2021 Elections Candidates

On April 15, voting will open for the NCPEID President-Elect, Historian, Research Consortium Chair, APENS Committee Member, Member at Large (2 positions), and Student Representative. Please take a moment to review the 2021 slate of candidates prior to casting your vote. 

Election Timeline

  • March 1: Call for nominations.
  • April 15: Voting opens and members receive email instructions on how to cast their ballot.
  • May 1: Voting ends.
  • May 15: Newly elected members are announced.

The NCPEID Executive Committee and Board of Directors would like to thank each of candidates for their willingness to serve in these positions.

The following positions and candidates will be voted on and elected by the NCPEID members:


NCPEID President-Elect Candidate

Cindy Piletic

As an active member of NCPEID for 25 years, I have served on the Executive committee for 14 years in the roles Secretary, Vice President, and Treasurer. In these roles, I contributed to the quarterly NCPEID newsletter (i.e. the Advocate), secured facilities for the annual conference, and assembled the conference program, created and maintained working budgets for APENS and NCPEID as well as obtained the 503(c) designation and reported taxes annually. I have seen the membership and the APE/A professional discipline change. Under the guidance of 7 NCPEID presidents, I have been involved with advocacy of APE with the Federal legislators, sharing research and professional knowledge, drafting and enhancing bylaws, reorganizing the board of directors, developing operating codes for all positions, and implementing strong strategic plans. These purposeful changes focused on keeping the organization on track as it continued to advocate for physical activity for persons with disabilities while also implementing necessary changes to keep up with the times. As NCPEID President, I will continue advocating for APE/A to meet the needs of today (post COVID-19, the reauthorization of IDEA, and technological changes). As we look to the future, APENS and the CAPE certifications need to become valued so that there is more support for having highly qualified Adapted Physical Educators. I would also work to connect with the APE practitioner so that they feel valued and appreciated as an integral part of the NCPEID community. My goal would be to address the needs of higher education professionals for scholarship and assistance in research and grant writing. The organization began with three main purposes as identified by the founders to (a) support grant writing for professional preparation, (b) provide input to the federal government concerning rules, regulations, and laws, and to generate a knowledge base for APE. Finally, I would work to build upon the energy of young professionals of the APE/A profession while also holding true to the organization and its founders.


NCPEID Historian Candidate

Ann-Catherine Sullivan

I am a professor at Norfolk State University, a Historically Black College/University, who has engaged in Adapted Physical Activity since the 1970’s and professionally in Adapted Physical Education for 27 years. As a CAPE and active member of NCPEID, I have previously served three terms on the Board of Directors. Initially for two terms as Secretary from 2013-2016 and then as the first elected Historian from 2017-2019. In the role of Historian, I secured historical consortium information and documents as well as provided a historical record for the consortium. While Secretary, I created a virtual storage system and maintained virtual storage files for the Consortium. Since 2019, I have continued researching NCPEID historical records as well as written and presented on the findings. I am interested in serving on the Board of Directors as Historian to continue documenting the NCPEID legacy.!


NCPEID Research Consortium Chair Candidates

Pamela Haibach-Beach

Pamela Haibach-Beach is a Professor of Motor Behavior in the Department of Kinesiology, Sports Studies and Physical Education and Associate Director of the Honors College at the State University of New York Brockport. She is also the Director of the Summer Undergraduate Research Program (SURP) and a Co-Director of the Institute on Movement Studies for Individuals with Visual Impairments (IMSVI). Recently, Pamela and her colleagues were awarded the Corrine Kirchner National Research award from the American Foundation for the Blind for their work with IMSVI. Pamela regularly publishes and presents nationally and internationally on her research in motor behavior and balance in individuals across the lifespan with sensory impairments. Pamela also has a line of research focusing upon motor competence in children with CHARGE syndrome. In addition, she published Gross Motor Development Curriculum: For Children with Visual Impairment with the American Printing House for the Blind with Dr. Lauren Lieberman. Pamela has also produced numerous educational and training videos for parents and practitioners of youth with visual impairments and deafblindness. She has also published two editions of the undergraduate textbook Motor Learning and Development which have been widely adopted. Pamela has received accolades for her teaching and engagement including the Chancellor's Award for Excellence in Teaching and has been appointed as a SUNY Online Teaching Ambassador. She was elected to serve on the American Kinesiology Association Board, and is an active Brockport Lions Club member, recently awarded the Lions Membership Award and the Lions International Centennial Award.


