July 06, 2011 06:24 ET

National Academy of Sports Medicine and California University of Pennsylvania Announce Summer 2011 Pursuit of Excellence Recipients

2011 Brings Total Tuition Grants to Over $225K Since the Award's Inception

MESA, AZ--(Marketwire - Jul 6, 2011) - The National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM), a health and fitness education authority and sports performance solutions provider, and the California University of Pennsylvania (CalU) announced today that Dan Cordell and Shermin Patel have been awarded the Summer 2011 Pursuit of Excellence.

Cordell and Patel will each receive full tuition funding, valued at more than $15,000, to be applied during the 2011 academic year toward a Master of Science degree in Exercise Science and Health Promotion at CalU. Each will select one of the school's four, internet-based specific tracks: fitness and wellness; performance enhancement and injury prevention; rehabilitation science; and sports psychology in which to specialize their training.

"The recipients of our Pursuit of Excellence award have displayed remarkable dedication towards improving health, fitness and athletic development, which is reflected through their combined accomplishments," said Dr. Mike Clark, NASM president and CEO. "Dan's and Shermin's peers and colleagues highly recommended each of the candidates, commending their professional abilities as well as their compassion and dedication found in everything they pursue. We congratulate them on their hard work and hope this scholarship will further their life-long commitment to learning and working in the health and fitness industry."

Cordell, an alumnus of CalU and Atlanta resident, has spent much of his adult life teaching others how to achieve their health and fitness potential. "The collaborative effort between NASM and CalU ensures that the challenges that face fitness and wellness professionals become less daunting and more inviting in terms of providing practical solutions," said Cordell. "This award provides great opportunities in furthering my education and career."

Patel has worked as an athletic trainer at collegiate and professional levels, clinical settings and various contract work. The Southwest Texas State grad and Austin, TX resident is looking forward to starting her MS in rehabilitation sciences through CalU, which will be the catalyst in helping build her vision. "I'm truly excited to start the program, be able to focus on the course work without any financial burden, and see what doors this will open for me," said Patel.

NASM supports the continued development of the health, fitness, athletic performance and sports medicine industry through various higher education initiatives. Since 2005, the bi-annual Pursuit of Excellence in Health and Fitness award program has provided busy health and fitness professionals with an array of opportunities to advance their careers through online graduate and degree programs.

The criteria for candidates applying for the Pursuit of Excellence in Health and Fitness Scholarships include a bachelor's degree; an overall GPA of at least 3.0 for all undergraduate and graduate courses to date; plan to enroll in a master's degree program track at CalU, which offers the entire curriculum online; and intent to pursue a career in the health and fitness industry.

About California University of Pennsylvania (CalU):
CalU was named the #1 online education university for 2010 according to study conducted by SR Education Group (Kirkland, WA). CalU, a comprehensive regional institution of higher education and a member of the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education, is a diverse caring and scholarly learning community dedicated to excellence in the liberal arts, science and technology, and professional studies that is devoted to building character and careers, broadly defined. Founded in 1852, and now in its second 150 years of service, the University is committed above all to academic excellence and intellectual rigor in the context of personal and institutional integrity, civility and responsibility. For more information, visit:

About NASM:
Since 1987, the National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM) has been a global leader in providing evidence-based certifications and advanced credentials to Health and Fitness Professionals. In addition to its NCCA-accredited fitness Certified Personal Trainer (CPT) certification, NASM offers a progressive career track with access to Advanced Specializations, Continuing Education courses, and accredited Bachelor and Master Degree programs. The NASM educational continuum is designed to help today's Health and Fitness Professional enhance their career, while empowering their clients to live healthier lives. To learn more, visit: or call 1.800.460.NASM (6276).

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