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WVU celebrates student achievement

Faculty and staff will recognize student triumphs during the December 2019 commencement ceremony.

Students clapping during commencement

The College congratulates our outstanding group of December 2019 graduates for their many accomplishments throughout their student career, as we eagerly look forward to their future successes within their chosen field. Students credit their peers, faculty, staff and alumni for help and guidance in reaching this milestone, all while being a student-athlete, ambassador or volunteer. Students took advantage of internships, field trips, study abroad and mentorship opportunities. Others seized leadership roles as peer advisors. Some changed majors before they found their passion. Regardless of their paths, they all agree on one common thread. Get involved as you make WVU your home. 

Cameron Haynes

Cross Lanes, W.Va.
First generation college student 

Major: Sport and Exercise Psychology/Human Services and Sport Communication

I am proud to have learned from and worked with the amazing faculty and staff in CPASS. Throughout my four years here, they showed that they truly care about the success and wellbeing of the students. I know they did their best to set myself and other graduates up for success in our futures. 

I am a first-generation college student, so the transition to college was a challenge. I like to think that I eventually got the hang of it, although I occasionally still wing it. My extra activities included WVU Football Video, CPASS Student Records, Advising and Recruitment Work Study student, CPASS Student Ambassador, and 80+ hours of community service.


Get into a routine. Use a planner or calendar to help you stay on track.

JoVanni Stewart

Katy, Texas 

Major: Sport and Exercise Psychology, Minor: Human Services

I am most proud about the experiences that this program has given me and the opportunities to meet new professors with different perspectives and information about topics I never thought about. This program has filled me with much knowledge that I will use in the future.

This process has shown me truly what it takes to be successful and has tested my limits. At times I was ready to give up. I came here to continue my education through the opportunity of my athletic skills but realized that having an education from this university will bring to great lengths. Although these past four years have been the most humbling experience of my life I wouldn't change it for anything in the world because it has made me the man I am today.

I was involved with the football program my whole 3.5 years here. It was a great experience. I also was involved with a lot of volunteering at different places around WVU. I read at many elementary schools and had the chance to visit children at the hospital.


Keep going and it will be worth it.

Melinda Gallagher

Ashburn, Va.
Honors Student

Major: Sport and Exercise Psychology

Minors: Business Administration and Psychology

I am proud of the connections I have made through CPASS, whether that be faculty or students. I was able to create quality relationships with some of my professors and mentors and greatly appreciate the wisdom they were willing to share with me. I truly feel as if my program gave me the opportunity to reflect on myself and my values while gaining leadership and communication skills.

I transferred to WVU during my freshman year, which most don’t know about me. I then changed my major back and forth multiple times before discovering sport and exercise psychology and somehow through it all, I was able to graduate a semester early. Therefore, I feel my journey at WVU has been quite unique. However, I feel like that is what is great about WVU, you’re able to build your own story and make each page reflect who you are.

Throughout my three years here, I really tried to capitalize on all the opportunities available to me. I was a member of the WVU club softball team all three years and was the team treasurer my junior year. As an upperclassman, I volunteered as a student manager for the D-I women’s soccer team.

I became involved with my college and was a member of the sport and exercise psychology club while holding the treasurer position for this organization as well. I gained additional service experience through a sport psychology study abroad trip to Costa Rica and as a volunteer student-model for a graduate athletic training course.

My senior year, I was granted the opportunity to be a peer advisor in my major and a research assistant to a sport, exercise and performance psychology doctoral student.


Get involved on campus as much as you can. WVU is all about finding your home through new experiences, so go do that activity or go to that game or ask that question. What’s the harm of trying? You never know what you might find passion in or where experiences can take you.

Rylee Foster

Cambridge, Ontario, Canada

Major: Sport Management 

Minors: Scholastic Coaching and Strategic Social Media

Graduating with a degree from CPASS is an honor. This program and the faculty within it have set me and my peers up for success by providing state of the art education while ensuring that we are always involved in the school and professional opportunities. If it wasn’t for CPASS I wouldn’t have found my passion for Sport Management and the business side of sports. This degree has given me the opportunity to stay connected to sports even when I retire from being a professional soccer player.

During my freshman year I was the goalkeeper for the WVU Women’s Soccer team and was privileged to lead the team to the National Championship. After the 2016 season I have had the opportunity to the lead the squad to two rounds of 16 and an elite 8.

I came to WVU wanting to take biomedical engineering, but later found my passion for sport management after taking a class with Dr. Gary Lhotsky. After that class I became adamant on changing my major and joining the Sport Management program.

I was a member of the WVU Women’s Soccer Team for all my years at WVU. I’m graduating from the soccer program as an All-American and All- Region player.


Get involved more. Do community service, make connections and network. The people you’re sitting beside right now in class could be the ones hiring you down the road or the people that will come to you with opportunities. Get to know your professors and talk to them as much as possible. They have many connections. You never know when you will need a reference later.

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