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College of Physical Activity
and Sport Sciences

CPASS courtyard view


30 Jan

Juniors and seniors majoring in sport management are required to study sport governance to learn and discuss a wide array of issues related to the way the sport industry is administered. From community grass roots sports organizations to interscholastic athletics and collegiate to professional sports, students scrutinize how sport is governed throughout the industry.

Students explore the rules and policies that dictate the course of sport organizations, athletes, officials and coaches, while reflecting on how other more complex forces influence the creation of these rules.

Last semester, two guest speakers visited campus to share their expertise and provide perspectives on sport governance issues and to connect the classroom with the industry.

Dan Erenrich_SM speaker

Dan Erenrich, athletic director at Morgantown High School, provided an overview of the regulatory aspects that influence interscholastic sports, particularly in the state of West Virginia. Erenrich, who has held the AD position at Morgantown High since 2002 and serves on the Board of Directors of the West Virginia Secondary School Activities Commission, outlined the multiple responsibilities high school athletic administrators oversee on a day-to-day basis.

Joshua Weishart_SM speaker

Joshua Weishart, J.D., a visiting professor at the WVU College of Law, presented an overview of the case O’Bannon vs. the NCAA. Weishart, who worked directly with U.S. District Judge Claudia Wilken (who ruled this case), provided an informed and detailed account of the O’Bannon case while discussing the significance this case will (or could) have on collegiate sports.

26 Jan
Wayda_Hannon_NAKHE award_2 Two College of Physical Activity and Sport Sciences faculty members received awards at the 2015 National Association for Kinesiology in Higher Education conference.

Drs. James C. Hannon and Valerie Wayda were honored at the annual conference, held January 8-10 in Clearwater, Florida. Hannon and Wayda earned two of the three prestigious awards presented.

NAKHE honors individuals who have dedicated their professional lives to the disciplines of Kinesiology, Physical Education and Higher Education. Hannon was recognized for his achievements in the scholastic realm while Wayda was applauded for her service within NAKHE.

Hannon received the 2015 Distinguished Scholar Award for his significant role in scholarly pursuits in kinesiology and physical education in higher education. Hannon, who serves as professor and assistant dean of academic affairs and research for the college, has maintained a consistently impressive level of academic productivity throughout his career.

“It is an honor and a privilege to have the opportunity to be recognized among the past recipients of the award, many of whom have served as role models for my own career,” Hannon said.

Wayda received the 2015 Distinguished Service Award for her contributions as an outstanding member of NAKHE. Wayda has served in numerous leadership roles since becoming a member of NAKHE in 2000. She has served as vice president of the association, chaired several committees and presented at annual conferences.

“I’m very humbled being selected, given the previous recipients who have received the honor,” Wayda said.

In addition to NAKHE, Wayda has served in leadership roles within Midwest District Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation, and Dance, The National Association of Sport and Physical Education, and the National Council for Accredation of Coaching Education. Wayda’s 2011 article “Is coaching a profession and is coaching education significant?” appeared in the NAKHE publication and leading scholarly journal Quest. Her current research interest focuses on professional dispositions and subjective warrants of pre-professionals entering athletic coaching and physical education teacher education.

Among Hannon’s notable achievements include 86 peer-reviewed manuscripts in-print or in-press, as well as over $3 million generated in grants/contracts. He has been published in numerous distinguished publications such as Journal of Physical Activity & Health, Journal of Teaching in Physical Education and Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research. Hannon has made over 100 professional presentations since his career began at the University of Utah. The focus of his research is pediatric physical activity and fitness measurement as well as instructional and environmental physical activity interventions in P-12 school and community settings
16 Jan
Dallas-Branch_2 The sport management on-campus graduate program at WVU’s College of Physical Activity and Sport Sciences has been listed as the 11th best sport management program world-wide, and number three in the United States, according to a global ranking and rating agency evaluating masters and MBA programs.

This represents a significant increase from 2013, when the program landed 39th worldwide and 10th within the United States. Eduniversal Best Masters has released results for 2014 in its list of 50 best masters in sports management.

The WVU on-campus sport management master’s degree program has prepared qualified graduate and undergraduate students since 1981. Graduates have made significant contributions in a variety of sport settings including intercollegiate athletics, professional sports, facilities and arenas, event marketing and promotions, and sport law and communications, to name a few.

