2012

World’s Top Olympians Voted Academy’s 2012 Male and Female Athletes of the Year

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Two of the world’s most dominating superstars at the 2012 London Olympic Games earned the United States Sports Academy’s 2012 Male and Female Athletes of the Year award—Usain Bolt and Serena Williams.

Bolt, a Jamaican sprinter, continues to reign as the world’s fastest man by successfully repeating as the Olympic gold medalist in the 100 meters and 200 meters. Bolt is the first man ever to win both events in successive Summer Olympics. In London, he won the 100 in an Olympic record time of 9.63 seconds. He then won the 200 in 19.32—0.13 seconds off his world record. Bolt added a third gold as the anchor of Jamaica’s world record-setting 400-meter relay team that finished in 36.84 seconds.

Usain Bolt, 2012 Male Athlete of the Year

Williams took gold in the women’s singles and doubles at the 2012 London Olympics, becoming the only person to hold a career Golden Grand Slam in Olympic competition. The American tennis player also won Wimbledon and the U.S. Open. She now possesses 15 Grand Slam titles overall, which is sixth on the all-time list.

The two Olympic standouts dominated the voting in the 28th consecutive year that the Academy has overseen the Athlete of the Year award, which was done in conjunction with NBC Sports. Hundreds of thousands of sports fans worldwide selected the most outstanding male and female athletes in online balloting on the Academy’s website at www.ussa.edu. The ballot included 12 males and 12 females and voting lasted from Dec. 1 to Dec. 21.

The Athlete of the Year ballot is the culmination of the Academy’s yearlong Athlete of the Month program, which recognizes the accomplishments of men and women in sports from around the globe. Each month, the public is invited to participate in the worldwide Athlete of the Month program by nominating athletes and then voting online during the first two weeks of every month. The votes, along with an Academy selection committee, choose the male and female winners monthly who then become eligible for the prestigious Athlete of the Year honor. The monthly winners are announced on the Academy’s website and in the online edition of The Sport Update.

In 2011, the Male Athlete of the Year was Serbia’s No. 1-ranked men’s tennis player Novak Djokovic and the Female Athlete of the Year was Taiwan’s No. 1-ranked women’s golfer Yani Tseng. They both dominated the voting that drew up to 50,000 votes a day from across the world.

This year’s ballot includes a mixture of athletes from 11 different countries representing a wide variety of popular sports. Their performances stood out and provided some of the best highlights and stories in sports during the past year.

Serena Williams, 2012 Female Athlete of the Year

Finishing second in the male Athlete of the Year category was another Olympian, American swimmer Michael Phelps. He is now the most decorated Olympian of all time with 22 medals, including 18 gold. The 27-year-old also holds the distinction as the first man to win the same event at three successive Olympics when he clinched the men’s 200-meter individual medley gold medal at the 2012 London Games.

The runner up to Williams in the Female Athlete of the Year voting was 17-year-old American Olympic swimmer Missy Franklin, who lived up to her hype. She completed the 200-meter backstroke in a world record of 2 minutes, 4.06 seconds. The first American woman to qualify for seven Olympic events, Franklin ended up taking home four gold medals and one bronze medal. One of her gold medals was earned on the American 4×100-meter medley relay team that set a world record in a time of 3:52.05.

The third place winner on the men’s ballot was Djokovic, last year’s Athlete of the Year, who remained the world’s No. 1 tennis player this season. In one of the greatest matches this year, he outlasted Rafael Nadal in the longest Grand Slam match in history—5 hours and 53 minutes—to win the Australian Open.

Meanwhile, Lindsey Vonn finished third in the voting for Female Athlete of the Year. She clinched her fourth FIS Alpine World Cup overall title, which is the most of any American skier and second only to Austrian Annemarie Moser-Proell, who has won six. Vonn set a women’s record for most points in a World Cup season with 1,980.

