NEW YORK, April 27, 2012— Jane Katz, who has been a world class swimmer and professor of physical education for more than 50 years, has been honored for both activities by a pair of City University of New York (CUNY) colleges.
On May 3, Katz will receive the Distinguished Educator Award from City College of New York (CCNY). The award is presented annually to “individuals who have made significant contributions in the field of education.” She previously was honored twice by CCNY. In 1976, Katz was the first female recipient of the school’s Alumni Varsity Association Award. In 2000, CCNY presented Katz with the Townsend Harris Academic Medal, an award also bestowed to fellow alumnus, former Secretary of State Colin Powell.
On Sept. 14, Katz will be inducted into the John Jay College of Criminal Justice Athletics Hall of Fame. The Hall, created in 1993, currently has 19 members. Katz will be one of seven new members along with Jason Bowrey (soccer), James DeCesare (baseball), John Dobkowski (baseball), Steve Kelly (basketball and kayak), Dr. Susan Larkin (health and physical education) and Heather Stewart (softball),
As a swimmer, Katz, 69, continues to win championships around the world. In July 2011, she competed in the 13th European Maccabiah Games in Vienna, Austria. Recent accomplishments include winning four gold medals at both the 2010 U.S. Masters Swimming National Championships and the 2009 World Senior Games, competing at the 2009 Maccabiah Games in Israel, winning 13 gold medals at the 2008 Maccabiah Games, and swimming in the 2008 Pan American Masters Maccabiah Swim Championships in Argentina. In addition, she has won a remarkable 34 All-American U.S. Masters Swimming titles, ten of which were long-distance championships.
Early in her swimming career, Katz helped introduce synchronized swimming to the Olympic Games as a member of the 1964 U.S. Synchronized Swimming Performance Team in Tokyo.
In addition to still being a competitive swimmer, Katz celebrated 50 years at the CUNY in 2010. She began her relationship with CUNY as a student in 1959, and from 1964-1989 taught swimming at Bronx Community College. Since 1989, she has taught thousands of students about the benefits of water fitness as a professor at John Jay College in the Department of Health & Physical Education, and teaches fitness and swimming to New York City’s police and firefighters. In 2007, she helped create the KARE (Kids Aquatic Re-Entry) Program, in cooperation with the Department of Juvenile Justice, to help troubled youth learn life’s lessons poolside. In 2012, she is serving as co-chair of the New York City Swim Council and teaching its “Swim for Life” class for second graders.
Katz’ two May honors add to the list of recognitions she has received over the years. Highlights of these include:
2000: Awarded the Federation Internationale de Natation Amateur (FINA) Certificate of Merit to honor her “dedication and contribution to the development” of the sport of Swimming, awarded in Sydney, Australia, during the XXVII Olympiad.
2004: For the second time, Katz was voted Women’s Swimming Coach of the Year of the City University of New York Division III Athletic Conference.
2005: Selected by Aquatics International Magazine as one of the 25 most powerful people in the world of aquatics
2010: Honored with a Distinguished Faculty Award by John Jay College Alumni Association.
2011: Inducted into the National Jewish Sports Hall of Fame and Museum, located in Commack, NY.
Katz has authored several aquatics publications include Swimming for Total Fitness and Your Water Workout (Random House/ Broadway Books and available at amazon.com). Swimming for Total Fitness also is available as an e-book.
Jane Katz is on the Advisory Board of Aquatics International magazine and is a member of the U.S. Masters Swimming Sports Medicine and Education Committee.
More information on Jane Katz, her career and aquatics fitness resources (including three DVDs: W.E.T. Workout, Swimming Basics and Tri Synchro) can be found at www.drjanekatz.com.