SPM

Former Huskies Reunite in NYC at Alumni Event

Sport Management alumni gather together for a Happy Hour event in front of Cask Restaurant in NYC.Members of the UConn Sport Management program, all gathered together on June 27 at the Cask Restaurant and Bar in New York City as part of a summer alumni networking event and celebration.

The happy hour lasted into the night, as the alumni, faculty and fellow huskies working in sport shared appetizers, laughs and old memories from their days at UConn. Attendees included alumni from the recent graduating class of 2016, as well as those who were members of the undergraduate class of 2004.

Drs. Laura Burton, Joseph Cooper and Jennifer McGarry (Bruening), Sport Management’s faculty, were also in attendance, along with current undergraduate student and Sport Management intern Cristy Vincente.

Sport Management alumni pictured together at the Happy Hour event at Cask Restaurant in NYC.The second annual happy hour event provided the opportunity for alumni in the greater NYC area to reunite, connect and continue to build relationships with those in similar career paths and academic backgrounds.

The Sport Management program is always looking for ways to connect its alumni with one another after graduating.

The UConn Sport Management program is excited for its next alumni event, where alumni and graduate students will meet in the Hartford, CT area at Salute restaurant on August 24.  For more information or to register, please visit our Summer Networking Event.

For photos from the event, visit Neag’s Facebook page.

Title IX Celebrates its 45th Anniversary – Here’s How UConn’s Sport Management Program Celebrated

While Title IX celebrated its 45th anniversary last week, members of the UConn Sport Management program publicly acknowledged what its passing, almost five decades ago, has allowed them to accomplish in their personal careers in sport.

Students, alumni, professors, colleagues, teammates, coaches and mentors all joined in on the campaign to honor this milestone, sharing how Title IX has provided them with opportunities to achieve success, and will continue to do so in the future. Check out some of their responses to the prompted statement, "BecauseOfTitleIX..." BecauseoftitleIX campaign word cloud

‪"I'm able to travel the country representing my school & able to pursue a career in the sport industry!”

‪"I've hydrated some of the best athletes, mentored, coached & am inspired daily by incredible women."

‪"I have a spot on the field, a seat at the table, and the opportunity to make an impact"

‪"I'm the first college grad in my family & continue to share my passion for sports w/ student-athletes daily"

‪“I built relationships that'll last a lifetime, learned valuable lessons & can have a career in athletics!”

‪"I have seen female athletes achieve success at the highest level."

‪"I get to promote women in a sport that I have been playing since I was four years old."

‪“I've the opportunity to play the sport I love, surrounded by incredible women whose talents are limitless”

‪"I've had the opportunity to be not only a student-athlete but a college coach, & now Dir of Athletic Development!"

‪“I was able to pole vault in the State of Connecticut as an official track and field event, not an exhibition event, my senior year in high school.  Which set me up to earn the CT state women’s record and later the University of Connecticut’s school record.  It helped me earn a track scholarship, bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree in sport management.”

"I found my passion and have been able to travel and meet to many inspirational people"

‪"I am able to fulfill my lifelong dream of playing Division I athletics, as an ice hockey player."

‪“I played the sport I love at a D1 level, have opportunities to learn & lead along side some of the strongest women I know.”

‪"I was seen as equal within my role as graduate head manager for an elite Division 1 Men's Team”

‪"I have the ability to travel to various sporting events and pursue a career that I love!”

‪"My professional/athletics careers are possible. I wouldn't be where I am if not for the women who came before me"

‪"I can dream."

‪"I was able to travel to Dallas to cover the Women's Final Four, and have pursued a career in athletics"

‪"I played. I coached. I studied. And now I teach, I learn and I lead."

‪"I get to work with Rhett at Fenway Park!!"

‪"I'm able to pursue a career in the sport industry & use it as a platform to advocate for female athletes"

“I’m a 7x All-American w/2 Master's, a career in athletics, making a difference in the lives of student-athletes”

"I was able to be a Division I Softball Student-Athlete!"

“Opportunities are endless and the best relationships are made.”

For more Tweets and Instagram posts or to engage in the dialogue, check out #BecauseOfTitleIX and #TitleIXat45.  Let's continue sharing each of our success and promote equality for all.

"No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subject to discrimination under any educational program or activity receiving federal financial assistance." Title IX of the Educational Amendments of 1972 to the 1964 Civil Rights Act.

Graduate UConn student Kraig Page experiences the annual (2015) Career in Sports Forum hosted by the NCAA National Office

Student Feature

Kraig Page (Graduate Student in UConn Sport Management Program)

While attending Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts (MCLA), I dedicated myself to getting the most out of my student experience through my participation in athletics and several leadership roles from various departments within the university. In doing so, I had fun and positioned myself to be a strong candidate for the annual career in sports forum hosted by the NCAA.

In my final year at MCLA I applied for and was awarded the opportunity to attend the career and sports forum at the NCAA headquarters in Indianapolis. There were speakers, presentations and workshops at the forum dedicated to helping students to understand how behavioral styles are able to impact individual effectiveness, gain an accurate view of the role of the intercollegiate coach and athletic administrator, network and consider how personal values intersect with career opportunities.

