top of page

Election 2022

Below you will find the individuals who are running for election to various positions within I-MDRC. 


David Stodden.jpg

David Stodden

Current Position: Professor, University of South Carolina, USA

Research expertise: holistic development, lifespan

I am the Director of the Human Performance and Development Laboratory at the University of South Carolina and I have over 20 years of experience in academia. My research foci are aligned to advance the field of motor development in various domains including measurement, coordination and control of skillful movement across the lifespan, and demonstrating the importance that developing motor competence has on various outcomes (i.e., physical, psychological, social-emotional and cognitive health). Since the inception of I-MDRC, my focus has been to promote the growth and development of the organization’s structure and functioning and to expand the broad network of researchers now invested in its success. I want to see I-MDRC continue to grow and become an academic home for researchers and practitioners that see motor development as a critical antecedent for growth in other developmental domains. As many academics who are invested in various aspects of development across the lifespan (i.e., neuroscience, psychology, social-emotional, public health, PE, lifespan) are searching for a "best fit" for their research, I believe I-MDRC can provide that fit. I hope to continue to expand the reach of I-MDRC across multiple domains and continue to advance the field.

Membership Coordinator

Priscila Tamplain.jpg

Priscila Tamplain

Current Position: Associate Professor, University of Texas at Arlington, USA

Research Expertise: children, motor skills, assessment, dyspraxia, developmental coordination disorder, low motor proficiency, autism

My name is Priscila Tamplain and I am an Associate Professor in Kinesiology at the University of Texas at Arlington. My research agenda focuses on assessment, mechanisms, and interventions in typical and atypical development, particularly children with Dyspraxia/Developmental Coordination Disorder (DCD) and Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD). I have been a membership coordinator for the I-MDRC for two years now and I love the organization and what it stands for. I am committed to continue supporting the growth and expansion of the I-MDRC.



Ali Brian

Current Position: Associate Professor, University of South Carolina, USA

Research expertise: early childhood education, integrated intervention, visual impairment, disability, motor development

I am an Associate Professor at the University of South Carolina, where I have the following responsibilities: Interim Chairperson for the Department of Physical Education, Doctoral Program Coordinator, and Coordinator of the Master of Science in Adapted Physical Education Program.

My research interests cover the underlying mechanisms, including intervention, supporting positive developmental trajectories for health for preschoolers with and without disabilities as well as children, youth, and adolescents with visual impairments.


I was fortunate enough to serve IMDRC in various capacities. I was part of the organizing committee when the University of South Carolina hosted the 2nd congress. I also served on the scientific committee for the 2021 session in Greece. Most recently I served as treasurer for the past three years. I would be honored to continue my role as treasurer.

Student Representative

Elly vanHyfte.jpeg

Elly van Hyfte

Current Position: PhD Student, Ghent University, Belgium

Research expertise: positive contribution, team, communication, learning and development

I am currently lecturer at the department of pedagogy and didactics, faculty of education HOGENT University Ghent since 2003 and affiliated to the Research Centre for Learning in Diversity, HOGENT University since 2018. I combine this position with my phd research at the Department of Movement & Sports Sciences – Motor Control. Ghent University - Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences since 2021. My research interests are motor development, motor competence, motor learning, physical education, mostly in primary school context.


I would love to have a positive contribution to a strong communication with the other PhD students while looking for what they are doing, what issues they have, what ideas are alive. The group can count on me for creating a community group in order to suggest, develop and implement solutions in the research topics of my colleagues and seniors. It seems great to serve as liaison in bringing any issues/suggestions/feedback to the IMDRC members at meetings. On the other hand I am convinced that together we can learn more from each other by sharing the daily work; that we can support and improve each other skills and develop together a broader view within the motor development research area.

Member at Large
*Max 5 are elected

An De Meester.jpg

An De Meester

Current Position: Assistant Professor, University of South Carolina

Research expertise: perceived motor competence, motivation, proficiency barrier

After a career as a P.E. teacher, and soccer and volleyball coach (2005-2012), and a doctoral and postdoctoral fellowship at Ghent University, Belgium (2012-2019), I started my current job as  Assistant Professor in the Department of Physical Education at the University of South Carolina. The overarching aim of my interdisciplinary research is to provide practical information to P.E. teachers, P.E. students, physical activity practitioners, sports coaches and society by addressing underlying mechanisms (e.g., actual and perceived motor competence) that foster a physically active lifestyle. In 2020, I co-organized the IMDRC’s virtual National Assembly, under the terrific guidance of dr. Sacko, and would now like to continue to help increase the visibility and impact of motor development research and stimulate networking opportunities for motor development researchers, especially those who are in the early stages of their career, by applying for the IMDRC’s position of Member-at-Large. I would like to be a part of the I-MDRC family to assist the continuous improvement of existing projects and the development of new ideas that help guide (early career) researchers, and give them the opportunity to connect with and present their work to the motor development community.

