Sports camp coach returns from NCAA Sports Forum

After a busy spring in which he played soccer at full speed and presented research in between, Dale Howard’s summer is even busier.

The Psychology major from Murrieta was selected to represent Dominican in the NCAA Career in Sports Forum (CSF) June 5-8 at NCAA headquarters in Indianapolis. Howard was one of 200 student-athletes chosen from 1,100 applicants nationwide to participate in the conference. CSF is an annual educational forum sponsored by the NCAA that brings together student-athletes to learn and explore potential careers in sports, with the primary focus on intercollegiate athletics. The CSF is designed to assist student-athletes in charting their career paths, to give them the opportunity to network and to learn from current athletics professionals.

Once the NCAA’s CSF ended Howard returned to coach soccer, flag football and Summer Odyssey program students through Dominican Sports Camps, which began on June 9.


“I love kids. That’s the best part,” Howard says. “My little cousins are playing soccer now and I feel they want to improve and pursue the sport even more because I’m their big role model.”

Howard’s role modeling extends beyond the soccer field. In April, he and three other Dominican students – Victoria Grajeda, Jacqueline Bewley and Jihyn Kim – presented at the Western Psychological Association conference in Portland, Ore. Their abstract – Aesthetic Differences in Taking a Photograph: A Cultural Comparison – examined holistic and analytic differences as related to cultural differences. Their study focused on a natural setting, using confederates posing as tourists and asking potential participants to take their photos at “tourist frequented” locations in San Francisco.

It was a psychology class as a freshman that inspired Howard to declare psychology as his major at the start of his sophomore year in 2012 in Dominican's School of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences.

“I fell in love with it. As soon as I started taking more psych electives, I started to get into research and how the mind really works,” Howard says. “The more classes I take, the more I adapt it to everything else. I adapt it to my own life.”

A series of injuries in soccer led Howard to connect mind to body. His goal now is to pursue his masters and PhD in nutrition psychology. It is a specialization of health psychology, an interdisciplinary domain dealing with the implication of feeding behavior on human health and well-being.

“I was trying to figure out how I was going to be able to play and be healthy the rest of my life,” he says.

Thankfully, Howard hasn’t stopped playing soccer. And he hasn’t stopped doing research, either.