UNI honors four College of Education alumni with Hall of Excellence inductions

UNI honors four College of Education alumni with Hall of Excellence inductions

Hall of Excellence Logo

Four distinguished University of Northern Iowa alumni will be inducted into the College of Education’s 2022 Elinor A. Crawford and William R. Thrall Hall of Excellence on April 1 and 2.

These awards honor UNI alumni of programs within the departments of Kinesiology and Health, Recreation and Community Services in the College of Education who have at least 10 years of service and have demonstrated a cumulative record of contribution, scholarly activity and professional engagement to their chosen professions.

This year’s honorees include:

  • Benjamin T. Pirillo, an elementary physical education teacher in the Plano (Texas) Independent School District. A 2001 UNI graduate in physical education, Pirillo has been an innovator in the use of social media platforms to promote physical education and has been recognized locally, regionally and nationally for his teaching.
  • Clementine Mukeshimana Msengi, EdD, a visiting assistant professor with Lamar University, Beaumont, Texas. She graduated from UNI with a degree in health promotion and a master’s degree in community and public health and is known for her entrepreneurial and educational efforts in public health and global health.
  • Robert C. McNiel, PhD, a retired school administrator in the Cedar Rapids area. He graduated from UNI with a degree in physical education in 1965. His career encompassed teaching, coaching, refereeing and leading and serving numerous Iowa educational organizations and associations.
  • Mick G. Mack, PhD, a UNI professor of kinesiology and physical education who earned both his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in physical education from UNI. He has established himself as an expert and consultant in sport psychology and developed the Me-B-Tough mental toughness inventory used by national sport commissions, professional sport teams and researchers across six continents.

Weekend activities include a reception for inductees Friday evening, April 1, and an induction brunch on April 2, followed by a brief installation ceremony at the Hall of Excellence, located in the Wellness/Recreation Center. For more information, visit the event website.

This is the 17th Hall of Excellence induction which now recognizes more than 130 alumni and honorary inductees. Established in 2004, the awards are named for Elinor A. Crawford, former professor and head of the Department of Physical Education for Women at UNI from 1975 to 1979, and William R. Thrall, who served as the founding director of the School of Health, Physical Education and Leisure Services, a predecessor to the two departments now hosting the inductions.

Stacy McGauvran-Hruby, COE Marketing & Communications Manager, mcgauvrs@uni.edu, 319-273-7615.