Gerald Gems, North Central College professor of health and physical education, was elected a vice president of the International Society for the History of Physical Education and Sport; his four-year term began August 2013. His duties include setting the direction of the organization, organization of conferences, service on the scientific committee and more.
While teaching at the University of Copenhagen Summer School for Graduate Students, Gems gave a lecture titled “Women’s Boxing: Boon or Bane?” which analyzed the historical roots of women’s boxing and the current psychological motives of female boxers. Three North Central College students—sport management majors Aubrie Luesse ’14 and Derek Nelson ’14 and exercise science major Zach Heerspink ’13—assisted with the initial research for the project. Gems also taught a class on American football and advised numerous international students on their doctoral dissertation projects.
Gems was invited to give a keynote address, titled “Race, Sport, and the American Occupation of the Philippines,” at the 23rd Pan-Asian Sports Conference in Cebu, Philippines, Aug. 9-10.
He also was an invited panelist and speaker at the International Society for the History of Physical Education and Sport in Taipei, Taiwan, from Aug. 18-22. The panel discussion topic was titled “Asian Sports Meets Western Sports: Cross-cultural Exchanges.” His presentation was titled “Fighting Women: Historical and Sociological Approaches to Women’s Boxing,” which was coauthored and presented with Gertrud Pfister, a professor at the University of Copenhagen.
Gems has been a member of North Central’s faculty since 1988. He earned his B.A. from Northeastern Illinois University, his M.S. from the University of Arizona and his Ph.D. from the University of Maryland.