is being recognized for all that he has done for adapted physical education.”
The Julian U. Stein Lifetime Achievement Award is the highest honor someone can receive in the field of APE. Lavay has always been committed to helping the APE community, so being recognized by his peers is something that means a lot to him.
“A lot of times you’re just going along and doing your thing everyday and you don’t really think much about [receiving awards],” Lavay said. “Your peers know the field, so when you’re recognized by them, it’s a nice thing.”
Lavay was especially attracted to CSULB because of the school’s deep history with APE.
CSULB President Jane Close Conoley commended Lavay’s contributions to the Beach community.
“He is among the nation’s leading experts in adapted physical education and promoting physical activity among persons with disabilities,” Conoley said. “It’s an honor to have him on faculty here and his legacy at the Beach will thrive through Camp Nugget and his tireless support and mentorship of students and early career faculty.”
Lavay is the latest recipient of the Julian U. Stein Lifetime Achievement Award, which “exemplifies Dr. Stein’s leadership in teaching, mentorship, writing, speaking and volunteerism at all levels of professional involvement,” according to the SHAPE America website.
Lavay will retire from CSULB this summer, but he is not done contributing to his field. He has been a guest moderator on a podcast called “What’s New in Adapted PE,” and he will continue to contribute after he retires.
“I want to continue to promote [adapted physical education],” Lavay said. “When you look at higher ed, no more than 200 professors exist who specialize nationwide in APE. I just think a lot of times people don’t really know what we do and I’ve always felt like I have an obligation to give back to my profession. I have this knowledge and I need to use it.”