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Research excellence continues during the pandemic

During the COVID-19 pandemic, many faculty members of the College of Physical Activity and Sport Sciences were asked to teach more often and in different ways. Despite these increased obligations to our students, faculty maintained a high level of productivity in research.

This report describes research productivity in 2020-21 and major initiatives from the last year in research and grant-writing.

Research Productivity

  • Faculty published more than 70 co-authored journal articles or book chapters last year (3.65 per person), while contributing an average of 4.4 national or international conference presentations.
  • In 2020, the College received funding for the first post-doctoral position in CPASS and hired Dr. Zenzi Huysmans, a WVU alumnus of the PhD program. This external contract with a local counseling agency will provide a pathway to licensure for sport psychology PhD students at the end of their program.
  • Overall, faculty submitted grants and external contracts seeking approximately $2.5 million dollars. Faculty submitted proposals to the CDC, NIH, U.S. Figure Skating, FIFA, the U.S. Center for Coaching Excellence, the U.S. Department of State and various foundations.
  • These proposals were funded at a high rate, with a total external funding amount of $1.3 million, for an average of $65,000 per research faculty. Significant awards are noted below. This amount represents an increase of nearly 50% year-to-year, and the most significant reason for this increase was due to the addition of Health and Well-Being faculty member Dr. Emily Murphy.

Significant 2020 External Awards

  • Elliott (PI*). The CARDIAC screening project. Funding through the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance program in West Virginia. $259,000.
  • Taliaferro (PI) and Ross (Co-I*). Training Leaders to Improve Education and Health Outcomes of Individuals served by IDEA: A Multi-Institution Mentorship Consortium. U.S. Office of Special Education. $186,000 per year (five years)
  • Zizzi (PI), Elliott (Co-I). Center for ActiveWV Physical Activity Initiatives. WV DHHR / Bureau of Public Health. $184,000
  • Murphy (PI), Zizzi, Taliaferro, Bulger, Elliott (co-Is). Be Wild, Be Wonderful, Be Healthy. High Obesity Program grant funding by the CDC (year three of five). $532,000 per year
  • Guy Hornsby (PI) oversees funding for GA strength coaches from Monongalia County schools ($64,000), and Kristen Dieffenbach secured funding for a graduate student from the Morgantown Hockey Association ($17,600).

*PI = Principal Investigator, *Co-I = Co-Investigator

Special Event: Research Across Borders – Collaborations with Brazil

Dr. Gonzalo Bravo, Sport Management faculty member, helped to coordinate a one-day event on April 9, 2021, featuring opportunities for collaboration in research and student/faculty exchange with the Universidade Federal do Parana. This virtual collaborative event featured more than 100 registered attendees from WVU and UFPR. Read more about the event.

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