Let’s Play Ball

Photo taken by Meg Cullar

The Baylor master’s program in Sport Management began as a way for both students and student-athletes interested in sport-related careers to develop off-the-field marketable skills. Now graduates are in high demand and land jobs managing professional, collegiate, or K-12 systems related to sports.

Founded in 1985 by Dr. Andy Pittman in the Department of Health, Human Performance and Recreation, the program is now located in the School of Education’s Department of Educational Administration (EDA). Faculty members Dr. Jeffrey Petersen and Dr. Marshall Magnusen said the EDA department’s focus on leader development is a great fit for the program.

Baylor’s emphasis on values also attracts students. “We emphasize a strong moral compass with ethical leadership,” Petersen said. Classes are designed for students to think critically and synthesize information, and students apply what they learn through real-life projects and case studies.

Magnusen said there is an “allure” to working with professional sports teams, and many graduates find success there. But he is seeing more students, especially women, interested in working in high schools, where they can have an impact on younger athletes.

“The School of Education gives us the resources to get our graduates into schools and colleges that need competent leadership in their athletic departments,” Magnusen said.

Alexis Summers, MSEd ’14, always had a passion for sports and business and was able to combine those in the sport management program. Summers is now assistant athletic director in the Tyler Independent School District. She credits the Baylor program for her success and said she gained valuable experience through an internship in Waco ISD. Professional internships — whether in school districts, colleges or businesses — are required for all students.

“A mix of sport and education was the perfect fit for me,” Summers said. “I go to a game every night, and the kids love knowing someone is there cheering them on.”

Other graduates find success in a sports-related business. Will Baggett, MSEd ’14, is coordinator for product category management at The Collegiate Licensing Company. He was named the 2013-14 Outstanding Graduate of the program and founded the Sport Management Association as a student organization during his time at Baylor.

“The faculty helped design my curriculum around my career interests and gave me sound ethical leadership principles throughout my two years,” Baggett said.

Magnusen said, “Will worked hard to network and build connections. He is an excellent example of what we are encouraging our students to do.”

While the program still attracts athletes like quarterback Bryce Petty BSEd ’13, MSEd ’14, and ace softball pitcher Whitney Canion Reichenstein BBA ’13, MSEd ’14, it welcomes all students interested in sport within both the education and business fields. This year there were 33 students in the program, including four current student-athletes.


Published in the Spring 2015 Impact Newsletter

New Roles for Dr. Joel Porter and Lindsey Freed


Dr. Joel Porter was appointed Assistant Dean of the Baylor School of Education (SOE) in January, after serving the School for several years as Director of Enrollment Management and Advising. Lindsey Freed, who has been the Assistant Director of Advising and Recruitment, is now Director of Advising and Recruitment.

“I am happy to take on the role,” Porter said. “It’s an exciting time to broaden my perspective and change how I look at things.”

Porter said his role will change from being more hands-on to being more administrative. He will continue to advise students until the end of the spring semester.

Porter has served 16 years in educational leadership positions at Baylor and more than 20 years in higher education administration. A 1987 Baylor graduate in sociology and a former football letter winner, Porter earned a master’s degree in educational psychology in 1990 from Baylor SOE and a doctorate in clinical psychology.

Freed has more than 10 years experience in academic advising and almost six years working as the SOE Assistant Director of Advising and Recruitment. She holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in education from the University of Akron.

Freed said she is planning to expand undergraduate recruitment efforts, building relationships with more high schools and taking SOE faculty and students to high schools to connect with potential students. Freed will continue to serve as academic advisor to SOE students.

“I love advising students and building relationships, especially watching them grow,” Freed said.

As assistant dean, Porter also manages facilities for the SOE, including security matters, and organizes various committees, including undergraduate scholarships and student recognition. His duties encompass undergraduate academic progress, probations, suspensions and appeals. Porter will also help SOE faculty with curriculum revision, such as adding new classes or programs for education majors.


Originally posted on Instant Impact