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McFadden examines risk management in sport and recreation environments in article for SportRisk

The assistant professor of sport and event management incorporates her personal experiences with the Virginia Tech massacre to promote discussion and analysis in the classroom.

Cara McFadden, an assistant professor in Elon University’s Department of Sport and Event Management, has published an article in SportRisk: Risk Management Newsletter for Campus Recreation, examining the concerns of an active shooter in sport and recreation environments and the role practitioners play in educating students to have a survival mindset.

Assistant Professor Cara McFadden

The article, published in SportRisk’s December 2016 issue, is titled “A Strategy for Educating Students about the Active Shooter: Teaching with Stories and Content.”

McFadden discusses strategies initially developed as part of a sport and event management course titled “Facility and Venue Management.” One content area in the course concentrates on the use of personal storytelling with an active shooter incident, case study analysis and application to the industry. 

“In the wake of over 200 mass shootings in 2016, it is important for practitioners to view themselves as educators to discuss strategies for teaching future collegiate recreation professionals about active shooter protocols (as well as train current student employees),” writes McFadden.

As part of the SEM course, McFadden integrates and shares her personal experiences as a doctoral student at Virginia Tech in April 2007, site of the deadliest shooting rampage in U.S. history at that time. In all, 27 Virginia Tech students and five faculty members died as a result of an on-campus shooter.

“We become better educators for our students by sharing real life experiences and intentionally connecting to the content we plan to teach in a training or classroom setting,” McFadden writes in the article. “Before I teach the students about active shooter policies, I share my story to engage their thought process and make it a reality.”

Tommy Kopetskie,
1/10/2017 10:30 AM