By: Damon Markiewicz
The legacy of the Springfield College Department of Physical Education and Health Education (PEHE) was well represented at the recent Massachusetts Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance (MAHPERD) conference at the DCU Center in Worcester, Mass.
A two-day event with different informational sessions, this annual conference allows for current students and faculty to present their researched work to their peers, while also having the opportunity to connect with alumni.
“This really is a great opportunity to showcase the strong reputation Springfield College has within PEHE,” said Department of Physical Education and Health Education Chair Michelle Moosbrugger ’00, PhD’06. “Faculty and students are able to network with their peers from other colleges and institutions from throughout Massachusetts. We are also able to connect our current students with our impressive alumni network, and establish connections that continue to demonstrate why Springfield College is the leader in PEHE education.”
This yearly showcase also allows for students and faculty not presenting to attend and engage in professional development. It’s during these sessions where alumni, current students, and faculty come together and talk about best practices within their fields.
“It really becomes evident during the conference that Springfield College PEHE is a big family, and anyone that has a connection to the program, they want to spend some time together, and see how they can help each other,” added Moosbrugger.
For current graduate student Colin Mediate ’22, he had the opportunity to present his research titled, “Let’s Get Moving!” Mediate is currently pursuing his master’s degree in Athletic Leadership, following his journey to earning a bachelor’s degree in PEHE teacher education.
“The best part about MAHPERD is getting to network and meet so many people who are in your shoes, or in the profession that you want to be in,” explained Mediate. “Getting the opportunity to go to a conference like MAHPERD is something that more students absolutely need to take advantage of. I personally love the sessions where you participate in activities that help you in the future.”
Springfield College runs deep in Mediate’s family, as his mother, Lori Cieplinski Mediate ’85, graduated from the College. She has served as health education coordinator at Fairfield Woods Middle School in Connecticut.
“With my mom graduating from Springfield College in health education, I was exposed to the culture of the school and how it impacts people that enroll,” described Colin. “People say you come to Springfield College for the name of the school, but you really come to Alden Street because of the relationships you make, connections that will impact you for the rest of your life.”
Joining Colin in presenting at MAHPERD was current Class of 2024 student Danielle Pantano, who is majoring in Physical Education and Health/Family and Consumer Science. Pantano was joined by Assistant Professor of Health Education Sue Milstein, PhD, in presenting, “Choose Your Own Adventure: A tool for fostering discussion in health education.”
“In years past, I have always enjoyed going to learn new perspectives or ideas that I can take back to my own classroom,” explained Pantano. “Being a presenter this year was a bit of a surreal experience because I got to be the person that the professionals were looking at to teach them something. I'm beyond grateful for the opportunity to have presented twice at the convention. I got to meet so many wonderful people, and it was such an awesome experience. I'm so proud to be a part of the Springfield College PEHE program.”
Faculty and student presenters at MAHPERD included:
Assistant Professor of Physical Education and Head Track and Field Coach Mike Miller ’08, G’12, “Developing Speed and Power”
Class of 2024 Physical Education major Kayla Madden and Athletic Leadership master's student Rachel Vinton, “How to use PE as a Platform to Create Leaders”
Class of 2024 Physical Education and Health/Family and Consumer Science major MJ McGillicuddy and Assistant Professor of Health Education Sue Milstein, PhD, “The Speedy Sex Ed Teacher: Making the Most of Limited Time”
Class of 2024 Physical Education and Health/Family and Consumer Science major Danielle Pantano and Assistant Professor of Health Education Sue Milstein, PhD, “Abstinence 2023: New Perspectives for Old Systems”
Sport and Exercise Psychology PhD student Anna Bottino, Class of 2024 Physical Education major Emma Gagne, and Professor of Physical Education Michelle Moosbrugger, PhD, “I can’t do this!: Implementing a Self-Talk Skills Program in Elementary Physical Education”