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Physical education majors win College Bowl

Published on December 05, 2022

Physical education majors win College Bowl


Left to right: senior Cole Paquin, senior Colby Linnell, senior Sarah Gallagher, junior Isiah Lovell, senior Samantha Mowry, junior Cole Hoffman

Six physical education teacher candidates at Eastern placed first in the 13th annual Connecticut Association for Health Physical Education and Dance (CTAHPERD) Dee Perilli College Bowl on Nov. 17 in Southbury, CT. Eastern sent two teams, consisting of physical education majors from three different fields of concentration, whose combined score secured Eastern the first-place finish.

“Eastern’s physical education teacher candidates complete coursework in a variety of topics that encompass what well-rounded professionals need to know within their majors, concentrations and professional lives,” said Darren Robert, department chair and professor of education at Eastern. “Coupled with this instruction, teacher candidates receive numerous opportunities to put their knowledge to practice in real-world teaching experiences.”

Left to right: Junior Isiah Lovell, lecturer Cassandra Rowett, senior Sarah Gallagher, lecturer Kimberly Switchenko, senior Cole Paquin

Eastern seniors Sarah Gallagher, Samantha Mowry, Cole Paquin, and Colby Linnell joined forces with juniors Cole Hoffman and Isiah Lovell to compete against physical education teacher certification students from Central Connecticut State University and Southern Connecticut State University.

Kimberly Switchenko, lecturer of kinesiology and physical education, said the teams engaged in a Jeopardy-style contest to determine the event’s victor. This format allowed a panelist of judges to decide which school had the most thorough understanding of numerous subjects related to physical education.

Switchenko and Robert said student participants were confronted with a series of questions regarding exercise science, pedagogy content (the method and practice of teaching), nutrition, assessment, motor behavior and development, sport and games, dance and a miscellaneous category.

“Most of our program involves strategically placed clinical experiences in nearby public-school physical education programs,” Robert explained. “To gain this imperative practice, Eastern candidates teach alongside experienced professionals. In combination with acquiring a mastery of the course content, our program provides Eastern graduates with the pedagogical content knowledge required to meet the high demands of teaching in our schools today.”

Eastern’s two teams hope to travel to the SHAPE America National Convention and Exposition in Seattle, WA. "While there," Robert said, "they will compete against teams from around the country as they attempt to defend the college’s title."

Eastern's kinesiology and physical education program has earned several Dee Perilli College Bowl victories over the years, as well as other accolades. Eastern won the Society of Health and Physical Educators (SHAPE) national championship in 2017, 2019 and 2022.

Written by Jack Jones