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Harvath's persevering path leads to 'Rocky Top'

Nolan Harvath stands on the practice court at the University of Tennessee.

Nolan Harvath had already bet on himself – and won, no less – before getting a call in April 2024 that led him to an opportunity that he had never even dreamed of.

Harvath grew up in Fairmont loving sports and excelling in soccer. His playing career led him to the University of Southern Indiana where he was a two-time team captain and played in over 50 games during his career. The plan at USI was to pursue pre-med and eventually become a physician, but he was not in love with the idea of eight years of med school. However, he couldn’t resist his love of sports and performance. Further, while dealing with his own injuries and recovery, he got a deeper appreciation for coaching while on the sidelines and also found the process and training necessary to get back to action fascinating.

CAHS Alumna Making a Difference in Behavioral Health Counseling

Zabrya and her mother pose for a picture.

Zabrya Robson, a behavior health counselor at Community Care of West Virginia, came to West Virginia University knowing she wanted to help others. She earned her undergraduate degree at WVU, and then when looking for a master’s program to pursue counseling, she once again chose WVU largely because of the flexibility of the clinical rehabilitation and mental health counseling program.

O'Malley's move to literacy education fulfills her desire to make a difference

Catherine O'Malley poses with a group of students.

Cat O'Malley, Literacy Department Chair for Annapolis Middle School, found her way into the realm of education through an unconventional path. She began her career with roles in management, event management and sales, but found her true calling in literacy education. Her journey has been marked by determination and a commitment to making a difference, and her diverse skill set enriches her role as a teacher and educational leader.

Cat received her master's degree in literacy education from West Virginia University in 2021. She earned her degree nearly a decade after completing her undergraduate studies in tourism and events management from George Mason University.

Passion and energy leads recent alum to start non-profit for youth in Summers County

Malik Wynes, Smoky Bear, and Michaela Wynes pose for a photo in front of a Wynes Facility for Families and Children sign.

In the heart of Talcott, a small town nestled in the scenic landscapes of West Virginia, Michaela Wynes, with the help of her cousin Malik, has embarked on a remarkable journey to uplift her community with the founding of the Wynes Facility for Families and Children. The non-profit organization is dedicated to improving the lives of young individuals in their hometown.

While 2020 was the year when most people struggled due to the COVID pandemic, it was the following year that Michaela had her own personal struggles. She conceded that things had piled up on her and her mental health struggled along with her ability to be herself. At one of the moments that she felt at her lowest, her mom came in and she realized how grateful she was that she had her family.

Alumni Spotlight: Ian Gentile

Ian Gentile in a WVU shirt sitting next to his son in a hockey mask.

Ian Gentile, Vice President of Hockey Operations with the United States Hockey League completed his master's degree online from West Virginia University in sport management in 2020 while working full-time.

After over a decade working his way up the ranks in the Chicago Blackhawks organization, a stint that included three Stanley Cup championships, he served as the Director of High Performance and National teams for USA football for 14 months before returning to the rink in his current position. Read more about his current role, his career journey and the impact WVU has had on him, as well as advice for students aspiring to work in the sport industry.

Brooks to be inducted into Order of Vandalia

Close-up photo of the Order of Vandalia medal in its case.

Dana Brooks, the former dean of the College of Physical Activity and Sports Sciences, is one of five who will be honored Saturday (June 10) for their loyalty and service to  West Virginia University as they are inducted into the  Order of Vandalia.

The 2023 inductees include Brooks, Robert DiClerico, Pam Maphis Larrick, Nora MacDonald and J. Wayne Richards. Saturday's ceremony will also honor the memories of five Vandalians who have died in the past year — J. William Douglas, Class of 2015; Elmo Hurst, Class of 1994; Edna Bennett Pierce, Class of 2012; Peter White, Class of 2001 and Mary Kathryne Wiedebusch, Class of 2007.

Former faculty and CPASS Hall of Fame member Burdette-Good has passed away

Linda Burdette-Good headshot.

Record-setting former West Virginia University gymnastics coach and long-time faculty member in the College of Physical Activity and Sports Science Linda Burdette-Good died unexpectedly in Hilton Head, South Carolina, on June 6, family members have confirmed.

A native of Parkersburg, W.Va., Burdette-Good joined the Mountaineer athletic department following a one-year coaching stint at Fairmont State. She earned her bachelor's and master's degrees from WVU and served as a faculty member in CPASS from 1974-2009. In retirement, she continued to volunteer her time as a member of the WVU Sports Hall of Fame selection committee.

School of Sport Sciences students, faculty and alumni earn national honors

A silver flying WV on the Applied Human Science Building sits in the background with a tree and its fall foliage is in the foreground.

The School of Sport Sciences recently had several faculty, students and alumni recognized for outstanding work across multiple fields and disciplines.

Tsuda named SHAPE Research Fellow
Emi Tsuda headshot.Emi Tsuda, assistant professor, was named a SHAPE Research Fellow at the organization’s annual conference. Fellow status is reserved for members who have made significant and sustained contributions to scholarship (research, creative, or scholarly activity) and related service in the areas of interest to SHAPE America. The purpose of Fellow status is to promote scholarship as an integral component of SHAPE America, recognize accomplishments in scholarship and promote participation in research activities of SHAPE America.

Zulia inducted into the American Academy of Sports Physical Therapists Hall of Fame

Peter Zulia headshot

Peter S. Zulia is accustomed to helping others. As a three-time WVU graduate who went on to start Oxford Physical Therapy Centers in Cincinnati, Ohio, he has helped the physical rehabilitation of countless people and helped them get back to the activities they enjoy. As a philanthropist, he and his wife Linda have raised close to a million dollars for cancer research and an endowed a scholarship for future Mountaineers.

Last weekend, though, the spotlight was squarely on Zulia as he was inducted into the American Academy of Sports Physical Therapists Turner A. Blackburn Hall of Fame/Lifetime Achievement Award at a ceremony in San Diego, Calif. The award is the highest and most prestigious recognition granted by AASPT and is given to members who have made a lasting contribution to the specialty of sports physical therapy over their career.

Feature: Relentless spirit binds two Mountaineers

Head shots of Chloe Simpson and John Gay

John Gay, EdD, loved students with drive. He could recognize those who had potential and ambition, and then poured encouragement into them to help them believe that they could achieve and do more. He was the kind of professor, dean, scholar and man whom a student would stop in an airport years later to thank him for the nudge he gave them to be better.

He would have loved Chloe Simpson.