The California State University, Northridge community will gather Friday, Oct. 30, on campus to celebrate and reflect on the life of kinesiology professor and Faculty President Shane Frehlich, who died Sept. 4 due to complications from Acute Myeloid Leukemia. He was 46.
Family, friends and colleagues will fill CSUN’s Valley Performing Arts Center to remember Frehlich. Seating for the memorial service will begin at 3:30 p.m., and the ceremony is scheduled to start at 4 p.m.
Frehlich was born on Dec. 14, 1968, in Saskatchewan, Canada. He received a Bachelor of Arts degree in psychology from the University of Calgary in 1990. He moved to the United States, where he earned a Ph.D. in exercise and sport sciences from the University of Florida in 1997. That year, he began his professional career as a full-time lecturer — rising to assistant professor in 1998 — at the State University of New York at Cortland.
He left there in 2001 to join the faculty of CSUN’s Department of Kinesiology. He was appointed chair of that same department in 2009. He served in that capacity until 2013. In addition to holding numerous other leadership positions, Frehlich was elected president of the Faculty Senate in 2014, and he held that position until his passing.
Frehlich’s professional expertise was in the area of motivation and cognitive and social psychology. He was a published researcher and academic mentor. He developed a strong passion for issues related to higher education and the role of kinesiology within it. He was elected vice president of the National Association for Kinesiology in Higher Education.
Steve Estes, the association’s president, said that Frehlich was “critical in legitimizing the philosophical positions we held regarding what kinesiology should be, and where it should go.”
His knowledge of sports psychology principles helped him fight through many setbacks in his treatment while maintaining a positive outlook and sense of humor. Former students and colleagues remember him not only for his tireless efforts on their behalf, but also for his genuine warmth and compassion.
“Not only did he possess the skill set to teach and research in a critical area, he was simply a great person to be around,” Estes said.
CSUN kinesiology professor Jennifer Romack agreed.
“He was an approachable, honest, humorous and forthright person who never had a hidden agenda,” she said.
Frehlich is survived by his wife, Dianne (nee Habring); and three sons: 3-year-old twins Maximilian and Miles, and Jonas, who celebrated his first birthday this month.
His colleagues noted that he was well respected as a professor, researcher, adviser, leader and mentor, but he will be missed most as a friend.
RSVPs for the memorial service are requested by Oct. 23, at http://www.csun.edu/faculty-senate/shane-frehlich-memorial-service-rsvp. In lieu of flowers, CSUN colleagues established an education fund for Frehlich’s three sons. They also asked members of the CSUN community and others to consider joining the Be the Match bone marrow donor registry. As a result of donor drives held for Frehlich, his colleagues said, the lives of three people with blood cancer were saved.
For memorial service parking, donations and other information, visit http://www.csun.edu/health-human-development/kinesiology/shane-frehlich-memoriam.