Elon's Tony Weaver named 'Sport Management Educator of the Year'

Associate Professor Hal Walker, chair of the university's Department of Sport and Event Management, called Weaver "highly deserving" of recognition from the North Carolina Sport Management Coalition.

Tony Weaver
Tony Weaver may have accepted the North Carolina Sport Management Coalition’s Sport Management Educator of the Year award, but the associate professor feels it was on behalf of his students and Elon University.

Asked about the award, Weaver deflected credit toward the students in the Sport and Event Management Department and Elon’s Summer Undergraduate Research Experiences program, which he said provides enriching opportunities for him and his students to conduct research and give worthwhile topics “critical thought.”

“Quite honestly, the reason I would get any award, from any organization, is because of the work that I do with the students, and they are the ones who deserve the credit,” Weaver said.

Fittingly, the Sport Management Educator of the Year award was presented on Oct. 29 at the North Carolina Alliance for Athletics, Health, Physical Education, Recreation, Dance and Sport Management (NCAAHPERD-SM) Convention, where Weaver teamed with Kelly Siewers ’17 to co-present during a college sport thematic session. The SEM major and faculty member’s topic examined the reasons behind why Division II/III schools reclassified their athletic departments to Division I.

A regular participant in the alliance’s annual convention since 2007, Weaver said Elon students often accompany him and together they present their joint summer work.

“The convention is a great place for students to talk about their experience in SURE and this year was no different with Kelly, who did a fantastic job. Our students always embrace the challenge of presenting their research,” he said. “That’s Elon; our students make us look good.”

​Weaver said he enjoys presenting with students at the state convention because it provides an opportunity to highlight many of the high-impact practices utilized by the SEM faculty, including undergraduate research, to an engaged audience. Weaver recalled that his presentation with Siewers ended with a series of questions and a lively discussion – an occurrence that’s not uncommon at the conference.

“The research is timely and the results are important, but it’s perhaps more important to have her be a part of that presentation process,” he said. “To have students take their information, go to a wider audience, on a state level outside of Elon, and share their research with others is incredibly valuable.”

Also valuable to the development of Elon students is Weaver’s unwavering dedication to their education and success, added Hal Walker, associate professor and chair of the Sport and Event Management Department.

“Tony is pretty much what you see and everybody sees: a highly dedicated person who’ll do anything for his students,” Walker said. “He’s constantly in his office working with students on class activities, professional development and their careers.” The mentorship often continues long after graduation.

It was Walker who nominated for Weaver for the educator award, but the board members of the North Carolina Sport Management Coalition made the ultimate decision. According to the alliance’s website, honorees are selected based on their dedication to “promoting and advocating for the sport management profession.”

“Tony’s highly deserving because he’s a good man and an outstanding professor,” said Walker, who received the same award in 2009. “Everything he does, he does well, with a focus on students.”

For a full overview of the alliance’s conference and Elon’s involvement, visit the “SEM students, faculty make strong showing at state convention” release.

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