Shirley Winsberg

Dr. Shirley Winsberg died of an apparent heart attack in Tucson, Arizona, on Friday, March 20, 1981.  She served the University as Professor of Physical Education for Women from 1945 to 1979.  She had taught at the University of Illinois; Monticello College; the Whiting, Indiana, public schools; and the University of Massachusetts.  She was born in Whiting, Indiana, on April 2, 1914.  She attended the public schools there, and received degrees from the University of Illinois (B. S., with honors), Wellesley College (M. S.), and the University of Iowa (Ph. D.).  She had also done graduate study at the University of Wisconsin and the University of California-Berkeley, and post-doctoral study at the University of North Carolina-Greensboro in 1973-74.

One of the early proponents of the British system of movement education and movement exploration, she spent the spring of 1963 doing a film study of that system in England.  She also taught in the areas of measurement and evaluation, kinesiology, and physiology of exercise, and in golf and swimming activities.

Dr. Winsberg served the American Alliance of Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance for several years as Chair of the Sports Guides and Official Rules Committee, and as Editor of the Basketball Guide and Exam Committee.  In the Central District, she chaired Research and Teacher Education Sections.  She was the recipient of the Iowa Association's Honor Award in 1962, and served IAHPERD as Vice President, Editor, and as Co-Chair of the Movement Education Workshop.

Dr. Winsberg actively served the university at all levels during her thirty-four year tenure.  She was a member of both the University and College Senates, was Vice President and Treasurer of the local AAUP, and a member of United Faculty.  She served on the Faculty Welfare Committee, and on the Recreation Parks and Educational Policies Committees, both of which she chaired.

Within the department, she served on several occasions as Acting Head for summer sessions; was Chair of the Professional Testing Committee; and served from 1977-79 as Coordinator of the Physical Education Graduate Program.  She was part of the committee involved in the 1963 revision of Wild and White, Physical Education in the Elementary Schools, and did various research studies in the areas of testing and use of instructor time.

In the community, Dr. Winsberg served the Girl Scout Council and the YWCA Camp Committee for many years.

She retired to her home in Green Valley, Arizona, in June 1979, and was involved there in community service and education programs.

Dr. Winsberg was known among her colleagues as one who continuously strove to update her subject and to do her job well.  "The influence of the Wellesley tradition showed in her own sense of dignity and right, which she displayed in dealing with colleagues and students.  There was always an effort to reach a little farther into the wells of wisdom and an expectation for her students to do the same." (Department Newsletter, Spring 1979)  Writing at the time of her retirement, Dr. Elinor Crawford (formerly department head) said: "Many staff members have benefited from your willingness to help, your openness to new ideas, and your concern for good teaching.  The prevailing focus was always concern for the individual student."  Her colleagues and friends remember her friendliness, her commitment and dedication to her work.  She was a source both of personal and professional inspiration to them.

She is survived by a brother, Herschel Winsberg of Hammond, Indiana, and by three nieces.  Information regarding a memorial is not available at this time, pending communication from the family.


Rod Library Special Collections and University Archives
University of Northern Iowa
Cedar Falls, Iowa 50613-3675
Telephone: (319)-273-6307
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Email: Gerald.Peterson@uni.edu