A native of western Pennsylvania, Dr. Deb Berkey completed her undergraduate degree in health, physical education and recreation at Slippery Rock State College (University) in 1976. She taught for six years in the Wetzel County Schools (West Virginia). Berkey taught health and physical education (K-5) and coached high school basketball, volleyball and track. She completed a Master of Science (Motor Development-1982) and Doctorate in Education (Curriculum and Instruction-1985) at West Virginia University.
During the past 31 years, Deb has been employed at Western Michigan University where she was the department chair for 13 years. Currently a professor in the Department of Human Performance and Health Education, Berkey teaches undergraduate and graduate instructional methods and strategies, curriculum, motor development and has coordinated the professional physical education teacher preparation program. She was instrumental in the development of the online graduate program at Western Michigan University. Dr. Berkey serves as the Chapter Adviser for the Epsilon Alpha Chapter of PEK at Western Michigan University.
Berkey has served as the President of the Midwest District of the American Alliance for Health, Physical Education and Recreation, President of the National Council of Phi Epsilon Kappa, Midwest Representative to AAHPERD Board of Governors and the Midwest Representative to the National Council of Phi Epsilon Kappa. She has received the MAHPERD, Midwest and AAHPERD Honor Awards, Meritorious Service Awards and the MAHPERD University Professor of the Year Award. She has also been inducted into the North American Society of Health, Physical Education, Recreation, Sport and Dance Professionals. In February 2009, Berkey was asked to serve as the Interim Physical Education Consultant for the Michigan Department of Education. She served both Western Michigan University and the State of Michigan in those capacities until 2013.
From 2004 to 2007, Berkey co-directed a Carol M. White PEP Grant with Dr. Dan Pratley. The project took place in Van Buren County, Michigan and involved 12 school districts including 55 physical educators and 17,000 students. Currently, her projects are focused on technology applications in physical education settings including remote supervision of interns using FaceTime and iPads.
An avid golfer, Berkey also enjoys cycling and international travel. She has traversed across the Netherlands, Italy and southern France on bike and barge trips and has been fortunate to visit Belgium, Switzerland, Indonesia, China, Taiwan, Greece, Turkey, Scotland, Germany, Australia and New Zealand. She resides in southwest Michigan where she enjoys the best of both “water worlds” at her home on an inland lake 20 minutes from South Haven on Lake Michigan.