Dr. David Kahan was born in Los Angeles and attended University High School, where he ran cross country and track. He attended UCLA, where he graduated in 1990 and 1991 with a B.S. in Kinesiology and M.Ed. in Teacher Education, respectively. While there, he began coaching cross country and track and field – first at Crossroads Middle School in Santa Monica and then at Marymount High School across the street from UCLA. His Marymount team took 4th place in Division III at the state cross-country championships in 1989.
Dr. Kahan moved to Galloway, OH, in 1991, where he taught night school Biology in a dropout recovery program, coached high school cross country and track and field, and substitute taught in the South-Western City School District. The following year, Dr, Kahan began a Ph.D. program in Health, Physical Education, and Recreation at the Ohio State University, which he completed in 1995 with a major in Sport Pedagogy and cognate in Exercise Physiology.
Dr. Kahan took his first academic position at the University of Texas of the Permian Basin in 1995, where he was the sole pedagogist among a department of five faculty. While there, he taught elementary physical education afternoons at Blanton Elementary School. He moved to the University of New Mexico in 1998, teaching secondary physical education courses, graduate courses in supervision and research methods, and supervising student teachers. After his father’s death in 2000, he came to San Diego State University that same year to be closer to family and return to his beloved southern California.
Over 22 years, Dr. Kahan taught primarily elementary physical education methods and curriculum-oriented courses at SDSU, but in later years taught Measurement and Evaluation in Kinesiology, Promoting Physical Activity and Healthy Eating, and Directed Readings in ENS. In 2017, he began serving as Associate Director of the School. He primarily worked on formalizing School-level assessment of learning outcomes and creating a training and mentorship program for graduate teaching associates.
Dr. Kahan participated in over 40 service activities at SDSU, including chairing the School Peer Review Committee, serving on Faculty Senate, and serving on School and College curriculum committees. Professional service highlights included serving as Associate Editor for Research Quarterly for Exercise and Sport and as a panelist for the Physical Activity Alliance’s Faith-Based Settings sector.
Dr. Kahan’s research metamorphosed over his career and included issues related to student teaching supervision; the interplay of religiosity and various religions’ doctrine on physical activity; physical activity policy and practice in schools; and school, religious institution, and recreation center physical activity content on websites. He was named SHAPE America Southwest District Scholar in 2015 and was awarded an exemplary paper by AERA in 2017.
Dr. Kahan’s family was and continues to be his priority, and SDSU and San Diego provided the freedom and venue for him and Amy to raise Jeremy, Rachel, and Ethan. Dr. Kahan ran, hiked, and biked most of coastal San Diego County over the years and continues to find new trails and adventures. In retirement, he continues engaging in daily workouts and indulging in his passion for pickleball.