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Sport Management student uses volunteerism, study abroad and networking to Go First

Aryaunna Mosley credits her professors within Mountaineer Nation for nurturing her vision and dreams while inspiring her to stay at WVU to pursue her master's degree. Mosley, from Charleston, WV, is finishing her first year of graduate school in Sport Management, after completing her undergraduate degree at WVU.  

Mosley appreciates that everyone within WVU brings something unique to the table. “They make the statement 'Mountaineers Go First' a reality every day, with top educators who are constantly pushing their students to succeed while encouraging their passions. It was that mentality that led me to make the decision of staying at WVU for my master's degree,” she explained.

As an undergrad, Mosley was involved in a range of activities, from Public Relations Student Society of America, to public relations officer for Phi Beta Lambda (student business organization) and received statewide speaking awards. She was involved with the Peer Advocate program and a member of NABJ, serving in an officer capacity.  

Other notable achievements include meeting with the executive of the ESPN The Undefeated magazine, touring at NPR and meeting with prestigious and high-ranking employees of their organization. She worked behind-the-scenes at a Washington Wizards basketball game and met with their PR specialists.

She represented the WVU Reed College of Media and WVU on the NBC Stay-Tuned show. Mosley was an honorary guest at private dinners with high-profile athletes, activists, educators and world-renowned sport analysts and reporters.

“I dedicated time during my undergraduate career volunteering for issues I cared about, such as food pantries and soup kitchens, to promote food stability among low-income college students and families. I helped at thrift stores and clothing drive donations, and facilitated Conversation with Cops,” she said.  

Currently, Mosley is working on a research project for Dr. Floyd Jones, associate professor, Sport Management. “This has been one of my greatest accomplishments during my graduate program. Dr. Jones constantly challenges me to dig deeper in my research approaches and pushes me to be the very best version of myself,” she said. Her research project examines the multi-dimensional challenges LGBTQ youth face and how it influences their participation in sports.

Mosley identifies Drs. Jones and Lhotsky, teaching associate professor and program coordinator for Sport Management, and CPASS Dean Watson and Phil Caskey as key mentors. “Mr. Caskey was an excellent instructor; he provided us with invaluable real-world, hands-on experience. Dr. Lhotsky has served as an incredible academic and career advancement mentor, whether it's giving me advice or a listening ear. Dean Watson has supported my goals and visions since I met him in 2019,” she said.

“It was clear to me that I would be learning from a diverse and highly accredited group of educators who truly care about providing a conducive environment that will help each student be successful,” she said. 

Mosley worked with the WVU women’s basketball team during the 2018-2019 season as a student assistant and then became a team manager during the following season. She was offered an internship with the WNBA Los Angeles Sparks in the summer of 2019 and another internship with the Atlanta Dream for this upcoming 2020 season. She was one of six students selected to work the 2020 Big 12 women's basketball tournament in Kansas City, Missouri.

“Perhaps one of my greatest accomplishments was when I studied abroad last year in Spain to work with an international client. I was one of 12 students selected to participate, where I served as one of the creative directors for my PR Agency capstone,” Mosley explained.

She played a pivotal role in the formation of the creative content designs, client rebranding and developing community engagement incentive programs. The team designed adult and children education programs and programming to strengthen family ties and individual pride within the community. 

Mosley offers three suggestions to aid students in their personal journey to success. “Number one, be authentic, speak up and speak out about your ideas and goals; never hide your intelligence. Number two, be courageous, be creative and innovative in all that you do. And, finally, be a leader. Be a leader in the classroom, among your peers and in your community, because, Mountaineers always go first,” Mosley said.
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