Letter From the Editor

in Sport Management Education Journal

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David J. Shonk
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Greetings from the Editor’s Desk,

As the Sport Management Education Journal (SMEJ) launches Volume 15, Issue 2, I am honored and excited to be moving into the role of editor of the journal after serving the past 3 years as associate editor. The first issue of Volume 15 in spring 2021 was Dr. Rob Hardin’s last issue as SMEJ editor, and during this time the journal advanced significantly. Under Dr. Hardin’s leadership, the editorial board expanded, submissions increased significantly each year, the time each manuscript was in review decreased, and a Best Paper Award was established. Also during his time as editor of the journal, the Pedagogical Innovations (PI) section was clarified and expanded, a special issue on Global Perspectives in Sport Management Education was published, and in 2020 the journal hit a new high point in the number of papers submitted. Needless to say, Rob leaves the journal in great shape. I cannot thank Rob enough for his service, mentorship, and help over the last several years and even now as we publish this issue, my first as editor. The good news is that with some new restructuring of the leadership of the journal, Rob will be assuming the role of past editor.

During the NASSM Executive Council meeting in June, Dr. Josh Pate from James Madison University was confirmed as the new associate editor of the journal. Josh previously served as the PI editor and was instrumental in helping to simplify and enhance the PI section of the journal. Assuming the position of new PI editor is Dr. Megan Shreffler from the University of Louisville. Megan is an excellent scholar, reviewer, and previous member of the editorial board. Dr. John Miller from the University of Southern Mississippi has served as the Teaching & Learning (T&L) Fair editor. Thanks to John for his many contributions to both the T&L Fair and as an editorial board member over the years.

Of course, an academic journal is only as good as its editorial board, and we are so thankful for a talented team of scholars from a variety of different backgrounds who work tirelessly to provide authors with constructive and critical feedback concerning manuscripts in a timely manner. Thank you to the many past editorial board members and to our current members for their service and dedication. While the current editorial board can be found elsewhere in this issue, I would like to also recognize them below.

  • Genevieve Birren, SUNY Cortland

  • Leigh Ann Danzey-Bussell, Trevecca Nazarene University

  • Lindsey Darvin, SUNY Cortland

  • Jaime DeLuca, Towson University

  • Jeremy Foreman, University of Louisiana

  • Elizabeth Gregg, University of North Florida

  • Michael Hutchinson, University of Memphis

  • Daniel Larson, University of Oklahoma

  • Leeann Lower-Hoppe, The Ohio State University

  • Michael Martinez, Louisiana State University

  • Kristy McCray, Otterbein University

  • Jillian McNiff Villemaire, Southern Connecticut State University

  • Timothy Mirabito, Ithaca College

  • Erin Morris, SUNY Cortland

  • Michael Odio, University of Cincinnati

  • Adam Pfleegor, Belmont University

  • Jimmy Sanderson, Texas Tech University

  • Allison Smith, University of Massachusetts Boston

  • Jim Strode, Ohio University

  • Elizabeth Taylor, Temple University

  • Dustin Thorn, Xavier University

  • Clinton Warren, University of Minnesota

  • Doyeon Won, Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi

I just recently pulled a hard copy of Volume 1, Issue 1 of SMEJ from 2007 off the bookshelf in my office with Michael Kanters serving as the managing editor, Mary Hums as associate editor, and an editorial board of 12, composed of Robin Ammon, Robert Baker, Corinne Daprano, Geoff Dickson, Eddie Lam, Mark McDonald, Jennifer Mak, Donna Pastore, Brenda Pitts, John Singer, James Thoma, and Chia-Chen Yu. While SMEJ has continued to evolve and expand, I noticed the mission of advancing pedagogy as it relates to sport management education has not. Since this first issue in 2007, there have been five editors (Michael Kanters, 2006–2009; Mary Hums, 2009–2012; Damon Andrew, 2012–2015; Lynn Ridinger, 2015–2018; and Rob Hardin, 2018–2021) in addition to me. Thanks to some historical research of the journal by Dr. Hardin, we know the following:

  1. More than 300 different authors from 135 universities and 10 other affiliations have been represented in the journal since 2007.
  2. The first case study was published in 2012.
  3. The PI section was added in 2014.
  4. SMEJ moved from being published annually to biannually in 2015.
  5. A special issue on Emerging Technology in Sport Management Education was published in 2015 with guest editors Dr. Rob Hardin and Dr. Josh Pate.
  6. A Pedagogical Innovations: Educational Research Review category was added in 2016.
  7. A Pedagogical Innovations: Essays, Dialogues, and Interviews category was added in 2017.
  8. A special issue on Online Learning in Sport Management Education was published in 2017 with guest editors Dr. John Miller and Dr. David Pierce.
  9. Collaborations with the NASSM T&L Fair began in 2018.
  10. A SMEJ Best Paper Award was established in 2018.
  11. A Pedagogical Innovations: Exemplary Contributions category was added in 2020.
  12. A special issue on Global Perspectives in Sport Management Education was published in 2020 with guest editors Dr. Carrie LeCrom and Dr. Michael Naylor.
  13. Issue number 20 was published in 2020.

So much has already been accomplished, and I am excited to be working with a talented group of scholars and educators. While I am focusing on accomplishments, I would like to congratulate Dr. James Johnson, Dr. Robert Turick, Dr. Michael Dalgety, Dr. Khirey Walker, Dr. Eric Klosterman, and Dr. Anya Eicher for being awarded the 2020 Best Paper Award for their article titled “Perceived Course Rigor in Sport Management: Class Level, Course Grades, and Student Ratings” published in Volume 14, Issue 1 of SMEJ.

