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West Virginia University dean named American Council on Education Fellow

Jack Watson smiling and wearing dark suit jacket, white dress shirt and striped tie.

Jack Watson, dean and professor, College of Physical Activity and Sport Sciences, has been named Fellow for the academic year 2022-23 by the American Council on Education.

The program combines retreats, interactive learning opportunities, visits to campuses and other higher education-related organizations and placement at another higher education institution to condense years of on-the-job experience and skills development into a single year. Following nomination by the senior administration of their institutions and a rigorous application process, 46 Fellows were selected this year.

Campus community invited to celebrate 2022 Friendship Cup

Students standing on recreation field in front of building.

The Second Annual WVU Friendship Cup, April 22, 6-9 p.m. at the Student Recreation Fields, will celebrate the international student presence on campus. The soccer competition is open to all undergraduate and graduate students; registration is limited to eight teams. Each team must have coed participation in the event.

“Our spring gathering will feature a registration tent and student organization-hosted info tables. We will have four nets, with matches happening at overlapping times. WVU Men’s and Women’s Soccer student-athletes will serve as referees,” Patrick Hairston, College of Physical Activity and Sport Sciences teaching assistant professor, said. “The 2022 spring event acts as a prelude to the popular Diversity Cup that will take place in October.”

Visiting scholar will conduct study on volunteers in sport organizations

Visiting faculty standing in front of building wearing a dark grey jacket, backpack, glasses and holding his ID card..

Jose María López-Gullón, a visiting scholar from the University of Murcia, Spain, will spend the next four months collaborating with Gonzalo Bravo, associate professor in the College of Physical Activity and Sport Sciences, examining the role of volunteers in amateur sport organizations.

Initially, Bravo and López-Gullón planned to study volunteers within medium-sized sport events, but then they decided to examine volunteers serving in amateur sport organizations. This shift was in part due to the lack of access to sport events due to COVID. Additionally, the decision was influenced by a casual observation López-Gullón encountered during his first month in Morgantown.

Preparing for sports operations career through internships

Ray Booker wearing a dark suit jacket, plaid tie, white dress shirt.

A graduate assistantship position with the West Virginia University Athletics Department propelled Ray Booker, from rural Amelia County, Va., to transition as a student to launching his professional career in the sports field. Booker, WVU Sport Management M.S. graduate (2021), serves as the stadium and game operations coordinator for the College Football Playoff postseason event that determines college football’s national championship.

Booker says he was determined to make his dreams come true, even if it meant making sacrifices. He never imagined that one day he would have the opportunity to work for the College Football Playoffs. A typical work-day for Booker involves strategic planning and preparation for the annual CFP Championship game. His tasks include preparing manuals that effectively communicate the CFP policies to all participants, coordinating game operations and addressing potential risk management issues.

Sport Management graduate selected to lead WV Black Bears

Leighann wearing dark jacket with WV Black Bears logo, dark hair and glasses.

The West Virginia Black Bears have announced Leighann Sainato, M.S. in Sport Management (2019), as their general manager. As the second general manager in Black Bears history, Sainato oversees a broad range of responsibilities, from budgeting and team travel arrangements to sales and marketing.

With an extensive range of duties, Sainato has learned to strategically schedule her work time. “Every day is about completing specific tasks. I map out my agenda down to the hour because I have multiple responsibilities. I’m a very hands-on GM. I directly oversee our public relations efforts, from marketing to writing press releases and creating graphics,” she said.

National sport psychology foundation honors CPASS grad student

Tommy Minkler with brown hair and wearing a blue and white checked dress shirt.

The Association for Applied Sport Psychology has awarded a seed grant to Sport, Exercise and Performance Psychology third year graduate student Tommy Minkler. The grant is intended to provide support for AASP members, especially early career professionals/pre-tenured faculty or students, for their community outreach/research endeavors.

Minkler’s study is titled ‘Drivers of Change in Mindfulness-Based Interventions with Athletes: Investigating the Influence of Dosage, Readiness, and Attitudes.’ Minkler says that his research explores wellbeing and performance outcomes along with the factors that contribute to them, during and after mindfulness interventions with college student-athletes.

Adam Zundell to lead communications and marketing with the College of Applied Human Sciences

Adam Zundell wearing dark jacket, blue dress shirt and plaid tie.

Adam Zundell will serve as the inaugural director of communications and marketing within the emerging West Virginia University College of Applied Human Sciences. Zundell will lead strategic initiatives as the College of Education and Human Services and the College of Physical Activity and Sport Sciences transition for the launch, set for July 2022.

As a seasoned communicator, Zundell will focus on promoting efforts by the new College that highlight the holistic development and well-being of individuals at every stage of life. The new College is comprised of three schools, the School of Education, School of Counseling and Well-being and School of Sport Sciences, combining efforts to advance academics, student support and research.