Thomas Sawyer, Ed. D.
Arena C - 07
Dr. Sawyer received his Bachelor of Science degree (1968) in Health, Physical Education, and Recreation and a Master of Physical Education degree (1971) concentrating on HPER and sport administration from Springfield College (Springfield, MA), the “Harvard” for Physical Education/Coaching and YMCA executives. He received his doctorate (1977) from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (Virginia Tech or the Hokies) in higher education administration with an emphasis in community college administration.
He has taught in higher education since 1969 (Virginia Military Institute (VMI) [1969-79], University of Bridgeport (UB) [1979-81], Montana College of Mineral Science and Technology (Montana Tech) [1981-84], and Indiana State University (ISU) [1984-present day]). Dr. Sawyer earned the rank of full-professor at age 38. He has been a department head (Montana Tech), department chairperson (Indiana State University, Department of Physical Education), associate athletic director (Montana Tech), director of recreational sports (VMI, UB, and Montana Tech), baseball coach (Springfield College, VMI, and UB), track and field coach (VMI), soccer coach (UB, and Terre Haute South Vigo High School), director of academic partnerships (ISU), and a sports official (HS and college baseball, football, lacrosse, soccer, swimming, track and field, and volleyball).
Dr. Sawyer has written over 170 professional articles, numerous chapters in textbooks, and six textbooks. He has made over 175 presentations and workshops at state, regional, national, and international conferences. He currently serves on the board of directors for the American Association for Active Lifestyles and Fitness (AAALF). Dr. Sawyer served as AAALF’s president from 1998-2001. He is currently the Chair of the Policy Board for the Journal of Physical Education, Recreation, and Dance (JOPERD). He was the Chair of the Editorial Board for JOPERD from 1992-94. Dr. Sawyer also served as the president of the Indiana AHPERD in 1992. He currently is the editor for the Indiana AHPERD journal/newsletter, and of the Law Review for JOPERD, and formerly the editor of the Journal of Legal Aspects. Finally, he served as the treasurer and executive director of the Society for the Study of the Legal Aspects of Physical Activity and Sport.
Dr. Sawyer has been awarded the Caleb Mills Distinguished Teaching Award (ISU, 1995), the Howard Richardson Outstanding Performance Award (HHP, ISU, 1995), the Faculty Distinguished Service Award (ISU, 1997), the Council on Facilities and Equipment honor award 2002, the Sport and Recreation Law Association honor award 2003, the American Association for Active Lifestyles and Fitness honor award 2003, American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation, and Dance honor award 2004, NASPE Outstanding Sport Management Professional 2009, Indiana AHPERD Outstanding Sport Management Professional 2009. the Outstanding Research and Creativity Award 2010, and elected as a fellow to the North American Society for Health, Physical Education, Recreation, Sport, and Dance Professionals (2001), and others.
He is married to Kathleen Sawyer and has three grown children: Meghan, a graphic designer with SONY DADC, Shawn, a Correctional Officer United States Penitentiary (Terre Haute), and Peter, an Army Captain, Military Police. He has four grandchildren Alexandra (14), Finley (5), Aubree (6 months), and Grayson (7). He and his wife reside in Lakewood Subdivision, Riley, IN.
Teaching Philosophy: ... education is not to reform students nor amuse them nor make them expert technicians. It is to unsettle their minds, widen their horizons, influence their intellects, stimulate their curiosity, allow them to create freely, and teach them to think logically, if at all possible.