Academy Seeks to Deliver Olympic Values Education Program Online to the World

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The United States Sports Academy is working with the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to develop a new Olympic Values Education Program (OVEP) that could be delivered online across the world.

Academy President and CEO Dr. Thomas P. Rosandich (left) and Dr. Norbert Mueller, professor at Mainz University in Germany, hold a bronze bust of Pierre de Coubertin, the founder of the Modern Olympic Games, in late November at International Olympic Committee meetings in Amsterdam.

Academy President and CEO Dr. Thomas P. Rosandich (left) and Dr. Norbert Mueller, professor at Mainz University in Germany, hold a bronze bust of Pierre de Coubertin, the founder of the Modern Olympic Games, in late November at International Olympic Committee meetings in Amsterdam.

Also because the father of the modern Olympic Games, Pierre de Coubertin, would be celebrating his 150th birthday this coming year, the Academy is discussing an online program paying tribute to his life and work to establish the Olympic Movement. The IOC is planning to hold a worldwide essay competition asking contestants to write about Coubertin, which the Academy has offered to help put online to the world’s Olympic Committees. Essay winners would receive a bronze bust of Coubertin.

Five years ago, the Academy and the IOC developed an online OVEP program. Dr. Tomas Sithole, the Director of the Department of International Cooperation and Development of the IOC, visited the Academy’s Daphne, Ala., campus in early November to discuss revamping the course. He met with Academy President and CEO Dr. Thomas P. Rosandich, who also sits on the IOC’s Commission for Culture and Olympic Education that is overseen by Sithole. That commission advises the IOC on the promotion of culture and Olympic education and supports the IOC programs and activities related to the education of youth through sport.

OVEP was further discussed during a special meeting at the 8th edition of the IOC World Conference on Sport, Culture and Education Nov. 25-27 in Amsterdam, which Dr. Rosandich attended. It was decided that the Academy would redevelop the current version of OVEP for worldwide distribution.

Sithole says he would like to see OVEP reach even more nations across the globe in the future.

“We want to engage young people across the world and promote sport education and Olympic values,” says Sithole, who visited the Academy after attending the United Nations for talks about using sport to enhance the development of youth and peace.

In Amsterdam at the IOC meetings, Dr. Rosandich held talks with Dr. Norbert Mueller, professor at Mainz University in Germany and president of the Pierre de Coubertin Society. Dr. Mueller has written a book on Pierre de Coubertin, the founder of the modern Olympic Games, and donated copies to the United States Sports Academy’s library. Those discussions led to plans for creating an online program paying tribute to Coubertin’s success in reestablishing the Olympic Games.

Coubertin was born in Paris on Jan. 1, 1863. Beginning in 1890, Coubertin worked to start up the Olympic Games again. After a failure in 1892, he organized the International Athletics Congress in Paris in 1894, after which the IOC was created and the modern Olympic Games were born. Coubertin then took over as IOC President and held this position until 1925, when he became Honorary President for life.

 

Malaysia Deputy Prime Minister to Receive Honorary Doctorate at Academy

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Y.A.B. Tan Sri Dato’ HJ Muhyiddin HJ Mohd Yassin, who serves both as Malaysia’s Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Education, is being honored by the United States Sports Academy with a 2012 International Honorary Doctorate for his effort to build his nation’s sports programs for its youth.

Muhyiddin is scheduled to receive the Honorary Doctorate during a ceremony at 5 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 17 in the Main Gallery at the Academy’s campus in Daphne, Ala., and a reception will follow.

Malaysia Deputy Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin (right) welcomes Academy Vice President Dr. T.J. Rosandich (center) and KH Sports World Board of Directors Chairwoman Hisham Suhaily Othman (left). Muhyiddin is scheduled to receive his International Honorary Doctorate at 5 p.m. Jan. 17 at the Academy's Daphne, Ala., campus.

