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Impact Players: IUPUI's School of Physical Education and Tourism Management, Military Science Score Big During Super Bowl XLVI

Dean Jay Gladden
Dean Jay Gladden

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January 18, 2012

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If ever an urban university would be selected as an MVP for the Super Bowl, Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis would be a likely winner – and the players leading the team would include the faculty, staff and students of IUPUI’s School of Physical Education and Tourism Management.

PETM faculty, staff and students are working off a playbook that includes developing the Super Service Training Program, manning an enormous merchandise program and transforming community health.

Super Service
Amanda Cecil is in her 10th year on the Tourism, Convention and Event Management faculty. As an assistant professor, she teaches several courses in event management and international tourism. Cecil collaborated with Indianapolis Convention and Visitors Association, the Super Bowl Host Committee and others to produce the Super Service Training Program. The online program, required training for all Super Bowl volunteers, focuses on the knowledge and resources the hospitality community and volunteers need to know to exceed guest expectations.

NFL Merchandise
Leading a special team from the Department of Military Science is professor and Lt. Col. Thomas Rude. His group of 135 ROTC cadets and their family members will essentially provide the manpower to run the NFL Experience merchandise store. They will be involved in all aspects of NFL merchandising, from receiving all products, to setting up and manning the store.

The Fitness Zone, Powered by IUPUI
Sarah Shore-Beck is working with the John H. Boner Community Center to get the Chase Near Eastside Legacy Center Fitness Zone up and running in time for its public opening two days after the Super Bowl. The full-service fitness facility will involve more than 100 PETM students who will conduct health screenings, health and wellness classes, personal training, group exercise classes and individual workouts for its members.

In addition to Shore-Beck, faculty members Katie Stanton-Nichols, Brian Culp, Rachel Swinford, Steve Fallowfield and NiCole Keith are helping to improve the health and quality of life for the Near Eastside community. They are instrumental in staffing the Fitness Zone with their students, providing incredible service-learning experiences and conducting health-related research focused around physical activity.

PETM faculty, staff, alumni and students are also volunteering in other areas:

•Amanda Cecil, along with her students, and IUPUI alumni, staff and faculty will assist with event management and guest welcome for the “Taste of the NFL” event benefiting Gleaner’s Food Bank.

•Melissa Seibert, assistant director of development and external affair, serves on the Super Bowl 2012 Volunteer Committee. Her involvement includes the Volunteer Kickoff Celebration, volunteer training and recognition, and uniform distribution.

•Brian Culp, assistant professor of education, also helped select finalists for a student essay contest sponsored by the Super Bowl Operations Committee. The winners, IUPUI student Dax Thomas and Ivy Tech student Karen Royal, will work with TEAM UT (University of Tennessee Sport Management) in game-day prep, game-day event management and post-game ceremonies for the Super Bowl.

•Susie Benko’s Introduction to Meetings/Convention Management class is working with Maribeth Smith and Associates to provide volunteer services at hospitality venues during Super Bowl weekend.

The PETM Super Bowl team is led by the school’s dean, Jay Gladden. Dean Gladden provides overall team management, calls the plays and provides the direction, instruction and training in order for the team to succeed. Not only does Gladden serve as team’s coach, but he is by far the team’s biggest cheerleader and fan.

“PETM’s deep involvement in these activities speaks to our faculty’s commitment to civic engagement and enhancing learning through real-world experiences,” Gladden said. “Much of what we are doing will have impact far beyond the Super Bowl XLVI.”