skip navigation

New USA Fencing Speaker Series, Engaging Our Communities, Begins in January

12/18/2020, 4:30pm CST
By Kristen Henneman

(Colorado Springs, Colo.) – USA Fencing is pleased to announce a new guest speaker series called Engaging Our Communities, which will address the ways that USA Fencing, including its members and clubs, can be dynamic advocates for diversity, equity and inclusion.

Working to create awareness of our own personal impact and a positive, welcoming environment for all, both in the sport of fencing and in society as a whole, the educational series kicks off on January 15 and will run every Friday through February 19.

All sessions in January will begin at 1 p.m. EST. The lineup is as follows:

All sessions are free, although space is limited. Registration for each session is required and participants may register for one or multiple sessions.

Registrations for the January sessions are available here.

After registering, a link to the session will be emailed to each participant.

Registration for the following sessions will open in the coming weeks:

  • February 5: Women in Fencing Roundtable Discussion
  • February 12: Creating a Diverse and Inclusive Environment
  • February 19: How to be a BIPOC Ally

More information on each of the sessions in January is as follows:

Jump With Four Parachutes: Why Uncertainty is Your Friend  

Dr. David Carter.

What did Mike Tyson and Mother Teresa have in common? Nothing. But they both, in their own unique way, approached fear and uncertainty with ruthless intensity: for “Iron Mike”, it was inside of a boxing ring; for Mother Teresa, it was outside, on the streets of Calcutta, India. 

Top performers often express the desire to break barriers, to get out of their comfort zones, and to take on risks, but fear has a way of creating a roadblock to these desires. We get stuck and, as a result, remain stagnate with the "appearance" of success instead of actually plowing ahead. 

In this program, Dr. Carter will expound upon fear – specifically how it hinders our true potential unless we develop an understanding of how to use fear and uncertainty to our advantage. Drawing on personal experiences, historical research, and psychology, this program equips participants with helpful approaches to understanding fear and how we can rid our lives of everyday phobias that are holding us back.  

Participants will learn:

  • How fear originates and forms into limiting beliefs
  • How the greatest performers, CEOs, and humanitarians utilized fear and uncertainty 
  • Five steps to overcoming fear and limiting beliefs for 2021


Dr. David W. Carter is an organizational development specialist having worked with diverse colleges and universities, businesses and non-profit organizations. He has served in the United States Air Force as a combat engineer, as a police officer specializing in community building and as an education consultant for the National Park Service. His background includes founding the Laurie Marie Foundation, a non-profit committed to providing student scholarships, a decade of academic leadership experience and selection as the 2019 facilitator for the Podium Leadership Academy (USOPC).

Dr. Carter has given two TEDx talks about leadership: The Lesser Seat (2015) and How Old Are You? (2016) and he holds a doctorate in Higher Education and Organizational Change from Benedictine University (summa cum laude). His previous work has appeared on multiple news and media outlets, to include C-SPAN’s Book TV, which highlighted his 2013 bestseller, Mayday over Wichita.

Creating Inclusive Spaces for LGBTQ Athletes

Ashland Johnson.

Sport can play a role in promoting LGBTQ inclusion and visibility. 

Participants will learn about the barriers to access and inclusion for LGBTQ athletes, how they can start an LGBTQ employee resource group in their organization, enact policies that prohibit discrimination based on gender identity and gender expression and key practices to engage in to be active LGBTQ allies.


Ashland Johnson is the founder and president of the Inclusion Playbook, a sports impact consultancy that specializes in racial justice, gender equity and LBGTQ inclusion. An attorney, equity and inclusion strategist, and former Division I athlete, Ashland has over a decade of civil rights experience working with social justice communities, advising sports leaders, and serving in leadership roles in advocacy organizations.

Adapting your Approach: Creating a Cohesive Conversation Around Parafencing

(L-R): Ginny Boydston, Catherine Bouwkamp, Jonathan Glasberg, Leif Nelson, Alison Pruziner.

Fencing is a niche sport and parafencing is a niche sport within a niche sport. Our athletes do not grow up wanting to be parafencers; it is a sport that has to be shown to them. Just like coaches would recruit a seven footer to play basketball, fencing coaches have to be willing to make the approach, and open their doors to potential parafencers. We will help in creating an inclusive environment within your club and help with developing a plan for your approach to potential new parafencers. We will talk through how as a program we can bring parafencing more into the forefront of conversation around competitive fencing as a whole. 