Muhyiddin, who has served in his current roles since 2009, is being recognized for supporting efforts to enhance physical education to help in the building of a nation. He did this by creating the “One Student – One Sport” initiative. It aims to foster a vigorous sports program for the nation’s youth.

Muhyiddin directed the implementation of his initiative in the schools. Although the “One Student – One Sport” initiative is geared toward the students, he saw a need to provide more physical education and sports training to the nation’s physical education teachers and coaches who are in the schools.

This endeavor is seen as important for the benefits that it brings the nation’s youth and for the way that scholastic sports can build a national feeder system for sports, yielding the most talent to compete on the world stage.

The Malaysia Ministry of Education (MOE), which Muhyiddin heads, approved the United States Sports Academy’s latest sports education program for Malaysia—the International Diploma in Physical Education and Scholastic Sports (IDPESS). The diploma program offered to nearly 1,000 Malaysian educators from June to December, imparts the latest in teaching techniques and skills to them.

This effort is but one part of a program to enhance the country’s physical education programs as the nation’s leaders, including Muhyiddin, look to develop a new comprehensive physical education and scholastic sports program in the nation’s schools.

Muhyiddin was educated in his native Malaysia, earning his bachelor’s degree with honors in Economics and Malay Studies in 1971 at the Universitiy of Malaya, one of the country’s renowned schools.

In an effort to serve his beloved country, Muhyiddin has served in a number of government roles since becoming a member of the Parliament of Malaysia in 1978. Some of his recent posts include Minister of Youth and Sports (1995-1999), Minister of Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs (1999-2004), and Minister of Agriculture and Agro-based Industry (2004-2008).

Her Royal Highness Princess Haya Al Hussein of Jordan Receives Academy's 2010 Eagle Award

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For her contribution to equestrian sports and the Olympic Movement, Her Royal Highness Princess Haya Al Hussein of Jordan, President of the International Equestrian Federation, was named the winner of the United States Sports Academy’s 2010 Eagle Award.

Princess Haya was Jordan’s first female professional athlete and the first female to represent her country internationally in sport, as a 13-year-old show jumper. She was the first female to medal in equestrian sports at the Pan-Arab Games, earning a bronze in show jumping. She also competed in the 2000 Summer Olympic Games in Sydney, Australia.

Academy Vice President Dr. T.J. Rosandich presented the 2010 Eagle Award, the Academy’s highest honor, to Her Royal Highness Princess Haya Al Hussein of Jordan, the President of the International Equestrian Federation, for the leadership she demonstrated in staging the 2010 Alltech International Federation for Equestrian Sports (FEI) World Equestrian Games held in Lexington, Kentucky, in October 2010.

In 2010, she became a member of the International Relations Committee for the International Olympic Committee (IOC), after serving three years on the IOC. In November 2010, she was re-elected to serve her 2nd term as President of the International Equestrian Federation, having been first elected in 2006. She is also president and founder of the International Jordanian Athletes Cultural Association.

Princess Haya has a strong humanitarian presence both on local and international levels. Her work and interests focus on humanitarian issues and human development concentrated primarily on the areas of health, education, youth and sports. She continues to raise awareness of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), especially those of eliminating poverty and hunger. She was the first Arab and first woman to serve as World Food Programme Goodwill Ambassador (2005-2007) and in September 2007, Princess Haya was selected by UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon as a United Nations Messenger of Peace, the highest honor bestowed on a global citizen by the United Nations Secretary-General to address pressing problems around the world.

Princess Haya is the daughter of HM Late King Hussein Bin Talal of Jordan and HM Late Queen Alia Al Hussein and the wife of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai.

The Eagle Award is the United States Sports Academy’s highest international honor. It is presented to a world leader in sport to recognize that individual’s contributions in promoting international harmony, peace and goodwill through the effective use of sport. The recipient of this award must have tempered strength with keen judgment in using authority wisely as a means of bringing nations together through sport for the betterment of mankind.