Speakers shared their pathways to their current roles in sport, provided us with tips and advice on how to become more desirable to organizations and answered any questions that we had for them. Participating in t workshops provided me with an opportunity to brainstorm through scenarios within small groups, ask questions and reflect on my values and myself as I was making the transition from student athlete to member of the sport industry.

The experience overall was educational, motivating and rewarding. I left with a deeper understanding of the sport industry and the opportunities within it. The forum motivated me to take the next step in positioning myself for a career in the sports field, while also allowing me to make new friends, exchange information and develop contacts.

Sport Management Alumn Hosts Brown Bag Event

Sport Management Alum, Mikio Yoshimura at Brown Bag eventSport Management alumnus Mikio Yoshimura, who currently works as the Asian Business Development Specialist for the Boston Red Sox, served as the guest speaker at a Brown Bag Luncheon in Boston on Tuesday, June 13.

The event, put on by the Japan Society of Boston, was titled “Japan and the Red Sox: A View from Inside.” During the luncheon, Yoshimura shared experiences about all the work that the Red Sox organization and Fenway Park have done with Japan.

UConn Sport Management congratulates Yoshimura for this accomplishment and looks forward to seeing all that he will achieve in the future with this organization.

Graduate Student Isaiah Jacobs experiences with the AmeriCorps Public Ally service in partnership with UConn Husky Sport

Student Feature

 Isaiah Jacobs – Program Leader (Public Ally AmeriCorps), Current Graduate Student in UConn Sport Management Program

 “Throughout our nation’s history, lasting social change has always resulted from the courageous acts of many, not just the inspiration of the few. “

From 2014 to 2016, I spent my time as a public ally with the AmeriCorps Public Ally service organization in partnership with UConn Husky Sport. Public Allies is a national movement grounded in the conviction that everyone has the ability to be a leader. The organization prides itself in believing that everyone truly has the power to make a difference, and works to inspire individuals to believe in themselves, step up and act. We provided service under the mission to create an equitable society and to foster the diverse leadership necessary to sustain it. We work to change the face and practice of leadership in communities across the country by demonstrating our conviction that everyone can and should lead, and that lasting social change results when citizens of all backgrounds step up, take responsibility and come together.

A vital aspect of working as a Public Ally was the process of constructing and implementing a team service project held to benefit the community that we were stationed in. Luckily, I was stationed right in my hometown of Hartford, Connecticut. It was a pleasure giving back to the community that I grew up in and held so close to my heart.

To help fund this project, we decided as a group to host a 3-on-3-basketball tournament. Though the event was focused around it, basketball was simply acting as the driving force to get people in the door – this event was bigger than sports. It was an opportunity to bring local organizations together and partner with one another to host teams and enjoy the company of the community. I began to realize how successful our event was when people started asking when the next one was – people who were not concerned with the sport itself, but what that sport is able to produce. In holding this event, we exhibited the power that sport has to unite people and bring happiness to all of those immersed in its culture.

Sport Management Program sends graduates on their way in first annual commemorative event

The University of Connecticut Sport Management program held its first annual Send-Off event on April 26 to congratulate and celebrate the students who would graduate from the university this spring.

Both undergraduate and graduate students attended the inaugural event, as did many of the programs’ faculty and alumni. The soon-to-be graduates were given the opportunity to network with past Sport Management students and discuss their future plans and aspirations with the professors who watched them grow during their time in the program.

Aaron Ryley represented the undergraduate graduating class at the event, giving a brief speech about the impact that his professors and fellow classmates had on his time at UConn. Sofia Read, the graduate class speaker, discussed how she knew that UConn was the right place for her from the first moment she arrived on campus.

The Sport Management graduate students received their Master’s Degrees on Saturday, May 6 in Gampel Pavilion, while the undergraduate students received their Bachelors of Science on Sunday, May 7 in the Jorgensen Center for Performing Arts.

Laura Burton on Women in Leadership Positions in Sport Organizations

Editor’s Note: This story, written by Matt Barresi of The Daily Campus, originally appeared on their website as part of their Women in Sports Week (WISW) series.

The fight for equality in sport takes place everywhere. Right here ata the University of Connecticut, Laura Burton, an associate professor in the Neag School of Education and one of the co-heads of the Sport Management program, is doing her part.

A former athlete and NCAA Division III Athletic Trainer, Burton returned to her native Nutmeg state to complete her education here at Laura Burton teachingUConn and since then has dedicated her work in large part to research about the roles of gender in sports. She also served as a faculty member at North Carolina State University.

“Because I lived it. I was always the kid who felt like the girls weren’t getting fair gym time in high school or we didn’t have equal uniforms...” Burton said on what inspired her to get into this line of research. “I knew I wanted to study something I had experienced.”

As a professional some of her earlier work focused on how athletics benefited women, now she has a more concise focus, women in leadership positions.

“There are very few women in leadership positions in sports organizations across all domains, from interscholastic, intercollegiate, professional or international sport, women are really underrepresented in leadership.” Burton said.

The discrepancy has no logical basis either.

“Think, half your participant population is women, or girls, why don’t we have an equal number of people at the leadership table?”

