BROWNWOOD – July 7, 2016 – Fifteen students and a faculty member from Howard Payne University’s Master of Education degree program in Sport and Wellness Leadership (SWELL) recently traveled more than 4,000 miles to engage with national leaders in the sport and wellness industries.
Dr. P. Graham Hatcher, professor of kinesiology and instructor for the course, wanted to provide a unique learning experience for his second-year graduate students.
“If you aspire to be a leader in sport and wellness, you really need to engage those making headlines,” said Dr. Hatcher.
Prior to departure, each student completed background assignments on organizational profiles in advance of the site visits and an annotated bibliography on a sport/wellness issue or trend.
The group’s itinerary included stops in Austin, Dallas/Fort Worth, Kansas City, Indianapolis, Green Bay, St. Paul, Fort Collins and Colorado Springs. Hatcher sought to blend daily visits to leading sport and wellness venues in each stop along the way.
Students interacted with executive staff at Learfield Communications (leaders in college athletic marketing) and Triple Crown Sports (owner of the National Invitation Tournament basketball tournaments and numerous nationwide youth sport competitions). They also visited the Kansas City Sports Commission and Foundation, the nation’s oldest sports commission and one of four led by a female.
Other sites visited included the Fellowship of Christian Athletes’ national offices and the headquarters for the National Collegiate Athletic Association, National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics and National Junior College Athletic Association. Additionally, they visited the Indianapolis Indians (AAA baseball) ballpark and the Green Bay Packers’ Lambeau Field (NFL); the U.S. Olympic Training Center; and the headquarters of the University Interscholastic League.
Students also attended the annual meeting of the National Wellness Institute, met with the leadership of corporate wellness providers (Organizational Wellness Learning Systems, Cerner Corporation and the National Institute for Fitness and Sport) and heard presentations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on international efforts to manage the Zika outbreak and the Texas State Health Services Department on statewide health promotion initiatives.
“Learning about and then visiting the organizations advanced the idea that I could see myself working in these places,” commented Chassidy Holloway, HPU student from Lafayette, Alabama. “It also gave me a boost of confidence in my abilities and what I have to offer to each of those organizations as well.”
HPU’s Master of Education degree in Sport and Wellness Leadership is offered through the Department of Kinesiology within HPU’s School of Education. The 10-course, 21-month-long program will begin accepting applications for its second cohort of students (entering August 2017) on September 1. More information can be found at www.hputx.edu/swell.
Cutline: Students and faculty in HPU’s Master of Education degree program in Sport and Wellness Leadership are pictured with staff from the nationally recognized Cerner Corporation’s Employee Wellness Program.