Alabama Wins Chance to Defend its National Title and Earns Academy’s Game of the Week Honor

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Alabama mounted a fourth quarter comeback to defeat Georgia in the Southeastern Conference title game and earn selection as the Week 14 winner of the United States Sports Academy’s College Football Game of the Year Contest.

Last year's United States Sports Academy's College Football Game of the Year was Alabama's shutout, 21-0, of LSU in the national championship game. Daniel Moore's painting of the 2011 Game of the Year can be purchased online at newlifeart.com.

Alabama quarterback AJ McCarron threw a 45-yard touchdown pass to Amari Cooper with 3:15 remaining in the game to put No. 2 Alabama (12-1) ahead, 32-28.

But No. 3 Georgia (11-2) marched right down the field. After an apparent game-clinching interception by Alabama was overturned on a video review, Georgia quarterback Aaron Murray completed a 15-yard pass to Arthur Lynch, a 23-yarder to Tavarres King and a 26-yarder to Lynch, who was hauled down at the Alabama 8 as the final seconds ticked down.

Georgia’s Chris Conley caught a deflected pass and slipped down at the 5-yard line with only five seconds remaining but with no timeouts left the Bulldogs (11-2) didn’t get another play off.

Alabama trailed 21-10 with 6:31 left in the third quarter but rallied thanks to a running game that finished with 350 yards, an SEC championship game record. Eddie Lacy, the game’s MVP, rumbled for 181 yards on 20 carries, including two TDs, while freshman T.J. Yeldon added 153 yards on 25 carries and a TD. Meanwhile, Georgia was held to 113 yards on the ground.

Alabama now faces top-ranked Notre Dame (12-0) on Jan. 7 in Miami for the chance to clinch its third national college football title in four years. The matchup pits two of college football’s most storied programs with the Crimson Tide and Irish both having captured eight Associated Press national titles, more than any other schools.

A national panel of experts selects the weekly winner of the Academy’s College Football Game of the Year Contest. Each week’s winner is considered for the award honoring the best College Football Game of the Year at the end of the season.

This committee is currently chaired by Jack Lengyel, the former athletic director at the United States Naval Academy. Lengyel was also a college football coach best known for being the head coach who resurrected the Marshall University football program, as depicted in the 2006 film, “We Are Marshall.”

Daniel Moore, the American Sports Art Museum and Archives (ASAMA) 2005 Sport Artist of the Year, is commissioned by the Academy each year to create a painting honoring the selected College Football Game of the Year. The Academy, also known as America’s Sports University, donates the painting and $5,000 to the general scholarship fund of the annual winner.

Baylor Basketball Coach Mulkey Receives Academy’s 2012 C. Vivian Stringer Coaching Award

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Kim Mulkey made NCAA history in 2012 when the head coach of the Baylor University women’s basketball team led the Lady Bears to a perfect 40-game season—the first for any collegiate basketball program—that was capped with a national championship.

For her record of success that has made Mulkey the first person, male or female, in NCAA history to win a basketball national championship as a player, assistant coach, and head coach, she has earned the United States Sports Academy’s 2012 C. Vivian Stringer Coaching Award.

Baylor women's basketball coach Kim Mulkey (right) accepts the Academy's 2012 C. Vivian Stringer Coaching Award from Dr. Donn Renwick, a former dean at the Academy and chair of Sports Management.

Mulkey received the award during a pre-game presentation before No. 1 Baylor’s home opener against Lamar on Nov. 9. The award was presented by Dr. Donn Renwick, a former dean at the Academy and now a distance learning faculty member.

The Academy’s C. Vivian Stringer Coaching Award is annually presented to someone like Mulkey who has experienced outstanding achievement as a coach for female teams. In addition, the coaching award honors women who exhibit a high standard of propriety, imagination, and innovation as a character-builder in the tradition of great teacher-coaches.

