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College of Physical Activity
and Sport Sciences

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CPASS eNews

5 Dec
Chris Roth Christopher Roth is a middle school physical education teacher at Eastern Greenbrier Middle School, Greenbrier County, West Virginia. Throughout the past six years teaching physical education and coaching middle school football, Roth describes his greatest accomplishment as creating experiences for students to try and succeed in areas that they themselves did not believe they were capable.

As a 2006 MS PETE grad, Roth is dedicated to the health and well-being of his students, athletes, and community. When he is not teaching, coaching, or serving as Faculty Senate president, he is holding after school workouts for anyone interested in “becoming a better athletes, or simply healthier.”

In 2011, Roth and his colleagues at the two middle schools in Greenbrier County were awarded an $880,000 Carol M. White Physical Education Program grant from the U.S. Department of Education. The resources from the PEP grant have allowed the PE teachers to integrate new and innovative content into their 6-8th grade PE and health curriculum, such as biking, archery, slack lining, disc golf, and many more activities.

Roth led the introduction of biking unit and conducted a professional development workshop for his colleagues at a local state park. He is working with a local bike shop owner and some of his middle school students to develop a biking trail around the school to be used for PE classes and for the new after school biking club.

“The PEP grant has given me the opportunity to realize the vision I have for a PE program,” Roth explained.
1 Dec
Sweden group_2 Most college spring breaks involve high temperatures and sunny climes, but CPASS is offering a twist on the typical spring break destination. The College has announced a 2015 trip to Sweden as part of the College’s study abroad program.

Pictured Above: 2013 CPASS study abroad group

The trip features a broad appeal and lasting impact. Approximately 10 students, along with CPASS faculty members Dr. Jack Watson and Dr. Damien Clement, will visit Halmstad University experiencing a mix of academic information-sharing and cultural events.

According to the trip leaders, Halmstad is one of the leaders in sport and exercise psychology in the world. Students will have an opportunity to learn more about the field while experiencing culture overseas.

Click here to register for the trip. For more information contact either Dr. Watson or Dr. Clement.

The visit will cover an expansive range of experiences – from playing various sports with locals to touring sport related venues and meeting area teachers and students. Students will attend presentations and lectures covering the latest sport psychology information and research from Europe.

In addition to the academic component, students will experience the cultural differences that can best understood on site. They will see first-hand that in Europe, practitioners take a very different perspective on many psychological issues than in the United States. CPASS students will learn more about the European perspective on the psychology of sport.

The Halmstad visit represents much more than an once-in-a-lifetime experience. Watson has been in close contact with two of its faculty members, Natalia Stambulova and Urban Johnson, who have each visited and lectured at WVU. Through those relationships, the institutions signed a Memorandum of Understanding and have established formal ties such as research collaborations and faculty and student exchanges.

The exchange expands on CPASS’ continuous efforts to globalize. The College has planned another 2015 spring break study abroad tip to Ireland along with a 2015 summer exploration to Brazil.

17 Nov

CPASS colleagues participate in 2014 Mud Run

Adelyn | November 17th, 2014
mudrun-14

Wall climbs, fire pits, and an oversized slip-n-slide greeted a team from CPASS at the Chestnut Mountain Mud Run in Fairmont, WV. On September 27, 2014 the nine team members made their way through the hilly course.

Jason Bishop, Emily and Brandon Jones, Sanfu Kao, along with his son PoWei and daughter YuNung, Annie Machamer, Stephanie McWilliams, and Cole Smith represented the college at the event.

“The mud run was a great way to spend a Saturday morning, challenging ourselves physically and getting to know colleagues outside of the office. It was a bonding experience of sorts, since we did have to rely on each other to get through certain obstacles,” said Stephanie McWilliams, Health Behavior Specialist with the PEIA grant at CPASS.

“I am hopeful that our participation in these types of events, good for the body, mind, and soul, will increase as a college. Plans for 2015 are in the works,” she added.

The mud run is hosted by Chestnut Mountain Ranch, a school and safe-haven for boys and families in crisis situations. The ranch focuses on academic and physical education as well as character development in a safe, supportive and spiritual environment.

13 Nov
Dr. Andrew Ostrow Accepting Award Andrew Ostrow was born and raised in Brooklyn, New York. He completed the baccalaureate (Brooklyn College), masters (University of Maryland), and doctoral (University of California, Berkeley) degrees. When he was a doctoral student at Berkeley, he was invited by a group of Canadian nurses to a party in San Francisco. There, he met his future wife Lynne who was an ICU nurse at Stanford University.


After a brief stint living and working in the south island of New Zealand, Lynne and Andy returned to California where Andy served as the tennis coach at San Francisco State University. In 1973, Lynne and Andy were offered faculty positions in the School of Physical Education (now CPASS), and the School of Nursing, respectively. They each were each WVU faculty members for 35 years, before both retiring in 2008.

