New York, NY — Dr. Jane Katz is being recognized by Continental Who’s Who as a Lifetime Distinguished Professor in the field of Health and Physical Education for her remarkable contributions and professional excellence as a Professor Emeritus with John Jay College of Criminal Justice.
As a seasoned and award-winning educator, Dr. Katz has garnered 60 years of extensive knowledge and professional experience in health and physical education. She has led an impressive long-standing career as a pioneer of global aquatics teaching thousands of students about the benefits of water fitness at the City University of New York since 1964. Her pursuit to enter the aquatics career was inspired by her father, who suffered a traumatic water experience. Dr. Katz is most proud to see her students smile and full of excitement upon learning to float for their first time. Most recently, Dr. Katz served as professor at John Jay College in the Department of Physical Education and Athletics teaching fitness and swimming to New York City’s police and firefighters from 1989 to 2019. Prior to her appointment at John Jay, she also served as a Professor of Physical Education at the Bronx Community College from 1964 to 1989.
Throughout her acclaimed career, Dr. Katz has been proud of her professional achievements. She participated as a member of the 1964 Synchronized Swimming Performance Team at the Tokyo Olympics. Thirty-six years later, she was awarded the Federation Internationale de Natation Amateur (FINA) Certificate of Merit to honor her “dedication and contribution to the development” of the sport as a Swimmer and Promoter of Aquatic Sports, awarded in Sydney, Australia, during the XXVII Olympiad in 2000. This was awarded in recognition of Jane’s development in 1983 of a program and book called Water Exercise Techniques (W.E.T.) that introduced fitness athletes to water exercises. Seeing a need in her community, in 2007, she helped create the KARE (Kids Aquatic Re-Entry) Program, in cooperation with the Department of Juvenile Justice to help troubled youth learn life’s lessons poolside. In 2015, Dr. Katz launched W.E.T.s 4 VETS™, a service for rehabilitating the mind, body, and spirit of military veterans re-entering civilian life using holistic water exercise techniques. She has written 16 books on the subject of health and physical fitness, as well as contributed to many other creative works including swimming workout videos.
To prepare for her career, Dr. Katz earned her Bachelor of Science Degree in Health and Physical Education at the City College of New York in 1963. Later, in pursuit of furthering her education, she obtained a Master of Arts Degree in Organization Administration from New York University in 1966. She then went on to obtain both a Masters of Education Degree in Therapeutic Recreation for Aging in 1972 and her Doctor of Education degree in Gerontology from Teachers College at Columbia University in 1978. Since then, she has maintained affiliations with several professional organizations in various roles including Member/Celebrity Athlete with the Women’s Sports Foundation (1985-2008), Honorary Chair, “Against the Tide” Benefit hosted by the Massachusetts Breast Cancer Coalition (1999-2004), Fitness Ambassador to Fifty-plus Fitness Association at Stanford University (2004, 2005), Advisory Board of the International Congress, aand the International Swimming Hall of Fame, just to name a few.
Additionally, she served as a member of the Women’s Medical Association, USA Swimming Education Committee, Aquatics International, National Aquatic Council, and the National Fitness Leader Association. She is also a highly sought after speaker and has given speeches at many professional events.
In recognition of her professional excellence, Dr. Katz is the recipient of many accolades and awards throughout her career. She received the Outstanding Teacher Award for the academic year 1999-2000 at John Jay College of Criminal Justice of CUNY, and was the 2000 honoree of the New York City PSAL’s National Girls and Women in Sports Day. In April 2001, the Dr. Jane Katz Natatorium was dedicated to the Children’s Better Health Institute in Indianapolis, Indiana. In 2004, for the second time, Professor Katz was voted Women’s Swimming Coach of the Year of the City University of New York Division III Athletic Conference. In 2005, she was selected by Aquatics International Magazine as one of the 25 most powerful people in the world of aquatics. In May 2012, Dr. Katz received the Distinguished Educator Award from City College of New York (CCNY). In April 2010, Dr. Katz was honored with a Distinguished Faculty Award by John Jay College, and in 2011 she was inducted into the National Jewish Sports Hall of Fame. In September 2012, Dr. Katz was inducted into the John Jay College of Criminal Justice Athletics Hall of Fame. In 2014, she was awarded the Presidents’ Council on Fitness, Sports, and Nutrition their Lifetime Achievement Award for her work in Aquatics.
As an award-winning swimmer and aquatics innovator, Dr. Katz competed in U.S. Masters Swimming, Synchronized Swimming, AAU Open Water Swimming, and Fin Swimming. In Masters Swimming she placed nationally over 780 times in the top ten positions from 1972 thru 2020 with 34 of those swims being the fastest for that event over the entire year in her age group. Since winning the Miss America Pageant Mile Swim competition in 1976 through 2019 she was at her best in the mile swim. She competed for Team USA since 1957 in Masters Maccabi Swim Championships highlighting over 60 years of attendance at 15 consecutive Maccabiah Games winning 7 gold medals in one year. Dr. Katz has competed in World and National Senior Games and the Huntsman Senior Games.
In her spare time, Dr. Katz enjoys seashore vistas and patriotic-themed vignettes.
Dr. Katz dedicates this recognition in the loving memory of her Father, Leon Katz. He was an engineer who taught at CUNY Queensborough Community College. She also dedicates this in the loving memory of her Mother, Dorothea Oberkewitz Katz.