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Karen Castagno

The Murray Center (MC) 139
(401) 456-8866

Academic Background

Ph.D. Education
The University of Connecticut; Storrs, CT

M.A. Adapted Physical Education
The University of Connecticut; Storrs, CT

B.S. Health and Physical Education
Bridgewater State College; Bridgewater, MA

CAPE Certified Adapted Physical Educator
National Consortium for Physical Education and Recreation for Individuals with Disabilities 
Texas Woman's University; Denton, TX

Health Fitness Specialist - Physical Best
American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance; Reston, VA

Courses Taught

CC 101 The College Experience
HPE 206 Fundamental Movement and Its Analysis
HPE 243 Motor Development and Motor Learning
HPE 345 Wellness and the Young Child
HPE 346 Methods and Materials in Elementary Health and Physical Education
HPE 409 Adapted Physical Education
HPE 413 Practicum in Creative Rhythms and Dance
HPE 414 Practicum in Individual and Dual Activities
HPE 415 Individualized Physical Education for Populations with Disabilities
HPE 426 Student Teaching in Physical Education
HPE 428 Student Teaching Seminar
HPE 580 Assessment and Instruction in Adapted Physical Education
DANC 491 Independent Study
Investigation of Dance Methodologies for Secondary Education 
EDP 641 Field Research Seminar
EDP 690 Independent Study
Doctoral Candidate - Pilot Study
Doctoral Candidate - Establishing Instrument Inter-observer Reliability

Research Interests

Curriculum and Program Evaluation
Adapted Physical Education
Sport for Individuals with Disabilities
Technology in Education​​

Presentations and Publications - Partial List


Castagno, K.S., Sevey, L., Zoll, S. (2018, May).  Understanding the Current Early Childhood Workforce: A Qualitative Study of Participants of an Alternative Bachelor’s Degree Program. NEERO, Portsmouth NH

Castagno, K.S., Sevey, L., Zoll, S. (2016, November).  What! No Instructional Designer? Quality Matters 8th Annual Conference on Quality Assurance on Online Learning. Portland, OR.

Castagno, K. S., Tunnicliffe, K. (2015, November). Special Olympics: Promoting Health, Personal Achievement, and Unlimited Opportunities for Individual with Intellectual Disabilities. Promising Practices Conference – The Power of Community Partnerships Advancing Public Health & Human Rights through Education and Service, Providence RI.

Castagno, K. S., Tunnicliffe, K., LaCava, P., McKay, L., Quinn, J. Cotter, C. (2015, October). Making Special Olympics Autism Friendly – An Autism Symposium for RIC students, faculty and Special Olympics Coaches, Athletes and their Families. Providence, RI.

Castagno, K. S. (2015, May) Special Olympics Motor Activities Workshop. Special Olympics Maryland, Arbutus, MD.

Castagno, K.S., Kene, P., Hui, Y. (2014, June).  National and international worldviews on children, youth, and education. AAUP Conference on the State of Higher Education: Washington DC.

Castagno, K., Sullivan, E., Kniseley, M. (2012, July). How to Promote Chaos in a structured (or Orderly) World. AAEEBL Annual Conference. Boston, MA

Castagno K., Gracia, S. Hanley, R., Sullivan, E. (2011, March). Voices of Experience: Issues to Consider When Selecting an ePortfolio/Assessment. AAEEBL Northeast U.S. Conference. Providence, RI

Castagno, K., Eldridge, R., Gracia, S., Sullivan, E. (2011, February). One School’s Use of Data to Create Dramatic Change in Teacher Preparation. AACTE 63rd Annual Meeting, San Diego, CA

Castagno, K., Gracia, S., Sullivan, E. (2010, November) Examining the Assessment Loop to Improve Teacher Education. New England Educational Assessment – Fall Forum. Worcester, MA

Castagno, K., Lynch, A., Scraba, P. (2010, March). Strength through Partnerships: The Special Olympics University Curriculum. AAHPERD National Convention, Indianapolis, IN

Castagno, K. (2009, May). Importance of Teacher Preparation in Improving the Quality of Education. Presented via videoconference (fourth in a series with “Room to Read Sri Lanka”) on Education Reform. Colombo, Sri Lanka.

Castagno, K.S. & Davenport, F. (2007, November). Motor Activities Training Program Seminar. Special Olympics North America Conference, Boise, ID.

Ballinger, D., Castagno, K., & Dye, G. (2005, October). Teacher Perceptions and Student Attitudes toward Physical Education. Association for the Advancement of Applied Sports Psychology Annual Conference, Vancouver, BC.

Castagno, K. S., Dalton, E. M., Nesbitt, J.V., Roccio, A.M., Rowell, E. H., & Park, J. L. (2005, May). Communicating With People with Disabilities. Annual Dialogue on Diversity Symposium. Rhode Island College, Providence, RI.

