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CPASS degree delivers real world experience and lifelong relationships

Jonathan Gibson in grey suit, white dress shirt and striped tie.

Throughout his career, Jonathan Gibson, WVU Sports Management Master’s degree, has served in marketing leadership roles across a variety of industries in and out of sports. Gibson says that most of the companies are globally recognized for their brand health, innovation, reputation and performance.

Gibson has always had a zeal for marketing and brand building. “Seeing it through this lens was a passion of mine throughout my college and graduate school experiences. Coming to WVU was a great decision as it allowed me to gain real work knowledge while I was in school and build relationships that I have kept throughout my career,” he said.

OSS continues excellence in student services with new hire

Lyndasia Jones is standing outside the CPASS building with trees in background.

The CPASS Office of Student Success welcomes Lyndasia Jones as the new program assistant. Jones will support recruitment and retention efforts, development and delivery of student newsletters and help with NCAA certification processes.

Jones, originally from Wilmington, Del., earned her RBA from the Eberly College of Arts and Sciences in 2019, with an emphasis in advertising and a minor in sport and exercise psychology. She is currently studying for her Master’s in Sports Management at Wilmington University.

CPASS honors faculty, staff and student academic year award recipients

Outside view of CPASS building entrance, with students walking into the building.

The College of Physical Activity and Sport Sciences celebrated faculty, staff and student achievements at their 2020-2021 Awards Ceremony held in the spring semester.

Each year, the College recognizes the many faculty who excel in service, research and teaching. Peter Giacobbi received the Researcher of the Year Award; Andrea Taliaferro earned the Professional Servant of the Year Award; Valerie Wayda received the Outstanding Teacher of the Year Award and Emily Murphy was honored with the Grantsperson of the Year Award. Eloise Elliott received the 2021 Heebink Award for Extended Service while Andrea Taliaferro received the James and Karen Caveney Alumni Association Faculty Excellence Award.

Exploring sports industry career options through internships

Madison Reeser in dark blue shirt.

Madison Reeser, from Sykesville, Md., is majoring in Sport Management, with a minor in Advertising. She knew that sports needed to be a part of her academic program and career path. Ultimately, Reeser selected the CPASS Sport Management program for its experienced faculty and successful alumni network. It was a perfect choice, especially once she discovered the many experiential learning opportunities that would allow her to build a resume and discover the career path to meet her passion for sports.

I attended community college for two years and received my AA degree in general studies at Howard Community College, Columbia, Md. I have been a student athlete my entire life and knew that sports needed to remain in it even though I was no longer an athlete myself. Sport Management appeared to be the perfect choice, with its involvement within the sports world and the background behind it. I knew the WVU CPASS program would help me explore options to find my specific niche in the future, plus I discovered that the WVU sport management program was high on the list of successful programs. Since my older brother also attended WVU I was exposed to the university at a young age and fell in love with the school’s overall atmosphere. The combination of these two things allowed me to feel confident that WVU CPASS and sport management were the right steps to take to ensure I had a positive and successful career.

Paying tribute to dedicated service and leadership

Barbara Dalton with retirement card and flowers.

After 25 years of steadfast service to the College of Physical Activity and Sport Sciences and West Virginia University, Barbara Dalton, director of the International Center for Performance Excellence and Fitness Information Technology Publishing, is retiring.

Dalton has worked with ICPE FiT for more than13 years. She began her career with CPASS as an accounting assistant then moved into an operation coordinator role and ultimately shifted into the interim manager of operations position. She was asked to oversee some of the director duties until she began serving as interim director of ICPE/FiT. She was appointed as director in 2015. In 2019, Dalton received the WVU Values Coin, honoring her effort to help bring the University’s mission to life through her daily work. She received her Regents Bachelor of Arts degree from Eberly College of Arts and Sciences in 2012.

Honoring tenacity while overcoming adversity

Professor Sam Zizzi awards Erika Van Dyke her sash for completing her PhD

West Virginia University celebrated the achievements of 2020 and 2021 graduates in four in-person ceremonies this May at Milan Puskar Stadium. Nearly 230 graduates from the College of Physical Activity and Sport Sciences walked across the stage to receive their diplomas while faculty, staff, family members and friends joined in the celebration to honor the newest WVU alumni.

WVU invited May, August and December 2020 graduates to participate with the May 2021 graduates after more than a year of pandemic restrictions. We were happy to welcome the graduates to campus to applaud this milestone and continue the in-person commencement tradition.

Research participants needed to study benefits of yoga

Students practice Yoga in CPASS fitness instruction room.

An ongoing research project will study the benefits of yoga for mental health and the experience of those who have taught and practiced yoga. The study, led by Suzanne Vogler, graduate student, College of Physical Activity and Sport Sciences, needs yoga instructors and practitioners to complete an online survey and participate in a virtual interview.

"More than 80 yoga practitioners have already shared their experiences, but we want to hear from you. All participants will have the opportunity to volunteer for an additional virtual interview where we invite participants to share their own yoga story and the experiences they have had," Vogler said.

CPASS SEP grad answers call to public health service during COVID-19

Meghan Dimsa CPASS SEP professional portrait.

A College of Physical Activity and Sport Sciences graduate recently collaborated to spearhead a public health operations unit for care navigation and contact tracing to guide Georgetown University’s response to COVID-19.

As the director of Campus Recreation, Health and Wellness at Georgetown University, Meghan Dimsa has fifteen plus years of diverse experience in higher education. In this role, she is an executive leader/director serving 21,000 customers with ultimate responsibility for 300 staff members and accountability for a $6 million annual operating budget.

Sport Management students rely on research to provide solutions to industry challenges

Alex Brucki (left) and Floyd Jones (right) standing in front of CPASS building.

An ongoing research-focused collaboration provides current West Virginia University Sport Management graduate students with the opportunity to work directly with sports industry specialists. Students highlighted real world business challenges as identified in the marketplace and used data and problem-solving solutions to overcome market environments, financial concerns and other complex issues.

“The relationship is designed to support students entering the industry with hands-on experience they can use to further their career path. It’s amazing that these industry mavens graciously contribute their time and expertise to guide our students throughout the process. The students take ownership and have learned immensely. I credit their transformation to the mentors and their patient, direct engagement and support,” Floyd Jones, associate professor, College of Physical Activity and Sport Sciences, said.

Using technology to enhance cross-cultural academic partnerships

Students and faculty from WVU and Halmstad University meet during study abroad trip to Sweden

A cooperative learning experience in the College of Physical Activity and Sport Sciences has thrived during the pandemic, reaching new levels of technology-based learning. In the fall 2020 semester, WVU Sport and Exercise Psychology undergraduate students worked with peers at Halmstad University, in Halmstad, Sweden, as part of the SEP 272 (Majors-Only) course, Psychological Aspects of Sport.

“Through collaborative online discussion boards and group presentations and assignments, and joint Zoom-workshops facilitated by WVU and Halmstad graduate students, the fall 2020 course represented the most advanced and intensive collaborative learning experience for CPASS Sport and Exercise Psychology students thus far in our partnership with Halmstad University,” Scott Barnicle, program coordinator and teaching assistant professor said.