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Self-determination helps Sport Management grad accomplish career goals

Michael Stokes portrait image, wearing WVU branded blue with gold trim shirt.

Michael Stokes was the first member of his family to earn a bachelor's degree from a major university. Growing up in a small town, Stokes worked hard to succeed. Through perseverance, the Norvelt, Pa. native says has realized his early career dreams. 

Stokes, B.S. sport management (2020), secured a position following graduation as an assistant equipment manager for the WVU baseball and basketball teams. “Landing my dream job right out of college at the age of 26 is truly a blessing. I still can’t believe I get to wake every day and do what I do,” Stokes said.

Defining sport careers

The scene from the Tampa Bay Stadium after winning Superbowl LV

Five West Virginia University graduates, representing three colleges, share stories about how they set their sights on a career in the sports industry and achieved their dreams. For some, it started with a focus on their family’s love of sports, for others, it began with an early interest in team sports. For Billy Bunting, Bill Eagan, Brandon Golden, Michael Pehanich and Keith Tandy, West Virginia University offered the perfect pathway to connect them with the career of their choice.

From communications, to coaching, premium club member relations and sales, each of these Mountaineers play a leadership role with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers organization. Bunting, Eagan, Golden, Pehanich and Tandy face daily challenges to achieve goals and build meaningful relationships. As they discuss their experiences while in Morgantown, they reflect on why they chose WVU and how faculty guided them to excel, all the while developing a work ethic that remains with them today.

College researcher honored for study focusing on women and girls in competitive sport

Dana Voelker is standing in hallway with white pillars.

A College of Physical Activity and Sport Sciences faculty member has received the 2020 Diane Gill Paper of the Year award from the Women in Sport and Physical Activity Journal, recognizing her research on body image and weight and appearance pressures in competitive sport. 

Dana Voelker, associate professor and director of undergraduate online education, was honored for her publication, “It’s Just a Lot Different Being Male Than Female in the Sport”: An Exploration of the Gendered Culture Around Body Pressures in Competitive Figure Skating, with Dr. Justine Reel at the University of North Carolina Wilmington.

Doctoral student receives coveted distinguished scholarship award

Sofia Espana Perez is shown outside of CPASS building.

Sofia Espana Perez, Sport, Exercise and Performance Psychology doctoral major, is one of only four recipients who was selected for the 2021 WVU Foundation Distinguished Doctoral Scholarship, as announced by the Office of Graduate Education and Life.

OGEL says that graduate students provide incredibly valuable research, teaching and services to the WVU campus and the greater Morgantown community. OGEL provides the awards to help these highly qualified students defray the costs of their education and promote the dissemination of their research to a broader audience.

Students gain real life teaching experience during pandemic

Student teachers interacting at stepping stones

A collaboration with area schools and service organizations allows West Virginia University College of Physical Activity and Sport Sciences students to provide physical activity for individuals with special needs. This arrangement started during the 2020 fall semester as an alternate experience for the Friday Adapted Physical Education Program, which could not be held due to the pandemic, and will continue through the 2021 spring semester

CPASS students worked with SteppingStones conducting in-person lessons and through virtual adapted classes at Mylan Park Elementary School. CPASS students created pre-recorded activities housed in a resource library for use by Monongalia County Schools.

WVU-based online educational resource promotes physical activity in today’s learning settings

Active child runs on recreation field.

An online resource that focuses on providing teachers and parents with lesson ideas integrates physical activity throughout the school day, while promoting learning, health and wellbeing. Active Academics®, an interventional program housed in the Center for ActiveWV in the West Virginia University College of Physical Activity and Sport Sciences, serves as a resource that teachers can use to access engaging lesson ideas across a variety of subject areas that build movement into the learning process.

“National recommendations agree that children should get at least 60 minutes of daily physical activity. Since children spend much of their day in school and learning environments, it is important for educators to integrate physical activity opportunities throughout the school day to help meet these guidelines,” Eloise Elliott, Ware Distinguished Professor with CPASS, said.

Statewide collaboration develops inventive ways to overcome wellness challenges during the pandemic

Family members try new adaptive swing in Kanawha State Forest.

Despite barriers and delays caused by COVID-19, partners around the state have found imaginative solutions to empower communities striving to overcome West Virginia’s health-related challenges.

A year ago, the Center for ActiveWV, at the West Virginia University College of Physical Activity and Sport Sciences, set out to empower communities to create opportunities for physical activity through a statewide initiative. Amid a global pandemic, access to physical activity in communities has become a valuable tool to boost immune systems and manage stress.

Sport Management student marketing partnership overcomes pandemic challenges

Jake Ours (on the left) and Daniel Yoo worked on the sport management marketing partnership project.

West Virginia University sport management students have learned firsthand how to combine data analytics and technology within sports. The students partnered with  Athstat, an international application service, to compile data analytics and technology in the sport of rugby during the virtual marketing project.

College of Physical Activity and Sport Sciences SM 387-Issues in Sport Studies and SM-167 Intro to Sport Management students met with Athstat representative and team leader Kisset Chirengende through Zoom presentations. Chirengende provided a behind the scenes look into the sports industry while introducing the class to the company’s sport-related analytics technology. He selected students to lead the project marketing team: Daniel Yoo, Jake Ours, Konnor Davis, Broc Glover and Joseph Beutel.