Athletics / Business and Ethics

Summer Course Students to Benefit from Partnership with Seattle Sports Organizations

May 19, 2021

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When Seattle U’s new MBA in Sport and Entertainment Management program debuts this summer, second-year graduate students who take the Women in Sport Leadership course will be the first to experience a redesigned curriculum and format that takes advantage of a recent sport industry partnership.

Announced in March, seven Seattle sports and entertainment companies will partner with the university to work with faculty on delivering content and in offering fellowships to students. Prominent sports executives and others will be involved in different capacities, including as adjuncts or co-teaching some courses in the new program.

This summer, Alisha Valavanis, Seattle Storm president and CEO and CEO of Force 10 Sport Management and Karen Bryant, former Storm president and CEO and executive coach for sport industry professionals, will co-teach the second half of the eight-week Women in Sport Leadership course, which begins June 23.

The original course was created eight years ago and taught by Maylon Hanold, EdD, the director of the new MBA program.

“This is the first sports-specific class in the program that is redesigned with thinking about creative ways that industry can be involved,” says Hanold.

While Hanold brings the concepts, theories and framework to the program, the executives will bring a real-world perspective and personal experience about women in leadership positions.

The course has been revised to fully embrace issues of diversity, excellence and inclusion, a hallmark of the MBA SEM, which also makes it the first program of its kind to build on DEI as a core philosophy, Hanold says.

Women in Sport Leadership will be an elective course within the new MBA program but Hanold believes most students will choose to take it and will allow students in other majors to enroll.

She says that 12 of the17 courses in the program will be sports-specific and most of those will engage the industry in some way, such as co-teaching and offering input on assignments, as well as as guest lecturers.

Concurrently during the summer quarter the inaugural first-year MBA SEM cohort will begin with a new class called Introduction to Business Analytics, taught by an Amazon expert.

The partnership with Seattle sports teams was several years in the making and benefits from longtime relationships Hanold has nurtured with sport executives in conjunction with the foresight and initial commitment by sports executive Tod Leiweke, president and CEO of the Seattle Kraken.

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