Dr. Ellen J. West


Department of Exercise Sciences and Sport Studies


West has taught a variety of the web-based and on-campus courses. These include courses in the M.S. in exercise and health promotion, B.S. in sport management studies (fitness and wellness track) and B.S. in athletic training education programs.

She has continued her education at Penn State University in the areas of chemical dependency counselor education, health and adult education. 

Prior to coming to California, West was an assistant professor and assistant athletic trainer in the Department of Exercise Science and Athletics at Bloomsburg University (1992-2004). At Bloomsburg, she was active as an adviser for the undergraduate exercise science major, the Student Athletic Training Club, the Student Athletic Advisory Committee and IMAGE (a sign-language performance group), and was on numerous department and university committees. She has served as head athletic trainer for two high schools locally, Bentworth and Carmichaels. For 11 years, she has been an active instructor for the American Red Cross.

Professionally, West holds membership in the National Athletic Trainers' Association (NATA), the Eastern Athletic Trainers' Association (EATA) and the Pennsylvania Athletic Trainers' Society (PATS). She is a member of the Women in Athletic Training Committee for EATA, and has served as a member on the board of directors for PATS.

West and her husband, Tom, a fellow faculty member at PennWest California, live in Belle Vernon. They have two sons, Tucker and Sam, and a daughter, Grace.


  • Introduction to Fitness
  • Psychology of Sport
  • Business and Entrepreneurship in the Fitness Industry
  • Current Topics in Performance Enhancement
  • Industrial, Clinical and Corporate Wellness
  • Current Health Issues

Research Interests

  • Education leadership
  • Leadership styles
  • Athletic training education
  • Sport psychology
  • Sport nutrition

Research Projects That Include Students

Investigating differences in learning styles of traditional face-to-face students and online web-based students.

Service Learning Projects

  • Instructor for the American Red Cross - authorization includes Columbia, Northumberland, Snyder, Westmoreland and Washington counties.
  • Parent Teacher Organization and homeroom parent, Rostraver Elementary School
  • Stockings for Soldiers, highway clean-up, PennWest California annual Health Fair (with Athletic Training Club)

In The Classroom

"Based on Einstein's platform on educational philosophy, my teaching methods hinge on three things.  First, I try to educate the student as a free individual. By spurring Socratic inquiry, I foster understanding and discovery. Students are encouraged to use critical thinking skills for determining the truth for themselves.  Problem solving and critical thinking are difficult skills to learn and master, but they are perhaps the skills most essential in today's changing world. Second, I educate the student as a part of society. While the students should remain self-reflective, they need to see their responsibility, contribution and significance in the world around them. Third, and most importantly, I like to think that education should be fun. My educational philosophy and teaching approach remain learner-centered, utilizing teachable moments when opportunity presents itself. "

  • B.S.: Education, PennWest California, dual major in Athletic Training and Elementary Education
  • M.S.: Physical Education, West Virginia University, Athletic Training emphasis
  • Ed.D.: Leadership Studies, West Virginia University

Email: West_E@pennwest.edu

Phone: 724-938-4356

Office: Hamer Hall Room 237