2010 July

Andrew College Dean Visits Academy

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Mr. Jason Goodner (left), Dean of Academic Affairs for Andrew College in Cuthbert, Ga., meets with United States Sports Academy Dean of Academic Affairs Dr. Arthur Ogden. Mr. Goodner visited the Academy’s campus Tuesday, 27 July to discuss possible cooperation between the two institutions in their academic programs.

Cypriot Doctoral Student Visits Campus

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Costas Solomou (right), a United States Sports Academy doctoral student and sports administrator for the Cyprus Sports Organization, took his comprehensive finals examination last week. The examination process was supervised by Dr. Fred Cromartie (left), the Academy's Director of Doctoral Studies and Chair of Sports Management.

Costas Solomou (right), a United States Sports Academy doctoral student and sports administrator for the Cyprus Sports Organization, took his comprehensive finals examination last week. The examination process was supervised by Dr. Fred Cromartie (left), the Academy’s Director of Doctoral Studies and Chair of Sports Management. In Cyprus, Solomou supervises the development of new talent, the national plan for developing sports, the national plan for elite athletes, the team sports associations and scholarships for athletes. He is also a member of the National Committee Against Violence and For Fair Play.

Game of the Year Committee Welcomes New York TV Producer, Texas Athletic Administrator

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Chris Plonsky

Chris Plonsky

The Director of Women’s Athletics at the University of Texas and the Senior Producer of SportsNet New York cable/satellite television became the two newest members of the United States Sports Academy’s College Football Game of the Year Committee.

Texas AD Chris Plonsky and SNY Senior Producer Jeane Willis accepted invitations to join the committee that determines which NCAA Division One football game is designated Game of the Year, hence determining which winning team’s institution receives a $5,000 donation to its general scholarship fund and a special painting from college football sports artist Daniel Moore.

Plonsky, who is a member of the National Football Foundation (NFF)/College Football Hall of Fame Board of Directors, has served eight years at her current position in Austin. During that time the Longhorns have won two national championships and 30 Big 12 Championships in women’s sports. She also works as a liaison to the athletic department’s media rights holder and licensing company.

Plonsky has also served on USA Basketball’s Board of Directors, the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics (NACDA) Executive Committee, three NCAA committees and the board of directors for the National Association of Collegiate Marketing Administrators (NACMA). She was president of NACMA from 1999-2000 and is in the NACMA Hall of Fame. Plonsky also chaired the NCAA’s Division One Management Council.

Jeane Willis

Jeane Willis

Willis has more then 20 years of experience producing television programs and shows including “Good Morning America”; CBS News; and “Larry King Live.” Her current position at SNY involves overseeing the contributors and talent for the network, and working as a liaison to the Big East Conference schools and conference office. College sports are at the very core of Willis’ career, having started as a graduate intern in the sports information office at Princeton University and then as the SID at her alma mater Siena College.

The College Football Game of the Year concept was developed by Moore, the Academy’s 2005 Sport Artist of the Year. Moore is a well-known artist for his paintings on college football.

During the season, the committee elects nominees for the Game of the Year each week. At the end of the season and bowl games, a final review of nominations is prepared for consideration. The winning school receives a commemorative limited edition fine art print of the game and a $5,000 donation for its general scholarship fund.

The Academy’s expert panel includes such former esteemed coaches as Hall of Famer Vince Dooley from Georgia. The committee is chaired by Jack Lengyel, former Naval Academy Athletic Director who was the head football coach that rebuilt the Marshall University football program after a plane crash, as featured in the 2006 motion picture “We Are Marshall.”

Academy Instructor Teaches on Malaysian Island

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Tim Foley (left), a United States Sports Academy faculty member, discusses sports marketing practices with Malaysian students during a recent visit to Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, Malaysia.

Foley traveled to Malaysia to teach a course in cooperation with Institut Sukan Negara Malaysia (Malaysian National Sports Institute) as a part of the Academy’s International Certification in Sports Management (ICSM) program. For nearly four decades, the Academy has provided programs in sport education to students throughout the nation and to more than 60 countries throughout the world.

NHL’s Florida Panthers Hire Academy Alum as Assistant GM

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United States Sports Academy graduate Michael Santos has been named as the Assistant General Manager of the National Hockey League’s Florida Panthers.

“Mike brings to our team more than 20 years of hockey experience in a variety of capacities,” Panther General Manager Dale Tallon said. “He has done an incredible job in helping to assemble a competitive Nashville club that has qualified for the playoffs in three of the last four seasons.”

