Dr. Lori L. Braa

Teaching Area(s): Sport Business

I want to build an atmosphere of constant engagement, passion and learning. I try to get students to transform from passive observers to active learners.

Sport Business Learning Objectives

Sport Business Program Overview:

The sport business major is designed for students interested in joining the growing field of sport managers, directors, promoters, marketers, and administrators. A demand for well-trained individuals in sport related fields creates possible employment in a multitude of professional settings.

Broad Based Goals for the Sport Business Program:

  1. Core Abilities (Oral and written communication)
    A. Demonstrate an ability to acquire and assess information.
    B. Demonstrate research skills (both quantitative and qualitative).
    C. Develop ability to think critically.
    D. Develop ability to think creatively.
    E. Develop communication skills.
  2. Foundational Knowledge and Integration (Research)
    A. Acquire knowledge in the design, analysis, and critique in writing on some aspect of sport business.
    B. Demonstrate the use of concepts and methods in original research.
    C. Develop the ability to view the world from multiple disciplinary perspectives.
  3. Preparation for Meaningful Work (Content knowledge)
    A. Acquire discipline-specific knowledge and skills needed at a professional level.
    B. Demonstrate use of discipline-specific knowledge and skills.
    C. Engage in original thought and expression.
    D. Develop ability to collaborate with others to solve problems as well work independently.
  4. Use of Technology for Meaningful Work (Technology)
    A. Able to incorporate technology, including computer technology, in their communication, projects, research and when serving as an intern or at an entry-level position in the sport industry.
    B. Demonstrate the use of technology in the completion and presentation of class projects as well within the work setting.
  5. Preparation for Responsible Citizenship
    A. Develop knowledge and appreciation of the individual's culture and other cultures in a global context.
    B. Understand and employ ethics within diverse cultural, social, professional, environmental, and personal settings.
    C. Demonstrate civic engagement by active involvement in and beyond the classroom.

Program Level Student Learning Outcomes:

  1. Students will be able to demonstrate an understanding of theoretical foundations and their practical application (content knowledge).
  2. Students will be able to articulate, in written form and verbally, knowledge learned and apply it to the management and business of sport (written and oral communication).
  3. Students will demonstrate the ability to use technology to assist in completion of presentations (technology).
  4. Students will be able to critically reflect and demonstrate the ability to work independently as well collaboratively in teams (work independently and collaboratively).
  5. Students will demonstrate an understanding and appreciation for ethical behavior in a sport business setting (ethics).

Program Level Operating Goals:

  1. Build a team of dedicated faculty and staff for effective instruction.
  2. Be a model of experiential (and transformational) learning. Instructors are encouraged to include varieties of experiential learning opportunities, such as case study practice, practicums, field trips and special projects into the program. 
  3. Engage the greater community. Each Sport Business major at Mount Union is required to do two 60-hour practicums within the communities of their choice so that they understand the interconnectedness of the sport business and the community they are serving. 

Basic Skills Development Program:

The UMU Sport Business program recognizes that bachelor’s degree sport business students may elect not to work in the sport business field or may not get a sport or recreation related position immediately upon graduation.  Therefore, the educational emphasis is on research skills and written and oral communication to include multimedia application.  The courses rarely assess through testing as each course includes at least two written and two oral presentations. Generally, each course also includes individual as well as group projects and presentations, often to external evaluators, on or off campus.

Each student must demonstrate basic math and foreign language proficiency for graduation.  In order to be deemed proficient in mathematics, at student must have developed the mathematical skills and concepts that are needed to reason quantitatively and solve problems analytically. The foreign language proficiency is equivalent to the satisfactory completion of a 102-level course. 

Each student at University of Mount Union is also required to fulfill the Integrative Core (general education) in order to graduate.  The IC follows a student development model that introduces students to essential academic skills and knowledge in the initial years, guides them through increasingly complex thinking and problem solving in the middle years, and requires them to apply their knowledge and skills to address complex issues in the final years. 

As part of the Integrative Core, students also need to submit a 2nd-year Written and Oral Communication (WOC) portfolio for faculty review in order to demonstrate proficiency in written and oral communication. 

Student Personal Development:

The University of Mount Union students have Sport Business related and university provided opportunities for personal development.

