HEXS instructor to retire after 20 years

HEXS instructor to retire after 20 years

In more than 20 years as an instructor of both academic and movement arts classes within the Division of Health & Exercise Science, Warren Allen has tried to teach his students to follow their passions.

“I feel extremely blessed in life, I have been able to pursue the things I am passionate about and enjoy. This is what I have always attempted to promote in all my teaching and mentoring. We are here for a short time and to be able to feel like you are realizing purpose and meaning in your life is a gift to both recognize and cherish,” he said.

Allen, who has taught a variety of courses including tai chi, karate, yoga, complementary alternative medicine and bioethics for public health, started teaching at WOU in the spring of 2000 and plans to retire after spring term 2020.

Allen earned a bachelor’s degree in Allied Health Sciences from the University of Minnesota in 1980, worked for 16 years in cardiovascular radiology, including helping to establish the cardiac rehabilitation program at Salem Hospital. He then spent two years in South Korea teaching English as a second language and upon returning opened a martial arts academy in Salem in 1996, where he still teaches Tai Chi Chuan and Yoga.

Warren said he plans to continue teaching classes at his academy upon retirement. While he officially retires after spring term, Allen has already committed to teaching a class online this upcoming summer term at WOU.

Allen said he has always enjoyed his time and the community at WOU.

I will miss the camaraderie and collegiate interaction with students and faculty, but most of all the interaction of teaching and sharing; I like to teach. Western is a beautiful community and I have special memories from the past 20 years I have spent teaching and sharing.

social media presentation
Warren Allen and former community health instructor Daryl Thomas celebrating Daryl’s retirement in 2018.
AES 2019
Warren Allen and community health student Crystal Scheese at the 2019 Outstanding Student Awards.

Allen completed a Master’s of Science in Education at WOU in 2005 and has five advanced degrees in martial arts in which he has studied and taught in the U.S., Japan and South Korea. He said he hopes through his classes that he was able to teach his students to understand the process of learning.

“We all learn in a variety of ways and have varied abilities. There is no recipe for life or learning so it is OK to fail sometimes and success is not always as sweet as we thought it might be. Life is a journey and I have enjoyed the part of my journey that allowed me to experience teaching at WOU.”

Mark Girod, Dean of the College of Education, said Allen leaves a lasting legacy at the university.

“He introduced thousands of students to eastern perspectives on mind/body health and did so with compassion and great skill in the classroom. I will miss his warmth and genuine care for others,” he said.

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