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Undergraduate student pursues research passion through summer program

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.

Manswell has set his target on attending graduate school. His research interest was motivated due to personal circumstances.

The WVU Summer Undergraduate Research Experience (SURE) enabled Manswell to follow his area of interest and start the road to graduate school. Participating students complete research for eight weeks during the summer under the direction of a WVU faculty research mentor. 

“Having the chance to present my research to others was a great experience. My research was on Athletic Identity and Transition Out of Sport, focused on Division One football players,” Manswell explained.

The SURE program allows undergraduate students a financially funded chance to conduct specific research with a mentor of their choosing. “The SURE program gave me an opportunity to improve my researching skills, a useful skill to have in the field of sports psychology,” he added.

“Working with Dr. Scott Barnicle has been a very successful and important experience for me. He is a certified sports psychology consultant, which is exactly what I want to do in my future. He has giving me advice on how to reach my goals,” Manswell said.  

Manswell says the SURE Program has enhanced his career as a student. “Learning how to conduct research properly will prepare me for the workload in graduate school in the future,” he added.

What is his advice for CPASS students? “If you have an idea for research, I highly recommended applying for the SURE program, especially if you have plans on going to graduate school.”

Manswell identifies the strengths of the CPASS SEP program. “The major has an elite and supportive group of faculty members who are committed to student success. There are devoted professors who have experience as former athletes/consultants who make teaching interesting for students and a curriculum that is challenging, yet applicable and knowledgeable.”

What advice does he have for future CPASS students? “Do not put off required classes. Handle your business early on in your college career so that once you become a senior you’ve knocked out a majority of required classes and have time to take classes that are fun and easy.” 

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