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Mid-American Conference recognizes SEP grad for dedication to student success

A College of Physical Activity and Sport Sciences graduate received the 2021 Mid-American Conference Outstanding Faculty Award for Student Success. Dr. Lindsey Blom, professor of Sport and Exercise Psychology at Ball State University, was recognized for her dedication to student fulfillment.

The annual award recognizes outstanding efforts by faculty at schools within the MAC who support students, enhance the collegiate experience, establish and support inclusive environments, prepare students for success after graduation and promote lifelong learning.

Blom, CPASS EdD graduate in Sport and Exercise Psychology (May 2005), directs a graduate program in sport and exercise psychology and serves as the faculty athletics representative. Her research work emphasizes holistic athlete development, with a specific focus on maximizing the benefits of sports participation through a mastery and cooperative approach fostered by trained coaches and supportive parents.

“I enjoy understanding why people do what they do and then helping them figure out how to excel at what they want to do,” Blom said. “I feel that sport and exercise psychology is a very strength-based psychology field, helping everyone perform at their best. Also, physical activity, sport and exercise are such a strong part of my identity and one I want others to share, that I felt it was important to study this field.”

Blom, from Indianapolis, Ind., says chose CPASS due to the strength of its faculty. “I had the opportunity to train with four amazing professionals in the field of sport psychology,” Blom said. “Most doctoral programs only have two, maybe three professors. WVU had Drs. Jack Watson, Ed Etzel, Andy Ostrow and Sam Zizzi.”

While at WVU, Blom logged two years of undergraduate teaching experience (teaching courses that she taught in her faculty jobs). “I worked with professors who were high achievers, demonstrated strong ethical decision-making and who enjoyed supporting students,” she said.

“I met peers who support me professionally and personally, began sport for development research and learned about grant writing which are important parts of my career now,” she said. “I also taught classes in women studies and observed faculty as leaders in the national SEP organization.”

Although Watson served as Blom’s ‘official’ advisor, she notes that Etzel, Ostrow and Zizzi all had tremendous influences on her. “Dr. Watson is so student-centered, authentic and hard working. Ed Etzel taught me to take care of myself, how to relax a bit and the importance of meditation,” she said. “Meanwhile, Andy Ostrow taught me what hard work, dreams and success as a faculty member look like. I remember going to program social gatherings at his house. And, now, I host those at my house for my students. Sam Zizzi modeled balance and standing against the expected norms when necessary.”

Blom encourages SEP students who want to work within higher education. “Do it! Helping individuals achieve their professional goals is so motivating. Working with young adults who see the world ahead of them and sharing inspirational ideas is encouraging,” Blom said. “Collaborating with other individuals to discover and disseminate knowledge is powerful. Having the ability to meet and work with diverse individuals is wonderful.”

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