Newsroom Archive


John Jay’s Professor Katz Wins 2008 New York Post Liberty Medal

New York, NY, October 21, 2008 -- Jane Katz, Professor of Physical Education and Athletics at John Jay College was just named as one of nine winners of the New York Post Liberty Medals for 2008.

The New York Post created the Liberty Medals program seven years ago, following the 9/11 terrorist attacks, to honor “selfless New Yorkers who go the extra mile to benefit others with resourcefulness, empathy and valor.”

Katz along with her fellow medal winners was recognized by the New York Post at an October 20 reception emceed by TV host Regis Philbin. The winners were chosen by a panel of prominent New Yorkers that included New York Yankees owner George Steinbrenner and city Comptroller William Thompson, among others.

Professor Katz won in the Educator category. Katz has long espoused the view that she can teach anyone to swim and enjoy the water. The Post made special mention of Katz’s latest endeavor, which took her long-held view to a new level. Through the Kids Aquatic Re-Entry (KARE) program, Katz imparts swimming lessons, aquatic survival skills and life lessons to youngsters from group homes run by the Department of Juvenile Justice.

“I teach them the art of playing fair and the buddy system,” said Katz. “When they re-enter society, those rules that were taught in the water carry over to their daily lifestyle.”

Currently on sabbatical, Katz recently returned from Beijing, where she attended the Paralympic Games. An Olympic synchronized swimmer in 1964 before the sport was formally recognized, Katz helped dedicate a new aquatic facility at a university while she was in Beijing, performing one of her synchronized swim routines.

Katz said she considers the Liberty Medal a high point of her distinguished career. “What this does is validate 45 years of my being underwater, 45 years of babbling about bubbles.”

About John Jay College of Criminal Justice:
An international leader in educating for justice, John Jay College of Criminal Justice of The City University of New York offers a rich liberal arts and professional studies curriculum to upwards of 14,000 undergraduate and graduate students from more than 135 nations. In teaching, scholarship and research, the College approaches justice as an applied art and science in service to society and as an ongoing conversation about fundamental human desires for fairness, equality and the rule of law. For more information, visit