MSEA HeadshotHood College graduate students make contributions to their fields even before they graduate! Casey Rudzinski, a student in the M. A. in Interdisciplinary Studies in Human Behavior (ISHB) program, recently worked on a fact sheet for the American Psychological Association (APA) called ‘Fostering Resilience Through Athletics.’ As the publication explains; “while it is not possible to protect youth athletes from the ups and downs inherent in sport (and in life), it is possible to provide them with the tools they need to respond to challenges.”


 Casey is working on his second graduate degree. He has a B.S. from Temple University in Sport and Recreation Management and an M.A. in Sports Management from Mount Saint Mary’s University. Through his background in sports, he began to realize that “coaching is all about psychology…mental wellness needs to be part of the overall health concerns for athletes.” He eventually plans to go for his PhD in Psychology and decided to come to Hood to get more background in psychology. As part of the newly re-designed ISHB program, Casey thinks that its strengths are the wide variety of class choice. It is also “tailored to fit the needs of the students, not to one career or viewpoint.” Outside of graduate school, Casey is already working in the community. He coaches girls’ basketball at Tuscarora High, where he is an Instructional Assistant. He is on the Board of Directors of the Frederick Association for School Staff Employees and is also on the board of the Maryland Basketball Coaches Association.


With his background in sports and psychology, Casey was happy to work with the APA on this project. He explains that it was an overlap between sports and psychology, and writers were trying to make the sports aspect more approachable to people with a psychology background. Most of the people working on the project had the background in psychology, and Casey brought insight from his time in sports. All worked together to create a fact sheet with ideas for parents, coaches, and sports psychology professionals to help youth athletes develop resilience. With practical ideas and theory, Casey and his colleagues created a document that people can really use.