FSU to Host Future of Health and Sports Conference

Friday, October 09, 2015

The Fairmont State University Instructor Exchange Ad-Hoc Committee is organizing the Future of Health and Sports Conference, sponsored by the FSU Office of the President and Provost as well as the Marion County Parks and Recreation Commission (MCPARC).

The conference will be held at the Falcon Center Conference Rooms 1-3 on Wednesday and Thursday, Oct. 14 and 15. Health, Sports and Recreation Professionals will be presenting on topics including: Community Health and Wellness, Physical Activities and Health in K-12, Cardiovascular Fitness, Nutrition, Mental Health and Community Education. 

Admission for the entire conference will be free for students, faculty and staff of Fairmont State University and Pierpont Community and Technical College. For external participants, cost for the two-day event is $35 for both days or $20 for one day. Cost includes a buffet dinner on day one and a continental breakfast on day two. For more information, contact Dr. Tadashi Kato, Chair of the Instructor Exchange Ad-Hoc Committee, at Tadashi.Kato@fairmontstate.edu. For the pre-registration of external participants, contact the MCPARC office at (304)-363-7037 or www.mcparc.com.

The conference kicks off Wednesday, Oct. 14, with registration beginning at 4 p.m. and a buffet dinner at 5 p.m. FSU President Maria Rose will welcome participants at 6 p.m. Keynote speakers will be Dr. Miriam Douglas, Director of Community Education at West Liberty University, and Dr. Eriks Janelsins, President of the Oglebay Foundation in Wheeling.

The conference will continue with a day of activities on Thursday, Oct. 15. Dr. Christina  Lavorata, FSU Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs, will give opening remarks followed by continental breakfast and five workshops throughout the day:  9:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m., “Workshop I: Mental Health,” presenters Dr. Timothy Rice and Dr. Tadashi Kato; 10:45 to 11:45 a.m., “Workshop II: Health and Physical Activities in K-12,” presenters Dr. Beverley Michaels, Dr. Kristi Kiefer and Dr. Susan Ross; 1 to 2 p.m., “Workshop III: Community Health and Wellness,” presenters Dr. Amanda Metcalf and Dr. Amy Sidwell; “Workshop IV: Cardiovascular Fitness,” Dr. Jessica Alsup, Dr. Janie Leary and Dr. Michael Ryan; and “Workshop V: Nutrition,” Dr. Pamela Hamilton.    

The conference will culminate with an evening panel discussion from 5 to 7 p.m. on Oct. 15 focusing on the Future of Health and Recreation. Moderated by Dr. Tadashi Kato, Chair of the Instructor Exchange Ad- Hoc Committee, the panel discussion is sponsored by the Office of the Provost. Panelists include Dr. Pamela Hamilton (nutrition), Dr. Amada Metcalf (community health), Dr. Amy Sidwell (community health), Dr. Susan Ross (school health and physical activities), Dr. Michael Ryan (cardiovascular health) and Tony Michalski, Director of MCPARC. 


Additional Information on Speakers and Topics

Keynote Speech

Title of Presentation:

“Community Education & Parks and Recreation – A Contemporary Partnership”

Dr. Miriam Roth Douglas:

Dr. Miriam Roth Douglas is the Director of Community Education and Assistant Professor of Education at West Liberty University. She developed the accelerated three-year Bachelor of Arts in Community Education with the goal to prepare non-formal educators and/or leaders of non-profit organizations. She was also involved in the development of the Community Education track in the Master of Arts in Education program. She was born and raised in Germany, where the idea of Community Education in connection to the return, rediscovery and reconnection to the community is highly valued. She holds a B.A. and an M.A. in Elementary Education, with a focus on Arts Education from The University of Bamberg, Germany. She came to West Virginia University on a Fulbright Scholarship, where she finished her Masters of Arts in Foreign Languages and her Interdisciplinary Doctor of Philosophy in Education, before joining the faculty of the College of Education at West Liberty University in 2012.

