Victoria Shiver

Assistant Professor, Physical Education, Department of Kinesiology and Physical Education

Victoria Shiver

What year did you start working at NIU?
2020

Where is your hometown? and where do you live now?
I was born and raised in Cheyenne, Wyoming, and now reside in Sycamore, Illinois.

Where did you attend college and what degree(s) have you earned?
I earned my undergraduate and master's degree in kinesiology at the University of Wyoming and my doctorate in human performance from the University of Alabama.

In which department(s) do you teach?
Department of Kinesiology and Physical Education

What do you like about working at NIU?
The sense of community. My colleagues are supportive, collaborative and just awesome people to work with every day. In addition, our program has a cohort approach through which I have seen our students consistently building each other up, cultivating lifelong professional relationships and friendships, and working through the adversity they have experienced in the last academic year.

What advice would you give to students currently attending NIU?
Have an open heart and an open mind! This is the perfect time to meet people with a variety of different lived experiences. Expand your views of the world and engage with new settings and practices. Ask questions, get involved and take advantage of being a part of the Huskie community.

Tell us about a research or engaged learning project you have led.
My work is grounded in social and emotional learning concepts within physical education and out-of-school programming. Recently, I collaborated with my colleague in sport management, Marcella Otto, to create and implement a service-learning experience for our students and a local school. We developed a virtual after-school yoga program for middle school girls focused on social and emotional learning concepts. My future educators attended the program and interacted with participants throughout the semester, while her students developed a marketing strategy for the program. Ultimately, everyone (including me) was able to learn and grow from one another through the experience.

What do you hope students take away from your class?
I want students to leave prepared to be the best possible teacher they can be. Each of our teacher candidates has something unique to offer to their future students. I want them to feel prepared to utilize their resources, continue learning and sharing their knowledge, and consistently reflect on their teaching and relationships with their students to continue growing throughout their careers.

What is your favorite memory of NIU?
The first couple of days of the fall 2021 academic year. Seeing students on campus again and meeting all of the students I had been teaching virtually as well as our new cohort in person reminded me how much I love what I do!

Who has influenced your professional path?
The most influential people for my professional experience have been my colleagues. Kevin Richards (at UIUC) and Karen Gaudreault (at University of New Mexico) served as my advisors, but also as friends and counselors. Their efforts toward helping me succeed have made all the difference in my teaching, research and, ultimately, my arrival here at NIU. I am also so grateful to my other collaborators, both on campus and around the world, for continuing to work with me and letting me learn from them in the process. Academic work takes a village, and I have an awesome village!

What did you want to be when you were growing up? Are you currently doing it? If not, what changed your path?
When I was a kid, I thought I would be a Thunderbird pilot; clearly, I took a very different path. I changed my major five times when I went to college, but when I figured out that my love for movement and desire to teach could be combined in physical education, I couldn’t get enough of it! Getting to teach and do research is the perfect balance for me.

Are you a member of or hold a position within a professional organization? If so, what organization? What is the purpose of that organization and how does being part of this organization benefit you in your role at NIU?
I am active in several professional organizations. In terms of leadership, I am the chair-elect for the Curriculum and Instruction SIG of SHAPE America. I serve as the website/communications manager for the Research on Learning and Instruction in Physical Education SIG of the American Education Research Association, and I work with a team to manage communication for the TPSR Alliance. Each of these opportunities gives me a chance to learn more about my field and the successes others are experiencing so I can apply that knowledge to the students and community at NIU.

What do you do to relax or recharge?
I like to move! My go-to hobby is CrossFit, but I also really enjoy running, walking/hiking with my two dogs or trying out something new.

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