Andy developed and taught new undergraduate and graduate courses in CPASS such as research methods, statistics, foundations of sport and exercise psychology, sport psychological assessment, and doctoral dissertation proposal seminar. He served on or chaired numerous thesis and doctoral dissertation committees. He was the recipient of several CPASS Outstanding Teaching Awards. Andy also was active in scholarly research and publication. He was the author/editor of two books related to the psychological aspects of aging and physical activity. He was also the editor/publisher of the widely acclaimed Directory of Psychological Tests in the Sport and Exercise Sciences. For his efforts in contributing to the scholarly mission of the sport and exercise psychology discipline, he was the recipient of the Midwest AAHPERD scholar award.

Andy was the founding Program Coordinator of the Sport and Exercise psychology program. Through the encouragement and support of Dr. Dana Brooks, Dean, Andy was able to recruit a group of highly talented and accomplished faculty to the Sport and Exercise Psychology program. Through their efforts, and the support of faculty affiliated with the counseling program at WVU, the doctoral program in sport and exercise psychology emerged as one of the leading doctoral programs in the nation.

In 1984, Andy and his colleague Bill Alsop, launched Fitness Information Technology (now FiT Publishing) as a subchapter S corporation. Over the next twenty years, FiT published over 75 textbooks, scholarly reference books, and trade books in the sport management, sport and exercise psychology, physical education, and athletic coaching fields. Some of these textbooks were authored by CPASS faculty. FiT also published several academic journals and online databases. FiT served as a publishing partner with national and international professional organizations. FiT also established a world-wide book distribution network, and its books were translated into a number of foreign languages. For his efforts, through FiT, in advancing the sport management field, Andy was the recipient of the NASPE/AAHPERD Distinguished Achievement Award in Sport Management.

In 2004, Andy and Bill donated the assets of FiT to CPASS for the purpose of establishing the International Center for Performance Excellence. The center was launched in honor of Andy’s father who had visited over 85 countries, and who had instilled in Andy a passion for using sport as a common bond for fostering relationships among people of different cultures. The center was established as one vehicle for promoting the internationalization of academic programs in CPASS, and for promoting and providing support for faculty and students to participate in international exchanges.

Lynne and Andy are the proud parents of two daughters, Jennifer and Olivia. Jennifer (married to Brett) is a former New York City high school principal now working as an educational consultant for a private firm in New York. Olivia (married to Neil) is a physician at the Sick Children’s Hospital in Toronto, Canada. During retirement, among other activities, Lynne and Andy enjoy spending time with their families including six grandchildren.

27 Oct
Amy Sidwell

Dr. Amy Sidwell and a student team at Fairmont State University were among 10 project winners nationwide for the 2014 Ford Community College Challenge.

The Ford College Community Challenge is designed to empower student-led projects at higher education organizations to catalyze community-building projects that address pressing local needs around the theme ‘Building Sustainable Communities.’

“As a doctoral student in CPASS, I was so fortunate to have professors who encouraged students to recognize health problems are not simply solved by one approach. My doctoral chair, Dr. Sean Bulger, has been a strong advocate for multidisciplinary work to solve health problems related to physical inactivity and poor nutrition.” Sidwell stated.

I’ve carried those lessons with me into my own classes and into my service activities,” She added.

Sidwell and her students created the project titled Bridging the Gap: Sustainable Nutrition through Community Revitalization, which draws upon students’ knowledge of gardening and will help revitalize Oliver Park in Fairmont. The proposed project will install gardens over neglected tennis courts, build a bridge to connect Oliver Park to the City’s 5th Street Park that hosts a summer feeding program. This program will also provide fresh food donations to the student pantry.

Sidwell graduated with her Master’s from the WVU School of Medicine, Department of Community Medicine and received her PhD from WVU CPASS . She currently serves as assistant professor, Health & Physical Education at FSU.

27 Oct
Renee Brown

Renee Brown, first year CPASS doctoral student, was awarded a University Provost Fellowship for the 2014-2015 academic year. Brown is currently working toward her Ph.D. in Physical Education-Teacher Education.

The University Provost Fellowship is awarded to a WVU student who shows academic merit and promise. It offers an annual stipend of $16,000, as well as remission of tuition, graduate health insurance and a college tuition scholarship. Brown was selected as the recipient after a competitive application process.

“If you are willing to make the effort to succeed, WVU will meet you half way to make sure that you do,” Brown stated.

Brown earned her undergraduate degree in sports administration and her master’s degree in educational leadership from Edinboro University in Northern Pennsylvania. During her time at Edinboro, Brown played as a starter for the women’s DII basketball team.

Provost fellows are required to maintain a 3.0 GPA and to give back to WVU and the Morgantown community by completing 80 hours of community service. Brown is currently a volunteer with the adapted PE and Aquatics program lead by CPASS faculty member Andrea Taliaferro.

“It’s a rewarding experience,” Brown added.

The Provost Fellowship has allowed Brown to focus more on her studies and achieve academic excellence. Brown is the first person in her family to pursue her doctorate degree.

