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Distinguished Professor of Humanics: Albert Petitpas 2008-2009

Albert Petitpas 2008-2009

Title of Humanics Lecture
"What would happen if...?"

Earned Degrees
Doctor of Education, Boston University (1981)
Master of Education, Northeastern University (1971)
Bachelor of Arts, Bridgewater State University (1968)

Final Title at Springfield College
Professor of Psychology/Director of Center for Youth Development and Research

Short statement that describes what it means to be a Distinguished Professor of Humanics:
Being selected as a Distinguished Professor of Humanics was both an honor and a responsibility. It was very gratifying to be recognized by colleagues for my contributions to the college, but the thought of trying to follow in the footsteps of so many legendary SC figures was a daunting challenge. I decided to dedicate my efforts to try to build on the college’s storied history as a pioneer in the field of positive youth development through sport and physical activity. To me, Humanics meant having an unwavering belief in human potential and I “wondered what would happen if” coaches, youth workers, and teachers believed that every child had everything that they needed to be successful already within them. I “wondered what would happen if” adults created opportunities for young people’s self-discovery and tried to draw out children’s hopes, skills, and strengths, as opposed to filling them up with adult knowledge. Fortunately, becoming a Distinguished Professor of Humanics allowed me to host a “Celebration of Community Youth” where over a hundred area youth were able to come to the fieldhouse and enjoy a day of games, experiences, and positive interactions with SC students and staff, who also “wondered what would happen if."

Short statement that describes how you continued to live the Humanics mission after your year as Distinguished Professor of Humanics:
After my year as a Distinguished Professor of Humanics, I was appointed to lead SC’s newly created Center for Youth Development and Research. I served in this role until my retirement in 2017. I continue to strive to have an unwavering belief in human potential and to live out the Humanics mission by consulting with a growing number of organizations that use sport and physical activity to promote positive youth development.


Image Credit: Springfield College Archives