“In Eduniversal’s 2014-15 national and international rankings of some 4000 business and related master’s programs, our graduate on-campus sport management program received its highest rankings ever—third in the US and 11th worldwide. Everyone associated with the program should be very proud of this recognition, especially our graduates who continue to lead in the sport management industry,” said Dallas Branch, associate professor, CPASS graduate sport management program.

The graduate program places 100 percent of its interns in assignments in the sport industry. “We have consistently placed our graduates in the most significant positions within the sport industry, including the NCAA, NFL, NBA, Major League Baseball, NHL, NBC Sports, Nike, ESPN and many major sports organizations at the professional and collegiate levels,” Branch explained.

“We have more than 20 graduates employed in the WVU Athletic Department, including the new Athletic Director Shane Lyons, a 1988 graduate.”

The unique curriculum features courses that provide “real-world” training in athletics compliance and sport finance. The program has provided students with marketing research and data-mining consultant experiences with the Charlotte Bobcats, Memphis Grizzlies, Pittsburgh Pirates, and the Washington Capitals.

What the improvement on the list is saying about WVU’s program comes as no surprise to those familiar with it, said CPASS Dean Dana Brooks.
“The sport management graduate program is just one of the many well-kept treasures in our college,” Brooks said. “Dallas and the other sport management faculty members have done a fine job making the program one that stands out among its peers, while making an impact in the industry.”

“We have always known about the quality of this program and our graduates. This ranking confirms what we have always known. The unique experiences offered within this program certainly help us attract some of the best and brightest students in the country,” explained Jack Watson, chair and professor, sport sciences department.

13 Jan
Brazil_Spotlight A 2015 summer study abroad trip to Brazil will focus on sport business with an international perspective. Students will depart on May 22 and return on May 30, 2015. The trip is a joint venture with James Madison University and WVU College of Physical Activity and Sport Sciences. Students will learn about the cultural and educational differences in the sport industry while experiencing first-hand the “Land of Contrasts,” representing the vibrant and rich culture of this country.

Students will tour sport organizations and venues located in Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo, among these: the RIO 2016 organizing committee, ESPN Brazil, Octagon Brazil, AEG International, the Brazilian Soccer Federation, and Corinthians and Palmeiras football clubs. Students will visit the University of Sao Paulo campus where they will attend lectures on sport in Brazil. Tourist attractions will include Christ the Redeemer Statue at Corcorvado Mountain, Sugar Loaf Mountain, beaches, and the Football Museum in Sao Paulo. To register for the Sport in Brazil study abroad trip visit WVU Abroad. For more details contact
7 Jan
Dublin-Ireland-background Interested in sports and medicine? Sign up now for the first CPASS study abroad trip to Dublin City University, Dublin, Ireland. From March 20-28, 2015, students will learn about cultural differences in sports teams, attend classes, clinics, matches, and visit local tourist destinations.

During the course, students will experience the culture of Ireland during a week-long excursion across the pond. Highlights of the trip will include injury clinics and sitting in on courses in athletic therapy at Dublin City University. The trip will focus on sports and games within the university and club settings.

For more information contact Allison Hetrick, or visit
23 Dec

ACE grad lands prestigious internship with USOC

Jessica | December 23rd, 2014
Nadine CPASS graduate Nadine Dubina recently landed a prestigious internship with the United States Olympic Committee in their coaching education division.

Headquartered in Colorado Springs, Colo., the United States Olympic Committee serves as both the National Olympic Committee and National Paralympic Committee for the United States.

“Working for the USOC is a goal that I have had since I first became interested in coaching,” Dubina stated.

Dubina graduated from CPASS in 2011 with her B.A. in athletic coaching education and a minor in sport psychology. Dubina also served as the student manager of the Division I Women’s Gymnastics team on campus for three years. She recently graduated from California State University with her M.S. in Kinesiology, sport psychology.

“My education in the CPASS program has provided me with the foundation of technical and practical knowledge which has enabled me to grow personally and professionally as I furthered my education and experiences in the field. My professors in athletic coaching education were able to recognize my passion for coaching and provide me guidance on my journey which has led me to achieve this prestigious position in my career, “she added.

Dubina will work in the coaching education department alongside the director, assistant director and coordinator with the United States Olympic Committee.

