Clemson University is known in the classroom and on the field for its athletic prowess. Clemson’s Robert H. Brooks Sports Science Institute stimulates research and scholarship across campus in support of the wide-ranging study of sports sciences, from human performance initiatives and injury prevention research to advancements in paralympic sports and much more. With the help of multi-disciplinary committees serving at the intersection of athletics and academics, the Institute recently selected students and faculty to receive financial awards for the 2023-24 academic year to further their pursuit of excellence in the field of sports.
Mark V. Bellamy Brooks Endowed Scholarship
Endowed in memory of Robert H. Brooks’ late son, Mark Brooks ’91, this fund provides a scholarship to an undergraduate student in each of the four legacy programs. Students are required to demonstrate their accomplishments and career goals in sports sciences. The following students have been awarded the Mark V. Bellamy Brooks Endowed Scholarships for the 2023-2024 academic year:
Neal is a rising junior from Marietta, Ga. studying both Sports Communication and Financial Management during the 2023-2024 school year.
“Sports have been ever-present in my life. So much so in fact, that I wrote my Clemson application essay on my affection for college football. Sports are a powerful force that can bring people together, and as someone who is very competitive, the emotion and excitement that sports can invoke is what has kept me involved in sports throughout my life.
I have been able to play many different roles within sports. I have been a player, a coach on the sidelines for youth sports, a referee, as well as someone who has worked behind the scenes in an operational role. As a sports communication major, it has been amazing to be able to spend class time learning how sports function in society while simultaneously seeing how a career in sports could look through my experience with Clemson football as a recruiting assistant. It has been surreal to be a part of a football program like Clemson’s, and I am so thankful that I get to work with so many amazing people that have positively impacted my college experience. I have learned so much about what goes into a college football program and the recruiting process, most important being relationships and the ability to build connections with people.
I want to thank my family, the Robert H. Brooks Sports Science Institute, Clemson University, and everyone who has played a role in helping me become a recipient of the Mark V. Bellamy Brooks Endowed Scholarship. I look forward to continuing my work within sports as I start my junior year. Go Tigers!”
Chambers is a rising senior from Wayne, N.J., studying Marketing with minors in sports communication and brand communication. She has interned with Clemson athletics, Home Team Sports and will be interning with the Miami Dolphins.
“I am honored and incredibly grateful to be awarded this year’s Mark V. Bellamy Brooks Endowed Scholarship. Sports have always been at the forefront of my life and I knew attending Clemson would allow me the perfect opportunity to achieve my career goals. My journey began in Clemson’s athletic marketing department, followed by a summer in New York City at Home Team Sports, a division of Playfly Sports, expanding into the media and linear television space. I have since also developed experience in Clemson’s Corporate Partnerships department and recently joined Clemson Football’s P.A.W. Journey as a player relations student worker.
I have grown a deep passion for providing unforgettable experiences to those around me and newly being a resource to scholar-athletes. I am eternally grateful for the people I have met and relationships I have developed. I am excited to see what the future holds with my next endeavor heading to the Miami Dolphins for their 2023 Summer Internship Program as a Community Relations Intern. Thank you to the Clemson Marketing department and Robert H. Brooks Sports Science Institute for recognizing me for my work!”
Kamsickas is a rising senior in the Parks, Recreation, and Tourism Management department.
“The game of golf is about much more than trying to hit a small ball into a hole in as few shots as possible. Golf has the ability to create and strengthen relationships that ultimately makes our community stronger. I knew that a career in golf would give me the opportunity to be a part of something special, and working towards this career has been one of the best decisions of my life.
I am a member of the final cohort of the Professional Golf Management program at Clemson. This program has given me the opportunity to learn about my field beyond what was taught in the classroom through valuable internship experiences at the Fishers Island Club (N.Y.), Merion Golf Club (Pa.), and The Country Club- Brookline (Mass.). During these internships, I spent time learning skills from some of the most influential professionals in the industry and those skills included: merchandising, event management, teaching/coaching, junior programming, outside operations, and much more. However, the most important lesson that I have learned both in the classroom and on internships is that the best skill that a golf professional has is their ability to create meaningful relationships in their community through the game of golf.
It is an incredible honor to be a recipient of the Mark V. Bellamy Brooks Endowed Scholarship at Clemson University. This would not be possible without support from the team of faculty, students, my family, and so many others who have pushed me beyond what I thought I was capable of. I am excited to continue to learn about the impact that I can have on the communities around me through the game of golf in my senior year at Clemson and beyond.”