Deborah Shapiro

Deborah Shapiro is a Professor in the Department of Kinesiology and Health at Georgia State University. Her research focuses on psychosocial factors and physical activity benefits of sport participation among youth athletes with a physical disability. Deborah has also written on issues related to inclusive practices in the professional preparation of teachers and sport management professionals. She has worked with individuals with visual impairments, physical and developmental disabilities in recreation programs, summer camps, adapted sport settings, and has taught adapted physical education to students ages preschool through adulthood. She has published in leading peer-review journals in adapted physical education, recreation, and sport management. Dr. Shapiro has received several awards for her scholarship and leadership in the field of adapted physical activity including the Hollis Fait Scholarly Contribution Award, the William A. Hillman Distinguished Service Award, and the ASPIRE award for advocacy. Dr. Shapiro is a former associate editor and current reviewer for APAQ, a founding board member and current Board Chair of the Georgia Blind Sports Association, on the Board of Directors of the American Association of Adapted Sports Programs, former Chair of the SHAPE APE special interest group and member of several national and international groups focused on the advancement of sport, physical activity and physical education for persons with disabilities.


NCPEID APENS Committee Member Candidate

Leah Goudy

Dr. Leah Goudy is a nationally certified adapted physical educator (CAPE) who has experience as a PK-12 general education and special education teacher, APE consultant, adaptive camp facilitator, and University instructor. She has expertise in working with at-risk youth as well as providing early childhood motor skill intervention for young children with developmental delays. Leah currently teaches physical education pedagogy courses for the Department of Kinesiology, health promotion and recreation at the University of North Texas, as well as teaches adapted physical education and activity courses for the School of Health Promotion and Kinesiology at Texas Woman’s University. Her primary research interests include improving quality of life for special populations including, a variety of ages for ASD, combat veterans with PTSD and individuals with Parkinson's disease through equine assisted therapies and adaptive sport. Further, is involved in the development of best practices in physical activity programming for younger students with disabilities. Her latest work includes Program Coordinator for the Project Nexus - OSEP Grant, Co-Project Director for Group Riding Equine Assisted Therapy (GREAT) Project for Veterans. Recent publications include the effects of simulated horseback riding on balance and quality of life in older adults with Parkinson's disease, and the effect of structured playgroups for students with ASD.



Member at Large Candidates (two positions available)

Melissa Bittner

Thank you for consideration for Melissa Bittner, PhD as a Member At Large for NCPEID. I am an assistant professor at California State University, Long Beach with a research interest in improving motor performance for autistic students. I have been an active member of NCPEID since 2016 and recently finished serving a 2 year stint as a NCPEID Member-At-Large and 3 year service as the NCPEID Membership Subcommittee Chair. In this position, I’ve run the NCPEID social media site since 2019, initiated NCPEID Zoom socials, conducted a research study on NCPEID membership with colleagues, organized several NCPEID promotional videos and infographics, planned Ask the Expert social media events, served on the NCPEID Virtual Poster Presentation Committee, was a two time panelist for the summer NCPEID COVID Webinar Series, worked with colleagues to establish a NCPEID Featured Article in Palaestra, written several The Advocate newsletter articles, and assisted in initiating the upcoming APENS Webinar Project with Human Kinetics for free CEUs for practitioners. If re-elected, my goal would be to continue to investigate membership retention. In conclusion, I have many innovative ideas for the future of NCPEID and would like to be more involved as I grow as a professional.


