Cheatum, Billye Ann 1982
Billye Ann Cheatum, class of ‘55. 1982 - Author, educator, and conference speaker Billye Ann Cheatum, Ph.D. has devoted 30 years of her life to the needs of children and adults with disabilities. Dr. Cheatum created and developed a specialty in her field where none had existed before. "I began to think that surely there had to be a way to include people with disabilities in physical education. But, of course, this was before there was such a thing as special P.E.” She wrote a definitive text in the field, Improving Physical Education Activities for Students With Disabilities, as well as books on golf, basketball, and athletic training, and numerous articles in all areas of physical education. Yet success for herself was not enough. Throughout her career, she has received almost $2 million in federal grants, part of which she used to establish SPELL (Special Physical Education Learning Laboratory). Located at WMU, this lab offers no‑cost assessments of children and adults with special needs, individualized treatment programs and follow‑up. Federal funds also assist in providing laboratories for at‑risk infants and toddlers and children exposed to drugs in utero. Her latest book, Activities for Improving Children's Learning and Behavior co-written with Allison A. Hammond, was released in 1999. Dr. Cheatum has been widely sought after as a speaker and as director of workshops. She received her Ph.D. in Physical and Special Education from Texas Woman's University in 1965 and has worked at Western Michigan University as an advisor of gerontology specialists, Coordinator of Special Physical Education, Special Physical Education instructor, and director of three disability laboratories. As a college student she was a standout in seven sports and won state championships in synchronized swimming and archery.