BROWNWOOD – November 4, 2015 – Howard Payne University’s newest graduate program, the Master of Education in Sport and Wellness Leadership (SWELL), is underway this fall with an opening cohort of 19 graduate students. Students are taking two courses, Leadership Seminar and Resource Management, on Monday and Tuesday evenings on the Brownwood campus. In addition, 11 of the students are serving HPU as graduate assistants in athletic coaching, sports information, event management, intramurals and departmental administration, gaining practical experience while preparing for leadership roles in the sport and wellness industries.
Among this initial cohort are six with no previous ties to HPU and five current university employees. The remaining students are HPU graduates, both recent and as far back as 2005.
Chassidy Holloway was completing her bachelor’s degree at the University of Alabama – Birmingham when she learned of HPU and the SWELL program.
“Once I made my visit to campus, I knew that this would be the perfect fit,” she said.
Today, Holloway serves as a graduate assistant in the Department of Exercise and Sport Science (ESS).
“The way classes are structured allows the students opportunities to really engage in the topics we discuss and find ways to incorporate them into our current work,” she said. “The classes have really helped me to cultivate my thinking and expand my insight on the opportunities available in the sport and wellness community. We have all bonded through our respect and passion for our respective fields and I believe that our engagement in class is a direct result of that bond.”
Dr. Graham Hatcher serves as program director and chair of the ESS department.
“We are already seeing the vitality of our department enhanced by our graduate students,” he observed. “They have served as class resources, assisted with fitness assessments for our ESS 1100 course and interacted informally with our undergraduate majors. We’ve moved from simply describing what graduate school offers to being able to demonstrate that firsthand. This group has had a range of professional experiences already in such diverse fields as international sport coaching, business ownership, university athletic administration and undergraduate teaching, yet they saw the benefit of added value by pursuing an advanced academic degree. Our department and the university are benefiting from their presence in measurable ways.”
Holloway said she feels honored to be at HPU and a member of the initial cohort of the SWELL program.
“The faculty I encounter daily are knowledgeable and accessible,” she said. “Having attended a larger institution as an undergraduate, I love the intimate feel on campus here at Howard Payne.”
To learn more about HPU’s Master of Education in Sport and Wellness Leadership degree program, visit www.hputx.edu/swell or call Dr. Graham Hatcher at (325) 649-8966.
Photo cutline: Chassidy Holloway, left, graduate assistant in HPU’s Master of Education in Sport and Wellness Leadership program, assists Jada Evans, sophomore, on the treadmill.