Chih-Chia Chen

Dr. Chih-Chia (JJ) Chen is an assistant professor of Kinesiology in the Department of Kinesiology at Mississippi State University (MSU). He received his Bachelor of Education degree in elementary education with physical education minor from National Tainan Teachers College (Taiwan) and Master's Degree in Physical Education from National Taiwan Normal University (Taiwan). Dr. Chen was a physical educator in the elementary school for 5 years before coming to the States. He received his Doctoral Degree in Kinesiology from Arizona State University (ASU). Dr. Chen is a certified adapted physical educator and ACSM/NCHPAD inclusive fitness trainer. After graduation from ASU, he taught at the University of Iowa and currently teaches undergraduate level adapted physical education, motor learning, motor development, exercise psychology, and aging and physical activity courses and graduate level in pedagogy and disability studies concentrations within Kinesiology Department at MSU for 5 years. His primary research area of interest focuses on physical activity, motor skill development, and executive function for people with intellectual disabilities, particularly Down syndrome. In the past, he has closely worked with different organizations (Community Counseling Services, Special Olympics Mississippi, Badminton World Federation) to promote adapted physical activities to people with intellectual disabilities. Currently, Dr. Chen also starts motor activities for residents who live in independent-living and nursing facilities. Therefore, Dr. Chen's experiences will make him a candidate for the NCPEID member at large position and support future work in executive committee for quality physical education and activities for individuals with disabilities.


Emily D. Clapham

Emily D. Clapham, Ed.D. is an Associate Professor, the Director of the Physical Education, Health Education, Teacher Education (HPE) Program and Coordinator of the Adapted Physical Education (APE) Program in the School of Education at the University of Rhode Island. Emily is the program lead for the undergraduate HPE program and the MATCP in HPE graduate program. One of Emily’s greatest accomplishments at URI is the development of a community-based APE Program called the URI Xtreme Inclusion Program. The program allows her to combine teaching, research, and community engagement, which fit nicely with the teacherscholar philosophy at URI. The URI Xtreme Inclusion program offers free physical activity programs to children with disabilities from the community throughout the entire year. The URI Xtreme Inclusion Program offers fitness activities, dance, yoga and cooperative activities (fall), adapted aquatics (spring) and adapted surfing/surf therapy (summer). The children are schoolaged and range from 3-21. Emily’s research has centered on the new physical education, girls sport and physical activity participation, surf therapy for children with disabilities and the effects of kinesthetic classrooms. Her research has been highly regarded and has attracted funding from the John E. Fogarty Foundation, The University of Rhode Island’s College or Human Science and Services and Division of Research and Economic Development Office, the Brayden Carr Foundation, the Gronk Nation Youth Foundation and the Doug Flutie Jr. Foundation for Autism. She has also published her work in several leading journals in the field and made numerous local, state, national and international research presentations.


Alex Stribing

Alex Stribing is a post-doctoral research fellow working with Dr. Ali Brian at the University of South Carolina. She is responsible for running a parent-child physical activity intervention for preschool aged children where she teaches parents the importance of motor skills and how to support their children’s motor skill development through fun activities. Recently during her doctoral program, Alex has been an instructor of record for Volleyball/Softball, Educational Dance, Motor Learning in Physical Education and Principles of Motor Learning and Control: Applications for Adapted Physical Education for undergraduate and graduate students. Alex served as a teaching assistant for Introductory, Elementary, and Secondary general Physical Education methods courses, Physical Education for Inclusion, and Educational Games. She also has content and applied knowledge of motor behavior and special education from her graduate coursework and research. Alex’s research efforts have focused on motor competence of youth populations (a) with and without disabilities and/or (b) from disadvantaged settings. She has extensive experience working with youth with visual impairments and investigating self-perceptions, parents’ perceptions and metaperceptions on actual motor competence for individuals with visual impairments where she has published her dissertation entitled, “The Tripartite Model of Efficacy Beliefs for Youth with Visual Impairments.” Alex is a member of The National Consortium for Physical Education for Individuals with Disabilities, North American Society for the Psychology of Sport and Physical Activity, North American Federation for Adapted Physical Activity, and International Federation of Adapted Physical Activity. Alex was appointed the student representative for IFAPA from 2019-2021.


