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CPASS announces new faculty member to lead Health and Well-Being program

Erin Jordan has joined the College of Physical Activity and Sport Sciences as a teaching assistant professor and program coordinator in the college's new Health and Well-being major. Jordan will work closely with Office of Student Success staff and Emily Murphy, associate professor and new HWB faculty member, to build an environment that promotes student growth and success.

Jordan, from Clearfield, PA, will guide the college in establishing the new program within WVU. The CPASS Health and Well-being program is designed for students with a passion for helping others and who have an interest in a health sciences career. The program provides students with a flexible track toward careers such as nursing, athletic training, physical and occupational therapy or chiropractic.

It offers an option for students wanting to pursue either a professional degree in health science or for those interested in an alternative career pathway in community health and well-being.

According to Jordan, this is a perfect time for students to consider the new program. “There is so much more to our health than just being physically healthy or free from a disease. More people are starting to talk about self-care, mental health and the social determinants of health, particularly considering this pandemic we find ourselves in. In moving this major forward, we need to educate, train and empower young professionals to work in the ever-changing environment in which we all live,” she said.

“I believe we can do this by collaborating with community partners on and off campus to provide our students with service-learning opportunities and internships. This is an opportunity to give back to our community. It provides our students with a chance to apply what they learn in the classroom to real life experiences,” Jordan said.

“Erin Jordan brings a significant amount of knowledge and experience to our college. As importantly, Dr. Jordan will be an integral part of our new Health and Well-being major as we expand our degree programs, meeting the needs of students who want to establish careers in health sciences or community health. She has a strong background in this area, and we look forward to the leadership she will most certainly provide as we develop this major,” said Jack Watson, dean, CPASS.

Jordan says the program’s flexibility is a key element for student success. “I believe there is pressure for a student to come in as a freshman and essentially decide a career path that will determine their professional future. Since this major will offer two tracks, it will help those students who are interested in health and wellness, but don't know yet exactly the career path they want to pursue.”

“Students in both tracks will receive the same foundational course work, but they will have the option to choose a plan of study based on their career goals, as well as interests,” she added.

Being a graduate of CPASS and former faculty member, Jordan says she saw the new position as an opportunity to return home. “As for the Health and Well-being program, I wanted to be a part of helping to build a program from the ground up,” she said.

Within the Athletic Training program, Jordan says she had the honor of learning from John Spiker. “Vince Stilger was another big influence. He helped me decide on graduate school and offered me a temporary faculty position when I fulfilled my active duty obligations with the Army. This allowed me to get my foot back in the door with athletic training, which set me on my current path. For that I will be forever grateful.”

“I also had the privilege to be taught by two women, Betsey Schmidt and Denise Massie. In a traditionally male dominated profession, it was inspiring to be mentored by professionals who looked like me,” Jordan said.

Jordan received her BS in Physical Education with an emphasis in athletic training from WVU in 1995. She attended Indiana University and earned her MS in Kinesiology with an emphasis in advanced athletic training in 1996 before spending nearly six years in the United States Army as an automated logistical specialist. She pursued her Doctor of Public Health, with a concentration in community health behavior and education, at Georgia Southern University, graduating in 2018.

She has been working as a clinical instructor in athletic training at GSU for close to twelve years, serving as a preceptor and instructor in the CAATE accredited undergraduate athletic training curriculum. Jordan has been included in professional publications and presented at numerous conferences highlighting her expertise.

The Health and Well-Being program provides an academic pathway to help students follow careers ranging from a hospital or recreational setting, to an aquatic facility. Students may also take additional electives necessary for admission into the graduate/professional program of their choice.

Students will have the option to further customize their degree by adding an area of emphasis related to their specific career and academic goals. All areas of emphasis include an internship experience and are specific to the degree program.

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