Joanna Southerland-Mele has been involved in fitness in our community and beyond for over 32 years. Always involved in sports, having her first son diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes at 7 months of age immediately changed her view of the importance of nutrition and exercise (and in her son’s case, insulin injections). She personally experienced the effects of exercise on diabetes control, the feeling of wellness, strength (body and mind), and mood. Joanna became an instructor to share that passion and has been motivating and sharing with (not to mention screaming at) people of all ages for over 30 years.
As a Group Exercise Instructor, a Personal Trainer, and an avid cyclist, Joanna’s energy and passion for fitness has helped many people transition to the regular habit of exercise. Her career has crossed paths with many fitness facilities in Tallahassee. She has been a group exercise instructor/personal trainer at The Leach Center at FSU for twelve years, motivating and inspiring students, staff, faculty, and alumni to “move” forever!
Joanna cycles globally to raise money for research for Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes. She has been involved with the development of Team Type 1, a professional all Type 1 diabetes cycling team and foundation for diabetes education. She is a regular participant in the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF) Ride to Cure – a collection of 100 mile rides around the USA, Europe, and Australia to raise awareness.
Joanna has two sons, Phil and Jack, both in Atlanta. She is married to Al Mele, a professor of Philosophy at FSU. She retired from 20 years of IT work at FSU to follow her passion, teaching fitness to anyone she can!