Sport Business

  1. Requirement to join LinkedIn.
  2. Presentation of elevator pitch to university faculty, administration, and staff.
  3. Requirement of two practicums for a total of at least 120 hours work experience.
  4. Many classroom guest speakers from on and off campus.
  5. One-day visitation to New York City sport offices (NBA, MLB), companies (IMG), and facilities (Madison Square Garden, Yankee Stadium) with four to five visits per yearly trip.
  6. Requirement of at least three interviews with working sport professionals.
  7. Required off campus presentations of sponsorship research proposal.
  8. Required group presentation of mock bid to host an international sport event.
  9. Opportunity to organize and administer the university’s annual homecoming road race.
  10. Opportunity to work at the National Sports Forum.
  11. Opportunity to attend or administer the Mount Union Sport Sales Workshop and Job Fair.
  12. Opportunity to attend with faculty the Robert Morris University Conference and the Cleveland Cavaliers Jobs Fair.
  13. Opportunity to participate in the Mount Union Sport Business Association.

University

  1. The Center for Student Success provides resume review, mock interviews, and hosts a job fair on campus.
  2. The Center for Public Service and Engagement provides many opportunities for service work in the Alliance area. 
  3. The Center for Global Education provides opportunities for study abroad.
  4. Multiple opportunities for public service include a service trip to Costa Rica.
  5. The Integrative Core curriculum requires an eportfolio to include oral and written submissions.
  6. Students have the opportunity to become Admissions Department tour guides.
  7. Students have the opportunity to become dormitory resident assistants referred to as Community Educators. 
  8. Students can experience residence life at Mount Union through 80 campus organizations, 21 intercollegiate athletic teams, and an array of special events of which include:

- Student Senate
- Multicultural organizations
- Wellness
- Intramural sports
- Student media including a radio station and newspaper
- Four national fraternities
- Three national sororities, one local sorority
- Professional organizations
- Service honoraries and organizations
- Academic honoraries
- Social organizations and campus events
- Performance groups
- Religious life organizations
- Political organizations
- Special interest groups

History: 

The University of Mount Union (previously Mount Union College) started the Sport Business (previously Sport Management) program in 1987. Former athletic director and football coach, Ken Wable, was the first Director of Sport Business. 

Upon Mr. Wable’s retirement in 1989, Dr. James Thoma was hired as the Director of Sport Business. Upon his arrival at Mount Union, Dean Conrad Staninski told Thoma that Sport Business was a major but really was not more than a minor.  As a result, Thoma started the first year by adding Sport Marketing.  Subsequently additional courses were added, including International Sport Administration and Management. The number of majors grew. In 2000 Mount Union was NASPE-NASSM accredited.

In 1997, Dr. Jim Kadlecek came to Mount Union as a full time Sport Business professor. Quickly Dr. Kadlecek made his mark by creating a reputation as a sports sales trainer. Highlights of Dr. Kadlecek’s sport business contributions include creating the Mount Union Sports Sales Workshop, taking the Mount Union students to the National Sports Forum and his yearly fall field trips to New York City to visit sport teams and agencies.

With continual growth of the Sport Business program, Dr. Lori Braa started at Mount Union in 2011. At that time, Dr. Thoma had been half time as Associate Dean of the University so Dr. Braa took the introductory Sport Business classes as well as Sport Finance. Having worked for the National Collegiate Athletic Association and having significant collegiate athletic administrative experience, Dr. Braa developed and taught the first Intercollegiate Athletic Administration course in 2013. 

As needed, the Sport Business program has hired adjunct faculty periodically: Legal Issues in Sports, Arenas and Facilities in Sport and Recreation, Sport Club Management.

Starting in the 2012-2013 school year, Mount Union went from normal 3 semester credit hour courses to 4 semester credit hour courses. This required a repackaging and reexamination of the Sport Business curriculum. Having just completed the first year of the new curriculum, an assessment of the curriculum is ongoing.

Mission:

Sport Business at the University of Mount Union prepares students for meaningful work in the business of sport.  The UMU program promotes a personal and professional commitment to the skills and knowledge needed to be successful in today’s sport industry.

Guiding Values:

The Sport Business program at the University of Mount Union is rooted in an historic understanding of the liberal arts. A liberal arts education provides students with a broad base of knowledge in addition to training in a specific field of study. At its heart, a liberal arts course of study does not teach a single point of view, but equips and empowers students to form their own conclusions based on critical reasoning.

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