Dr. Eriks Janelsins:
Eriks Janelsins was named President and CEO of The Oglebay Foundation in October 2012.  He served as the founding Director of the NRPA Green School, a comprehensive professional development program for park professionals focused on improving sustainability and green infrastructure within municipal parks and communities. He represents West Virginia on the Ohio River Valley Sanitation Commission and chairs the Public Interest Advisory Committee. He has chaired task forces related to local education, community development and health initiatives. Janelsins moved to Wheeling as part of his year of service as an AmeriCorps VISTA when he worked on education and community development projects in West Virginia and western Pennsylvania. He received his Bachelor of Arts degree in Biology from Wabash College and has completed graduate work at The Johns Hopkins University. He is a native of Indianapolis, Ind.

Outline of Presentations:

This presentation will highlight a highly effective contemporary partnership between the Community Education Program at West Liberty University and Parks and Recreation at Oglebay Park/Institute in Wheeling. While Community Education and its various content areas will shed light on the theoretical and educational perspectives of non-formal learning and learning spaces in the community, the Parks and Recreation aspect will be emphasized and explained in more detail through the successful example of Oglebay Parks/Institute and Oglebay Foundations. These two approaches will help to explore the idea of authentic 21st century flexible and creative learning spaces, which foster life-long, life-wide and life-deep learning and community environments for contemporary education in our society and communities. A possible framework for ideas and the creation of these new spaces and places will be provided, as well as concrete examples from a local, national and international level.

Workshop Presenters

Workshop I: Mental Health

Dr. Timothy S. Rice obtained his doctorate from the College of Education and Human Services at West Virginia University with a special focus on sport psychology. While serving in various managerial roles of the Office of Residence Life at Fairmont State University over the years, he had taught various psychology classes as well as served as a sport psychologist for the mental management of baseball team. His presentation topic will be Overview and Application of Mental Management Techniques for Athletes.”

Dr. Tadashi Kato, a Professor of Psychology at FSU, holds a M.A. in Sports Psychology from the Laboratory for Exercise Physiology, Biomechanics and Sports Sciences at the University of Tokyo, and a Ph.D. in Health Psychology from The Ohio University. He had presented and published research in the field of cardiovascular psychophysiology as well as neuroscience and also published in the topics of “Stress Management,” “Impact of Mental Health over Immune System” and “Association between Personality Types and Retention Rate at Fitness Clubs.”  His presentation topic will be: “Mental Health Component in Fitness Industry in the 21st Century.”

Workshop II: Health and Physical Activity in K-12

Dr. Susan Ross, Assistant Professor in Physical Education at FSU, earned her Ph.D. in Kinesiology (Physical Education Teacher Education) and M.S. in Community Health Education from WVU. Her background includes teaching physical education in the public schools and various roles, including an elementary health and physical education teacher in Ritchie County and Marion County and an adapted physical education specialist for Marion County Schools. She has directed 16 sport and/or physical activity related programs across developmental levels and contexts (e.g., school, community, worksite) and served as a corporate health and fitness coordinator in the North Central West Virginia area.

Dr. Beverly A. Michael attended Texas A&M University, focusing her studies on School Health Education and completed an additional program of study through WVU in Curriculum and Instruction with a focus in School Health and thus receiving doctorate from WVU. She has been teaching courses in Health Education full time at FSU since January of 2004. Along with her teaching responsibilities, Michael worked with the West Virginia Bureau of Public Health on a college and universities tobacco use prevention/cessation initiative as a health and wellness advocate and academic advisor on the FSU campus beginning in fall 2005. She has also been the Health & Wellness Educator for the congregation at Hagans Christian Church since 2004.     

Dr. Kristi Kiefer is Assistant Professor of the School of Education, Health and Human Performance at FSU. She teaches the Elementary Physical Education courses at Fairmont State in addition to dance and tumbling activity courses. A Professional Development School Liaison for two elementary schools, Kiefer’s interests target physical activity and the elementary age child. An alumna of FSU, she holds a Master of Science degree from WVU and a Doctor of Education from the WVU College of Physical Activity and Sports Sciences. 

The title of their presentation is “Your Role in Promoting the Health & Physical Activity of our Youth.”  They will share information regarding the past, present, and future directions of health and physical activity for K-12 youth including: current initiatives, collaborative efforts and trends and issues.