“I am the first person in my family to pursue a degree of this prestige. This scholarship has given me more time to focus on my work and studies,” Brown said.

15 Oct
Blom photo

CPASS graduate Lindsey Blom was inducted into the Georgia Southern Athletics Hall of Fame. Blom was honored in July for her athletic accomplishments and impact on Georgia Southern University as a student-athlete, coach and supporter.

“I am humbled and a bit in shock still. I enjoy the ability to be active, learn new skills, and work with others; this is why I still play soccer several times a week,” Blom said.

Blom attended West Virginia University for her master’s degree in Kinesiology with an emphasis in Sports Psychology. She then earned her doctorate in Education from WVU.

“Dr. Jack Watson was an instrumental mentor in my professional development. Under him I had the opportunity to work in my first sport for development program, develop solid research experience, identify my passion for understanding the psycho-social aspects of youth sport, and develop my teaching philosophy.”

I also had the opportunity to coach in the community and really build my coaching skills and experiences. We also developed some great, lasting friendships in the community and through the University,” she added.

In 2009, Blom published “Survival Guide for Coaching Youth Soccer.” This book provides a resource to parents who are asked to coach or want to learn how to coach a sport that they are unfamiliar with.

“I was excited about the opportunity to spread the word about how to coach with a positive approach/style and create an environment that helped children have great sport experiences and enjoy the game of soccer,” she stated.

Blom has achieved success by doing what she loves and offers this advice to students who wish to accomplish their dreams:

“I would offer the hope for students to identify their gifts and follow their passion in order to discover their purpose. When these align, success transpires. Students should then create a vision of what this purpose looks like and focus on the big picture rather than the details of potential obstacles.”

15 Oct
Adam Katchmarchi

Adam B. Katchmarchi, second year CPASS doctoral student, has received the 2014 National Swimming Pool Foundation Fellowship Award. Katchmarchi was presented with the award in September at the World Aquatic Health Conference in Portland, Oregon, along with a $2,000 award.

Katchmarchi’s research endeavors focus around aquatic risk management and education. He is pursuing a Ph.D. in Kinesiology with a focus on coaching and teaching studies and a cognate specialization in sport management.

Katchmarchi is a licensed teacher in the state of Pennsylvania, an American Red Cross Trainer in Lifeguarding and a Water Safety and a certified National Swimming Pool Foundation Instructor. Currently Katchmarchi teaches courses in the physical education, Physical Education Teacher Education and Athletic Coaching Education tracks at CPASS.

This award is given to an individual seeking an advanced degree as a full time student with a research focus related to safety around water. Katchmarchi is on the board of directors for two national nonprofits focusing on water safety. He serves as the executive secretary, chair of education and research, and co-coordinator of social media and marketing for the National Drowning Prevention Alliance.

Katchmarchi serves on the education committee and chair of the subcommittee of drowning prevention for the National Water Safety Congress. Katchmarchi is originally from Falls Creek, Pennsylvania.

23 May

College hosts second annual research day

Kimberly | May 23rd, 2014
Research Day

WVU College of Physical Activity and Sport Sciences hosted its second annual student and faculty research day on April 24 at the Coliseum, lower level. The event involved input from students, faculty members and the College’s Visiting Committee members who were on campus for their spring meeting. CPASS students and faculty members displayed research that they have presented at state, national and international conferences during the academic year to allow them to share projects with colleagues and guests.

23 May

WVU CPASS celebrates 2014 commencement

Kimberly | May 23rd, 2014
2014 Commencement

West Virginia University hosted a series of individual, personalized ceremonies for each school and college at a variety of venues on the Evansdale Campus and around Morgantown, including the WVU Coliseum, Creative Arts Center and Morgantown Event Center from May 9-11.

The WVU College of Physical Activity and Sport Sciences held its 2014 May Commencement ceremony on Sunday, May 11, at 2:30 p.m. at the CAC. This year’s keynote speaker featured Gale Catlett, former WVU Men’s head basketball coach and CPASS Hall of Fame member.

Catlett is married to the former Anise Vandervort, a Morgantown native and former WVU cheerleader who earned a Master’s degree from the WVU School of Physical Education. They have two daughters: Krista (married to Ed Neumann) and Kara (married to Thomas Brown). When in West Virginia, Catlett and his wife are usually at their home in Morgantown or on the farm in his hometown of Hedgesville. In winter, they enjoy Florida and Hawaii’s warmer temperatures.

Catlett was inducted into the CPASS Hall of Fame in 1992 and was recognized as the CPASS Outstanding Alumnus in 1999. Catlett served as honorary chair in celebration of the College’s 75th Anniversary while serving as moderator for the keynote event, the Sports Legends symposium. The sports legends panel featured Catlett, Jerry West, Rod Hundley, Rod Thorn, Sam Huff, Chuck Howley and Kristin Quackenbush-DiBartolomeo.