Dr. Betsy Silva, Black Hills State University professor of physical education
Dr. Betsy Silva, Black Hills State University associate professor of physical education, recently received the 2013 Sport & Physical Education Division Merit Award from the Central District of the American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance (AAHPERD).

The Central District is one of six districts of the AAHPERD and includes Colorado, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wyoming. BHSU’s physical education program is the only one in South Dakota nationally recognized by the National Association for Sport and Physical Education, the largest of the five national associations that make up the AAHPERD, according to Dr. Pat Simpson, dean of the BHSU College of Education and Behavioral Sciences. Silva has been a leader in the organization on both a state and national level, Simpson said.

Silva, who also serves as department chair of Physical Education and Health at BHSU, has been a contributing member of the South Dakota Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance (SDAHPERD) for nearly 20 years holding various positions including president.

She has been instrumental in state policies and actions including: the writing and implementation of a South Dakota physical education and health graduation requirement; disallowing physical education waivers at the state level; developing and implementing state physical education standards; and writing a state wellness policy for K-12 education.

Silva has also mentored undergraduate research that has been presented at national, district, and state AAHPERD conferences. She has been recognized with various other awards including the District Scholar Award, the South Dakota Honor Award and South Dakota Collegiate Teacher of the Year.

Silva received her master’s degree and her doctorate in physical education from the University of Northern Colorado. She has been a member of the BHSU faculty since 1992.