Dr. Peter M. Aufsesser is an Emeritus Professor in the School of Exercise & Nutritional Sciences, having retired in 2015 after 40 years at SDSU. Dr. Aufsesser has a B.S. from Springfield College (MA), M.Ed. from SUNY-Buffalo, and doctorate from the University of Maryland. Dr. Aufsesser was a college soccer and tennis coach from 1970-72 at Kean College of New Jersey and taught at the University of Georgia before coming to SDSU in 1975.
While at SDSU, Dr. Aufsesser’s primary teaching responsibilities were in physical growth and motor development and his specialty, physical activity program for individuals with disabilities. Dr. Aufsesser was the Coordinator of the Adapted Physical Education Credential Program from 1980-2004 and, notably, was the Founder and Director of the Fitness Clinic for Individuals with Disabilities (1983-2011) [currently known as the Adaptive Fitness Clinic]. Dr. Aufsesser founded the Adaptive Fitness Clinic with a Federal Grant and operated the program for 28 years at a profit to keep the program self-sustaining. Dr. Aufsesser received many SDSU and Professional awards including the Monty Award (2004) as the outstanding faculty in the College of Professional Studies and Fine Arts; and The President’s Leadership Award (2009) for his work in the community, but specifically for his pioneering work with the Adaptive Fitness Clinic.
Dr. Aufsesser received the Channel 10 Leadership Award twice (1998 & 2008) and was featured on the show two additional times. Professionally, Dr. Aufsesser has been honored numerous times. He was named the Adapted Physical Educator of the Year (1991), and received the Pioneer Award (2003) and Exemplary Program Award (2005) from the National Conference on Physical Education for Exceptional Individuals. He received the National Multiple Sclerosis Association Program Provider of the Year award (2009) and was inducted into the International Swimming Hall of Fame (2012) for his national leadership work with aquatic programs for individuals with disabilities over his entire career.
During his career, Dr. Aufsesser had external grants totaling over $250,000, program income for the Adaptive Fitness Clinic of over $1.5 million and left assets including Endowment Funds worth $843,000. Dr. Aufsesser gave over 400 presentations to professional organizations and conferences and over 75 presentations to local parent and disability advocacy groups. At one time, Dr. Aufsesser was on 13 different community boards, including: United Cerebral Palsy, American Red Cross Adapted Aquatic Committee, San Diego Community College Disability Advisory Board, San Diego Regional Center Area Board #13, San Diego County Special Olympics, and the Karen Lambert Head Injury Foundation, to highlight a few. Dr. Aufsesser published 65 articles in professional journals and proceedings. Dr. Aufsesser also served as Associate Editor or reviewer for eight different refereed professional journals.
In retirement, Dr. Aufsesser raises funds for homeless children (It’s All About the Kids Foundation) and volunteers teaching third grade math in the barrio.