As we move the journal forward into what we hope to be a post-COVID era where much has changed and paradigms have shifted as to how we deliver sport management education, I would be remiss if I did not point out that SMEJ is the perfect outlet to disseminate your research as we consider what sport management education might look like in the future. Therefore, I encourage each of you to leverage this unique time in higher education by submitting a research article or a submission to our PI section by sharing what you have learned, whether it be a new and unique form of delivery within the classroom or online, a study abroad, new ways of administering internships, new curriculum, or other. Due to a canceled study abroad trip to Europe, I recently participated in a virtual cultural exchange program with a university in France and am intrigued by the collaborations that were formed from this partnership and the transformative learning happening with both students and faculty. These types of collaborations that evolved due to COVID are ripe for scholarly investigation.

In spring 2022, a special issue of SMEJ on Diversity and Inclusion in Sport Management Education will be published with guest editors Dr. Drew Pickett, Dr. Jacqueline McDowell, and Dr. Brenda Pitts. You may have seen a call for papers recently on Accreditation and Assessment in Sport Management Education with guest editors Dr. Liz Gregg, Dr. Jason Lee, and Heather Alderman, scheduled to be published in 2023. I would also like to highlight the collaborative efforts between SMEJ and the NASSM T&L Fair held in conjunction with the NASSM conference. Perhaps you work at a teaching-focused institution. These collaborative efforts provide a great opportunity for educators at these institutions to publish extended abstracts, which describe and explain a project or strategy that has been successfully implemented in the sport management classroom. The primary aim is to take your T&L Fair presentation and to share practical ideas in a scholarly manner that is easily accessible and understandable.

You may be aware of conversations concerning a SMEJ Fellow Award that was discussed at the NASSM conference during the Annual General Meeting in June 2021. Since Dr. Andrew was editor of SMEJ in 2012, there have been discussions about such an award. The motion to move this award forward did not pass during the Annual General Meeting. Numerous discussions have taken place over the years among NASSM members and within the executive council. I recently chaired a task force commissioned by NASSM President Dr. Bri Newland, and the committee reached out for qualitative input from a range of NASSM members. Based on this feedback, the committee worked to outline a specific purpose for the award and then sought to align criteria accordingly with this purpose. It is my hope that we can finally roll out such an award that recognizes the scholarship of teaching and learning amongst our colleagues, while simultaneously increasing the quality and number of submissions to SMEJ. Please feel free to contact me with comments or suggestions concerning this award.

Finally, I would like to invite my colleagues to apply to serve on the SMEJ editorial board. A call for board members was sent out in August and is included in this issue. As the number of submissions along with the range of topics increases, we are in need of a diverse group of scholar-educators to serve in this capacity. We also welcome anyone who is willing to serve as an ad hoc reviewer to join the team. Indeed, these are exciting times for SMEJ, and we welcome and solicit your investment and involvement in the journal.

I hope that you enjoy Volume 15, Issue 2. The first three studies are research articles that examine a range of topics within sport management education. In the first article, titled “Undergraduate Sport Management Education: Exploring Ego Development and Leadership Efficacy,” Dr. Shannon Kerwin and Dr. Kirsty Spence use a sequential mixed-methods case study design in which they adopted associated methodologies to explore students’ ego development and perceptions of self-efficacy related to leadership intentions and capabilities across an undergraduate sport management program. The second article, authored by Dr. Rob Hardin, Dr. Elizabeth Taylor, and Dr. Emily Sleadd, is titled “Female Students’ Experiences of Sexual Harassment in the Sport Management Internship Setting.” This article examines the experiences of female students in a sport management internship setting and reveals that nearly 66% of the respondents in the study had experienced some type of sexual harassment while completing an internship. The third research study is titled “An Examination of Sport Management Doctoral Programs and the Organizational Environment Through Person–Environment Fit Theory,” by Dr. Jay Martyn, Dr. Kyle Brannigan, Dr. Brent Oja, and Dr. Claire Zvosec. In this study, the authors examine sport management doctoral programs by evaluating how admitting sport management professors and sport management doctoral students assessed the academic environment. I encourage you to look at the results from this study.

The next two articles are submissions to the PI section of the journal. The first, a case study titled “Proceed With Caution: A Teaching Case Study of Youth Sport Specialization,” was authored by Dr. Makenzie Schoeff, Dr. Katie Morey, Dr. James Johnson, Dr. Anya Eicher, and Dr. Lawrence Judge. The authors of this case study walk the reader through a young athlete’s volleyball journey with the purpose of helping the reader to consider the potential benefits and drawbacks of youth sport specialization. The authors note that this case may be appropriate in a variety of sport management, sport sociology, sport psychology, or similar courses to facilitate appropriate decision making among athletes, parents, coaches, and administrators. The second PI article is an educational research review penned by Dr. Susan Foster and Dr. David Pierce titled “Improving Experiential Learning in Sport Management Through Work-Integrated Learning.” This educational research review sheds light on work-integrated learning, a structured pedagogy that combines classroom instruction with highly contextualized, authentic work experiences of at least two semesters. It also calls for additional research in this area and recommends ways in which faculty can implement work-integrated learning in their sport management curricula.

The final article is an extended abstract submitted from the NASSM T&L Fair titled “Implementing Kolb’s Experiential Learning Theory Into Men’s Collegiate Basketball Sport Marketing Project” by Dr. Chris Croft, Dr. John Miller, and Dr. Sarah Stokowski. The extended abstract describes a service-learning project that was conducted using Kolb’s (1984) experiential learning theory model. The abstract briefly reviews the literature on service learning and experiential learning theory, providing application for implementing the project along with guidelines for assessment.

Thank you for coming along for the ride with us. So many people have contributed to the success of SMEJ, and I look forward to the journey ahead. As you consider the many outlets for disseminating your research, I hope you will consider SMEJ. Enjoy!

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