Ohlson Named Assistant AD for Performance Psychology Services

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Aug. 3, 2017

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa.- Penn State has announced the appointment of Dr. Carl Ohlson as Assistant Athletic Director for Performance Psychology Services.

Ohlson is joining the Intercollegiate Athletics staff after serving in Penn State’s Department of Educational Policy Studies in the College of Education the past three years. He retired from the United States Army with the rank of Lt. Colonel in 2014.

In his role with the Nittany Lions, Ohlson is charged with developing and executing innovative strategies to maximize the athletic performance and general well-being of Penn State’s 800 student-athletes. Dr. Ohlson will facilitate Performance Psychology educational programming and assist student-athletes in enhancing their performance and resiliency to successfully manage life as a Division I student-athlete.

Ohlson will work closely with Penn State student-athletes, coaches and staff. He will be a member of the Nittany Lions’ Sport Performance team comprised of the sports medicine, athletic training, performance enhancement, sports nutrition, student-athlete welfare and development and applied health and performance science personnel.

“We are thrilled to have Dr. Carl Ohlson joining our Sport Performance team,” said Charmelle Green, Senior Associate AD for Student-Athlete Performance, Health and Welfare. “Carl brings significant experience in developing and leading performance psychology programs, and assisting student-athletes and coaches in achieving their performance goals.

“Dr. Ohlson’s knowledge and experience will be extremely valuable in our ability to develop strategies to maximize student-athlete performance and general well-being during their Penn State experience, and facilitate performance psychology educational programs and resources for student-athletes and coaches.”

“I am humbled to be joining such an amazing Athletics department,” Ohlson said. “I've had numerous interactions with student-athletes, coaches, and administrators over the past few years, and all of them have been extremely positive. I greatly enjoy collaborating as part of a team of professionals, all pulling in the same direction toward a cause. This position provides a unique opportunity to leverage championship thinking as part of an excellence-oriented Sport Performance Team that endeavors to make a lasting and positive impact on our student-athletes and their teams...and that is both inspiring and energizing!”

Ohlson earned a bachelor’s degree from the United States Military Academy and a master’s degree in sport psychology from the University of Virginia. In 1996, he returned to West Point as an instructor and deputy director in the Center for Enhanced Performance and began serving as a sport psychology consultant for several teams.

Returning to West Point in 2006, he subsequently was promoted to Associate Professor and Director of the Center for Enhanced Performance. Through 2013, Ohlson was responsible for all sport psychology and educational psychology services at West Point and was on a team charged with developing and leading the U.S. Army’s worldwide performance psychology program.

In 2014, Ohlson retired from the U.S. Army and matriculated to Penn State as an affiliate faculty member in Department of Educational Policy Studies in addition to consulting work. Among the courses he has taught at Penn State are: Administration in Higher Education, College Student Development Theory, Higher Education Students and Clientele, a Professional Seminar in Higher Education, an internship course for the Student Affairs master’s program and the Higher Education master’s Capstone course.

Ohlson has membership in the Association for Applied Sport Psychology (AASP), and is an AASP-certified Sport Psychology Consultant.

Ohlson also has earned a master’s degree in military operational art and science from Air University, and a doctorate in higher education with a minor in educational psychology from Penn State. He will begin his duties with ICA in mid-August.