Andrea Taliaferro

Andrea Taliaferro is an Associate Professor in the Department of Coaching and Teaching Studies at West Virginia University, and holds a joint appointment with the Davis College of Agriculture, Natural Resources, and Design. She received her B.S. in Kinesiology, Physical Education from James Madison University (2000), and holds a M.Ed. (2002) and Ph.D. (2010) from the University of Virginia in the area of Education/Kinesiology, Adapted Physical Education. Dr. Taliaferro holds a national certification from NCPERID as a CAPE, and has nineteen years of experience working with individuals with disabilities in a variety of school- and community-based physical activity/education contexts. She has contributed to several local, county- and statewide interdisciplinary initiatives including McDowell CHOICES and the partnership between the National Inclusion Project and CPASS Lifetime Activities Programs. Dr. Taliaferro serves as the director of the Friday Adapted Physical Education Practicum Program at West Virginia University, which provides weekly developmentally appropriate physical activity programming to approximately 90 school-aged children with disabilities. Dr. Taliaferro’s research interests are related to minimizing health disparities for individuals with disabilities through the improvement of inclusive physical activity opportunities in school- and community-based settings. Her research productivity includes multiple book chapters and publications, over 70 peer-reviewed presentations at the state, national, and international levels, and 3 provisional patent licenses. She is a member of several professional organizations and has served as the VP- Elementary representative for WVAHPERD and as the Vice President (2019-present) and Board Member-at-large (2012-2014) for the NCPEID.


NCPEID Student Representative Candidates

Heather A Katz 

Heather Katz is a second-year PhD student in the Promotion of Health Equity and Adapted Physical Activity lab at the University of Wisconsin-Madison under the direction of Dr. Luis Columna. She currently assists in the implementation of the Fit Families, a program that promotes physical activity opportunities for children with disabilities and their families. As part of Fit Families, Heather is responsible for the program’s logistics, including volunteer training, data collection, and workshop facilitation. Prior to beginning her PhD work at UW, she was an adapted physical education (APE) specialist in Denton, TX for four years. Here, she experienced firsthand the strengths and areas for growth in our field. Her practical background as an APE specialist allows for a unique perspective in both research and advocacy at the higher education level. At UW-Madison, her primary research interest focuses on filling the gaps of limited PA opportunities for students, specifically by means of dance. Her recent publication, Zero Fear Strategies for Teaching Adapted Dance Fitness, aims to provide APE specialists with the tools to teach a mode of physical activity that is likely to appeal to a wide array of students as enjoyable lifetime PA. In addition to research, Heather continues to develop her pedagogical practice by teaching virtual adapted dance fitness classes to individuals with disabilities throughout the United States. As a student representative on the NCPEID board of directors, Heather’s practical background and emerging research experience will provide valuable insight as NCPEID continues to serve our field.


Elizabeth Keener

My name is Elizabeth Keener, I am a doctoral candidate in the Adapted Physical Activity (APA) program at Texas Woman’s University (TWU) in the School of Health Promotion and Kinesiology. Prior to pursuing my doctoral degree in APA, I was a special education teacher specializing in working with children with ASD, as well as an adapted physical education teacher at the PK-12 and post-secondary levels.  I am a licensed special and adapted physical educator in California as well as a nationally certified adapted physical educator (CAPE). I have also served an instructor at TWU, teaching classes related to adapted physical activity, assessment and health promotion. My research interests are focused on the physical activity experiences of adults with developmental disabilities, including individuals who identify as neurodiverse, and how those experiences influence physical activity interventions across adolescence and adulthood. I have been a member of the NCPEID since 2019, and have attended multiple conferences and look forward to contributing to the efforts of the organization as the graduate student representative.