“While working at the USOC, I will be able to network with the leaders in both the coaching education field as well as in the overall sport community. I will have the opportunity to engage with elite level national team coaches and athletes, as well as prominent researchers and chief business leaders in the sport field who all support and partake in the Olympic Ideals,” Dubina explained.
22 Dec
TeAllar An appreciation for a local school and a discovery about a health and physical activity-based award evolved into national recognition. The picture on the left shows Ishonte’ Allar, CPASS grad student, with Suncrest Middle School representatives. (Photo by The Dominion Post)

Allar discovered the Alliance for a Healthier Generation organization while attending a Childhood Obesity conference hosted by the Highmark Foundation in Pittsburgh last year. She decided to embrace it as a community service project for her fellowship.

“As a requirement, I have to do 40 hours community service each semester in order to keep my fellowship. It’s our own personal choice, so I chose to do this,” explained Allar.

Allar used to work at Suncrest Middle School and fell in love with the students and teachers. “They are always at the forefront and recognized for academics, so I wanted to bring attention to what they are doing in terms of health and physical education. Going in, I wasn’t sure if they would even qualify for any award, but wanted to see,” she said.

The award categories are based upon the components of comprehensive school physical activity programs. The group evaluates physical activity before, during, and after school, staff involvement, family and community involvement, health education, and nutrition. Allar approached health and physical education teacher Sean Watson since she knew that he was passionate about the subjects.

“I could not have done this without the help of Sean, Nicole Nastasi, health/nutrition teacher, and Nikki Kennedy, head cook. Together, during the fall and spring semester, we filled out an inventory to see what level of an award they qualified for,” Allar explained.

Allar kept the board office involved in the process. She realized that the school qualified for gold and silver awards in several categories, however, overall, received a bronze ranking. The school also qualified for the Let’s Move Active Schools Award.

Allar hopes that the experience inspires administration to make necessary changes to earn higher recognitions in the future. She envisions other schools in the county will follow suit and is ready to support their efforts.

“It would be really great if more schools started to start to think about the health of their students, as I think many times there is too much focus on standardized test scores. After all, what’s more important – high test scores or a healthy lifestyle that will improve their quality of life?” she added.

She explains that her next step is to help Suncrest Middle School obtain the USDA HUSSC award that not only comes with national recognition, but also monetary compensation. She plans to achieve this by the end of the school year.
22 Dec
kids Students from all of McDowell County’s public schools gathered on October 23, 2014 at the Welch Armory to celebrate and demonstrate physical activities provided by the McDowell CHOICES Project, sponsored by CPASS and the Highmark Foundation. At the Let’s Move McDowell Physical Activity Celebration, more than 500 students performed short physical activity demonstrations representing new physical activities that have taken place at their schools this year.

Local and state leaders, and other stakeholders who have a special interest in physical activity promotion and obesity prevention in WV, and McDowell County, attended the event. Special guests included the WVU Mountaineer, West Virginia State Superintendent of Schools Dr. Michael Martirano, President, WV Board of Education, and former First Lady Gayle Manchin, Reconnecting McDowell leader and AFT President, Bob Brown, and others were on hand to congratulate the schools, their children, and the community for their accomplishments.

“This event is a celebration of the kids and the school leaders who have made increasing physical activity a priority. We want them to continue to be excited about physical activity. The event highlights McDowell County Schools’ dedication to improving the health of their children,” said Dr. Eloise Elliott, WVU Ware Distinguished Professor and CHOICES Team leader.

The McDowell CHOICES Project provided support for every school in McDowell County to develop a comprehensive school physical activity plan and become a Let’s Move Active School, and to enhance the physical activity opportunities in each school through additional equipment, after-school programming, certified/trained community physical activity leaders, and community outreach and promotion.

“The CHOICES program has drastically improved the excitement about student physical activities. Not only has it improved the physical education classroom environment but the after school programs have benefited as well.” said McDowell School Superintendent Nelson Spencer.

“In addition to highlighting students at this fun-filled event, there were physical activity breaks throughout designed to get the audience up and moving. A county-wide Flash Mob was scheduled mid-day. Other folks viewed the live stream online,” said McDowell CHOICES Project Director Nathan Acosta.

The evidence-based strategies used during this project were adopted from ActiveWV 2015: The WV Physical Activity Plan and include enhancing school-based physical activity opportunities across all developmental levels and increasing family access to places and programs through policy and environmental modification.

For more information, contact Nathan Acosta (
Search Facebook for McDowell CHOICES and join the conversation on the official event page.
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.