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Sport Management Students Step Up to the Plate

May 09, 2018

Only a handful of students will present at the 30th Cooperstown Symposium on Baseball and American Culture - and three of them hail from Lasell College. Undergraduate sport management students Ben Allen '18, Lane Sulzer '18, and Kyle Schroeder '18 will present their individual findings at the National Baseball Hall of Fame's annual event from May 30 - June 1.

The symposium provides "academics and researchers with a platform to present and discuss ... baseball and how it relates to our culture and society," according to the event website.

"This is a professional conference that doesn't recruit or normally accept student work," said Assistant Professor of Sport Management Daniel Sargeant. "I was a regular attendee for a number of years and thought this would be a good way to build the competitiveness of our program and simultaneously encourage students to present their work at the professional level."

Sargeant intentionally designed his senior directed study course as a means for submitting strong academic research to the symposium. Last year, two students were accepted as part of a group presentation with Sargeant. This year, he supervised nine individual student projects, three of which were accepted:

  • "A New American Crossroad: Pace of Play and the Fate of Major League Baseball," from Allen;
  • "Analyzing the Relationship Between Young People and the MLB," from Schroeder;
  • "The Art to Effectively Running a Major League Baseball Team: Testing the Multidimensional Model of Leadership," from Sulzer

Sargeant will also present with colleague J.R. Thomas on "The Proposed Pawtucket Red Sox Relocation: A Multidimensional Analysis."

Select presentations are considered for inclusion in the conference publication, which includes approximately 12 works from the original batch of 60-plus presenters. Sargeant hopes that one or more of the college's participants will be included.

The symposium comes on the heels of another event, run as a joint effort between Lasell sport management students and the Society for American Baseball Research (SABR). The national organization's Boston chapter held its annual conference at Lasell on April 28, with keynote remarks from author and historian Bill Nowlin, who recently published the first official biography of former Boston Red Sox owner Tom Yawkey.

The Lasell Sport Management Association (SMA) invited SABR to host their conference at the college and worked with them to bring Nowlin to campus. Following the keynote, students and SABR members alike presented research in breakout sessions.

"The event was an excellent experience for students to present their capstone course research on baseball-related topics," said Sulzer. "It was a great chance to network with professionals from a wide range of industries."

Student presenters at the SABR conference included Sulzer and Schroeder, as well as Bryce Furtado '18, who shared research on "The Value of Today's Power Hitter," and Tim Major '18, who presented, "Tendencies of Major League Baseball Players' Success: College Versus High School."