Purpose-Driven Academia: Get to Know Sport Management Alumni Nathan Baer, PhD ’23

In the dynamic world of sport management academia, the trajectory of individuals like Nathan Baer, PhD, stands out as an inspiring example. Baer's academic journey, from earning his BA in Psychology and German at North Central College to his current role as a tenure-track Assistant Professor of Sport Management at Southeastern Louisiana University (SLU), is marked by academic excellence and a passion for meaningful research.

Nathan Baer

Nathan Baer, PhD

Southeastern Louisiana University

Educational Background

Baer's academic journey began at North Central College in 2018, where he earned his BA in Psychology and German. Fueled by a deep interest in sport management, he pursued a Master's degree at Northern Illinois University, successfully completing his MS in Sport Management in 2020. Following this, he embarked on his doctoral studies at Louisiana State University.

Why LSU?

Choosing LSU for his doctoral studies was an easy decision for Baer. He had previously worked with Claire Zvosec, PhD, from LSU's Sport Management faculty during their time at Northern Illinois University. Zvosec's dedication to research and her ability to teach effective study design were key factors in Baer's decision.

Furthermore, Baer states that he “felt that the environment at the LSU School of Kinesiology was collegial, a trait that [he] knew would provide [him] with many collaborative opportunities.”

Doctoral Studies at LSU

During his time at LSU, Baer was not only immersed in the rigors of doctoral research but also took on the role of Graduate Teaching Assistant. His experiences as an Instructor of Record from the outset of his degree program provided him with a unique opportunity to shape and guide courses independently, a valuable experience for any aspiring academic.

Research Contributions and Collaborations

Since obtaining his PhD in Sport Management, Baer has actively engaged in impactful research projects. His work includes studies on graduate assistants' experiences with abusive supervision, the meaningful work experiences of sport employees, and a conceptual piece derived from his doctoral dissertation, exploring a subjectivist perspective of meaningful work in the sport industry. Collaborating with his former advisor, Zvosec, he has presented and submitted research projects for publication, showcasing the academic rigor instilled during his doctoral studies.

Current Role at SLU

Baer's journey reached a milestone when he accepted a tenure-track Assistant Professor of Sport Management position at Southeastern Louisiana University. Currently, he teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in the sport management curriculum at SLU. Simultaneously, he is actively involved in ongoing research projects examining the philosophical underpinnings of meaningful work in the sport context.

Words of Wisdom for Aspiring Academics

Reflecting on his journey, Baer offers valuable advice to those considering a PhD in Sport Management: have a purpose. He emphasizes the importance of understanding why one pursues a PhD, urging individuals to identify their passion and articulate the impact they hope to make through their research. Baer's dedication to purpose-driven academia has not only shaped his own journey but serves as a guiding light for those following in his footsteps.

Nathan Baer's journey from a BA in Psychology and German to a tenure-track position at SLU is a testament to his academic prowess, research contributions, and commitment to purpose-driven education. As he continues to shape the next generation of sport management professionals, Baer's story serves as an inspiration for aspiring academics navigating the challenging yet rewarding path of doctoral studies and beyond