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Meet the Professor: Heather Lawrence-Benedict

Sunday, July 10 2016 12:00am

Lawrence-Benedict takes on new role as academic director of graduate programs and associate professor of sports administration

20121005Heather Lawrence Benedict 00027 Edit 2By Mackenzie O'Dwyer

This summer, Heather Lawrence-Benedict stepped into her new role as academic director of graduate programs. As founder of the Professional Master of Sports Administration program, Heather is fond of working in graduate education and excited to take on this new role for Ohio University’s College of Business.   

“The College of Business has hired extremely talented faculty and staff in graduate programs that I get the privilege of working closely with,” said Lawrence-Benedict. “I’m looking forward to expanding our graduate programs and initiatives on our Athens and Dublin campuses.”   

Lawrence-Benedict will be supporting graduate programs by creating cohesion across all graduate-level offerings. She also will continue teaching in the Department of Sports Administration. Working closely with graduate-level students in the Professional MSA program has given Lawrence-Benedict an appreciation for the talent and knowledge these students bring to the classroom.

“Teaching graduate students is unique in that our students are also experienced professionals. It’s important to find a balance between providing structure in these courses while still allowing the students to come to their own conclusions,” said Lawrence-Benedict.

Lawrence-Benedict describes her teaching philosophy as content facilitation, to reflect the sport business environment her students are familiar with. “Your boss isn’t going to give you a checklist to achieve your goals. That part is up to you,” she said.

Lawrence-Benedict has worked with more than 150 students in the Professional MSA program and continues to connect learning to the real world for these working professionals.

“A successful class will inspire students to think deeper about topics outside of the classroom,” she said. “I love when students share a work experience or article they read relating to the subjects we covered in class.”

 - Potpourri –

Five pressing questions for Lawrence-Benedict:

Do you have a favorite place to eat in Athens or on campus? 

“Narrowing it down to one restaurant is tough – I love food! I’d say it’s a toss-up between Fluff Bakery and Salaam.”

Do you have a favorite spot on Ohio University’s campus?

“I have two favorite spots on campus. I love being on the track at sunrise. There are only a few people out there, you can hear the birds… it’s beautiful. On game days, I enjoy the energy from fans and students in Peden Stadium.”

Which season do you like best in Athens? 

“Spring is my favorite season in Athens. Everything starts blooming on campus and the vibe from students finding their first jobs or deciding what they’re doing next is all very exciting to me.”

What events have you enjoyed in Athens?

“Race for Reason is such an inspirational event. I was so proud of what the students accomplished and the impact this event had on the Athens community.”

What have you liked most about working with students and faculty at Ohio University’s College of Business?

“The College of Business is a very dynamic environment with so many opportunities to engage in intellectual conversations and make social connections. As faculty, we’re all part of team that works together to accomplish our goals. And, as different as undergraduate and graduate students are, I am thankful that I get to have fun and laugh a lot when we are together.”