Physical Literacy full-time faculty

Marty Clark, PhD

Marty has a passion for inclusivity and equality and teaches courses that ask students to examine concepts of health, physical activity, physical education, and sport from historical, philosophical, and sociological perspectives. His main research interests are in the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SOTL) and the critical study of hockey in Canada. His PhD dissertation, "Making 'Mr. Hockey': Race, Gender, Class, and Nation in Media Representations of Gordie Howe," investigated the cultural meanings of white hockey playing men and their connection to Canadian national identity.

Jared Fletcher, PhD

Jared’s teaching interests include courses in Biomechanics, Exercise Physiology and Statistics. He obtained his PhD in Applied Muscle Physiology from the University of Calgary where he studied the relationship between tendon mechanics, muscle energetics and whole-body energy cost of running in distance runners. Prior to arriving at MRU, Jared served as the Sport Physiologist for the Canadian National Para-swimming program, where he was responsible for testing and monitoring elite Paralympic swimmers at numerous World Championships and Paralympic Games. As a Mitacs Accelerate postdoctoral fellow, Jared assessed novel ways to assess exercise-related fatigue from heart rate variability and skeletal muscle force measurements in elite athletes and led health-related research initiatives in Calgary adult hospitals. His current research integrates physiology and biomechanics to better understand skeletal muscle and tendon function during exercise in individuals across the lifespan, to best prescribe exercise and to improve exercise tolerance and performance, from clinical rehabilitation to elite athletes.

Shannon Kell, PhD

Shannon completed her B.Ed. with a Physical Education (PE) major and an English Language Arts (ELA) minor and taught grades 9–12 PE, Health and ELA with Regina Public Schools for eight years. Shannon completed her M.Ed. in Outdoor Education. During this time she was seconded to the Saskatchewan Ministry of Education as the PE Consultant where she wrote curriculum for PE 20 and PE 30. She completed her PhD in Education; Curriculum and Instruction. Currently, at Mount Royal, Shannon teaches in the HPED areas of Core and Physical Literacy, and cross-teaches in Education and in Child Studies. Keenly interested in the benefits of nature, her scholarship interests focus on how we do/not spend time outdoors to recharge and connect to nature. Shannon is the Alberta/NWT Board of Directors representative for the PHE Canada and an active member of the PHE Canada Research Council, HPEC (Health and Physical Education Council of Alberta), and the Outdoor Council of Canada.

Lynne Lafave, PhD

Dr. Lynne Lafave holds a doctorate in nutritional sciences and an active member of the Dietitians of Canada. She has a special interest in the interrelationships between nutrition behaviours, attitudes, and knowledge with a focus on individual health and organizational behaviour change. At Mount Royal University, she teaches courses in Nutrition and Health, Statistics and Research Methods, and Research Methods for Health Professionals. Dr. Lafave’s research focuses on well-being, nutrition and physical activity initiatives in the early years (3 to 5 years). She has developed the evidenced-based Creating Healthy Eating Environments Scale (CHEERS) for child care that provides evaluation and a feedback report to promote healthy child care environments. This public health initiative is a result of collaboration with early learning and care providers, the provincial health authority, Alberta Health Services — Population and Public Health, and the Government of Alberta Ministry of Children’s Services — Early Childhood Development Branch. Her community research also includes working with vulnerable families to support food literacy in preschoolers through building connections from the garden to plate. In recognition of this work, Lynne was awarded the Mount Royal University Community Engagement Award in 2019.

Jill Parnell, PhD

Acting Chair, Department of Health and Physical Education

Dr. Parnell obtained her PhD in medical sciences at the University of Calgary researching novel nutritional therapies for obesity and associated co-morbidities. She is passionate about scholarly teaching and the promotion of undergraduate research. She maintains an active research portfolio in the field of performance nutrition and works with youth athletes, Paralympic athletes, and endurance runners. She aims to build a reciprocal relationship with the sports community ensuring that athletes directly benefit from the knowledge they help generate. Dr. Parnell is also the Faculty of Health, Community and Education Scholar in Research.

Dwayne Sheehan, PhD

Dr. Dwayne Sheehan was a Marine Warfare Officer in Her Majesty's Royal Canadian Navy before becoming a K–12 physical education teacher for 19 years. He served as the Executive Director of Calgary High School Sports, and as the CBE District Specialist for health and physical education. He is a Past President of both the Alberta Schools Athletic Association and the Health and Physical Education Council of the Alberta Teachers' Association and has been acknowledged by his peers for Distinguished Service in teacher education. Dwayne collaborates extensively with municipal recreation, parks, charities and other leisure partners. His academic and research specialization is lifespan motor development, specifically the measurement of pre-adolescent gross motor proficiency. He is an accomplished author (2 co-authored books and 3 book chapters) and has more than 40 peer-reviewed publications in international academic journals. He has received well over $600K in research funding and presented 140+ academic presentations worldwide.

Christy Tomkins-Lane, PhD

On leave

Dr. Tomkins-Lane is a startup Founder and award-winning exercise scientist with expertise in big data, wearable devices, and digital health. She has won many international awards for her work in lifestyle medicine and the application of technology in health and speaks often internationally on these topics. Dr. Tomkins-Lane is the Chair of Health and Physical Education at Mount Royal University and a founding member of the Stanford Wearable Health Lab. She is the Founder of Vivametrica, a health tech company that uses data from wearable devices to predict mortality and disease risks, as well as to engage individuals in wellness. She was recently recognized as Avenue Calgary's Top 40 Under 40, Top 20 Women in Tech 2018, and was awarded the Mount Royal University Research Excellence Award in 2019.

Nadine Van Wyk, PhD

Program Coordinator

Nadine Van Wyk is the current Physical Literacy Coordinator and Assistant Professor in the Department of Health and Physical Education. Nadine's PhD examined the exploration of innovative methods of program design and delivery of physical literacy in the recreation sector. Her community work and research have involved Vivo for Healthier Generations, the City of Calgary, the Calgary Catholic School Board and the Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario. Nadine's areas of interest include; curriculum design and assessment and promotion of physical literacy across the lifespan.

Physical Literacy part-time faculty

Department of Health and Physical Education staff