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Sport management alumnus expands impact within esports industry

Chris Mann

Graduates from the West Virginia University sport management program in the College of Physical Activity and Sports Sciences are known for their success in the sports industry. CPASS alumni often land leadership positions within professional and collegiate organizations. As technology and the industry expand, so do WVU graduates and their roles.

Christopher Mann, Sport Management, BS 2002, is the agency lead on the T-Mobile account and was responsible for securing a partnership with the top two North American esports organizations, Cloud9 and Team SoloMid. Mann has served as the senior account director in Global Strategy, Partnerships and Activation for WME IMG for the past year, jumping head first into esports after 10 plus years working on the Campbell’s Chunky Soup NFL campaign. 

Undergraduate student pursues research passion through summer program

Mykal Manswell presenting his research poster

Mykal Manswell checked out numerous universities before selecting the WVU CPASS Sport and Exercise Psychology program.

“The CPASS SEP program is special. The major is not offered in many places in the country. Plus, it allows me to combine my interest in athletics and psychology. This program gives me better understanding of the field and how to successfully interact with athletes,” Manswell said.

Student Profile: Katie Sick

Katie laughing

Katie Sick loves her job as a physical education teacher and she wants to be the best teacher she can be. That’s why she is studying for a master’s degree in Physical Education Teacher Education (PETE) from WVU Online.

The program is ideal for teachers with demanding schedules. It is a blended, or hybrid, program, which means the students study mostly online, but come to the WVU campus in the summer for two weeks to take intensive classes. 

Summer internship helps student gain insight into sports business

Cody Heffelfinger at Chiefs Training Camp

CPASS undergraduate student Cody Heffelfinger knew he wanted a future in sports so he chose the WVU sport management program to be on the business side of the industry.   

After listening to Dr. Gary Lhotsky talk about his hands-on experiences during the Intro to Sport Management class, Heffelfinger was convinced about what to do next. “The class helped me realize that I need to get out and see for myself how the industry is run,” he explained.  

CATS grad research efforts recognized on national platform

Luciana Braga portrait

Luciana Braga, assistant professor of Sport Pedagogy at California State University Chico, is establishing a research foothold in physical activity promotion among children and adolescents.  

Braga, CPASS Coaching and Teaching Studies, Ph.D. (2014), recently received the 2017 early career research grant from SHAPE America. “This is a competitive grant. The award means recognition of the potential of my scholarly work. This is my first externally funded research project as a principal investigator. I am excited to take on this new challenge. I wrote this proposal with Kevin Patton, my colleague in the PETE program at Chico State,” said Braga.  

SM graduate follows interests, passion to drive his career path

Joe Able Portrait

Joe Abel, Physical Education/Sports Management, B.S. (1985), believes that a college degree helps prepare students to become better learners in business and life. Abel serves as the director of Leisure Services with the Seminole County Government, Seminole County, FL, outside the Orlando area.  

Abel credits the sports focus of his education in expanding his knowledge and understanding of a multitude of different sports, the game and comprehending how to administer sports programs and facilities.   His career experience ranges from managing athletics, pools and community centers to a department that is now made up of libraries, extension, natural lands, trails and parks. His professional experience began in his home state of West Virginia and has continued for the past 28 years in Florida.  

SEP graduate receives research funding

Ashley Cranney portrait

Ashley Cranney, sport and exercise psychology doctoral graduate, has received Association for Applied Sport Psychology funding as an extension of her dissertation work.

Cranney emphasizes the importance of the grant. “This grant will maximize participant recruitment, expedite transcription, and refine analysis. Getting this grant affirms the importance of this line of research which will be a valuable step toward future grant applications and the development of an instrument of sport overconformity,” she explained.

SEP grad earns tenure

Jamie Shapiro

Jamie Shapiro, associate professor of Sport and Performance Psychology and assistant director of the Master of Arts in Sport and Performance Psychology (MASPP) program, Graduate School of Professional Psychology, at the University of Denver has received tenure at the University.  

Shapiro earned a Ph.D. in Sport and Exercise Psychology from West Virginia University (2009), an M.A. in Community Counseling from WVU (2008), and an M.S. in Athletic Counseling from Springfield College (2005). She earned a B.S. in Psychology from Brown University, where she competed on the gymnastics team for four years.  

College supports annual kids fitness expo

WVU Kids Expo landscape photo

CPASS Physical Education Teacher Education students and faculty collaborated with the WVU Student Rec Center to host the 6th Annual Kids Safety and Fitness Expo, May 23 at the rec fields. The free, family-centered event featured bike safety lessons, an obstacle course, sports, games, the annual tug-of-war competition, hands-on demonstrations and health information for parents. 

More than 200 children and families from the community came out to celebrate, move and explore. CPASS, PETE and Lifetime Activities faculty and students were well represented. "The event enhances the well-being and quality of life for the community," explained Valerie Wayda, associate professor and chair, Coaching and Teaching Studies department.