The 1989 master’s degree recipient spent the past four seasons as the director of hockey operations for the NHL’s Nashville Predators. He will now be responsible for negotiating player contracts, handling salary arbitrations, overseeing the club’s minor league affiliates, managing the club’s payroll and salary cap, as well as serving as the day-to-day contact of the hockey operations department. He previously worked for the Panthers from 2001-’03.

“(The Academy) really gave me direction and the opportunity to learn how to synchronize business and the sports aspect of business,” Santos said.

While attending the Academy, Santos began a public relations internship with the NHL, which led to a full-time position in the same department. After that, he worked for the New Haven (Conn.) Nighthawks of the American Hockey League (the highest level of minor league) for two years. He followed this up by working in Arena Operations for special events at the NHL front office.

Santos, who has a bachelor’s degree in communications and English from Boston College, and a Juris Doctorate from St. John’s (N.Y.) University, has since spent five years with the New York Islanders and two years as the director of hockey operations/corporate counsel for the Panthers.

USSA Doctoral Students Complete Comprehensive Exams

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Twelve doctoral students at the United States Sports Academy completed their comprehensive final examinations on the Academy’s campus on 7-9 July.

Academy Department Chairs and doctoral students gather in the Academy’s Main Lobby. Pictured from left to right: Dean of Academic Affairs Dr. Arthur Ogden; Department Head-Sports Fitness and Health Dr. Jordan Moon; La Quita Denese Frederick from Chicago, IL; Sichan Park from Columbia, MO; John Starr from Lyerly, GA; Costas Solomou from Limassol, Cyprus; Chair of Sports Medicine Dr. Enrico Esposito; Mark Streiff from Evans Mills, NY; Chair of Sports Studies Dr. Pamela Wojnar; Christine Heather Welch from Nixa, MO; Chair of Sports Management and Director of Doctoral Studies Dr. Fred Cromartie; Suzanne Cooke from Aurora, IL; Chair of Sports Coaching Dr. Scott Johnson; Troy O’Neal Gamble from Anderson, SC; and Robert Stinchcomb from Rome, GA.

Doctoral students not pictured: Kai Yang Hu from Taipei, Taiwan; Boryong Kim from Busan, South Korea; and Cheng Ping Li from Taoyuan County, Taiwan.

World Leisure Organization's Leadership Visits Academy to Discuss Array of Possibilities

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Academy President Dr. Thomas P. Rosandich (center) meets with members of the WLO Board of Directors (from left to right) Mr. Jack Agrios from Alberta, Canada, Secretary General Dr. Chris Edginton from the University of Northern Iowa, Chairman of the Board Mr. Derek Casey from Edinburgh, United Kingdom, and Dr. Ricardo Uvinha from Sao Paul, Brazil.

Academy President Dr. Thomas P. Rosandich (center) meets with members of the WLO Board of Directors (from left to right) Mr. Jack Agrios from Alberta, Canada, Secretary General Dr. Chris Edginton from the University of Northern Iowa, Chairman of the Board Mr. Derek Casey from Edinburgh, United Kingdom, and Dr. Ricardo Uvinha from Sao Paul, Brazil.

A delegation from the World Leisure Organization (WLO) visited the Academy’s campus on 7 July to discuss the ways and means by which both organizations could work together academically, given the Academy’s newly developed recreation management emphasis at the Master’s degree level.

The WLO has identified Mobile, Alabama as one of the two finalists selected as a potential host site for the 2014 World Leisure Congress. The biennially World Leisure Congress is a large international event comprised of a multi-dimensional program and related activities. The World Leisure Board of Directors will announce the location of the 2014 World Leisure Congress at the 2010 World Leisure Congress in ChunCheon City, Korea at the end of August.

Dominant Tennis and Golf Champions Named Athletes of the Month

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Rafael Nadal

Rafael Nadal

Dominating wins in major tournaments earned Spanish tennis star Rafael Nadal and American golfer Cristie Kerr the United States Sports Academy’s June Male and Female Athlete of the Month honors.

Nadal, the world’s No. 1 men’s tennis player, won his fifth French Open in six years and won every match at Roland Garros in straight sets for the second time in three years. Spain’s “King of the Clay Court” has won every major clay court tournament this year (French Open, the Mutua Madrilena Madrid Open, the Monte Carlo-Rolex Masters, and the Internazionali BNL d’Italia in Rome).

Cristie Kerr was named Female Athlete of the Month after she won the LPGA Championship by 12 strokes, the largest margin of victory in the history of the tournament, and tied for second with the biggest margin in any LPGA major. She also won the LPGA State Farm Classic with a score of 22 under par, a record low for that tournament.

