While she was in Lynchburg interviewing for a sport and exercise studies professor position, Meghan Halbrook stopped by the Lynchburg Humane Society. She told the staff there that if she got the job at Randolph, she would adopt a dog. Now just a few months later, she is settling into her new role and is the proud owner of a one-year-old black lab mix named Kai.
This semester, Halbrook is teaching Lifetime Wellness, Sport Management and the Sport and Exercise Senior Seminar. She will also help expand the sport and exercise studies curriculum and will teach new classes in the spring, including Sport and Ethics, Sport Leadership, and Sport Psychology.
“I hope students learn things in my classes that they can apply to their lives,” Halbrook said. “I want to help them become more aware of things that are going on around them and make them more aware of their own tendencies and perceptions of others and of society. I want to build their understanding of the sports world beyond just what they see on ESPN.”
Halbrook earned her B.A. from the University of Missouri-St. Louis, her M.S. from Ball State University, and an M.A. and Ph.D. from West Virginia University. While earning her Ph.D., she worked as an assistant for Well WVU, an organization that focuses on student health and wellness. She also taught classes and worked as a sport and exercise psychology consultant for the WVU rowing team.
Prior to Randolph, Halbrook worked in the military’s Comprehensive Soldier and Family Fitness program. In her role as a master resilience trainer, she taught cognitive training skills to soldiers to help them control their anxiety and other emotions in order to improve focus.
Halbrook also brings with her a wealth of research experience in the social sciences. She wrote her thesis on motivation and team cohesion at Ball State and is currently studying lesbian, gay, and bisexual athletes and their relationships with coaches. In the future, she plans to examine female referee experiences in male sports.
At Randolph, she has already found her students to be passionate about sports and her classes. “I’m very impressed with the level of engagement of the students here,” Halbrook said. “The amount of questions I get in class and after is exciting because those are the kinds of students you always want to teach—the ones who are engaged and excited about the material.”
Most of all, Halbrook is excited that Randolph’s small class sizes will allow her to get to know her students on a personal level and tailor classes to what her students want to learn.
“I think it’s a unique opportunity for someone to come in and help build a program,” she said. “I’m very grateful to be here and able to make a difference in students’ lives.”