Ten Shenandoah University sport management students are participating in a nationwide research study that seeks information on diversity, inclusion, and equity at 130 universities across the country.
The students are conducting the study on behalf of a working group of LEAD1, an organization that represents the athletics directors and programs of the 130 member universities of the Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS). LEAD1 influences how the rules of college sports are enacted and implemented, advocates for the future of college athletics, and provides various services to its member schools.
The LEAD1 working group examines issues related to diversity, equity, and inclusion in college sports, with the results of the research study conducted by Shenandoah aiding in this process.
We’re pretty excited about this opportunity. It’s really a blessing. There are other schools that have more resources and bigger profiles, but this study gives Shenandoah the opportunity to reach a national level. I think this is a turning point for us to gain some national recognition for what our students do.”
Fritz Polite, Ph.D. | Assistant Vice President of Opportunity Development
The study began Sept. 17, and concludes this month.
I’m getting the experience of working with the students and seeing how professional they are. I’m blown away by it.”
Jacob Shaffer, MBA ’18, BBA ’17 | Currently Fritz Polite’s assistant
The Project: Diversity, Equity and Inclusion
For the research project, Shenandoah students are sending questions to athletic departments at all 130 schools in the FBS inquiring about each school’s diversity initiatives in specific programs, hires and strategic plans from January 2020 to January 2021.
The research opportunity was made possible after Dr. Polite met Tom McMillen, president and chief executive officer of LEAD1 and former Olympian and congressman. McMillen was impressed with Shenandoah and the things the students were doing.
The Shenandoah students involved in the study are: Zack Mathis ’22
- Ivan Cruz ’23
- Joseph Cooper ’22
- Mason Caldwell ’22
- Jason Euman ’21
- Matt Mcintosh ’23
- Brian Lee ’21
- Vincent Moore ’23
- Ally Vogt ’22
- Amadou Tapsoba ’22
They are excited about the opportunity the research project presents.
Working with a company as influential as LEAD1 is a great experience for us.”
Zack Mathis ’22 | A student director of the research study alongside Cruz.
“It takes initiative to email people you don’t know,” Cruz said.