Melanie Perreault.jpg

Melanie Perreault

Current Position: Associate Professor, State University of New York at Brockport, USA

Research expertise: sensory impairments, global learning, leadership, service

I am an Associate Professor of Motor Behavior and Kinesiology Program Coordinator at SUNY Brockport. I teach courses on motor behavior and research and am actively involved in study abroad and global learning initiatives. I frequently present and publish research nationally and internationally on motor development in children with sensory impairments. I also serve as the Communications Director for the Institute of Movement Studies for Individuals with Visual Impairments or Deafblindness and hold leadership positions with the American Kinesiology Association. I began my involvement with I-MDRC in 2017 by presenting at the 3rd assembly in Melgaço, Portugal. Since then, I have presented at every international and national assembly that followed. I have found I-MDRC to be a very supportive environment that has afforded me many opportunities to learn from, and network with, international scholars in the field as well as receive feedback on my current research. As such, I would like the opportunity to give back to I-MDRC by helping the organization continue to grow and thrive. If elected, I plan to help further the mission of I-MDRC through active engagement in projects and initiatives that advance the field of motor development through international collaborations on research and teaching.


Chih-Chia (JJ) Chen

Current Position: Associate Professor, Department of Kinesiology, Mississippi State University, USA

Research expertise: adapted physical activity, motor development and learning, intellectual disabilities

I currently work as the associate professor of Kinesiology at Mississippi State University (MSU). Before moving to the United States, I received my Bachelor of Education in Elementary Education and Physical Education Minor from National Tainan Teachers College (Taiwan) and master's degree in physical education from National Taiwan Normal University (Taiwan). I worked as a physical educator in Taiwan for 5 years. After that, I completed my Doctoral Degree in Kinesiology from Arizona State University and become a certified adapted physical educator and ACSM/NCHPAD inclusive fitness trainer. To date, I have been teaching adapted physical education, motor learning, motor development for sport pedagogy and disability studies majors within Kinesiology Department at MSU for 7 years.

My primary research area focuses on motor skill development and psychology of physical activity in intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD), particularly, in Down syndrome. I closely work with local, state, and international organizations to promote adapted physical activities and motor development for adults with IDD. The preliminary results showed adults with IDD were able to improve their sport skills (e.g., soccer, badminton), motor performance (e.g., manual dexterity, 6-min walk), and executive function after participation.

I believe my diverse educational and research experiences will make me a candidate for the I-MDRC member at large position and support future work in the advisory committee for ensuring all people with and without disabilities reach their fullest potential to live an active and healthy life through movement.

Nadia Valentini.jpeg.png

Nadia Valentini

Current Position: Professor, Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil

Research expertise: motor development, child development, low income-families

I am a Professor at the School of Physical Education, Physiotherapy, and Dance and at the Graduate Program in Human Movement Sciences at the Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul in Brazil. My PhD. and Master’s degree is in Human Exercise Science - Motor Behavior at Auburn University/US. My Post-Doctor was at the School of Public Health - University of Maryland/ US. Moreover, in 2012, I was a visiting professor at the University of Southern California/US. The focus of my research is the developmental trajectory of children, the risk and protective factors associated with the development, and the effects of cognitive-motor intervention for children with motor delays from low-income families. Another line of my research is validating an instrument to assess children in Brazil. The practical implication of my research is the development of appropriate learning opportunities for children at home and in clinical and school environments. I was a member at large of the International Motor Development Research Consortium I-MDRC Advisor Committee. I believe that the representation of researchers from low and middle-income countries is critical to improving research in those countries, calling attention to the child need outside developing countries, and ensuring diversity for the consortium.

P1120107 (2).jpg

Fotini Venetsanou

Current Position: Professor, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, Greece

Research expertise: physical literacy, motor competence, movement programmes, traditional dance

I am currently Associate Professor at the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, Greece. I was born and reside in Greece. I obtained my PhD in Physical Education at the Democritus University of Thrace and I currently work as an Associate Professor at the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, Greece. Moreover, I serve as Program Director in the Field of Life, a non-profit organization aiming to create opportunities for young people living in underserved areas of Athens to grow and thrive. I have been a member of “IMDRC family” since 2017, having participating in three of its assemblies; whereas, I served as conference coordinator at the 5th assembly of IMDRC (virtual) and I can share my experience with the organizers of the next assembly. Moreover, it would be valuable for the advisory committee of IMDRC to consist of members that ensure geographical balance within the organization (I would represent Mediterranean countries).

Mandy Plumb.png

Mandy Plumb

Current Position: Senior Lecturer, Central Queensland University, Australia

Research expertise: motor control, developmental, fundamental movement skills, developmental coordination disorder 

I am the Head of Course for Exercise and Sports Science based in Cairns, Far North Queensland, Australia at Central Queensland University. Completed my PhD in 2005 at University of Aberdeen, Scotland, UK. 


My research interests are quite eclectic, exploring motor control and coordination in children with DCD using 3D Motion analysis to look at gait, STS, using FNIRS to study pre-frontal motor cortex activity on tasks such as handwriting and manual planning tasks, ActiGraphs to explore sleep and physical activity. I also run FMS exercise programs and monitor FMS development and perceived motor competence in kinder – 8yo, as well as perceived and actual motor competence in 12-18yo.


I have been a member since 2016 and being a member and attending the conferences, either face-to-face or online has afforded me the opportunity to foster a number of fruitful international collaborations. My research is multi-disciplinary, and I feel I would be a great advocate for the committee to reach out to these different disciplines and invite them to be part of the community. It is a truly international membership and at the core is developing young researchers and providing a platform for them to interact and form friendships and collaborations. I am not so young but in relative terms new to the field ( 15yrs…..) and for me the openness of our esteemed motor development royalty to engage with upcoming researchers is truly unique and something we need to preserve and nurture. Being someone who has been the beneficiary of being embraced into the community, I feel it is my time to nurture and move us forward.

bottom of page