Andrea Woodson-Smith ('94) - Distinguished Alumni Award
College of Health & Behavioral Studies
Andrea Woodson-Smith played college basketball at James Madison University until she was sidelined after a collision during a game that resulted in three hip fractures. She was diagnosed with severe, irreversible arthritis in her hip and spine that limited her ability to do rapid movements like running or jumping. In 2013 and 2014 she underwent bilateral hip replacement surgery.
Woodson-Smith was a member of the 2010 U.S. wheelchair basketball team that won the world championship in Birmingham, England. She made the crucial block that gave the US the win in the last 19 seconds of play. The women’s wheelchair basketball team also won gold at the 2011 Parapan American Games and finished 4th at the London 2012 Paralympics. Her husband, Jeremy Smith, is also an avid wheelchair basketball player.
After earning her degree in kinesiology from JMU in 1994 she went on to earn a master’s in physical education from North Carolina Central University in 1999 and a doctorate in physical education from Texas Women’s University in 2006. Andrea Woodson-Smith is a professor at North Carolina Central University, where she helps design adaptive fitness programs. She has also worked hard to raise awareness for colon cancer, following the death of her mother from the disease.