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School of Sport Sciences

Portrait of Gonzalo Bravo

Professional Highlights

  • University of Pittsburgh, Visiting Scholar, Center for Latin American Studies. 2014-2017
  • Federal University of Parana, Curitiba, Brazil. Visiting Scholar, Research Center for Sport, Leisure, and Society. 2016
  • American Kinesiology Association, (AKA). Leadership Institute Fellow’ Class 2020.
  • American Kinesiology Association, (AKA), Board of Directors 2022-2025
  • Outstanding Long-Form Scholarship, WVU Office of the Provost, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2023
Photo of smiling man with glasses and a beard. He's wearing a light-colored shirt, dark tie and dark suit jacket.

Sean Bulger

Associate Dean for Online Education and Technology



AHB 267

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Professional Highlights

  • Received the 2016 Ray O. Duncan Award from the state HPERD association for outstanding service and leadership. 
  • Co-authored more than 70 books, chapters, and journal articles on physical activity promotion and best teaching practices.
  • Collaborated on over $6 million in external funding to support physical activity in school, community, and family settings. 
  • Delivered over 130 presentations at state, regional, and national conferences/conventions. 
Portrait of Ashley Cranney

Ashley Coker-Cranney

Assistant Professor


AHS 205

View Profile: Ashley Coker-Cranney

Professional Highlights

  • Certified Mental Performance Consultant, Association for Applied Sport Psychology
  • Licensed Professional Counselor, West Virginia Board of Examiners for Counseling
Portrait of a man with glasses and a wvu shirt.

Damien Clement

Associate Dean, West Virginia University Honors College



Honors Hall, Room 126D

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Professional Highlights

  • Fellow, Association for Applied Sport Psychology
  • West Virginia University (WVU) Foundation Award for Outstanding Teaching, 2015 Dorothy V. Harris Award, Association for Applied Sport Psychology, 2014
  • Outstanding Teacher of the Year Award, WVU College of Physical Activity and Sport Sciences, 2013
  • Acting Dean – Honors College, West Virginia University, August 2019 – June 2020
Portrait of Kristen Dieffenbach

Kristen Dieffenbach

Director - Center for Applied Coaching and Sport Sciences



AHB 253

View Profile: Kristen Dieffenbach

Professional Highlights

  • United States Center for Coaching Excellence (USCCE) - Past President (founding)
  • Association of Applied Sport Psychology - Fellow
  • Certified Mental Performance Consultant, Association for Applied Sport Psychology
  • Professional cycling and endurance sport coach - 25+ years
  • National Physical Activity Plan - Sport Steering Committee
Portrait of Eloise

Eloise Elliott

Ware Distinguished Professor


AHB 269

View Profile: Eloise Elliott

Professional Highlights

  • Ware Distinguished Professor in the WVU College of Physical Activity and Sport Sciences since 2009
  • Co-Author of the book, Teaching Children and Adolescents Physical Education (Graham, Elliott, Palmer, 2016) 
  • Recent Honors: Research Fellow, Society of Health and Physical Education (SHAPE) America (2017), Outstanding WVU CPASS Grantsperson Award (2019), Chair, U.S. President’s Council for Fitness, Sport, and Nutrition Science Board (2017) 
A smiling man with glasses with fitness equipment in the background. He is wearing a light-colored shirt and dark tie.

Professional Highlights

  • Research focus on chronic disease risk reduction using digital and other delivery technologies 
  • Current Google Scholar H-index of 36, Scopus H-index of 26
  • Fellow, Society of Behavioral Medicine
Professional studio portrait of Patrick Hairston. He is smiling and wearing a dark suit jacket, white shirt and striped tie.

Patrick O. Hairston

Teaching Assistant Professor


AHB 215

View Profile: Patrick O. Hairston

Professional Highlights

  • East Jefferson YMCA, Metairie, LA: Board of Governors Member – Board Chair
  • NCAA Accelerating Academic Success Program (AASP) Selection Committee Member
  • Williamson (W.Va.) High School Athletic Hall of Fame Member
Photo of smiling man wearing a dark blue WVU shirt.

Professional Highlights

  • Head Coach of West Virginia Weightlifting and Volunteer (throws) Coach for WVU Track and Field  
  • Coaching Science Coordinator at WVU Rockefeller Neuroscience Institute, Human Performance Innovation Center  
  • West Virginia State Director for the National Strength and Conditioning Association 
Portrait of Cindy Lee

Cindy Lee

Associate Professor


AHB 217

View Profile: Cindy Lee

Professional Highlights

  • Worked as a sports marketer at Octagon Korea
  • Member of the organizing team for the 2001 World Taekwondo Championship
  • Research emphasis on fan behavior and decision-making
Environmental portrait of Gary Lhotsky. He is smiling and wearing a dark blue polo shirt.

Gary J. Lhotsky

Teaching Associate Professor

(304) 293-0861

AHB 242

View Profile: Gary J. Lhotsky

Professional Highlights

  • Eleven years of professional experience in collegiate athletic facility and event management at Florida State University, Florida International University and the University of Miami.
  • Extensive experience planning and hosting NCAA, ACC, Big East, TAAC and FHSA championships.
Smiling man wearing a black Nike jacket.

