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Dr. Pat Fehl Endowed Professor

Sam Zizzi

Biographical Sketch

Dr. Sam Zizzi is the Pat Fehl Endowed Professor and teaches in the Sport and Exercise Psychology and Health and Wellbeing programs. Dr. Zizzi also teaches doctoral courses and supervises the research and applied work of PhD students in the Sport, Exercise and Performance Psychology program. As the co-Director of the Center for ActiveWV, he also collaborates with dozens of community-based partners across the state to ensure equitable and safe access to physical activity across WV. He has been working at WVU since 2000, and has served in numerous roles within his program and throughout the College.

Dr. Zizzi’s primary research interest is in the connections between mindfulness, performance and wellbeing. He has co-authored two books on mindfulness in sport and exercise psychology, and his PhD students have several active research projects ongoing in this area. He is also interested in multicultural competence in applied sport psychology. In the health doman, Dr. Zizzi pursues community-based research projects focused on physical activity promotion.

Dr. Zizzi received his BA in psychology from James Madison University, graduating Summa Cum Laude. He completed his MS in exercise science with a specialization in sport psychology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He finished his graduate work at West Virginia University with his doctorate in sport psychology and minor area of emphasis in counseling.

When Sam is not slaving away on academic pursuits, he enjoys traveling or spending time with his family. Around Morgantown, he can usually be found hiking, biking, swimming or practicing yoga. He is an avid guitar player and likes forest bathing in some of West Virginia’s wonderful outdoor spaces.

Research Interests

  • Mindfulness
  • Chronic disease prevention via physical activity and weight management
  • Community-based participatory research on physical activity
  • Training issues in applied sport and exercise psychology (multicultural training, certification, accreditation)


  • EdD, Sport and Exercise Psychology with minor in Counseling, West Virginia University
  • MA, Physical Education with emphasis in Sport Psychology, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
  • BA, (summa cum laude), Psychology, James Madison University