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CPASS to honor 2017 Hall of Fame, Outstanding Alumnus Inductees

The  West Virginia University  College of Physical Activity and Sport Sciences will induct five graduates into its 2017 Hall of Fame and name its Outstanding Alumnus on Friday, October 20, at the  Erickson Alumni Center beginning with a reception from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. and formal induction ceremony beginning at 7 p.m. The public is welcome to attend.

The College will honor Jean Irion with the Outstanding Alumna award. The 2017 Hall of Fame inductees include Cynthia “Sam” Booth, David “DC” Colt, John Gay, Daniel F. Mahony and Olana “Tick” Hedrick-Sheaffer. 

Induction into the WVU CPASS Hall of Fame honors meritorious service in an academic discipline, coaching profession, athletic administration, or in athletic training and highlights the accomplishments of the College’s most distinguished alumni.

Dr. Jean Irion

Irion is currently chair and program director of the Physical Therapy Program at Emory and Henry College in the School of Health Sciences in Marion, Virginia. She graduated in 1979 from WVU with a degree in Physical Education, General Science Education and Athletic Training. She has a Master’s Degree in Athletic Training from Temple University and a Doctorate in Higher Education from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock. She is a certified athletic trainer, licensed physical therapist and a Board Certified Clinical Specialist in Sports Physical Therapy. She has served the American Physical Therapy Association in various capacities during the past 25 years and most recently as the chair of the American Board of Physical Therapy Specialties. She also served as the chair of the inaugural Women’s Health Specialty Council for ABPTS. In addition, she has been an active member of the Section on Women’s Health and the Aquatic Physical Therapy Section of the APTA. Irion has been in physical therapy education for more than 27 years and continues clinical practice in sports PT, women’s health, occupational health and aquatic therapy. Additionally, she has co-authored a women’s heath physical therapy textbook with her husband, Dr. Glenn Irion.

Dr. Cynthia “Sam” Booth

Booth is the administrator for the Division of Palliative Care within the Department of Medicine at the University of Rochester Medical Center in Rochester, New York. Booth received her Ph.D. in Higher Education Leadership from the University of North Dakota, her Master of Science in Education degree from the University of Kansas and her Bachelor of Science degree in Physical Education with an Athletic Training emphasis from West Virginia University. Throughout Booth’s career she worked as an athletic trainer, taught athletic training courses and served as a mentor to many students for more than two decades. In 1999, she entered the administrative side of the healthcare profession. As an athletic trainer, Booth immersed herself professionally for many years at the state, district and national levels of the athletic training profession. She was the first woman to serve as the District IV Director on the National Athletic Trainers’ Association Board of Directors. She was the NATA secretary/treasurer, chair and member of the NATA Finance Committee. Additionally, she has presented on athletic training topics at local, regional and national symposia. Booth has been inducted into five Halls of Fame: the National Athletic Trainers’ Association Hall of Fame, Minnesota State University Moorhead Athletic Hall of Fame, the Great Lakes Athletic Trainers’ Association’s Golden Pinnacle Award (District Hall of Fame), the Minnesota Athletic Trainers’ Hall of Fame and Oak Hill High School Athletic Hall of Fame. A native of Oak Hill, she now resides in Spencerport, New York.

David “DC” Colt

Colt earned his Bachelor of Science in Physical Education with a minor in Athletic Training from WVU. He completed his Master of Science in Health at Northwest Missouri State University and his Ed.D. at the University of Missouri. Colt played soccer on John McGrath’s teams from 1972-76. He was an assistant athletic trainer for Temple University for three years prior to spending 27 years as the head athletic trainer for Northwest Missouri State University. He was also an athletic trainer at the United States Air Force Academy from 2008-2012. Colt spent a career volunteering for various athletic training organizations as well as the Board of Certification and the National Athletic Trainers’ Association, serving on the Board of Directors and as vice president. He is a member of five Halls of Fame including the NATA Hall of Fame and the Missouri Sports Hall of Fame. He currently serves as the program director for the Athletic Training program at the University of Missouri. His favorite WVU memories involve soccer and football games in old Mountaineer Field. There, with the Temple football team in 1979, he found out how loud was in the visitor’s locker room up the tunnel with the band just outside the doors and enthusiastic fans in the stands. It was a truly deafening experience. 

Dr. John Gay

Gay earned his Bachelor’s degree from State University of New York at Buffalo and then spent time with the United States Navy as a Naval Aviator. He received his Master’s degree from San Diego State University, his Doctorate from WVU, and finally a Post Doctorate from John Hopkins University. Gay has established an impressive resume of professional experience. He has worked as an assistant professor at Towson University, associate professor at Louisiana State University, a professor and chair of the Health and Exercise Sciences department at Central Michigan University and dean of the University of Scranton. Gay has taken his professional positions abroad as a professor and dean of Professional Studies at the University of Newcastle in Australia and a professor and chair of the Health Sciences department at the University of South Australia. He has tallied awards along the way, having received the Mortar Board of Outstanding Teacher Award at WVU, Top 10 Faculty at Towson University, Outstanding Teacher Award at Central Michigan University and Centennial Award at the University of Scranton to display his dedication to academia. Gay has published and served as a subject matter expert for major text book publishers.

Dr. Daniel F. Mahony

Mahony is currently serving as the president of Winthrop University. Before arriving at Winthrop in 2015, he served for seven years as dean of the College of Education, Health, and Human Services and a professor of sport management at Kent State University. Mahony also spent 13 years as a faculty member and administrator at the University of Louisville where his positions included sport administration program director, department chair, associate dean, assistant provost and associate provost. Prior to his faculty and administrative positions, Mahony worked for the KMPG accounting firm and for the athletic departments at both West Virginia University and the University of Cincinnati. He earned a B.S. in accounting from Virginia Tech, an M.S. in sport management from West Virginia University and a Ph.D. in sport management from Ohio State University. He is an active researcher and has published more than 60 articles in various refereed journals, several book chapters and one book. Mahony received the 2007 Earle F. Zeigler Award from the North American Society for Sport Management for his research contributions to the field and the 2015 McInnis/Ryan Award from the American Association of University Administrators, which recognized his principled and ethical leadership practices and scholarship regarding issues of justice and ethics. He was the initial recipient of the top diversity award at his former college at Kent State University in 2015 and this award is now named for him.

Olana “Tick” Hedrick-Sheaffer

As a WVU graduate, Hedrick-Sheaffer’s educational background led her to Penn State Altoona as a Physical Education (Kinesiology) teacher and coach. During her 35 years at this small college, she was selected for the Robert J. Scannell Roll of Honor Award for outstanding service to the Commonwealth Educational System as well as Omicron Delta Kappa National leadership honorary. Hedrick-Sheaffer’s coaching career spanned 28 years guiding the Women's Varsity Volleyball program on the Commonwealth Campus, Junior/Community College and finally Division Ill level. Her teams amassed 13 Commonwealth Campus titles, eight Western Pennsylvania titles, and eight Junior/Community College State Championship titles which resulted in 11 Conference Coach of the Year awards. Hedrick-Sheaffer’s varsity win-loss record is 505-175 with an additional four Commonwealth Campus titles as head of the Men's Club Volleyball team. She also became a nationally certified athletic trainer during the mid-point of her tenure there. Ultimately, Hedrick-Sheaffer’s goals for teaching and coaching were for her students to grow as people, have fun and to develop life skills that would enable them to be successful in their future professions. Her success was directly related to the knowledge and encouragement that she received from her courses and instructors respectively at WVU. Their dedication to teaching and their concern for the well-being of their students gave her the motivation to follow their example and continue their legacy.

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