The honor is given to one young professional each year who has demonstrated superior promise in the areas of service, teaching, scholarship and commitment to the goals of the alliance, focusing specifically on underrepresented and underserved populations and promotion of social justice and diversity.
A 20,000-member group made up of five national associations, six district associations and a research consortium, the American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Research and Dance envisions a society in which all individuals enjoy an optimal quality of life through appreciation of and participation in an active and creative, health-promoting lifestyle.
Culp also envisions a similar society but has focused his attention on whether everyone is truly afforded the opportunity to be physically active and thus possesses the right to be physically active.
On a broad scale, Culp’s scholarship has focused on how to expand opportunities for young people to be physically active, particularly those who are underrepresented minorities, including girls, women and seniors. It has included studies of school programs, physical education teacher preparation, immigrants, and barriers to physical activities in urban areas and international areas.
An over-arching question Culp has is whether everyone has the right to be physically active, and if so, is this an issue of social justice. He notes: “Unless individuals are afforded realistic opportunities to be active, then the fundamental promise of America to ‘life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness’ could be compromised.”
Other recent accomplishments have included working with the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards in 2011 and being awarded the Mabel Lee Award from the American Alliance of Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance in 2012. Currently, Culp is assisting with policy development for newcomer populations and urban physical education with Physical and Health Education Canada and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.