Last week, the campus community lost an esteemed colleague as IB Professor Emerita Roberta “Robbie” Park passed away peacefully at the age of 87. Roberta had been an invaluable member of the Physical Education program for more than sixty years, from her time as an undergraduate to her service as a faculty member and department chair of the Department of Physical Education (later Human Dynamics, which merged with Integrative Biology in 1997).
During her extensive career, Roberta was a prolific scholar in the fields of sport science and sport history. She published over 100 articles in scientific journals, as well as several books and monographs. She was also an active member of many professional organizations in her field and sat on the editorial boards of several academic publications.
After analyzing Roberta’s influence in the field of sport science, historian of physical culture Patricia Vertinsky wrote, “Her extensive career… is a powerful example of one woman's agency, determination and success in the hierarchical world of higher education with its ambiguous and shifting attachment to the profession and discipline of physical education and sport science… Park has helped turn a narrow lane into the broad and busy highway sport history has now become.”
The IB & Physical Education communities are fortunate to have been influenced by Roberta’s great legacy. We offer our condolences to Roberta’s family and close friends.