An assistant professor of the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa College of Education Department of Kinesiology and Rehabilitation Science (KRS), has been selected as president-elect of the Western District for the Society of Health and Physical Educators (SHAPE) America. SHAPE is the voice for more than 200,000 health and physical education professionals nationally, having served as the foundation for well-designed physical education programs across the country.

A Health and Physical Education (HPE) Assistant Professor at KRS, Erin Centeio was also appointed to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services President’s Council on Sports, Fitness and Nutrition Science Board in 2020.

As part of her role on the board, Centeio will help provide professional development opportunities, share free resources from across the country, help states and teachers advocate for the importance of health and physical education (PE), and promote best practices and successes through social media.

“Erin is not only a vital member of the HPE Teacher Preparation faculty within KRS, but she is also a nationally respected leader in the field of Health and Physical Education,” said KRS Chair Cris Stickley. “I can think of no one better to represent the University of Hawaiʻi in serving in such an important role within her profession.”

Centeio shared, “I am excited to join the leadership team of SHAPE America’s Western District. It has always been important to me to give back to the profession that has given me so much. My passion centers around preparing pre-service teachers who are culturally relevant and have the desire to become quality health and physical education teachers so that they can have an impact on the lives of PK–12 students.”

With early plans to become a physical therapist, Centeio said her experiences as a student volunteer for the Illinois state health and PE organization, as well as her student teaching experiences, resulted in a career track change and love of the teaching profession.

“I hope that my expertise both in the K–12 setting and higher education will help contribute to the great work that is already being done,” Centeio concluded. “It is a goal of mine to help states work together to leverage collective advocacy and help them grow their own organizations, and in turn, grow participation in SHAPE America.”

COE Dean Nathan Murata stated, “Congratulations to Dr. Erin Centeio on her appointment as president-elect of SHAPE America, Western District. Her selection for this prestigious position with the largest health and physical education/physical activity organization in the United States is significant. Dr. Centeio is a well-respected scholar, physical education teacher, educator and colleague to many. We are proud of her accomplishments and know she will lead with passion, enthusiasm and humility.”

This appointment is an example of UH Mānoa’s goals of Enhancing Student Success (PDF) and Excellence in Research: Advancing the Research and Creative Work Enterprise (PDF), two of four goals identified in the 2015–25 Strategic Plan (PDF), updated in December 2020.