Ginny Boydston
Ginny Boydston, CTRS completed a B.S. in Physical Education & Recreation at Mississippi University for Women in 1976 and a M.S. in Therapeutic Recreation at the University of Memphis in 1977. She started the therapeutic recreation program at Methodist Rehabilitation Center (MRC) in Jackson, Mississippi in 1978. Boydston greatly expanded the therapeutic recreation program from its original vision as a program provided to patients during their rehabilitation admission following traumatic injury. As the Director of Sport and Recreation for MRC from which she retired in 2020, Boydston developed wheelchair sports programs throughout the state of Mississippi. She provided sports clinics, educational sessions, training programs and leisure opportunities. These sports programs included team sports such as wheelchair softball, boccia and wheelchair rugby and individual sports such as wheelchair tennis, parafencing, handcycling, para powerlifting, air rifle, dance, water and snow skiing. Boydston’s passion for sport and recreation was recognized in her appointment as Team Manager for USA Wheelchair Fencing in 2009 to the present. She also served as the team manager for the USA Wheelchair Fencing Team for the 2012 Paralympic Games in London, England and the 2016 Paralympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.  She is also slated as Team Manager for the USA Wheelchair Fencing Team for the Paralympic Games in Tokyo, Japan in 2021. Through sports and recreation and her unwavering dedication to service, Boydston has helped build self-confidence and restore hope for the lives of athletes across the United States with the parafencing program.

Catherine Bouwkamp
Catherine (Cat) Bouwkamp is a 13-time Parafencing national champion and USA Fencing's youngest Paralympian, competing at age 16 at the 2012 Paralympic Games in London. She has dedicated both her athletic and professional careers to creating awareness around athletes with disabilities. Bouwkamp has degrees from Indiana University in nonprofit management and recreational therapy and while at IU, she co-founded the first adaptive sports club, a wheelchair basketball club funded by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs with a $35,000 adaptive sports grant. Bouwkamp completed internships at Disabled Sports USA (MoveUnited), Lakeshore Foundation and U.S. Paralympics before moving to her current position with the United States Association of Blind Athletes in Colorado Springs, Colo. She began her career at USABA as the membership & SafeSport coordinator but has recently transitioned into the role of marketing & fundraising manager. Bouwkamp was recently elected to the USA Fencing Board of Directors and has plans of increasing inclusion and representation of underrepresented and/or marginalized demographics within the organization. 

Jonathan Glasberg
Jonathan Glasberg received a Master of Arts in physical therapy in 1995 and began his career at the Manhattan VA medical center as a VA scholarship recipient.  He subsequently received a Doctorate in physical therapy from New York University in 2009, while assuming teaching duties in NYU’s doctoral program as a Master Clinician/Associate Professor. Jonathan (along with Leif Nelson) has taught prosthetics for Touro College’s DPT program for the past eight years.

Jonathan has been comprehensively involved in many aspects of physical therapy, such as:

  • team leader in a hospital rehabilitation department
  • lecturing on varied topics within rehabilitation regionally and nationally
  • coordinating the FSOD/FIM database for VISN 3
  • chairman of the national PT advisory council
  • PT representative on national PM&R Advisory Council
  • Treasurer, Federal section of American Physical Therapy Association
  • Vice President, Federal section of American Physical Therapy Association
  • Co-Investigator on several Prosthetic Research studies within the BRAVO laboratory

In addition to his hospital, academic and APTA activities, Jonathan has owned and operated comprehensive private physical therapy practices in New York City and Westchester County with his wife Ali.

Leif Nelson
Dr. Leif Nelson, is the Director of the National Veterans Sports Programs and Special Events program office under VHA’s Rehabilitation and Prosthetic Services. He oversees the five national rehabilitation adaptive sports medicine events and the largest organized therapeutic arts program for veterans. He administers $15 million through Adaptive Sports Grant Program and $2 million through Veteran Monthly Assistance Allowance for Disabled Veterans Training in Paralympic and Olympic Sports Program.

Along with Dr. Glasberg, Dr. Nelson is an Associate Professor at Touro College and Adjunct faculty at New York University. He is a RESNA certified Assistive Technology Professional and NSCA Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist.   

Dr. Nelson still maintains a multi-million dollar amputation care research portfolio, and has multiple publications in the arena of amputation care, adaptive sports and rehabilitation. He has presented over 50 lectures and continuing education courses on adaptive sports or amputation care related topics at national conferences, universities, medical residency programs, and for national and international dignitaries. 

Alison Pruziner
Alison Pruziner is the Clinical Program Manager for the Veterans Health Administration (VHA) Office of National Veterans Sports Programs and Special Events (NVSP&SE). In this role, Dr. Pruziner serves as a key advisor to the Director of NVSP&SE on clinical considerations across all programs managed within this office. She directs educational efforts aimed at increasing the evidence-based application of adaptive sports techniques across VHA, and is developing a plan for the long-range implementation and administration of the objective assessment of program activities and the therapeutic outcomes for Veterans served through these programs.

Dr. Pruziner earned her Doctor of Physical Therapy degree from Duke University, and joined NVSP&SE after working with active duty and Veteran service members with limb loss at Walter Reed Army Medical Center and Walter Reed National Military Medical Center. Through this role, she authored over 30 peer-reviewed publications related to rehabilitation for individuals with limb loss. She has presented these works both nationally and internally at professional conferences and served on a multi-national extremity injury and amputation functional outcomes work group aimed at determining a defined set of clinical assessments to be used internationally for military personnel with limb loss. Dr. Pruziner is an adjunct faculty member in George Washington University’s Department of Physical Therapy and is a certified athletic trainer (ATC).  

Tag(s): Updates