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Message from the Chair

November 11, 2021

The 2021-2022 school year is upon us and we are excited to be back on campus! After more than a year of uncertainty, lots of COVID testing, and meeting for class in unconventional, socially distanced spaces and Zoom sessions, we are happy to be face-to-face and meeting in person. It’s fair to say we don’t love wearing masks, but we’re willing to do what allows us to feel safe and be together.

Dr. Katie Burakowski

Throughout this global pandemic much of the world stopped in its tracks. As I look back, I am struck by how remarkable it is that we did not. In fact, individually and collectively we found ways to remain consistent in our pursuit of excellent sport management education as we pivoted to meet the demands of our new reality. Traditional classes transitioned to flipped classes. Office hours turned into Zoom hours. Practicum and internship placements became remote experiences. It wasn’t business as usual, but we also didn’t slow down. Since students went home for remote instruction in March 2020: 

  • 44 students completed practicum hours, while 63 participated in internships - outstanding numbers considering the abrupt industry halt and slow reopening.
  • The fully online M.S. in Sport Management degree program was launched and the first class enrolled this semester.
  • Todd Harrison, Pat Gordon, and I contributed to the founding of Flower City Union, a new professional soccer team in Rochester which will provide experiences for both undergraduate and graduate students.
  • A LinkedIn group was created so alumni and industry partners can communicate vacancies, announce a job transition, or post other relevant news.
  • Sport Management Club hosted seven virtual networking events with 15 professionals across the country.

We also started this semester with a few staffing updates. After 11 years as department chair, Todd Harrison has stepped down from the role, but will continue to teach in the program. I’d like to thank Todd for his leadership and commend him for all he’s done to help develop the program and nurture our students. I’m honored to have been chosen as the next chair and hope to serve the department as well as he has. 
Additionally, we are pleased to welcome Dr. Evan Davis to the Fisher Sport Management team. Originally a resident of Pennsylvania and therefore a blanket Pittsburgh sports fan, Evan joins us most recently from The Ohio State University, where he completed his Ph.D. in Sport Management. His background in innovative teaching practices is coming in quite handy as he’s teaching a whopping 90 students in Introduction to Sport Management this semester.
Finally, this newsletter is one way we work to share our developments with you, and we want to know how you’re doing. Do you have updates in your life that you’d like to share? We’d love to hear from you! Please tell us all about what’s new

Dr. Katie Burakowski