Benazir Meera

I am a second-year doctoral student in the Promotion of Health Equity & Adapted Physical Activity (PHEAPA) Lab in the Department of Kinesiology. Prior to starting my current program of study, I graduated with a Master of Sports Management degree from the Dream Together Master Program at Seoul National University, South Korea. I am also a former athlete of the Indian National Short Track Ice Skating team and have made my country proud by winning the first-ever medal for INDIA in Asian Short Track Ice Skating Championship. My research interests are addressing disability and empowering children with disabilities by promoting their participation in Physical Activity (PA) and Sports. My research work focuses on exploring the perceptions, facilitators, and barriers of physical activity (PA) participation, and to thus implement PA interventions for children with intellectual disabilities from diverse racial and ethnic backgrounds. These interventions will aim to promote health and fitness, help control obesity, encourage activeness, increase motivation, among various other positive factors. By implementing PA interventions for children with different ability levels, at various schools and rehabilitation centers, we can ensure inclusion and diversity in all parts of our society. The professional milestones I achieved last year have helped me gain a better insight on my research interests. Along with Dr. Luis Columna, I am the lead author of a systematic review manuscript on Animal-Assisted Interventions for children with ASD, that is currently under review. Previously, in collaboration with my peers from the PHEAPA lab, I was also the lead author on a book chapter related to family-based physical activity and recreation among children with Visual Impairments and their parents. In addition, I am also currently a co-author of four research manuscripts that are in progress and very close to being submitted.


Chloe Simpson

Chloe Simpson (she/her) is a doctorate student and graduate research assistant at West Virginia University working with Dr. Andrea Taliaferro. She completed her bachelors in Kinesiology, Exercise Science at California State University, Sacramento, and her masters in Kinesiology with an option in Adapted Physical Activity at Oregon State University. Her field experience in adapted physical activity ranges from teaching access swim lesson, working at an Autism center, and teaching adapted physical education. Chloe is currently interested in two lines of research. Her intended dissertation will focus on pre-service and in-service general physical educators’ behavior management socialization. Her other research interest involves the capacity for 3D-printed assistive technology/equipment to promote access to physical activity. Chloe serves as a student representative for the North American Federation of Adapted Physical Activity (NAFAPA) and has worked to establish the Student Ambassadors initiative which holds a growing network of graduate students from universities across North America. Following the completion of her doctorate, Chloe will pursue a professorship in adapted physical activity.


Myung Ha (Mason) Sur

I am a fourth-year doctoral student at Georgia State University working with Dr. Deborah Shapiro. I received my master’s degree in adapted physical education from Northern Illinois University under the advisement of Dr. So-Yeun Kim and Dr. Laurie Zittle. As a master’s degree student, I gained practical experience teaching adapted physical education in preschool and elementary school settings and conducted research on parents' attitudes towards physical activity for their children with disabilities. As a doctoral student, I have continued to teach adapted physical education in elementary and middle school settings and supervised students during student teaching at all levels. During college teaching, I have infused elements of adapted physical activity/education to students to promote disability awareness and practical knowledge regarding how to teach and accommodate students with disabilities in physical education settings. My research interests focus on physical activity promotion among persons with disabilities using behavior change theories. I have presented my research both orally and as poster sessions at national (SHAPE America, NCPEID) and international (NAFAPA, ISAPA) conferences. I have also worked as an interim student representative at NCPEID from 2020 to advocate the organization's mission. In addition, I am actively working with website committee members of NCPEID to upload helpful information for people with disabilities and stakeholders (e.g., parents and teachers) to promote and support adapted physical activity/education. My dedication to attending professional organizations and demonstrated ability to support the organization make me a strong candidate to address the responsibilities of the student representative.