WVU faculty members earn national recognition for exceptional scholarship

Elliott, Hannon and Jones in CPASS lobbyThree West Virginia University faculty members have been recognized for outstanding leadership and research. Emily Jones, associate professor, CPASS, has been awarded the Mabel Lee Award from the Society of Health and Physical Educators (SHAPE America), presented to only one professional at the university level each year.

Eloise Elliott, Ware Distinguished Professor, received the 2017 Research Fellow of SHAPE America award, in recognition for having made significant and sustained contributions to scholarship, research and related service in the areas of health and physical education.

James Hannon, professor and assistant dean of academic affairs and research, was recognized with the 2017 Comprehensive School Physical Activity Programs Research SIG Innovative Paper Award, having the potential to significantly impact the field of physical education, physical activity and health education in schools. The paper must be published in a refereed journal.

SHAPE America will honor all recipients at the 132nd SHAPE America National Convention & Expo in Boston, March 14-18, 2017. 

As a young specialist in the field of physical education and sport pedagogy, Jones says she is “humbled” to receive the award. “The Mable Lee Award not only recognizes past achievements, but also the potential for future achievements and contributions. From a personal standpoint, it is an honor to have professionals within the field, whom I greatly respect and admire, bestow such a vote of confidence in me,” Jones explained.

Jones’ research interests include school and community-based physical activity program and initiatives and the training of teachers to integrate instructional technology in physical education.

She is actively involved in several state (WV Physical Activity Symposium, ActiveWV 2015, the WV CARDIAC Project) and county-wide interdisciplinary initiatives (Greenbrier CHOICES and McDowell CHOICES) that promote physical activity and health lifestyles.

These projects and others have generated more than $1 million in grants and contracts. Jones also works with the local school district and coordinates graduate students who deliver quality standards and evidence-based elementary PE curriculum to K-5 aged children.

As the Ware Distinguished Professor, Elliott’s focus on outreach and service to improve the culture of health in the state of West Virginia has facilitated her research. “I’ve been able to conduct research in the authentic environments where physical education physical activity opportunities can be provided and studied. 

"I am honored to be recognized by my peers through the SHAPE Research Fellow award as a researcher who is contributing an important line of inquiry to the scientific literature to move physical activity and physical education forward in schools and communities,” Elliott said.

Elliott acts as co-director of the WV Coronary Artery Risk Detection in Appalachian Communities Project (CARDIAC). She has served on numerous state and national committees including the President’s Council on Fitness, Sports, and Nutrition Science Board. She is the creator of Active Academics, a nationally-recognized web-based resource for classroom teachers to integrate physical activity throughout the school day. 

She led the development of one of the first statewide strategic plans modeled after the National Physical Activity Plan, ActiveWV: The West Virginia Physical Activity Plan and is involved in interdisciplinary initiatives McDowell CHOICES and Greenbrier CHOICES. 

Hannon explains why his award is just one of many which points toward the outstanding work faculty are doing in CPASS. “This level of national visibility enhances the reputation of our programs and of WVU as the place to be on the front lines of cutting edge research,” Hannon said.

Hannon added that the CPASS research team has been working in the area of comprehensive school physical activity programs (CSPAP) since before the CSPAP name was coined. “We have gained recognition as leaders in this area and this award is a nice acknowledgment of our groups’ dedicated efforts,” Hannon said.

“The impact of the award itself is minimal. We would continue work in this area regardless of the recognition due to the important impact on the health of our youth and communities,” he stated.

Hannon offers advice for upcoming faculty members to succeed in their research. “Never give up. Never let anyone tell you what you can’t do. Have thick skin, and build an excellent team.” 

His advice for students in the field to succeed in research-related work? “Find something you have a passion for, that, ideally, is important to society and is fundable.” 

Return to the CPASS eNews homepage