UMW News Bureau
Megan Chilson, an associate professor of human health and performance at the University of Montana Western, is the president elect of the Northwest District for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance (NWD).
The NWD is associated with the American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance (AAHPERD). The mission of AAHPERD is to “promote and support leadership, research, education, and best practices in the professions that support creative, healthy, and active lifestyles.” The AAHPERD is the body responsible for creating national standards for physical education in schools.
The NWD includes Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, Washington and Japan.
For Chilson, the new position is the culmination of nearly 20 years of involvement with AAHPERD. In addition to Montana, she served on local boards in Idaho, New Mexico and Colorado. Chilson served as the secretary, president and vice president of the Montana AAHPERD over six years.
Chilson says her extensive involvement with AAHPERD reflects a passion for the organization and the work AAHPERD supports.
“If I’m expecting my students to know what’s new and current in the field, then I should know what’s new and current,” Chilson explains. “And this is the premier organization for health, physical education, recreation and dance education.”
As the NWD president elect, Chilson will preside over a three-year term in which she will serve as the president elect the first year, president the second year and past president for the third. The position is responsible for participating in conference calls, writing and submitting articles for a quarterly newsletter and participating in executive board meetings. She will also be responsible for helping to form a NWD executive board and overseeing annual conferences. Because the 2015 annual AAHPERD conference will occur in Seattle within her district, Chilson will be responsible for helping to organize and host the national conference in spring 2015.
Chilson’s own education is steeped in a wide variety of physical education and human health. She received a Bachelor of Arts in Professional Dance from Brigham Young University in 1991. She went on to earn a Masters in Physical Education and Dance Pedagogy from the University of Idaho in 1993 and an E.D.D. in Educational Leadership from Idaho State in 2002.
As a professor, Chilson says part of her goal is to encourage future teachers to be healthy and active.
“Encouraging youth to be healthy and active and to have fun,” Chilson explains. “Physical education should be fun.”
Chilson has been a professor at Montana Western since 2007. She is the faculty advisor for the Humans in Performance (HIP) student club and works part-time for Dillon’s Shine Studio as a dance instructor.
Her husband Fred Chilson is a UMW Associate Professor of Business at Montana Western. Megan and Fred have two children, Gabe (16) and Jayden (14).