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Students present at the IAHPERD conference

Presenting the Future: Students Gain Experience at IAHPERD Conference

Written by Amanda Cairo

As students prepare for their future, thinking about professional development and attending conferences doesn’t usually enter in the mix. For several undergraduate and graduate students in the health, physical education, recreation and dance department (HPERD) though, they are getting in on the ground floor.

Eleven undergraduate and four graduate students participated in the Idaho Association of Health, Physical Education, Recreation, and Dance (IAHPERD) conference in Boise Oct. 7 and 8.

“It’s really a two-fold process to prepare them for the future,” says Dr. Grace Goc Karp, physical education program coordinator. “We want students to get experience with attending conferences and presenting.”

Students presented sessions based on class work or projects submitted to IAHPERD to other students, faculty and teachers from around the state. While students were nervous about presenting, Goc Karp says she received positive feedback from teachers and colleagues about her students and their presentations. The sheer number of presenters also impressed them, she added.

According to Goc Karp, attending conferences and presenting will be a major part of the students’ future professional development. She says taking part in conferences while still in school gives students a good learning experience and also allows students to meet teachers from around the state and learn what they are doing in their programs.

“I had a really good time at the conference both teaching and learning during the other presentations,” says Moscow’s Brad Herrenbruck, a senior physical education major. “Having teachers listen to us and participate with us was really neat. It was great to see all those PE teachers get out there and play — and to also play with them.”

Herrenbruck, with Kevin Maurer, Anthony Gowdy and Phil Helbling presented integrating other academic lessons into physical education; Kelli Dronen and Candace Hillaker presented cultural activity infusion into physical activity; Kory Pratt, Kirsten Johnson, Chris Yzquierdo and Diana Rosslerova presented on integrating physical activity into the classroom; and Kerie Kushlan and Kayla Stookey presented target activities and games for enhancing throwing skills.

Graduate students Lindsay Parkins presented event development for a Bike Rodeo; Kayla Stookey presented inclusion strategies for special needs students; and Anna Taylor and Amy Fisher participated on a panel with Dr. Philip Scruggs related to “School Wellness: Don’t forget faculty/staff.”

Faculty presentations and participation included: The changing role of physical educators as physical activity specialists in Idaho by Philip Scruggs and Goc Karp; School Wellness: Don’t forget faculty/staff by Scruggs and Moving P.E. Forward in Idaho, using state data to drive policy and program planning by Goc Karp, David Paul and Scruggs.

In addition, Goc Karp presented the Middle School Teacher of the Year Award to Jessica Shawley, a physical education teacher at Moscow Junior High. Shawley has worked with the College of Education faculty and students in addition to working with her students.