Entering her 13th season at Baylor, Mulkey’s teams have won two national championships, made three Final Fours, and reached the Sweet 16 seven times in Baylor’s 11 NCAA tournament appearances. The Lady Bears won the national championship last year by defeating Notre Dame and also won in 2005.

Baylor has won 20 games in every season since Mulkey took over the program in 2000. In fact, she won her 300th career game in her 12th season, which is faster than any other active coaches ranked ahead of her in total victories. Connecticut’s Geno Auriemma attained the milestone in 13 seasons and Stanford’s Tara VanDerveer did it in 14 years. Mulkey’s overall record is 338 wins and 79 losses, which gives her .811 winning percentage that ranks fifth all-time. 

Mulkey was inducted into the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame in 2000 for her accomplishments as a player at Louisiana Tech University. Since the inception of the NCAA women’s tournament in 1982, which Mulkey won as a player with Louisiana Tech, she has been involved in that tournament as a player or coach every year except 1985 and 2003. She also won the 1984 gold medal as a member of the United States team.

Olympic Primetime TV Host Bob Costas Receives the Academy’s 2012 Ronald Reagan Media Award

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The United States Sports Academy’s 2012 Ronald Reagan Media Award winner is Bob Costas, who has been the primetime television host of a record nine Olympic games.

Costas, who joined NBC Sports in 1980 and has the longest tenure of any of the network’s sports announcers, presided over the most watched TV event ever in the United States with more than 219.4 million American viewers tuning in during the 17-day event. The NBC primetime broadcast of the Olympics averaged 31.1 million viewers.

Costas received his media award Nov. 28 at his NBC Sports office in New York City from Peter Tichansky, who is an Academy Board of Trustees member and president of the Business Council for International Understanding (BCIU).

NBC Sports broadcaster Bob Costas (right) receives the Academy's 2012 Ronald Reagan Media Award from Peter Tichansky, a Board of Trustees member.at his NBC office in New York City from Academy Board of Trustees member Peter Tichansky, who is president of the Business Council for International Understanding (BCIU).

The Academy’s Ronald Reagan Media Award, named in honor of the 40th President of the United States, is presented annually to an individual for outstanding contributions to sport through broadcasting, print, photography or acting. The individual, like this year’s award winner, should exhibit imagination, excitement and genius in kindling a keen public interest and appreciation for the role of sport in modern society.

During his nearly 40-year career, Costas has handled a wide array of assignments, including play-by-play, studio hosting and reporting. He now hosts NBC’s “Football Night in America” studio show and provides some commentary during NBC’s Sunday night game—the highest rated series on American prime-time television with as many as 20 million viewers a week.

He also serves as co-host of NBC’s coverage of the U.S. Open, Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes. Costas hosts a regular interview show titled MLB Network Studio 42 with Bob Costas as well as special programming, and provides play-by-play for select live Thursday Night Baseball games.

Costas, who won the Academy’s Regan Media Award in 1991, has won a record eight National Sportcaster of the Year awards from the National Sportscasters and Sportswriters Association, and was inducted into that organization’s Hall of Fame in 2012. In addition, Costas has won 23 Emmy awards—more than any sports broadcaster.

London Olympic Organizer Sebastian Coe Accepts Academy’s 2012 Eagle Award

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Sebastian Coe, the face of this summer’s Olympic and Paralympic Games as the chairman of the London Organizing Committee for the Olympic Games, accepted the United States Sports Academy’s 2012 Eagle Award.

Coe was presented the Eagle Award by Academy President and CEO Dr. Thomas P. Rosandich at the International Olympic Committee’s 8th World Conference on Sport, Culture and Education on Nov. 25 in Amsterdam.

Sebastian Coe (right), chairman of the London Organizing Committee for the Olympic Games, accepted the United States Sports Academy’s 2012 Eagle Award from the sports university's President and CEO Dr. Thomas P. Rosandich at International Olympic Committee meetings Nov. 25 in Amsterdam.

