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College of Education

Faculty and Staff

Ali S. Brian, Ph.D.

Title: Interim Department Chair
Associate Professor
Department: Physical Education
College of Education
Phone: 803-777-3101
Office: Blatt PE Center 218F 
Ali S. Brian, Ph.D.


Ali Brian, Ph.D., CAPE, is an Associate Professor in the Department of Physical Education.  Brian is the founder/director of the Physical and Developmental Disabilities Research Lab as well as the founder/coordinator of the new Masters of Science in Adapted Physical Education program. Brian currently serves as the doctoral program coordinator for the Department of Physical Education. Brian is the past-chair of the Research Council for SHAPE America, the vice-president for the National Consortium for Physical Education for Individuals with Disabilities, and the treasurer for the International Motor Development Research Consortium. In addition, Brian is an Associate Editor for Research Quarterly for Exercise and Sport and Physical Education and Sports Pedagogy journals, and currently serves on the editorial board for both journals.


Ph.D., Kinesiology with an emphasis in Physical Education Teacher Education with concentrations in motor development and adapted physical education, Ohio State University

M.S., University of Dayton

B.S., Notre Dame College

Research and Expertise

As the research director of the Institute of Movement Studies for Individuals with Visual Impairments, Brian has traveled throughout the world assessing and evaluating the perceived and actual motor competence, physical activity, and health-related fitness levels of individuals with visual impairments in order to develop targeted intervention strategies. Additionally, as an investigator with the Research Center for Child Well-Being, her research also focuses upon developing integrated (physical, psychological, and cognitive) intervention strategies for rural, title one preschoolers and that features the assistance of their parents and/or their classroom teachers. Brian’s research is published in Sports Medicine, Research Quarterly for Exercise and Sport, Physical Education and Sport Pedagogy, PLoS ONE, Adapted Physical Activity Quarterly, Journal of Motor Learning and Development, and others. Brian’s research is currently funded by the National Institutes of Health and the Duke Endowment.


  • G. Lawrence Rarick Research Award, National Consortium for Individuals with Disabilities, 2021
  • Early Career Distinguished Scholar Award, North American Society for the Psychology of Sport and Physical Activity, 2020
  • Corrine Kirshner Research Award, American Federation for the Blind, 2020
  • David P. Beaver Adapted Physical Activity Young Scholar Award, National Consortium for Individuals with Disabilities, 2019
  • Early Career Research Award, College of Education, UofSC, 2019
  • Breakthrough Star Award, Vice President of Research, UofSC, 2019
  • Honorary Research Fellow, Wales Institute of Physical Literacy, 2019
  • Research Director, Institute of Movement Studies for Individuals with Visual Impairments, 2015-present
  • Two Thumbs Up Award, Office of Disability Services, UofSC, 2017
  • Research Fellow, SHAPE America, 2017
  • Tsukuba University & Japanese Ministry of Education Summer Institute Fellowship Award, 2012 & 2013
  • Distinguished Service Award, Ohio State University Sport, Fitness, and Health Program, 2010
  • Dan Connelly Outstanding Leadership and Academic Achievement Award, Notre Dame College, 2000


For a complete list of publications please refer to:

Ali Brian on Research Gate

Ali Brian on Google Scholar

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