Have You Met… Jennifer Leo?

Have you met Jennifer, Director of The Steadward Centre for Personal & Physical Achievement?

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Have you met Jennifer, Director of The Steadward Centre for Personal & Physical Achievement? Spend the next few minutes getting to know her a little better.

I could eat the same thing for breakfast every day: plain yogurt, granola, and chia seed berry jam.

PC and iPhone. My family uses iPhones so it makes it easy to FaceTime them in Ontario. PC because it's what I grew up using. There's kind of a cool factor with Mac, but I don't know how to use them.

As a kid I always wanted to be Anne of Green Gables - she was someone I looked up to. She's always committed to doing what she believes in. It doesn't always work out but I liked her spirit, plus she's a redhead and we have the same middle name.

If it's coffee, I usually end up going to the Starbucks in ECHA. I'd like to give a shout-out to the people who work there - they're always great at getting through the line when I'm running late for meetings.

For food, I love walking through the Thursday market they have over in SUB. It's pretty neat having all of those little snack options.

When I first started in 2003 here as a masters student, I remember walking around the campus in September and feeling that kind of magical energy that anyone who has been a student here can appreciate.

Fionn and Jonathan Angus - they're a father-son team from Ireland who perform Irish music and stand-up comedy routines. Fionn is a young adult with Down Syndrome, and they do an amazing job of showing others what it means to live a good life. They're going to perform live at our Steadward Centre Breakfast in February!

And it feels kind of generic since I am Canadian, but I would also love to see The Hip with Gord Downie one more time.

Back in my twenties before I started my PhD, my husband and I had this business plan where we were going to start a Bed and Breakfast for families that had kids experiencing disability. Our plan was to combine our love of food and restaurants with making recreation and travel more available and accessible for families. Then my career took an unexpected spin and we abandoned the plan, but for a while we were all in to do that.

Three things: listen to your parents because they actually have really good advice; take care of yourself and keep exercising; and be nice to the people that you meet, because you never know how it might be to your advantage to have those positive connections down the road.

I really like the day-to-day lived things in Edmonton. So I'd probably take them to coffee at Transcend, maybe a walk in the river valley, if they have kids with them maybe we can go to one of the amazing playgrounds so the kids can play while we can drink our coffee in peace.

Watching The Great British Bake Off, and planning all of the amazing desserts I'm going to make but usually don't end up actually making.

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Jennifer Leo, PhD is the Director of The Steadward Centre for Personal & Physical Achievement (TSC) in the Faculty of Kinesiology, Sport, and Recreation at the University of Alberta. The Steadward Centre is a leader in Adapted Physical Activity and Para-sport development, annually serving more than 1000 children, youth and adults experiencing disability and training more than 250 students.

Steadward Centre Breakfast

Want to join Jen to see Fionn and Jonathan Angus perform? The Steadward Centre Breakfast is coming up on February 26, 2020 - you can find more information on their event page.

This interview has been edited for length and clarity.