New WVU endowed professorship established to improve wellness of adults in the state

Professor Sam Zizzi smiling for a photoA newly created endowment in support of the West Virginia University College of Physical Activity and Sport Sciences will focus on community-engaged research to advance the health, wellness and physical activity of West Virginia’s adult population. 

The inaugural Dr. Pat Fehl Endowed Professor was awarded to Sam Zizzi, professor, CPASS Sport and Exercise Psychology program, to support research and health promotion initiatives aimed at improving the health of West Virginians.


“As a native West Virginian, one of my goals as a faculty member has been to help improve the health of West Virginians, especially those who have low access to resources or are in positions of low socioeconomic status,” Zizzi said. “I am committed to CPASS moving forward as the leader in the promotion of sport, physical activity, and healthy living in the state.”

Zizzi has worked with Ware Distinguished Professor Eloise Elliott and other CPASS faculty members to strengthen research and improve the health of West Virginians.

“This is just another step in moving CPASS forward in becoming a national leader in the promotion of physical activity,” Zizzi explained. “The opportunity to serve as the Dr. Pat Fehl Endowed Professor will provide me with more time and strategic contacts to continue to pursue these goals. It is an honor to serve in this capacity as the first faculty member to hold this position.”

“Dr. Sam Zizzi is a nationally recognized sport and exercise psychologist. His service and outreach and scholarly publications are making a difference in the lives of West Virginians. His work with the PEIA Weight Management Program is most noteworthy,” said Dana D. Brooks, CPASS dean and professor of Physical Education.

“Dr. Zizzi and his team are dedicated to improving the health and wellness of all West Virginians. The results of Dr. Zizzi’s work as the Dr. Pat Fehl Endowed Professor is to publish and present research findings to address health and wellness issues and physical activity, especially in the adult population in the State,” added Brooks.

Fehl, former CPASS department chair, established the largest gift ever received in support of the College. The donation of approximately $3.4 million from the estate of Dr. Patricia K. Fehl provided scholarships for CPASS undergraduate students and funding for the College’s new building which opened in fall 2014. Fehl is recognized for developing the College’s community-based children and adult programs known the Lifetime Activities.

The WVU Foundation, in partnership with the University, is currently conducting A State of Minds: The Campaign for West Virginia’s University. The goal of the largest fundraising effort in the history of the University is to raise $1 billion by December 2017. For more information on the campaign, visit www.astateofminds.com.


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