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Faculty appointment helps expand the path for student success

An ongoing collaboration with the Rockefeller Neuroscience Institute (RNI) and the Human Performance Innovation Center (HPIC), which allows CPASS students to gain practical learning in support of classroom work, has taken another step in growing this unique educational experience and partnership.

Guy Hornsby, assistant professor, Coaching and Performance Science, recently received an adjunct faculty appointment with RNI and the HPIC. "This partnership establishes a more formal relationship between CPASS and RNI HPIC that I believe creates a nice bridge between the two programs. It is particularly attractive for our coaching and performance science students working in the HPIC lab and in sport science roles with WVU athletics,” Hornsby said.

“Similar to how we have a partnership with WVU Athletics, in that we sign a volunteer scientist agreement to do sport science and athlete monitoring work with them, this reinforces our collaborative research and educational efforts that span across multiple departments within the University," he added.

Hornsby explains that students have the opportunity to assist in the lab; carry out tests, analyze data and even work directly with coaches and athletes.

The new CPASS program in coaching and performance science sprang from the cutting edge of both high-performance athletics and recreational sport. One of the only undergraduate programs of its kind in the country, coaching and performance science offers students three areas of emphasis: coaching and leadership, strength and conditioning and applied sport science. “That is incredibly unique. I am not aware of such a push to do this at the undergrad level anywhere else,” Hornsby said.

As a volunteer coach for WVU Track and Field (throws), head coach of West Virginia Weightlifting (a USAW registered WVU club) and the West Virginia State Director for the National Strength and Conditioning Association for the past three years, Hornsby is working diligently to create one-of-a-kind, direct experiences for students at all levels — while bringing the latest sports science technology to coaches and teams, helping them improve and better understand their athletic performance.

Hornsby notes that in the last five to 10 years the industry has seen increased interest in utilizing various monitoring devices and technologies, all framed within an overall sport science approach. “It’s very much a movement. And we’re seeing a shift in professional teams and other collegiate programs now investing in sports science. The big certification organizations are responding to what is happening in the field, so we knew we needed to be integrated with our approach to sports science education — for our students and coaches and athletes,” he added.

“We oversee a program that provides strength and conditioning to all three Monongalia County schools and we have other collaborations with teams throughout the area. We are really imbedded. So even if a student isn’t doing work with a WVU team, there are always numerous opportunities to work with other populations,” Hornsby said.
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