Karen Smail

Physical Education Teacher Education Program Director | Associate Professor

Address: Randolph 110
Phone: 843.953.8247
E-mail: smailk@cofc.edu


  • Ph.D. - University of Georgia
    • Adapted Physical Education/Movement Studies
    • Dissertation: Developing Work Performance Measures in High School Students with Mental Retardation
  • M.S. - Canisius College
    • Physical Education Curriculum and Instruction
    • Thesis: Perceived Attitudinal Difference in High School Female Students towards Physical Education and Physical Activity
  • Hons. B.A. - University of Waterloo
    • Recreation and Leisure Studies with a minor in Therapeutic Recreation and Business Co-Op

Research Interests

  • Effectiveness of Strength Training and Nutrition Education Programs on Elementary through High School Aged Children
  • Effects and Changes in Body Composition through Exergaming versus Aerobics
  • Creating Community Centered Programs for Children with Developmental Disabilities, including Asperger’s/Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)
  • Combating Childhood Obesity
  • Heart Rate Tracking and Associated Equipment

Courses Taught

  • PEHD222 Analysis and Conduct of Lifetime Activities
  • PEHD352 Physical Education in Elementary Schools
  • PEHD352L Physical Education Field Experience in the Elementary Grades
  • PEHD431 Test and Measurements
  • PEHD457 Adapted Physical Education
  • PEHD457L Field Experience in Adapted Physical Education

Honors and Awards

  • 2009 - Junior Faculty, Teacher-Scholar Award, School of Education, Health, and Human Performance, College of Charleston
  • 2007 - Who’s Who Among American Women
  • 2006 - Who’s Who Among American Teachers


Journal Articles (peer reviewed)

Smail, K. (2010). Using technology to keep students healthy. Academic Exchange Quarterly, Fall, 14(3), 172-176.

Smail, K. and Horvat, M. (2009). Resistance training for individuals with intellectual disabilities. Clinical Kinesiology, Summer (1). http://clinicalkinesiology.org/

Smail, K.M. and Horvat, M. (2006). The relationship of muscular strength on work performance in high school students with mental retardation. Education and Training in Developmental Disabilities, 41(4), 410-19. Writing and editing done at the College of Charleston.

Smail, K.M. and Horvat, M. (2005). Effects of balance training on individuals with mental retardation. Clinical Kinesiology, Fall (2). http://clinicalkinesiology.org/ - Writing and editing done at the College of Charleston.

In Review (peer reviewed)

Smail, K.M., Lewis, A. and Romberger, N. (in review) Using homework in physical education to develop fitness. Journal of Physical Activity and Health. (resubmit with revisions)

Other Publications (peer reviewed)

Smail, K. (2009). Testing out of physical education. Issues. Journal of Physical Education Recreation and Dance (JOPERD) 80(6), 58.
Smail, K.M. and Horvat, M. (2007). Improving performance in functional tasks through balance in individuals with mental retardation. Research Quarterly for Exercise and Sport, 78(1), 103. Writing and editing done at the College of Charleston.

Manuscripts in Preparation

Smail, K. and Schaeffer, G. Socci: An Inclusive Curriculum. Possible submission to Strategies.

Smail, K., Spurlock, D. and Beck, L. Exergaming: It’s impact on fitness and academic performance. Possible submission to Journal of Education for Teachers.

Smail, K.M. and Balinsky, S. Where have all the girls gone?  Attitudinal differences between females who elect physical education in high school and those who do not. Possible submission to Women in Sport and Physical Activity Journal.

Smail, K. and Manning M. Designing a Recreation Program for Adolescents with Aspergers/Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Possible submission to Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders.


Smail, K.M. (in negotiations). The Relationship of Muscular Strength and Balance on Work Performance Measures in High School Students with Mental Retardation.  Lambert Academic Publishing, Munich, Germany.