Lombardo, B., Auld, R., Castagno, K. S., Nastasi, R., & Fisette, J. (2005, February). Changing Sport in America: Realities and Possibilities. American Alliance for Health, Physical Education Recreation and Dance - Eastern District Association Conference, Springfield, MA.

Castagno, K. S. (2004, November). Motor Activities for Individuals with Severe Disabilities. The Thirty-Third National Conference on Physical Activity for the Exceptional Individual, Oakland, CA.

Castagno, K. S., Lynch, A., Markey, R., & Roswal, G. (2004, April) The University Curriculum Project. American Alliance of Health, Physical Education Recreation and Dance – National Conference, New Orleans, LA.

Castagno, K. S. (2004, January through March). Use of Pedometers and Heart Rate Monitors in Physical Education. Twenty daylong workshops in accordance with the Carol M. White PEP Grant.

Books and Texts

Lombardo, B., Caravella-Nadeau, T., Castagno, K. S., & Mancini, V. (Eds.). (2001). Sport in the 21st century: Alternatives for the new millennium. Boston: Pearson Publishing.

Contributing Writer. (1984). Fait, H.F. & Dunn, J. M. Special physical education: Adapted, individualized, developmental. (5th ed.). Philadelphia: Saunders College Publishing.


Castagno, K. S. (2002). Attitudes toward individuals with disabilities by college students seeking endorsement in Adapted Physical Education. [Abstract]. Research Quarterly for Exercise and Sport, 73, A-102.

Auld, R.K., & Castagno, K.S. (2002). The “New” Physical Education. Physical Education Works,1, 3-4.

Castagno, K. S. (2001). Unified Sports: Breaking barriers. In Lombardo, B., Caravella-Nadeau, T., Castagno, K., & Mancini, V. (Eds.). Sport in the 21st century: Alternatives for the new millennium. Boston: Pearson Publishing.

Castagno, K.S. (2001). Special Olympics Unified Sports: Changes in male athletes during a basketball season. Adapted Physical Activity Quarterly, 18, 193-206.


Nazarian, J., Eldridge, R., J., Schenck, S., Castagno, K. S., Glazer J., Auld, R., Cotti, L., McDermott, J., McLaughlin, C., & Berard-Reed, K. (2007). The Digital Age: A Teachers Guide to New Technology. . A curriculum guide created by Rhode Island College and NBC 10.

Nazarian, J., Bucci, J., Wollman-Bonilla, J., Schenck, S., Castagno, K. S., Fusco, J., Cherian, F., Cotti, L., & Glazer, J. (2004). All About Us: A Teacher’s Guide to Cultural Diversity. A curriculum guide created by Rhode Island College and NBC 10.

Botthof, C., Castagno, K., Goralski, L., McCoombs, G., McLaughlin, N., Perkins-Brillat, S., Sanzi, S., Tamburini-Sciacca, L., & Tetreault, J. (2004). Handbook for Adapted Physical Education – Procedures and Resources. Warwick Public Schools, Warwick RI.

Bayuk, C., Vastis, A., Bugara, P., Castagno, K., Cohen, S., DeRita, B., Falvey, K., Fissette, J., Howard, P., Kenwood, K., Auld, R., Maymon, P., McAvoy, K., McCaffrey P., Moffitt, C., Murgo, G., Oliver, N., Santosuosso, C., Sousa, J., Timken, G., Southern, S.(2003). Rhode Island Physical Education Standards. Providence, RI: State Department of Health.

Block, M., Brylinsky, J., Castagno, K. S., Damentko, M. Krebs, P., Lynch, A., Roswal, G., Shriver, T., Verderman, R., & Yang, J. (2002). Special Olympics China University Curriculum (translated to Chinese). Washington, DC: Special Olympics International. ​​​


RI State Department of Education – Race to the Top Early Learning Grant ($957,000)

Co-PI Dr. Karen Castagno and Dr. Leslie Sevey

To Create an Institute of Early Childhood Learning and Teaching at Rhode Island College

This grant was expanded in year 2 of the grant cycle for a total award of $1,328,193

United States Department of Education – Carol M. White Physical Education Program –
Safe and Drug-Free School Programs ($450,000

Co-Principal Investigators -  Dr. Debra Ballinger, URI and Dr. Karen Castagno, RIC
​To provide professional development to physical educators in the state of Rhode Island in the use of heart rate monitors and pedometers in their physical education classes

Rhode Island College Professional Development Grant ($6,000

To provide professional development to cooperating teachers of the Department of Health and Physical Education in the Rhode Island Beginning Teacher Standards

Feinstein School of Education and Human Development Grant ($1,600)

To provide assessment and evaluation materials to meet National Standards in Adapted Physical Education

Special Olympics International ($20,500)

To conduct research involving athletes from the Connecticut Special Olympics Unified Sports Program

Page last updated: February 16, 2018