Charity Bryan is Professor and Department Head in the Department of Kinesiology and Health Studies at Southeastern Louisiana University. Prior to her appointment at Southeastern, she served at Kennesaw State University, Louisiana State University (LSU) and the University of Louisiana at Lafayette (UL Lafayette). Charity is known for her expertise in children’s physical activity, online learning using new and blended learning models, and professional education. Charity is an active scholar in the areas of physical education pedagogy as well as distance learning and has published 23 national peer-reviewed manuscripts, 8 international presentations, 46 national presentations, over 75 state/regional presentations, and has over $249,900 in grant funding.
As lead author, Charity and her colleagues received the 2018 Best Paper Award at the national Distance Learning Administration Conference and she recently received a $25,000 grant from Affordable Learning Georgia to support the use of open educational resources (OERs) in her sport psychology class.
Dr. Bryan received her undergraduate degree in physical education from Samford University, Master’s degree from the University of Alabama at Birmingham, and the PhD from Louisiana State University. Email Charity
Maria has been in education for 38 years. She has a Masters in Educational Leadership (K-6) and has a Bachelor of Science, licensed in K-9 physical education. Her experiences include teaching in the public schools as an elementary and adapted physical educator for 20 years; Past President of the Massachusetts Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance; member of the National Association for Sport & Physical Education Public Relations Committee and Past Chair of the Public and Legislative Affairs Committee for the American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance. Maria has served as SAM (Society of Association Management) Chair of the Eastern District Association and National SAM Chair. She has made numerous presentations in various arenas on the national, regional, and state levels pertaining to quality health and physical education for all students.
Maria received the 2004 MAHPERD Elementary Teacher of the Year; the 1997 MAHPERD Honor Award; the 1998 Dr. Catherine E. Comeau Award for Leadership; the 2011 MAHPERD Presidential Citation; the 2014 Outstanding Professional in Physical Education Award from SHAPE America Eastern District and the 2017 Tilia J. Fantasia Service Award from SHAPE America Eastern District. Maria is presently an Adjunct Professor at Bridgewater State University and the Executive Director of the Massachusetts Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance. Email Maria
Eastern Seaboard Regional Executive Director
Carol M. Ciotto
Carol is the Interim Assistant Dean for the School of Education and Professional Studies at Central Connecticut State University. She has also served as the CCSU Physical Education Program Coordinator and as a professor in the teacher preparation field for 14 years. Prior to teaching at CCSU she spent 23 years as a physical education teacher, a K-8 assistant principal and a K-6 principal in the public-school setting. Carol has served on the Connecticut Association of Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance (CTAHPERD) Executive Board as a Vice President of Physical Education, Vice President of Dance and as the 2013 President. Carol also served as the District Director for SHAPE America Eastern District and currently serves as the Treasurer for the National sector of the Society of Association Managers. Carol is a recognized speaker at the state, regional, national, and international levels on a variety of educational topics. She is also a member of the Connecticut Cadre of Physical Education Trainers presenting on various health and physical education topics across the state of Connecticut.
Carol has published several articles in various peer-reviewed educational journals, is the co-author of the book PASS: A Guidebook to Creating Physically Active School Systems and co-author of a chapter on Social Emotional Learning in the book titled College Wellness. Carol has also co-authored CT legislative Public Act No. 16-132 - the CT Red Ribbon PASS Program that recognizes those schools that are incorporating physical activity throughout the school day. She has received several awards for her service to the profession and excellence in teaching including, the 2019 SHAPE America Joy of Effort Award, the 2019 SHAPE America Eastern District Tilia Fantasia Award, the 2018 SHAPE America Eastern District Honor Award and the 2018 CTAHPERD Honor Award, a 2017 Inductee into the North American Society of Health, Physical Education, Recreation, Sport and Dance Professionals, the 2016 SHAPE America Teacher Educator Award, and the 2010, 2016 and 2017 CCSU Excellence in Teaching Award. In addition, Carol was inducted into the Bulkeley High School Athletic Hall of Fame and into the New Agenda: Northeast Hall of Fame both in 2018. Carol’s love for learning has been a pivotal part of her professional growth and desire to share her knowledge and expertise with others.
Midland Regional Co-Executive Directors
Damon Leiss and Jodie Leiss
Jodie Leiss is an Associate Professor of Health and Physical Education in the Department of School of Health Science & Wellness at Northwest Missouri State University. Leiss is a teacher educator, physical education advisor, past President of the Kansas Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance.
Damon Leiss is an Assistant Professor and serves in the school of Health Science and Wellness at Northwest Missouri State University in several capacities. Damon Leiss works with both undergraduate and graduate students in Applied Health Science, Physical Education, Recreation and Coaching Education.
Jodie Leiss is an Associate Professor of Health and Physical Education in the Department of School of Health Science & Wellness at Northwest Missouri State University. Leiss is a teacher educator, physical education advisor, past President of the Kansas Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance and current Initiatives Chair for the Missouri Society of Health and Physical Educators (MOSHAPE) as well as a past Co-Chair of the Academic Program Review for the National Academy of Health & Physical Literacy. She has presented at the state, region, national, and international levels on health and physical education topics. Her articles have been presented at AERA (American Educational Research Association) and appeared in the Journal of Education Research and Journal of Physical and Sport Educators: Strategies.
Damon Leiss is an Assistant Professor and serves in the school of Health Science and Wellness at Northwest Missouri State University in several capacities. Damon Leiss works with both undergraduate and graduate students in Applied Health Science, Physical Education, Recreation and Coaching Education. Damon Leiss also serves as the schools Graduate coordinator. Damon Leiss has been President for the Kansas Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance and currently serves on the Initiatives committee for MOSHAPE. Damon has presented at the State, regional, national and international levels on health and physical educations topics. Damon has also served as an executive director for a children’s camp, severed as both a college assistant football coach and head HS football coach. And, for fun, Damon now serves as a HS football official. Damon has also had articles appear in Journal of Physical and Sport Educators: Strategies.
Southern Tier Regional Executive Director
Hollie M. Newnam, Executive Director of SHAPE Florida, holds a PhD in Physical Education from Florida State University (FSU), an M.S. in Educational Leadership from Nova University, and a B.A in Physical Education from the University of Central Florida (UCF). Hollie was an elementary school principal in Volusia County, Florida, assistant professor in the Sport Management, Recreation and Physical Education Department at FSU and an instructor in the Department of Physical Education at UCF. Additional work experience includes 20 years as a high school physical education instructor and supervisor in Volusia County Florida, an adjunct professor at UCF supervising physical education interns as well as grant writing and consulting at Curva and Associates and UCF. In addition to serving as the current executive director of SHAPE Florida, Hollie served Florida as President, Dance Association Vice-president, Chair of the Advocacy Strategy Panel, and 18 years as convention program director.
She received Florida’s Peter Everett Honor Award, Don Knitt Service Award, and Presidential Awards in 2010, 2008 and 2007. Hollie served Southern District as President, Vice-president of Physical Education, Chair of the district nominating and membership committees, and Co-Chair of the Local Arrangements committee for the AAHPERD/SHAPE America National Conventions in 2009 and 2019. She received Southern Districts prestigious Honor Award in 2017. Hollie’s scholarly presentations center around advocacy, grant writing and measurement and evaluation in the areas of teacher education and sports conditioning.