Matt Dunne

Sport and Performance Psychology Student

Program & Concentration: Sport and Performance Psychology – Concentration in Positive Leadership Coaching Student

Hometown: Grew up in New Jersey, currently resides in Phuket, Thailand

Expected Graduation Date: September 2021

Prior Education or Experience: Bachelor of Arts in American Studies, Fairfield University, Fairfield, CT

Bio: For the past 20 years, Matt Dunne has held various positions in corporate sales and business development for companies ranging from ADP, Microsoft and IBM, to start-ups in the advertising technology and pharmaceutical consulting space. In 2017, Dunne left his position as sales director with the Weather Channel to begin working in drug and alcohol counseling, providing educational and vocational support for those in early recovery. Along with his sport and performance psychology (SPP) studies at UWS, Dunne is simultaneously completing a degree in addiction studies from Brookdale Community College in New Jersey, where he will receive his certification in drug and alcohol counseling. Dunne is certified as a relapse prevention instructor.

Why did you choose UWS?

At the time I applied to UWS, it was the only online university whose core curriculum was designed to prepare its students for the Certified Mental Performance Consultant (CMPC) exam. I thought this showed a level of forethought and commitment to its students, preparing them for the next phase of their career, that other universities might not.

Why did you choose your program/concentration?

Over the course of my life, I’ve read various biographies about athletes, coaches, exceptional people and leaders who demonstrated the mindset to operate at an elite level. The ideas and concepts behind sport and performance psychology are the guiding principles behind their success. I’ve always found their outlook and approach fascinating.

In 2017, I took on a new role as a sales director at the Weather Channel and was looking for ways to better motivate myself and my sales team. I thought the practical applications of the SPP degree would be extremely beneficial. Some questions I kept coming back to were: “How can I better manage my team?” “How can I help them bounce back from setbacks?” “How can I help them perform at their best?”

Not long after that, I decided to change careers and work in drug and alcohol counseling where I found the same concepts in SPP could help those in recovery (managing anxiety, resilience, the importance of routine, visualization, positive self-talk). I chose the leadership concentration within the SPP program because as the leader of an organization I am creating, I want to understand how to create the environment and conditions to help colleagues and clients flourish.

What has been your favorite class/instructor?

Psychology of Performance Excellence taught by Dr. Matt Condie.

What is your favorite way to relieve stress outside of the office and classroom?

I love to play golf. I work out at the gym 5-6 times per week. I make sure to develop and maintain social connections.

What do you hope to do after graduation?

In January 2022, I expect to open a sober-living retreat for people new in recovery where I live in Thailand. At the retreat, sport and performance psychology will inform the overall structure and philosophy of the curriculum.