Paul Rosengard graduated from San Diego State University in 1977 with a degree in Kinesiology, and received his teaching certificate from the university in 1978. A lifelong advocate of physical activity, Paul became involved with research on an N.I.H. funded program named SPARK (Sports, Play, and Active Recreation for Kids) alongside SDSU Professors Thom McKenzie and Jim Sallis.
SPARK is dedicated to creating, implementing, and evaluating research-based programs to improve the health of children and adolescents, and promotes wellness throughout the lifetime. Considered the "Godfather" of the SPARK Program, Paul first joined the SPARK research team in 1990, and served as the program's Executive Director from the beginning of dissemination in 1993 until his retirement in 2015.
Paul is known for his extensive work as a content author, teacher trainer, and physical activity leader, having contributed as an intervention director and consultant for many benchmark national studies / projects throughout his career. These studies focused in the fields of physical education, after school programs, early childhood, and coordinated school health.
While leading the SPARK dissemination effort, Paul taught future teachers how to instruct physical education at UCSD for 11 years. He has over 25 publications/papers/magazine articles in professional journals, has authored or co-authored 16 curriculum books for teachers, and has conducted nearly 400 professional workshops and conference presentations worldwide. He was appointed as the first Deputy Director of the California Governor's Council on Physical Fitness and Sports (1996), and served as a key member of the education committee for many years. Before returning to SDSU in 1990 to work on the first SPARK research grant, Paul taught for 12 years as a physical educator, athletic director, department head, and sports coach. He's also proud of his years as a Recreation Leader with the Chula Vista Parks and Recreation Department (which put him through SDSU) in his hometown of Chula Vista, CA.
Together with his wife Wendy, Paul is establishing three endowed funds within SDSU's School of Exercise and Nutritional Sciences.
The SPARK Endowed Scholarship will provide support to students pursuing the Fitness Specialist concentration in Kinesiology who have financial need.
The SPARK Endowment for Student Research and Scholarly Activities will enhance the educational experience of students by supporting expenses related to research, conference travel, and other high-impact practices that contribute to the academic experience of students.
The SPARK Endowment for Faculty Research will support expenses associated with faculty research.
"SDSU has been a big part of my life. From 1974-79 as a student; from 1990-2002 as an employee, and through our partnership with SPARK from 1990-2015 when I retired. I'm grateful to have an opportunity to give back to SDSU, and I strongly encourage my fellow alumni to do the same, and join me in becoming a member of the Heritage Society," shared Paul.