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Appalachian’s Department of Health, Leisure and Exercise Science receives graduate school’s Dean’s Award

BOONE—The exercise science graduate degree program in Appalachian State University’s Department of Health, Leisure and Exercise Science received the 2007 Dean’s Award for Excellence in Graduate Education.

The Dean’s Award, presented annually by the Cratis D. Williams Graduate School, recognizes one graduate program for its superb performance.

“The exercise science graduate program was the first to win this award when it was created,” said Dr. Edelma Huntley, dean of the Cratis D. Williams Graduate School. “It is very fitting that the program has won again. It shows sustained excellence. They join a very small group having won this award twice since it began in 1992-93.”

Programs are judged by regional, national and international involvement of outstanding graduate faculty in the program; awards won by the program; awards won by students in the program; student presentations at regional and national meetings; publications with graduate students as sole or first authors; successful general recruiting efforts and/or successful recruiting efforts to achieve a diverse student population; external funding for faculty or student research; support from the department or deans for student travel; and outcome information.

The exercise science program prepares qualified professionals for employment in athletics programs, exercise/fitness centers, hospital wellness programs, corporate fitness programs, rehabilitation centers, and allied health areas focusing on exercise physiology, biomechanics, physical therapy, medicine, chiropractic medicine and research.

The master of science program offers three concentrations: research, clinical/cardiopulmonary rehabilitation, and strength and conditioning.

The program has seen an impressive number of regional and national presentations by its students. In addition, faculty members have received a record number of externally funded research project dollars, enabling graduate and undergraduate students to gain hands-on experience in applied research. This research has allowed faculty to be more cutting edge in the classroom as well.

“This award reflects the hard work and diligence of the entire exercise science faculty,” said Dr. Paul Gaskill, chair of the Department of Health, Leisure and Exercise Science. “Through the additional efforts of graduate program director Dr. Chuck Dumke and exercise science program director Dr. Harold O’Bryant, one of the finest exercise science graduate degree programs in the country has been developed. Given the number of outstanding graduate programs here at Appalachian, it is a true honor to be chosen for this award.”

Graduates of the exercise science program have seen great success, attending top-notch institutions for Ph.D. degrees, establishing their own businesses and working in the field.

For more information about the master of science in exercise science degree or any HLES program, visit