Finishing second to Nadal for Male Athlete of the Month was Kobe Bryant. The Los Angeles Lakers’ guard was named Most Valuable Player (MVP) of the NBA Finals after averaging 28.6 points per game in the finals and 29.2 per game in the playoffs. Arizona Diamondbacks pitcher Edwin Jackson finished third after pitching a no-hitter in a 149-pitch performance in a 1-0 victory over the Tampa Bay Rays.

Christie Kerr

Cristie Kerr

Second place in the female ballot went to Queen Harrison, who won the NCAA Championship in the 100-meter hurdles with a time of 12.67 seconds, and won the 400-meter hurdles in 54.55 seconds. The Virginia Tech senior and 2008 Olympian was the first woman to win both hurdle events at the NCAA championships. Coming in third was Chaunte Lowe, the women’s overall champion at the U.S. Track and Field Championships, who won the high jump by clearing 6 feet, 8.75-inches, an American record.

The public is invited to participate in the worldwide Athlete of the Month nominating and balloting processes. Visit the Academy website and fill out the nomination form, and return to the website on the first week of each month to vote on the Athlete of the Month. Winners will be announced on the Academy’s website and in the online edition of the Academy Update.

Private Universities, Community Colleges Agree to Ease Transfers

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A new agreement reached on 30 June will allow more of Alabama’s junior college and community college students to have easy access to the United States Sports Academy’s upper-division Bachelor’s degree program.

The Alabama Association of Independent Colleges and Universities (AAICU) coordinated the development of a system-wide agreement with the Alabama Department of Postsecondary Education (ADPE) that will make it easier for community college students to transfer to Alabama’s private colleges and universities. Students will now know what courses will transfer to these private schools prior to enrolling.

The Academy is a member of the AAICU.

This new agreement is similar to individual pacts that the Academy has had with seven Alabama community colleges, except that this one act triples the size of those connections. What is most significant is that the lower-division curriculum offered by community colleges will now have a logical extension to upper-division institutions such as the Academy.

The Academy offers bachelor’s degree programs in sports management, sports coaching, and sports studies.

Sport Artist Scores with World Cup Exhibit

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Mina Papatheodorou-Valyraki

The paintings of Mina Papatheodorou-Valyraki, the 2002 American Sport Art Museum and Archives (ASAMA) Sport Artist of the Year, are being featured in a month-long exhibition in Florence, Italy. The exhibition is in honor of the FIFA World Cup.

The exhibit, which opened on 11 June at the Frascione Arte Gallery and will run until 11 July 2010, is titled “Football Portraits,” in which Valyraki is presenting a series of athletic themes featuring soccer. It also features soccer-themed paintings by Olivia Magris, Dino Boschi, Lorenzo Perrone, Frank O’, and the late Renato Guttouso.

A native of Athens, Greece, Valyraki graduated with distinction from Athens University Superior School of Fine Arts in 1980, where she studied under Yiannis Moralis and Lazaros Lameras. In 1981, Valyraki moved to Florence to continue her studies on the History of Art with a scholarship from the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. She earned a Ph.D from the University of Florence. Her work, “The Downhill Skier,” became one of the official posters for that year’s Salt Lake City Winter Olympics.

The Sport Artist of the Year Award is presented to an individual who captures the spirit and life of sport so that future generations can relive the drama of today’s competition. The recipient may use a variety of art media including film, video or sculpture to depict the breadth and scope of both the agony and the ecstasy of sport.

Founded in 1984, ASAMA, a division of the United States Sports Academy, is dedicated to the preservation of sports art, history, and literature. The ASAMA collection is composed of more than 1,000 pieces across all forms of media, including painting, sculpture, assemblage, prints, posters and photography.

The Museum is free and open to the public, Monday through Friday, 8 am to 4 pm.

Historic Russian Physical Education School Reaches Agreement with Academy

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Emblem for National State University of Physical Education, Sports, and Health

United States Sports Academy President and CEO Dr. Thomas P. Rosandich signed a protocol agreement with the National State University of Physical Education, Sports, and Health, named after P. F. Lesgaft, in Saint Petersburg, Russia, which will allow cooperation between the Russian institution and America’s Sports University in program participation and student exchanges.

The agreement calls for the two institutions to inform one another about the parameters of specialized educational programs in sport science, physical education, and recreation in order to allow for participation from the other school. It also allows for exchanges of students between the two institutions.

Founded in 1896, the Lesgaft School is one of the oldest physical training educational institutions in the world. It was founded by Piotr Frantsovitch Lesgaft, who is considered the father of physical education in Russia.

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