Coe has a longtime commitment to the Olympic Movement and oversaw what is widely heralded as one of the best staged Olympic Games in recent history, leading him to receive the award. It is the Academy’s highest international honor and annually goes to a world leader in sport to recognize that individual’s contributions in promoting international harmony, peace, and goodwill through the effective use of sport.

Coe has said that London 2012 is not only about five weeks of summer sport but about encouraging more people to take up sport at all levels of competition.

He competed as a middle distance runner for Great Britain and is considered among the nation’s top Olympians. Coe won four Olympic medals, including the 1,500 meters gold medal at the Olympic Games in 1980 and 1984, and set eight outdoor and three indoor world records in middle distance track events and also participated in a world record relay. In 2012, he was of one of 24 athletes inducted as inaugural members of the International Association of Athletics Federations Hall of Fame

Following his retirement from athletics, Coe served as a Member of Parliament for the Conservative Party for five years from 1992–1997, and became a life peer in 2000. He was the head of the London bid to host the 2012 Summer Olympics, and, after the International Olympic Committee (IOC) awarded the games to London, became the chairman of the London Organizing Committee for the Olympic Games.

In addition in 2007, he was also elected a vice-president of the International Association of Athletics Federations and last year was re-elected for another four year term.

Worldwide Online Voting Begins for the Academy’s Male and Female Athlete of the Year

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For the 28th consecutive year, the United States Sports Academy will name an Athlete of the Year in conjunction with NBC Sports.

Sports fans from across the world will decide who the most outstanding male and female athletes were in 2012 through online voting on the Academy’s website at www.ussa.edu. The ballot of 12 males and 12 females goes live at midnight Saturday, Dec. 1 and closes at midnight Friday, Dec. 21.

No. 1 ranked men's tennis player Novak Djokovic of Serbia was the Academy's male Athlete of the Year in 2011.

In 2011, the male Athlete of the Year was No. 1-ranked tennis player Novak Djokovic of Serbia and the female Athlete of the Year was No. 1-ranked golfer Yani Tseng of Taiwan. Both of them dominated 2011’s ballot that drew as many as 50,000 votes a day from across the world.

This year’s ballot includes a mixture of athletes from 11 different countries representing a wide variety of popular sports. Their performances stood out and provided some of the best highlights and stories in sports during the past year.

In alphabetical order, the 12 men competing for the Academy’s prestigious Athlete of the Year honor are: 1) Drew Brees, Football, United States; 2) Usain Bolt, Track and Field, Jamaica 3) Miguel Cabrera, Baseball, Venezuela; 4) J.R. Celski, Speedskating, United States; 5) Novak Djokovic, Tennis, Serbia; 6) Ashton Eaton, Track and Field, United States; 7) LeBron James, Basketball, United States;  8) Rory McIlroy, Golf, Ireland; 9) Lionel Messi, Soccer, Argentina; 10) Andy Murray, Tennis, Scotland; 11) Michael Phelps, Swimming, United States; and 12) Bradley Wiggins, Cycling, Great Britain.

Yani Tseng, the world's No. 1 ranked women's golfer, was the Academy's female Athlete of the Year in 2011.

In alphabetical order, the 12 women competing for the Academy’s prestigious Athlete of the Year honor are: 1) Victoria Azarenka, Tennis, Belarus; 2) Tamika Catchings, Basketball, United States; 3) Gabby Douglas, Gymnastics, United States; 4) Jessica Ennis, Track and Field, Great Britain; 5) Allyson Felix, Track and Field, United States; 6) Missy Franklin, Swimming, United States; 7) Carmelita Jeter, Track and Field, United States;  8) Carolina Kostner, Figure Skating, Italy; 9) Jessica Korda, Golf, United States; 10) Yani Tseng, Golf, Taiwan; 11) Lindsey Vonn, Skiing, United States; and 12) Serena Williams, Tennis, United States.

