Anthony Richards II, a junior at West Virginia University from Washington, D.C., shares his passion for promoting holistic health, the impactful experiences and professors in the program, and the valuable practical exposure he's gained through internships and teaching. From managing challenges in his academic journey to his career aspirations, Richards discusses the diverse opportunities and supportive community that define the WVU experience.
Anthony Richards II
Major: Physical Education and Kinesiology
Hometown: Washington, DC
Why did you choose to pursue a degree in physical education and kinesiology at WVU?
Growing up, I have always had a passion for being active, playing sports, and eating right. This has carried on throughout my life, and I truly believe that it is my purpose to influence all ages to find a passion, whatever it may be, that will positively complement their health in the long run not only physically but mentally and emotionally as well.
What are some of the things you like about this program?
I enjoy that the courses and professors really equip us with the knowledge, resources, and experiences that we need to excel in whatever pathway we may choose, especially since this field has a plethora of opportunities to pursue post-graduation.
Who are there specific professors or courses that have had a significant impact on your learning experience and how have they affected you?
Dr. Emi Tsuda and Dr. James Wyant have had a huge impact on my experience so far. I feel as if my teaching skills have improved greatly amount in such a short time. They really pay attention to detail, which allows them to give us solid feedback to build on for future opportunities.
Have you had the opportunity to participate in internships or gain practical experience in your field?
I have been able to work two seasons at the Pro Performance Elite Flag Football internship where I help out with the day-to-day operations of that league during the spring and fall seasons. I also coach my own team in the league, which is an amazing out-of-the-classroom extracurricular experience for me personally! As for practical experience, I am able to go into Monongalia County schools weekly and teach periods of PE class. So far, I have been able to teach younger students, which has been an eye-opening experience that has taught me something new during each visit.
How have these experiences contributed to your professional development?
These experiences will definitely allow me to jump right into whatever field I decide on and excel. I grew up participating in sports, and the only way I was able to get better was to practice. This field correlates to that because the more I practice in these opportunities, the more I am able to experiment, learn, and retain new things each time which will definitely help me in the future.
Are there any other extracurricular activities you are involved in that you would like to mention?
I play for the club baseball team here at WVU. If anyone enjoys playing ball and making new buddies, they should definitely try out in the winter.
What challenges have you faced during your academic journey, and how have you overcome them?
Time management has honestly been my biggest challenge. With each semester that’s gone by I have realized that the best advice is to just always be ready to adjust or be flexible. Some things you were able to do one semester, you might not be able to do the next. It’s just how it is, and to excel in this field, being flexible is the key to success.
What advice would you give to students considering a degree in physical education and kinesiology at WVU?
Students should know that you will be teaching K-12 students, not just a specific grade level you want to teach. When you have a specific preference, some unites may be easier and better for you than others. But, you’d be surprised because sometimes the age group you think you want to teach when you start ends up being one you don’t want to do by the time you graduate.
What are your career goals after completing your degree?
I plan on finding employment teaching physical education at a level that fits me best. I also want to purse a master’s degree in sport administration and management. That’s what I see myself doing now, but I am open to change because I think things will work out the way they should.
What’s the best thing about being a Mountaineer?
I enjoy the fact that WVU is more than just Morgantown. It is truly the whole state of West Virginia and beyond. From the excitement I get on game days seeing the parking lot fill up with people from all over, to sparking conversation on a plane ride home with a WVU alum who lived on the same street as I did 10 years prior, Mountaineers are everywhere! All in all, the whole college experience has been unmatched and I honestly feel at home when I am here in Morgantown.