Burton, and her peers in the field, find it to be due to our perceptions on who should be in those roles which hurts women.

She says, “We don’t perceive women to be capable of and/or do we want them in leadership positions in general. In sport organizations, because we think it’s a real male domain, we don’t think that women can run a football program or an athletic department. There’s a lot of stereotyping that's influencing women, both trying to get into those positions and how we evaluate them when they’re in it.”

However, women in leadership roles is where UConn first gets accolades from Burton when it comes to women in sports here in Storrs.

“Beth Goetz (the Chief Operating Officer of UConn Athletics) is not only a women in leadership but the types of roles she has are really important,” Burton notes.

“She’s in charge of football. That is critical for her to continue to be successful. To be an Athletic Director, you need to have demonstrated you can handle what is the largest team with the greatest amount of operating expenses, and the greatest opportunity for revenue generation,” she said.

David Benedict’s willingness to put her in such a vital role signals to Goetz, and the intercollegiate athletic community, that she will be an AD one day. It’s an opportunity not often provided to women and Burton credits Benedict for the initiative, believing it will help propel Goetz to her higher career goals.

However that doesn’t mean UConn is doing everything right.

“I call them on the carpet for not having as many women coaching women’s sports. I think we have arguably the best coach in the women’s (basketball) game and I think he (Geno Auriemma) does an excellent job supporting assistant coaches but I think he made a mistake a couple weeks ago when he said there aren’t enough women interested in coaching.”

Says Burton, “I think that’s patently false. There are a lot of women interested in coaching, but there are a lot of constraints put on women that want positions in coaching. You don’t see a lot of women lose jobs and get re-hired and it's a real problem.”

“I’d like to see UConn seek more women’s coaching on the women’s side and it’d be wonderful to see women coaching on the men’s side... I think our support for our women athletes is phenomenal but I also think there’s always places to provide more resources and more equity,” she said.

The problems that face UConn are representative of problems across women’s sports as a whole however. When it comes to improvement, nearly everyone makes the list.

According to Burton, “Who's doing well? Not many. There are few organizations that really do well, the one that comes to mind and it’s probably not going to be a surprise, is the WNBA because they do have women in leadership positions.”

“But it’s the one professional sport organization in the US that’s at the highest profile for women. The rest, honestly I don’t think are doing well at all. I don’t think any of the major men’s professional sport organizations are and I think intercollegiate athletics are doing terrible.”

The number of women leading FBS schools, school that play the highest level of football and subsequently often have the largest athletic departments, is less than 10 percent.

The number of women coaching in women’s sports is declining year after year. And there’s no balancing effect, because while more men become coaches of women's sports, there are really no women becoming coaches in men's sports.

Burton points to The Institute for Ethics and Diversity in Sport (TIDES), as a great evaluator of this. Under the the Direction of Dr. Richard Lapchick from the University of Central Sport, they annually release “Report Cards” grading the practices and statuses of the major sport leagues as well as the intercollegiate athletic system. According to TIDES, college basketball as a whole has improved in recent years while football at all levels continues to score miserably.

“I think the whole industry still needs to look and see ‘Why are there so few women?’” said Burton.

One of the biggest areas of momentum in the movement for equality was the recent protest from the US Women’s National Team for both hockey and soccer.

“It speaks to a bigger problem that they had to go to that extent, where they had to threaten to not participate, to get the governing body of their sport to then negotiate for a contract,” Burton said on the issue. “There should’ve been a recognition that actually these women are playing at the highest level and representing our country extremely well, they’re champions, they’re medalists, they’re contenders, why did it take (threatening to boycott) to get equal pay?”

Burton thinks as a whole this could be the next big thing for women who want their fair share.

“I suspect that this is going to unleash for a lot of our national teams. I wonder if some of our team-based sports are going to look across at their male counterparts and wonder why they aren’t being provided equal resources,” Burton said.

What else is next?

“I continue to support and hope we will see equal pay for our men’s and women’s coaches. That’s a problem when you look across comparable sports. That’s an area where people are starting to pay more attention,” Burton said.

Dr. Laura Burton delivering a speechCoaching is an issue Burton holds in importance.

“I hope people are starting to pay more attention to why we’re losing so many women in sports. My colleague Nicole Lavoi from the Tucker Center for Girls and Women in Sport is documenting what has become a pretty significant decline in women coaching in sport at the college level. This isn’t good, we shouldn’t be losing women as coaches, but rather be fostering and supporting young women who want to be coaches.”

Burton is committed to this for the long haul.

“I’m going to stay in this because I still think there’s more work to be done,” she said. “There’s lots of science that says gender stereotypes influence how comfortable we are with women. We haven’t fully fleshed out how that’s influencing women in sport organizations and I’d like to continue to really explore that.”

While women deserve equality in all domains, and will continue to push for what is rightfully theirs, in the world of sports it's going to be a process. With all issues of that comes to basic rights, there’s always going to be individual or group feats of activism and those who promote change and those who prohibit it. While all this unfolds, the work of Burton, and the increased exposure, should make us all more conscientious as fans of sport.

 

View this story as it originally appeared on The Daily Campus' website.