The Athlete of the Year ballot is the culmination of the Academy’s yearlong Athlete of the Month program, which recognizes the accomplishments of men and women in sports around the globe. Each month, the worldwide online votes along with the Academy’s selection committee choose the male and female winners.

The Academy, in conjunction with NBC Sports, will announce the 2012 Male and Female Athletes of the Year on Christmas Day on Tuesday, Dec. 25.

Congratulations to Our Newest Graduates!

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With rolling enrollment, the Academy’s students start their courses as soon as they are accepted without having to wait for the next semester to begin. The Academy is proud to announce its latest monthly graduates:

Bachelor’s Students

Kylan J. Easterling (St.Augustine, Fla.) – B.S.S. Sports Coaching
Joshua M. Eyer (Valdosta, Ga.) – B.S.S. Sports Coaching
Devven O. Presley (Kahului, Hawaii) – B.S.S. Sports Coaching

Master’s Students

Kristopher William Basgall (Columbus, Ga.) – M.S.S. Sports Medicine
Lewis Benton (Waldorf, Md.) – M.S.S. Sports Coaching
Benjamin Lewis Berland (Prince George, British Columbia) – M.S.S. Sports Management
Monique Violet Carroll (Cypress, Texas) – M.S.S. Sports Management
Curtis S. Chong (St. George, Utah) – M.S.S. Sports Management
Anne Therese Faria-Poynter (Alameda, Calif.) – M.S.S. Sports Coaching
Rebekah Thomas Garbett (Elgin, S.C.) – M.S.S. Sports Management
Daniel Jakobs (Mission, British Columbia) – M.S.S. Sports Coaching
Teresa A. Jones (Columbia, S.C.) – M.S.S. Sports Management
Dacia L. Moore (Redlands, Calif.) – M.S.S. Sports Management/Sports Fitness and Health Dual
Mr Ryan M Perkins (Edgewood, Texas) – M.S.S. Sports Management
Chad Edward Pio (Chinle, Ariz.) – M.S.S. Sports Coaching/Sports Studies Dual with NCAA Compliance Emphasis
Joseph H. Sherard (Belton, S.C.) – M.S.S. Sports Management
Jeffrey John Turner (Dallas, Ore.) – M.S.S. Sports Management/Sports Studies Dual with NCAA Compliance Emphasis
Blaine Michael Welch (Schofield, Wis.) – M.S.S. Sports Management with NCAA Compliance Emphasis
Brad Alan Wierenga (Summerville, S.C.) – M.S.S. Sports Management

AAICU Presents Scholarships to Three of the Academy’s Alabama Undergraduate Students

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Three Alabama undergraduate students at the United States Sports Academy recently received scholarships from the Alabama Association of Independent Colleges and Universities (AAICU).

Glenn Ashley Stephenson was named a Vulcan scholar, and Jamison Charles and Alexander Dillard were named AAICU scholars.

AAICU has distributed $87,000 in AAICU Scholarships to students at each of its member colleges and universities in the state of Alabama. The AAICU Scholarship Fund passes 100 percent of the contributions to the students in the form of scholarship aid. This year, the Academy received $3,100 in scholarship funds from AAICU designated for undergraduate Alabama residents with at least a 3.0 GPA.

Each scholarship distribution from AAICU included one named scholarship from Vulcan Materials. Vulcan Materials has partnered with AAICU to offer scholarship assistance since 1969 and established a named scholarship for each member college in 2007. The Academy proudly recognizes Stephenson as this year’s AAICU Vulcan Scholar.

“Being named and honored as a Vulcan Scholar at the Academy has an inherent economic benefit, but it also contains a psychological benefit as well,” Stephenson said. “Without a doubt, it has already given me a confidence boost toward the completion of my academic work, even under difficult and trying circumstances. I fully expect that this benefit will carry over and transfer to the pursuit of my career goals.”

Stephenson is currently pursuing a bachelor’s in sports management. At the end of this calendar year, he will have completed 33 hours toward the 60-hour program. In the future, Stephenson hopes to obtain a master’s degree in sports management from the Academy.

