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SM field trip focuses on professional sports career development options

Students and faculty stand on a platform with the Pirates baseball park and seating area behind them.

WVU sport management students attended a professional development gathering, April 19, hosted by the Pittsburgh Pirates. The students heard from Travis Williams, Pirates president, Ben Cherington, Pirates general manager and other Pirates staff members. Following the open panel discussion, students enjoyed a behind-the-scenes view of PNC Park.

In addition to the facility tour, students participated in a round table social mixer where they met additional Pirates staff members who highlighted their career journey and sport management opportunities within the organization. CPASS Dean Jack Watson and sport management faculty members Patrick Hairston, Gary Lhotsky and Justin Wartella accompanied the students on the field trip.

WVU students shine at state athletic training conference

Two male and one female Athletic Training students shown in classroom, holding Quiz Bowl trophy.

West Virginia University students took a clean sweep of every competition at the 2022 West Virginia Athletic Training Association Conference, held this spring on the WVU campus.

Athletic Training major Carter Kenton says that the event was a “great way” to end his senior year. “The WVATA conference was an enormous success for WVU, from hosting the conference on campus to filling the podium in all the competitions,” Kenton said. “The poster presentation was a culmination of everything I have learned and applied the past four years at WVU. Overall, the conference allowed everyone to meet and collaborate with current and future athletic trainers across the state.”

National strength and conditioning experts gather on campus for WV State Clinic

Clinic leaders are training student-athletes in large room with weight equipment while attendees watch the training session.

The West Virginia University Athletics Performance Center recently served as the site for the National Strength and Conditioning Association West Virginia State Clinic on March 25-26. The new facility acts as the home for strength and conditioning, training, rehabilitation and nutrition for all WVU Olympic sport programs.

A sold-out audience of 75 participants, including students, coaches and educators, learned from national leaders in the strength and conditioning and sport sciences field. Presentation topics included strength power development, periodization, the high-performance model and strength and conditioning profession. The clinic featured hands-on sessions with a focus on coaching, sport science and technology.

CPASS student builds resume through sports internships

Zach Kirschner smiling, wearing dark blue t-shirt, striped baseball cap on backwards.

Zach Kirschner says he chose the College’s sport management degree path because it stood out from the rest of the programs he considered. “I was looking for a school that had the certain major as well as a sports team I could be a part of, which WVU had,” he said. 

Betsy Robbins, CPASS Office of Student Success, has supported Kirschner’s progress through helping him develop marketable skills and connections. “I love meeting with students like Zach who are passionate about the field of sport management and are proactively seeking real-world experiences that will help them reach their professional goals,” Robbins said. “It is exciting to see my students find these unique opportunities that perfectly align with their interests. Zach told me he played in the tournament he will now be overseeing. Go get ‘em, Zach!”

Faculty member selected to serve on American Kinesiology Association Board of Directors

Dr. Bravo has grey hair, beard and mustache and is wearing a dark brown dress jacket, light blue dress shirt, dark blue tie with dots.

CPASS Sport Management Associate Professor Gonzalo Bravo was recently nominated to serve on the American Kinesiology Association Board of Directors. His appointment will run from 2022-2025. The major goal of AKA is to promote, enhance and unify the field of kinesiology.

Bravo was nominated to the board in February 2022. “Serving in AKA has been a real privilege, not only to deepen my understanding of the field of kinesiology but also for the unique opportunity to meet many great faculty and administrators within the field of kinesiology,” he said.

PETE online graduate receives Teacher of the Year Award

Courtney Hudnall wearing dark zippered sweat shirt, long blond hair and smiling.

Courtney Hudnall was honored this spring with the Greenbrier County Teacher of the Year Award. Hudnall, Physical Education Teacher Education M.S. graduate (May 2021), is a physical education teacher at Ronceverte Elementary School in Greenbrier County.

“I chose teaching because I wanted to do something that would have an impact on others while also doing the things I love. I love athletics. I also had an amazing PE teacher in elementary school who, to this day, is one of my role models,” Hudnall said. “So, when choosing a career, teaching PE seemed like a no-brainer. It has been so rewarding and worthwhile.”

Sport Management faculty help expand student networking opportunities

Arielle Friedman standing with arms held up, inside football stadium, wearing blue t shirt.

Sport Management major Arielle Friedman landed a real-world opportunity to work at Super Bowl LVI through researching options online. She calls the Super Bowl internship a “once-in-a-lifetime experience.”

The Cherry Hill, N.J. native was responsible for execution of Super Bowl LVI events and helped with hospitality efforts for Super Bowl LVI high level guests. “I provided game day customer service initiatives for more than 70,000 fans. During my internship I had the opportunity to network with many sport professionals who work for the Lakers, Sparks, Angels, Dodgers, Clippers and more,” Friedman said. “It’s something I never pictured myself doing.”

Sport Management faculty member honored for excellence in student learning

Justin Wartella with a football stadium background, wearing a dark zip up jacket and black t shirt.

The COVID-19 pandemic served as a catalyst for advancements in digital learning. Over the last two years, West Virginia University faculty have developed new and innovative practices to improve the digital learning experience for their students. Justin Wartella, teaching assistant professor, is one of four WVU faculty selected for the 2022 Digital Learning Award.

To celebrate excellence and innovation in digital learning across the University, the Office of the Provost and West Virginia Public Education Collaborative announced the fourth annual faculty Digital Learning Awards. Recipients will receive a professional development honorarium of $500.

West Virginia University faculty member selected to serve on national cycling organization board

Kristen Dieffenbach head shot, smiling and wearing a wine colored top, dark hair pulled back and small earrings.

The National Interscholastic Cycling Association has announced that West Virginia University faculty member Kristen Dieffenbach will serve as a new member of their national board of directors. Dieffenbach, director, Center for Applied Coaching and Sport Sciences in the College of Physical Activity and Sport Sciences, was selected following a four-month interview and review process.

As an NICA board member, Dieffenbach contributes her extensive background as a competitive cyclist, 20 plus years of coaching developmental and elite cyclists and working in coach education in the national cycling community with USA Cycling. “The work that I do to develop and support coaching education and development systems across a wide range of organizations will help support NICA’s mission and vision,” she said.