52 Students Honored at Sport Management Declaration of Major Signing Ceremony

52 Students Honored at Sport Management Declaration of Major Signing Ceremony

Every year, students who officially declare the Sport Management major are celebrated at the annual Declaration of Major Signing Ceremony. This year, 52 students have signed as official majors, resulting in the largest ceremony yet for the burgeoning Department of Sport Management.

2019 Signees

The Declaration of Major Signing Ceremony is held in the R Room, housed inside the Rice Stadium. The event is attended by faculty members and current sport management students who are there to show support to their peers as well as offer networking and curriculum advice.

Traditionally, in order to officially declare a major at Rice University, students must take a form and get it signed by a faculty member in their chosen department, and just like that they are a/n [insert field of study here] major. The Sport Management Department, however, feels it should be more than that.

“I feel that this is an event in our students’ lives that should be more memorable and more celebrated,” said Sport Management Professor in the Practice and Head of Career Development, Tom Stallings. “When I first became a part of the department, I thought that we could make this event similar to an athlete’s signing day. It’s a great chance for students to see who their cohorts are, and also for us to help them professionally.”

2019 declared students

All students who declare the major are given a leather Rice University Sport Management branded padfolio, personalized Sport Management business cards, and a professional headshot in order to enhance their personal brand (LinkedIn, etc.).

“Our faculty have all come directly from working in the sport industry, and it’s our goal to ensure that our students have excellent jobs when they graduate,” Department Chair Clark Haptonstall said. “This is a process that takes years, and we are extremely invested in our students’ success and I believe this event shows that. Preparing students for their future careers is our number one goal.”

For many students, choosing their major can be nightmare. This is a very big decision in their lives and largely determines the path of their future careers. Of this year’s signing class of 52 students, many entered Rice University uncertain of this exact decision.

“I came into college thinking I was a biochemistry major on a pre-med track, then later switched to economics,” said Audrey Paetzel ’21. “That entire time, I wasn’t in love with what I was doing. Personally, it wasn’t until I discovered this department and its faculty in my sophomore year that I really felt at home. I love how much they care about our success and really do everything possible to help us accomplish our career goals.”

Audrey Paetzel '21

In my own personal experience, having attended this event during my freshman year, it felt incredibly rewarding to have my name called in front of my peers, shake all of my professors’ hands, and officially join this major. Also, seeing the support that all of my classmates have for one another only gives me confidence in what we can achieve as a team and as a family. I truly believe that all of our faculty have deep, vested interest in our success, and that is evident in and outside of the classroom.

Without further ado, I would like to introduce our newest members of the Sport Management family, all of whom have bright and promising careers, and are more than capable of taking this department to new heights:

Class of 2020

  • Yebin Chae (Sport Leadership)
  • Anthony Ekpe (Sport Leadership)
  • Elijah Garcia (Sport Leadership)
  • Roel Garcia (Sport Leadership)
  • Garrett Gayle (Sport Leadership)
  • Sam Glaesmann (Sport Leadership)
  • Jack Greene (Sport Leadership)
  • Tim Harrison (Sport Leadership)
  • Robert Martin (Sport Law)
  • Gabby Ozoude (Sport Law)
  • Josh Parrish (Sport Leadership)
  • Dylan Silcox (Sport Leadership)
  • Colin Whitaker (Sport Law)
  • Tori Woogk (Sport Leadership)

Class of 2021

  • Louis Alvares (Sport Leadership)
  • Drew Axelson (Sport Leadership)
  • Connor Ayubi (Sport Analytics)
  • Shea Baker (Sport Leadership)
  • Jake Benson (Sport Leadership)
  • Kel Bordwine (Sport Leadership)
  • Trei Cruz (Sport Leadership)
  • Johan Fotso (Sport Law)
  • Frank Fu (Sport Law)
  • Jason Gardner (Sport Analytics)
  • Garrett Grammer (Sport Leadership)
  • Jacob Grams (Sport Leadership)
  • Adam Gurin (Sport Analytics)
  • Michaela Haet (Sport Leadership)
  • Nicholas Hicks (Sport Analytics)
  • Linda Huang (Sport Leadership)
  • Derrick Kagwanja (Sport Law)
  • Morgan Laaksonen (Sport Law)
  • Andrew Ledet (Sport Analytics)
  • Sean McCormick (Sport Law)
  • Emily Mohlin (Sport Law)
  • Chloe Oani (Sport Law)
  • Audrey Paetzel (Sport Law)
  • Caleigh Page (Sport Analytics)
  • Javen Patton (Sport Law)
  • Luis Perales (Sport Analytics)
  • René Reeder (Sport Leadership)
  • Naeem Smith (Sport Leadership)
  • Carlos Tafur (Sport Leadership)
  • Austin Trammell (Sport Leadership)
  • Faraz Virani (Sport Leadership)

Class of 2022

  • Princess Bernard-Oti (Sport Leadership)
  • Sophie Call (Sport Leadership)
  • Charlie Chen (Sport Analytics)
  • Isaac Davidson (Sport Analytics)
  • Matthew Sams (Sport Law)
  • Jen Spell (Sport Leadership)
  • Marcus Thompson (Sport Leadership)

2019 New Majorrs

Kristian Stengel, a sophomore from Sutton, Nebraska, is majoring in Sport Management and minoring in Business.

(pic cred: Anthony Serrano Photography)