This video shows Springfield College faculty member and alumnus Robert W. Accorsi presenting the lecture “Humanics, Hope, and Grit: Powerful Catalysts for the Paralympic Movement” on April 22, 2010 at the Distinguished Professor of Humanics Lecture. Accorsi was the Distinguished Professor of Humanics for the 2009-2010 academic year. The video opens with Jean Wyld, the school’s vice president of academic affairs and professor of biology, descri...
This video shows Springfield College faculty member and alumnus Robert W. Accorsi presenting the lecture “Humanics, Hope, and Grit: Powerful Catalysts for the Paralympic Movement” on April 22, 2010 at the Distinguished Professor of Humanics Lecture. Accorsi was the Distinguished Professor of Humanics for the 2009-2010 academic year. The video opens with Jean Wyld, the school’s vice president of academic affairs and professor of biology, describing the history of Humanics at Springfield College and then introducing Dr. Richard B. Flynn, the school’s twelfth president. Dr. Flynn further expounds on the history of Humanics, gives a short biography of Dr. Seth Arsenian (the first Distinguished Professor of Humanics), mentions a few of the traditions at the school, and touches on Robert Accorsi’s work at the school. At ten minutes, Jean Wyld returns to the podium to introduce the previous Distinguished Professors of Humanics who are in the audience. She then introduces Robert Accorsi. In his talk, Accorsi explains the history of the Paralympics movement, beginning with the creation of athletic opportunities for veterans recently returned from World War II. He ties the movement’s success into his interpretation of the Humanics philosophy by arguing that “servant leadership” is the core of Humanics and “grit” is the philosophy’s framework. Accorsi defines grit as “a single-minded persistence to create change in spite of insurmountable barriers.” At roughly twenty-four minutes into the video, he shows a video of himself presenting the Grit Awards, which he created to honor those who have been pioneers in the sport coalition for athletes with disabilities. Accorsi then discusses the perseverance and spirit found in the Paralympic movement. At the thirty minute mark, he plays a seven-minute video showcasing Paralympic athletes. After discussing perceptions of Paralympic athletes, he shows a video called “Celebrating Youth,” filmed the previous year when people with disabilities were invited to play with Springfield College students in an inclusive setting. In the last section of his speech, he describes “the power of sport to teach, inform and change attitudes.” Accorsi closes by reading a poem written by the U.S. Paralympics titled “Amazing Waits.” At forty-four minutes, Jean Wyld takes the podium to thank Accorsi for his contributions to the school. She then presents him with the Distinguished Professor of Humanics pin and reveals who will be the 2011 Distinguished Professor of Humanics: Robert Barkman. Robert W. Accorsi earned his BS from Westfield State College in 1977. After graduation, he began working as a counselor at a Children’s Study Home in Springfield, Massachusetts. During this time, he enrolled at Springfield College and ultimately graduated in 1980 with his master’s degree in education. In 1980, he became the Sports and Recreation Director for United Cerebral Palsy of Western Massachusetts, a position he remained dedicated to for the next seven years. Springfield College hired Accorsi in 1985 as an adjunct professor. Two years later, he became a full-time faculty member in the recreation and leisure department. In 1988, Holyoke Community College hired him as the coordinator of disabled student services. In 2009, Accorsi was appointed Springfield College’s Distinguished Professor of Humanics. Accorsi is actively involved with the United States Cerebral Palsy Athletic Association, the Learning Assistance Association of New England, and the National Therapeutic Recreation Association. He also served as president of the New England Cerebral Palsy Coaches Association and on the board of directors for the United States Association for Cerebral Palsy Athletics. To read a transcription of his lecture - http://cdm16122.contentdm.oclc.org/cdm/ref/collection/p15370coll2/id/6254.