From Johns Creek, Ga., Pearce is a senior in Mechanical Engineering pursuing a minor in Electrification of Transportation and a Certificate in Automotive Engineering.
“Since a young age I have always admired the engineered beauty of different vehicles, as did my father who owned several different performance vehicles throughout my childhood. This passion led me to apply for different opportunities in the automotive industry, such as working at BMW and the Clemson University International Center for Automotive Research (CU-ICAR). Through my experiences at BMW as an Acoustics (NVH) Engineering Co-op and as a Research Assistant at CU-ICAR, I have gained a wealth of industry and research knowledge. This summer I will continue my experience at BMW as an Exterior Product Engineering Intern, and in the fall, I will continue to further my knowledge and NVH skills as an NVH Intern at Tesla. My ultimate career goal is to become an automotive engineer in a field where I can make a direct contribution to the development and testing of innovative technologies related to sustainability and performance.
I am truly honored to accept the Mark V. Bellamy Brooks Scholarship, which holds great significance for me as an automotive engineering certificate student. This scholarship not only recognizes my academic achievements but also offers me financial support that will enable me to continue pursuing my passion for engineering in the automotive industry. I would like to express my sincerest appreciation to the scholarship committee for selecting me as the recipient of this prestigious award. This scholarship will undoubtedly be a pivotal moment in my academic journey and will provide me with the support and resources necessary to reach my full potential. I am looking forward to making the most of this opportunity and using it to achieve my academic and career goals.”
Research Seed Grants
Each year, competitive seed grants are awarded to Clemson faculty and researchers to engage in multidisciplinary sports research. The following seed grants have been awarded for the 2022-2023 academic year:
Jessica Aviles, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor, Industrial Engineering
“EXO SPORTS: Identifying the unique mobility and training needs of individuals with spinal cord injury for increased participation in exoskeleton marathon racing”
In 2019, an estimated 900,000 global incidents of spinal cord injury (SCI) occurred. SCI has lasting physiological and psychological effects such as loss of sensation and mobility, cognitive impairment and depression. With recent technological advances and the growing emphasis on maintaining physical fitness, the population of individuals with mobility impairments that want to participate in athletics is growing. However, mobility aids for individuals with SCI other than wheelchairs are very limited and generally include a variety of orthotic devices which are incompatible for higher (more severe) levels of SCI and are not optimized for sports. Alternatively, novel assistive devices, such as exoskeletons, may be a viable option for individuals with higher levels of injury and limited trunk control. Exoskeletons provide full body weight support and actuate the user’s paralyzed body segments to allow individuals to walk independently, thereby increasing mobility and physical activity. This study aims to develop a survey-based tool that guides individuals with SCI to select a ‘best fit’ exoskeleton for participation in sports such as exoskeleton marathon racing, and identify the training targets for increased strength and endurance for increased performance in exoskeleton marathon racing and explore to what extent the training program needs to be individualized to be participant-specific.
Marissa Shuffler-Porter, Ph.D.
Associate Professor, Psychology
“GETTING TO ‘ALL IN’: Team Development in the Context of NCAA Sports Teams”
Two of the most pressing issues in the ‘new landscape’ of college athletics is student-athlete retention and mental health. Starting at Clemson University, this research has application in college sports teams as well as the future of work in a range of organizational settings. Industrial organizational psychologists have studied and developed interventions focused on performance, retention and well-being in dynamic team environments for years. By integrating an organizational psychology approach to athletic team functioning, we can better understand how the new landscape of college sports impacts student-athletes’ perceptions of their team and how these perceptions influence outcomes related to retention, mental health and performance.
About the Robert H. Brooks Sports Science Institute
Thanks to the generosity of the late Robert H. Brooks, ’60, the Institute began in the 1990s with an emphasis on motorsports engineering, sports communication, sports management and sports marketing. The Institute defines, enhances and promotes the role of sports in academia and society. It provides experiential learning opportunities through academic programs, research, sports organizations and support for service and outreach programs. Through all of its activities, the Institute prepares people to perform at the highest levels within sports industries and provides an acute understanding of the significance of sport in modern society.
Clemson University undertakes this mission out of deep respect for Robert H. Brooks and as testimony to his love for Clemson University and his love for sports.