Our Advisors

George Velarde

GEORGE VELARDE – Physical Education Department Chair
gvelarde10@gmail.com | www.hart.k12.ca.us/sierra/

George is the Physical Education Department Chair at Sierra Vista Jr. High School in Canyon Country, California. He has been teaching for a total of 15 years. George is a member of both CAHPERD and NASPE and was named 2006-2007 Teacher of the Year at his school in addition to receiving the “Who’s Who Among America’s Teachers Award” five times! In 2007, George and Sierra Vista Jr. High School was awarded the prestigious Carol M. White PEP Grant. In 2009, George was awarded the California Physical Education Teacher of the Year by the Governor’s Council on Physical Fitness and Sports by Governor Schwarzenegger and former President Bill Clinton at the Health and Obesity Summit. That same year, he was also named Physical Education Teacher of the Year by the California Coach’s Association. In 2009, the school was awarded the Golden Bell Award by the California School Board Association for the “No Child Left on their Behind” Physical Education Program. Sierra Vista was also named the Physical Education Middle School of the Year by the California Coach’s Association in 2009. George is a State and National speaker for his PE program’s No Child Left On Their Behinds initiative. Sierra Vista Jr. High’s PE program is recognized by the President’s Council on Physical Fitness/Sports as an official National Demonstration Center for the United States.

New PE at Sierra Vista Jr. High School.

PE program is researched based and has demonstrated improved fitness test scores (tops in the State of CA.), increased Academic Scores (API), decreased discipline referrals and community partnerships

Stephen P. Yang PhD-ABD

STEPHEN P. YANG, PhD-ABD – Professor at Suny Cortland
stephen.yang@cortland.edu | www.exergamelab.org

Stephen P. Yang, PhD-ABD is an assistant professor at the State University of New York College at Cortland (SUNY Cortland) and he researches the effectiveness of using exergames/active games for healthy benefits. His research deals with the use of innovative technology in both teaching and research settings in physiology and physical education. His master’s thesis investigated the effectiveness of a Web-delivered problem-based learning module in applied exercise physiology. While enrolled as a graduate student at Virginia Tech, he assisted in the design, implementation, and assessment of Log It (www.peclogit.org), a Web site that allows individuals or groups to record their steps from a pedometer. His PhD research explores the use of video games as a stimulus for voluntary physical activity. Specifically, he is measuring the duration and intensity of adolescent physical activity while playing exergames (EyeToy Kinetic, DDR, and XaviX Tennis) and their motivation to play these games. He keeps the exergaming world up to date with the latest technology and Health eGames on his blog. As Director of the Exergame Lab, Yang investigates how to best use the latest exergames and gaming technologies for children, adolescents, and adults with and without disabilities.

The state of exergaming is a relatively new area of interest for researchers, Yang has been active in the field since its infancy and has published several papers and abstracts and presented posters and workshops both internationally and nationally. In 2009-2010, he was invited to speak at the following conferences: Game Developers Conference, Journal of Health Promotion Conference, NCTI Technology Innovators Conference, and Korean Serious Games Festival in Seoul, South Korea. Another group he works closely with is the Games for Health (GFH) Project which is part of the Serious Games Initiative and is sponsored by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. He presents at the GFH conferences and has been invited to the GFH Exergaming Retreats the past two summers in Portland, Maine run by Ben Sawyer of Digital Mill. He also consults with video game developers, toy companies, and exergame companies on products and services for several populations.

In recognition of his knowledge and expertise, he was recently appointed to the Board of Advisors of Exergame Fitness, is a founding member of the ExerGame Network (TEN), and has been interviewed by the press on radio (Into Tomorrow), newspaper(USA Today), online magazine (Chicago Tribune), print magazine (Oprah Magazine), and video. Throughout all his research and collaborations, Yang wishes to see how exergames can be used to inspire people of all ages and abilities to be active and healthy for a lifetime.

Dan Lawler

DAN LAWLER Ph.D
danlawler@exercise4learning.com | http://www.exercise4learning.com

Dan Lawler, Ph.D., is a pioneer in the burgeoning field of movement-based learning. He has 34 years experience as an elementary school principal. His school leadership was consistently based on leading-edge research and best practices in education. Most recently, he spent seven years changing a school’s culture by developing and branding his school as a center of “academics, character and wellness.” He initiated multiple wellness-and movement-based learning initiatives, including a first-of-its-kind exercise 4 learning center that improved students’ academic performance and behavior.

Lawler has a doctorate in school administration, along with training and certification as a superintendent. He has received wide-ranging accolades for this initiative and his leadership positively impacted the school’s students, staff and parents.

Ernie Medina Jr. DrPH

ERNIE MEDINA, JR., DrPH – Co-founder and Chief Executive Officer

ernie@medplaytech.com | www.medplaytech.com

Dr. Medina is a preventive care specialist who has spent the last 13 years working at Beaver Medical Group in Redlands, Ca., helping patients of all ages overcome lifestyle-related diseases such as obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol.

In light of the growing pediatric obesity epidemic, Dr. Medina and MedPlay Technologies are collaborating with California State University of San Bernardino to conduct research on the effectiveness and viability of “exertainment” as a tool in the fight of this epidemic. Dr. Medina is also the originator and co-founder of MedPlay Technologies LLC, a first-of-a-kind center combining the latest in exergaming equipment and professional programming for total wellness in the family. He recently incorporated exergaming into MedPlay’s Family FitZone class, a pediatric and family weight management class.

Because of Dr. Medina’s interest in kids, he is always on the lookout for new and innovative ways to not only get kids to exercise, but to want to keep exercising. In 1998, when he saw his first demonstration of the Trazer computer game where a young girl was jumping and dancing in order to play a video game-the seed was planted for what is now MedPlay Technologies. Since that time, Dr. Medina has been collecting, networking, and researching games and hardware for exertainment. This has led to the belief that exertainment or exergaming provides a unique intervention that overcomes many of the obstacles faced with promoting physical activity to kids.

In 1989, after graduating with his Bachelor of Science degree from Andrew University, located in Berrien Springs, Michigan, Dr. Medina attended Loma Linda University School of Public Health where he earned both his Master’s of Public Health (Health Promotion emphasis) and Doctorate in Public Health (emphasis in preventive care) in 1993. He completed internships at Desert Hot Springs Heart Institute, Kaiser Permanente’s Preventive Medicine Dept., Cooper Aerobic Center, and Beaver Medical Group.

Dr. Medina is a certified Health and Fitness Instructor by the American College of Sports Medicine. He is also the former Executive Director of the American Preventive Care Association. Besides working at Beaver Medical Group, Dr. Medina is an Assistant Clinical Professor of Health Promotion at Loma Linda University’s School of Public Health where he guest lectures, supervises doctoral interns at Beaver Medical Group, and serves on doctoral students’ dissertation committees.

In his personal time, most of Dr. Medina’s extracurricular activities involve kids. He is a former co-director of the Adventurer Club (co-ed youth ages 4-9), a leader in the children division of his church, and has organized several kid’s triathlons. Dr. Medina is married to Dr. Keri Medina, an associate professor at Loma Linda School of Nursing. They have a daughter, Summer, who is actively involved on the Redlands Swim Team, ballet, and competing in kid’s triathlons.

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