Before enrolling at the Academy, Stephenson had only completed part of his undergraduate coursework in mass communications at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. He worked for more than seven years in sport broadcasting at Samford University.

“I began to look for a way to enhance my academic credentials in light of my growing interest and desire for a significant sport career,” Stephenson said. “The sports management program at the Academy seemed like a perfect fit to compliment my previous work and further provide me with an array of opportunities for the application of my evolving skills, abilities and talent.”

Stephenson’s future goals include employment with a university athletic department or professional sports organization working in the areas of sports information, media and public relations or football operations.

The Academy recognizes Charles and Dillard as scholarship recipients from the AAICU Scholarship Distribution.

“As a person that works full time and is married with three children, this scholarship will ease the financial burden of going back to school and further propel me to achieve excellence in my studies,” said Charles, who is currently in his junior year at the Academy pursuing a bachelor’s in sports coaching. “I feel that educating myself at a university that pursues excellence in the sporting world will give me a chance to get my foot in the door as a coach and begin a new career in the public education sport arena.”

Academy Sends Another Team of Faculty to Retrain Malaysian P.E. Teachers

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A team of 14 instructors are spending two weeks teaching in the United States Sports Academy’s new pilot program, which is retraining 1,000 of Malaysia’s physical education teachers.

Academy instructor Barbara Wise (front row, center) with some of her Malaysian students who made matching red shirts to wear in class.

The Academy’s group of experienced physical education teachers is taking part in a “surge” from Dec. 1 to Dec. 9 and will teach fitness and facilities management courses that will wrap up the six-month program. The Academy sent a group of 13 educators on a three-week “surge” starting July 25 to help jump start the new pilot program. The Academy has had seven full-time sports university faculty members who have been teaching courses in Malaysia since June 20.

The Malaysia Ministry of Education (MOE) approved the pilot program, which ends in mid-December. The courses are taught in six different locations throughout the country, which is considered one of the most beautiful in Southeast Asia.

Leading the program in Malaysia is Dr. Dale Reeves, who has taught and coached basketball, football and softball at the high school level for about 35 years and who received his doctorate in Sports Management in 2002 from the Academy.

Barbara Wise, who also participated in the first surge in July, says she is looking forward to returning to instruct the Malaysian teachers. Wise earned her master’s in Sports Medicine from the Academy in 2006 and is now working on her doctorate.

“They really wanted the information we are presenting and excited to learn it,” Wise said. “It’s a very unique experience and reminded me why I love to teach.”

It is anticipated that the International Diploma in Physical Education and Scholastic Sports (IDPESS) program may expand into a five-year effort and include the retraining of 50,000 Malaysian teachers. The Academy’s faculty developed the 10-course diploma program to teach in Malaysia, which was approved by the Malaysian Qualifications Authority (MQA), a national accrediting body.

The Academy’s relationship with Malaysia spans several decades with its first sports education programs beginning in 1981. The Academy has also delivered its International Certificate in Sports Management (ICSM) and International Certificate in Sports Coaching (ICSC) programs through the National Sports Institute (ISN) in Malaysia.

Academy President and CEO Dr. Thomas P. Rosandich, who first coached track and field in the country when it gained independence in the late 1950s, says he is confident Malaysia’s newly trained teachers will have a positive impact on the country’s sports programs for youth.

“We are retraining them in the area of sport to help build interscholastic sports programs, which are key to the American sports system,” he said. “Having coached there years ago, I know Malaysia has great talent and it has been fun to work with its educators and young people.”

If you are interested in teaching opportunities overseas in Malaysia or elsewhere with the Academy, please forward a letter of interest, résumé, and three professional references to jobs@ussa.edu; or to United States Sports Academy, Attention: Dean of Administration and Finance, One Academy Drive, Daphne, AL 36526; or fax it to  251-621-2527.

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