Peter McGahey

Teaching Assistant Professor


AHB 259

View Profile: Peter McGahey

Professional Highlights

  • Former NCAA Division I and II Women’s Head Coach
  • United State Soccer Federation A Licensed Coach
  • United States Center for Coaching Excellence (USCCE) – Nominating Committee
Portrait of Brent Oja

Brent Oja

Assistant Professor


AHB E 214

View Profile: Brent Oja

Professional Highlights

  • Research emphasis on sport employee human resource management and development via positive organizational behavior
  • Published in Journal of Sport Management, Sport Management Review and European Sport Management Quarterly
  • Presented research at international and national conferences
Photo of Samantha Ross standing outdoors on campus.

Professional Highlights

  • Research emphasis: The impact of disability on participation in community-based physical activity across the lifespan
  • American Kinesiology Association, National Writing Award 2018
  • Recipient of U.S. Department of Education Graduate Training Grant. OSU Leadership Personnel in Adapted Physical Education (PI: Yun). 2016-2019. 
Portrait of Michael J. Ryan

Michael J. Ryan

Teaching Assistant Professor


AHB 255

View Profile: Michael J. Ryan

Professional Highlights

  • Program Coordinator for Athletic Coaching Education, CPASS 
  • 10 years of undergraduate and graduate teaching experience in Exercise Science and Kinesiology
  • National Federation of High Schools (NFHS) State and Mid-East Sectional Girls Cross Country Coach of the Year
  • 20 years of coaching experience at the Division 1 and high school levels
  • Coached seven WVSSAC State Championship Teams in cross country and track
Portrait of Emi

Emi Tsuda

Assistant Professor


AHB 252

View Profile: Emi Tsuda

Professional Highlights

  • Research emphasis on teachers' content knowledge, motor skills and physical activity engagement, and policy in physical education.
  • Teaches classes in introductory of pedagogy and elementary and early childhood physical education methods.
  • Has conducted 35 international and national presentations.
Smiling woman standing in Stewart Hall. She has long dark hair and wears a black suit jacket.

Dana Voelker

Director, School of Sport Sciences

Associate Professor


AHB 211

View Profile: Dana Voelker

Professional Highlights

  • Certified Mental Performance Consultant, Association for Applied Sport Psychology
  • 2019 Steelcase Education Active Learning Center Grant
  • 2018 WVU Foundation Award for Outstanding Teachers
  • 2018 Association for Applied Sport Psychology Dorothy V. Harris Memorial Award
Smiling man with a packed stadium in the background.

Justin Wartella

Teaching Assistant Professor


AHB 241

View Profile: Justin Wartella

Professional Highlights

  • Pennsylvania State Athletic Directors Association (PSADA)
  • Former Sport Management Liaison and Executive Council Member
  • Pennsylvania State University (PSU) Summer Study Program
  • Coordinator and Instructor of the Sports Marketing Workshop and Internship
  • Super Bowl XLIX - Event Staff Supervisor
  • 2017 College Football National Championship Game - Event Staff Supervisor
Portrait of Valerie Wayda

Valerie Wayda

Associate Dean for Student Success and Academic Affairs

Associate Professor


AHB 277

View Profile: Valerie Wayda

Professional Highlights

  • North American Society (NAS) of Health, Physical Education, Recreation, Sport and Dance Professionals Fellow
  • National Association for Kinesiology and Physical Education in Higher Education - Vice President (2012)
  • National Association for Sport and Physical Education Board of Directors (2003-2006)
Portrait of Joni Williamson

Joni Williamson

Teaching Assistant Professor


AHS 240

View Profile: Joni Williamson

Professional Highlights

  • Top Ten National Collegiate Athletic Association President’s Award Winner, 2018
  • Staff Member Woman of the Year at Wittenberg University, 2014
  • NCAA/Women Leaders in College Sports Institute for Administrative Advancement, 2013
  • NASC Certified Sports Event Executive, 2010
  • Graduate of the NCAA Dr. Charles Whitcomb Leadership Institute, 2007
Portrait of James Wyant

James Wyant

Associate Director: School of Sport Sciences

Assistant Professor


AHB 212

View Profile: James Wyant

Professional Highlights

  • Teacher of the Year Award, WVU, CPASS award for excellence in teaching for the 2018-2019 academic year. 
  • WV Department of Education Teacher Credentials: Physical Education PreK-Adult, Health Education grades 5-12. 
  • Coordinator of the physical education teacher education student teaching capstone experience. 
Photo of smiling man wearing a blue shirt, striped WVU tie and a dark suit jacket.

Jeremy Yeats

Teaching Associate Professor


AHB 251

View Profile: Jeremy Yeats

Professional Highlights

  • Program Coordinator for Physical Education and Kinesiology, CPASS
  • Research emphases in education policy, the use of music in sport, physical activity breaks, and social justice
  • Seven years experience as a Teaching Assistant Professor or Assistant Professor
Photo of smiling man wearing glasses, a light shirt and patterned tie.

Sam Zizzi

Dr. Pat Fehl Endowed Professor



AHB 206

View Profile: Sam Zizzi

Professional Highlights

  • Twice recognized as Most Outstanding Teacher at WVU CPASS, and has mentored over 30 PhD students through degree completion
  • Serves as the Dr. Pat Fehl Endowed Professor to focus efforts on the health and wellness of WV citizens
  • Published one of the first books on self-awareness in sport, entitled Being Mindful in Sport and Exercise Psychology (2017) with friend and colleague Mark Andersen"
  • Certified Mental Performance Consultant, Association for Applied Sport Psychology (AASP)