Workshop III: Community Health

Dr. Amy M. Sidwell, MCHES, is an Assistant Professor of Community Health and Physical Education at Fairmont State University. Sidwell earned a Ph.D. in Kinesiology (Physical Education Teacher Education) from the College of Physical Activity and Sports Science at WVU, an M.S. in Community Health Education from the WVU School of Medicine and a B.S. in Health and Physical Education from Edinboro University of Pennsylvania. She is the owner of Acadia Consulting and Training and has participated in numerous needs assessment and program evaluation projects.

Dr. Amanda Metcalf is an Assistant Professor of Physical Education at Fairmont State. Metcalf earned a Ph.D. in Kinesiology from WVU, an M.A. in Sport Management from East Tennessee State University and a B.A. in Corporate Communication from Mars Hill College. Prior to her employment in higher education, she served as a Parks and Recreation Director, Water Park Manager and Fitness Director. While serving in these roles, she helped coordinate several community needs assessment and program evaluation projects.

Their presentation title is “Best Practices in Community Health & Wellness.” 

Workshop IV: Cardiovascular Fitness

Dr. Jessica Alsup is an Assistant Professor in the Exercise Science program at Fairmont State, School of Education, Health & Human Performance. She earned her PhD in Physical Education with a specialization in Exercise Physiology at Springfield College in Springfield, Mass. Alsup’s research background is predominantly in the area of exercise and sport performance. This is her fifth semester teaching Clinical Applications in Exercise Science at Fairmont State, a course that places emphasis on cardiovascular health and risk factors. 

Dr. Janie M. Leary is an Assistant Professor in the Community Health Education program at Fairmont State, School of Education, Health & Human Performance. She earned her Ph.D. in Public Health at WVU and her MPH at Armstrong State University. Leary is a Certified Clinical Research Professional and a Certified Health Education Specialist. Leary’s background includes research on child physical activity, health behavior change interventions, adolescent reproductive health and grant management. She has authored or co-authored 17 journal articles and presented at a number of community, state and national/international conferences.

Michael Ryan is an Associate Professor of Exercise Science at FSU. He also serves as a graduate faculty member. He received his B.S. from WVU and an M.Ed. from Auburn University. 

Their presentation will be on cardiovascular risk factors, barriers to achieving cardiovascular health and recommendations to improving cardiovascular health among individuals living in North Central West Virginia.

Workshop V: Nutrition

Pamela Hamilton is the Assistant Dean of Human Services at Pierpont Community and Technical College. She teaches courses that include, but are not limited to, Nutrition; Diet Therapy; Sports Nutrition; Principles of Quantity Food Production; Applications in Community & Medical Nutrition; and Professionalism. She also serves as Executive Director of the West Virginia Child Nutrition Center, through which she has served on the Steering Committee for three statewide nutrition education symposiums. Her session will provide a snapshot of how Marion County has compared both statewide and nationwide in terms of nutrition-related health conditions and a sampling of best practices to support a healthier future locally. The social ecological framework for nutrition and physical activity decisions will provide the basis for this discussion.

Panel Discussion


“Future of Community Health and Recreation”


Dr. Tad Kato will serve as the moderator for this evening panel discussion as the Chair of the Instructor Exchange Ad-Hoc Committee of the Faculty Senate.


Tony Michalski obtained a Bachelor of Science from the School of Forestry at WVU with a degree in Parks and Recreation Administration. He was hired as the MCPARC director in 2012 and has been overseeing a large park system with two pools, eight parks and 20 miles of rails to trails. He is a board member of the West Virginia Recreation and Parks Association and the County Convention and Visitors Bureau of Marion County. He will open the panel discussion by introducing the vision of a Marion County Recreation Center.

Pamela Hamilton will revisit her earlier presentation on the nutrition in the community and discuss the future visions.

Dr. Amanda Metcalf and Dr. Amy Sidwell will revisit their earlier presentation on the best practices in community health and wellness and share their visions for the future.

Dr. Susan Ross and Dr. Beverly Michaels will present suggestions for the future of school environment.

Michael Ryan will extend the discussion on cardiovascular health and address suggestions for the future.