Graduate Student • Sport Leadership
by Stephanie Short
Being healthy and being educated go hand-in-hand for College of Education student Ryann Maria Koufoudakis.
“I have always felt health is a person’s most valuable asset,” said Koufoudakis, a graduate student in the Department of Kinesiology and Health Promotion. “After health, I think the most important thing one can have is their education.”
A native of Independence, Ky., Koufoudakis believes a healthy lifestyle begins at an early age.
“I went into physical education and health education because I want to foster positive attitudes about physical activity in children and adolescents,” Koufoudakis said. “I want to enhance their health skills and literacy so that they have the capabilities to lead a healthy lifestyle.”
In between instructing five fitness classes at the Seaton Center and collecting research at local elementary schools, Koufoudakis still finds time to be an Ambassador for the College of Education.
“I became motivated to become an ambassador when I discovered the opportunities that came with being an ambassador, such as being a leader and representative of the College of Education,” Koufoudakis said. “The idea that I am providing individuals with information that can always be relevant to them in their everyday lives motivates me.”
While spare time is not something Koufoudakis possesses much of, she has learned to manage being a student with being an active 22-year-old. Besides spending time with family and friends, Koufoudakis enjoys having fun outdoors, as well as staying informed on trending topics.
“I like lots of sports,” she said. “I enjoy catching up with the latest celeb gossip. I hate to admit it, but I enjoy musicals of all sorts, and I am definitely a fan of the new TV show ‘Glee.’ I love to be outside and active: swimming, playing tennis, softball, ultimate frisbee, really anything and everything.”
Koufoudakis even makes time to visit furry creatures in search of a home.
“I also really love animals,” she said. “I love going to the Lexington Humane Society when I have free time.”
While certified to teach K-12, Koufoudakis has not limited her teaching dreams. After graduation she hopes to teach in an elementary school or participate in Teach for America, a program for college graduates hoping to promote educational equality. Eventually, Koufoudakis plans to return to school to pursue a doctorate and become a college professor.
“My education dream would be to become a strong and effective health education and physical education advocate and get physical education and health education programs thriving in schools,” Koufoudakis said.
updated 02-10-2011 by Brad Duncan