Distinguished Alumni Awards
W. W. Patty Distinguished Alumni Award
Roger Zabik - 2011Dr. Roger Zabik
was born and raised in South Bend, Indiana. He attended Washington-Clay High School where he participated in football, basketball, and track. After high school, Roger enrolled in Ball State Teachers College majoring in physical education with a minor in biology. Following graduation, Roger taught seventh and eighth grade science and coached the Clay County High School football team. He then went on to receive his master’s from Indiana University in the School of Health, Physical Education and Recreation (now called the School of Public Health) in 1964 and continued on to be a student lecturer and while completing the Physical Education Doctorate program. After working as an Assistant Professor of Physical Education at Western Michigan University, Roger was promoted to Associate Professor in 1971 and to the Chair of the Health, Physical Education, and Recreation Department in 1973. During his tenure as Chair, Roger initiated revisions in the curricula offered to students, added majors in Health Education, Community Health, Exercise Science, and Recreation to the department, updated existing programs, and constructed a plan for a new student recreation facility. Roger also served as the acting associate dean of the College of Education for five years. In 1994, he stepped down as department chair, yet continued to teach exercise physiology to undergraduate and graduate students in the department. Roger retired in 2002, allowing time for his wife, Elizabeth, and himself to partake in traveling, playing golf, bow hunting and spending time with their three sons and seven grandchildren.