Who is Cheryl Cohen?

Cheryl J. Cohen, Ph.D., WIU emeritus professor emeritus, retired in 2006 after 28 years of teaching in the Department of Kinesiology.  

Cheryl J. Cohen was born and raised in Brooklyn, New York.  She attended public schools in New York City and graduated from Hunter College in 1965 with a Bachelor of Arts degree.  Following the recommendation of one of her undergraduate professors, she left the Big Apple, ventured west, and enrolled a the University of Illinois where she earned a Master of Science degree one year later in 1966.   After graduation, she returned to the east coast and taught at the University of Connecticut for two years before returning to the University of Illinois to work on her doctorate, earning her Ph.D. in 1971.   and began her career as a university professor at Purdue University.  In 1978 she joined the faculty at Western Illinois University.

Dr. Cohen arrived on Western's campus in 1978, five years after Brophy Hall opened its doors.  At that time, there were separate departments that housed the men's and women's undergraduate physical education programs, however the graduate program was a joint venture between the departments.  What attracted Dr. Cohen to WIU was the availability of the Human Performance Lab and accompanying scientific instruments that provided her the opportunity to meld teaching and research.  As a faculty member, she taught exercise physiology, research methods, and several graduate seminar courses and served as the Director of the Human Performance Laboratory for 15 years (1978-1993).  

As a graduate faculty member, Dr. cohen chairs 40 master's theses and eight of her students went on to earn advanced degrees.  Of those eight, five earned academic doctorates (Ph.D. or Ed.D), one earned a doctorate in physical therapy, one a doctorate in public health and one a medical doctorate.  Two of her master's students are currently members of the faculty in the Department of Kinesiology at WIU.  Dr. Cohen began the endowed lecture series as a way to continue her connection to kinesiology students, as well as to provide a learning opportunity for faculty, staff, students and the community.

Dr. Cohen currently resides in Arizona and always returns to campus for the lecture.


Dr. Cheryl Cohen

Cheryl J. Cohen, WIU professor emeritus, endowed the first lecture series in WIU's College of Education and Human Services. (Photo Courtesy of the Visual Production Center)