Do you or did you ever have those professors that you constantly are searching for their name as you were registering for classes? The ones that would spend hours of time outside of class with you to work on a paper or project? The ones who not only knew about your academic success but what you did outside of school? The ones who no matter what, their door was always open to you and no topic was off limits, from school, work, friends, family, faith, and everything in-between? I was blessed through my four and a half years in college to have not only have one of those types of professors, but two! Dr. Sweeney taught me so much about sports management I'm pretty sure I had dreams about my sport finance test at one point. I remember sitting in a lot of her classes thinking there is no way I am going to do well because of the amount of work (which I didn't mind doing) and the type of work it was. You see I'm not good at math, and the majority of the classes in the sport management department have some sort of math influence, but Dr. Sweeney stuck with me and really tried to make me understand what was going on. There was never a day I walked into her classroom where I knew I was going to be wasting my time. There was never a time when I felt like I wasn't going to be treated like I didn't know what I was talking about. There was never a time when I wasn't learning something from her.
There were many days I would need to go ask questions about a project or paper that was assigned, so I would make my way up to Dr. Sweeney's office, and long story short we would end up talking about life. And sometimes I think those are the conversations I learned more from. I learned that I can't be scared to take risks with my career, even if it means moving away from my family. I learned that to work in sports that you have to learn to stand up for yourself, even if your opinion isn't the popular one. I learned that even when life gets in the way of things, everything will work out the way it's supposed to.
The second professor who went above and beyond during my time in college was Dr. Gregg. I was lucky enough to take Issues In Sport with her, and I knew from day one of classes that she would become one of my favorite professors. I learned so much about sports and myself in that class. I was able to talk about what I thought of the sports community inside and outside of the United States. I knew that Dr. Gregg valued what I had to say as a student who had traveled half-way across the world to help as a recreation leader for two separate camps in Wales. I knew that Dr. Gregg was going to teach me to the best of her ability and what I did with it was up to me.
The open door policy is a very real thing with Dr. Gregg. I knew if I went up to her office and she was in there I was welcome to come in. There were many conversations about sports and class, and those too turned into conversations about life. I remember being in her office before I went to Wales this past Summer and she just recognized instantly that I was meant to be in Wales doing something after I graduated. The number one thing I learned from Dr. Gregg was to never stop believing in yourself and knowing that your faith will get you through anything.
Thank you so much for all that you have done for me, Dr. Sweeney and Dr. Gregg! You both are incredible, and I am so blessed to have been taught by you over these past few years.