Assistant Professor, Sport and Exercise Science
Fac.Rep.,Athletics
Chairperson, Sport and Exercise Science
Phone: 814-871-7788
Office: M 165
willow001@gannon.edu

  • Biography
  • Educational History
  • Professional Societies
  • Scholarship/Research
  • Service

Biography

He is currently a tenured assistant professor and program director of the Sport and Exercise Science program at Gannon University in Erie, PA, a position he his held since completing his Ph.D. in Kinesiology from Penn State University in 2002. Prior to Penn State, Dr. Willow earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Edinboro University in 1994, and a master’s of science in sport studies with a concentration in sports behavior and performance from Miami University in 1996. He holds professional memberships with the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM), the Association of Applied Sport Psychology (AASP), the American Psychological Association (Division 47), the North American Society for the Psychology of Sport and Physical Activity (NASPSPA) and has been a member of American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance (AAHPERD), the National Association for Sport and Physical Education (NASPE) and the American Association for Physical Activity and Recreation (AAPAR)

Under his direction, the Gannon Sport and Exercise Science program has grown from a faculty of one and student population of 28 in 2002 to a faculty cohort of seven full-time members and a student population of over 200. Dr. Willow, with the help of his colleagues, has been instrumental in the growth of the undergraduate program through the addition and revision of program curriculum using ACSM guidelines and through active promotion of exercise science and related fields to the student body. Most recently, the faculty were happy to announce the approval of our first advanced degree as the Master of Science in Sport and Exercise Science degree program, with a concentration in Human Performance received full approval in Fall of 2012.

Dr. Willow’s research focus and professional interests lie in overall performance enhancement for both elite and recreational athletes, primarily from the perspective of sport and exercise psychology. He addresses these interests both as a faculty member, and also through private consulting with Competitive Edge Consulting, a company founded by him offering educational and performance enhancement services to both athletes and non-athletes. His consulting services have been utilized by non-athletes, recreational weekend warriors and highly skilled professional athletes alike. Additionally, primarily because of his knowledge and experience in the sport sciences, Dr. Willow was recently named Head Women’s Golf Coach at Gannon.

Educational History

  • Pennsylvania State University, Doctor of Philosophy in Kinesiology with a concentration in Exercise Psychology, Dissertation: Exercise Participation and Self Esteem: An Examination of a Multiple Mediating Model, 2002
  • Miami University, Master of Science in Sports Studies with a concentration in Sport Behavior and Performance, 1996
  • Edinboro University of Pennsylvania, Bachelor of Arts in Psychology, 1994.

Professional Societies

  • American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM)
  • Association of Applied Sport Psychology (AASP)
  • North American Society for the Psychology of Sport and Physical Activity (NASPSPA)
  • American Psychological Association (APA Division 47)

Scholarship/Research

Dr. Willow’s research focus and professional interests lie in overall performance enhancement for both elite and recreational athletes, primarily from the perspective of sport and exercise psychology. These research interests include, but are not limited to

  • self talk
  • mental imagery
  • goal setting
  • team building
  • communication
  • coaching effects on satisfaction and performance
  • relaxation and arousal management techniques
  • characteristics of the exercise environment and their effects on psychology responses to physical activity
  • self-presentation of athletes and fans
  • body image

Service

Recent Service Activities
  • Faculty Athletic Representative (July 2012 to present)
  • Women's golf coach (Fall 2009 - Spring 2012)
  • Sport and Exercise Faculty Search Committee Chair (Spring 2013)
  • Dean of Morosky College of Health Professions and Science Search Committee (Spring 2013)
  • Head Coach Acrobatics and Tumbling Search Committee (Spring 2013)
  • Graduate Coucil (Fall 2012 to present)
  • Chair of Faculty Athletics Committee
  • Recreation Center Renovation Committee (Fall 2011 to present)
  • Human performance/movement analysis lab design work group (Fall 2012 to present)
  • Family First feasibility work group (Fall 2011 to Spring 2012)
  • Graduate and adult student open house (Fall 2012 to present)