It’s always good to hear from our graduates after they complete their studies and begin a new adventure or career. Recently we asked Lana Huberty to tell us about life after Kinesiology and share her words of advice and wisdom.
Lana started her career at the U of M in 2010 as a doctoral student in Kinesiology with an emphasis in Sport Management. She was advised by Dr. Stephen Ross. Upon graduating in 2013, Dr. Huberty accepted a position as assistant professor at Concordia University in St. Paul.
Could you describe your career in detail? How long have you held your current position and what do you like best about it?
While completing my dissertation at the UM in the spring of 2013, I was hired by Concordia University in St. Paul (CSP) into the Kinesiology and Health Sciences (KHS) Department. I was brought in not only to teach in the KHS department, but to Chair the Sport Management program. These KHS programs are offered for undergraduate and graduate students, both face-to-face and online. Our programs have continued to grow and in January of this year, 2017, I was promoted to KHS Department Chair. So, as KHS Department Chair and an Assistant Professor at CSP, I am busy with overseeing almost 750 students and a variety of programs- ranging from Sport Management to Community Health, Exercise Science to Radiological Sciences. As you can see, these past four years at CSP have been rewarding and full of opportunities!
How do you think your experience at the U of M helped you in your career and personal goals?
The three years of graduate school at UM were guided by my adviser, Dr. Stephen Ross, in the Sport Management program. With Dr. Ross’s guidance, the career goal of achieving my PhD was achieved. I was able to spend three years studying, researching, and teaching. I was challenged to get out of my “comfort zone” as a practitioner and put on my academic hat. By having this experience, I have grown both professionally as an academic in the field of sport management, as well as in my personal goals as noted next…
What sparked your decision to go to graduate school?
In 2013 I was working as a director within the Twin Cities YMCA system and hiring/training/motivating new employees on a daily basis. I realized that I really loved being able to help people find their passions and be successful in the workplace. By making the move into higher education, I knew I would be able to catch these new industry leaders even earlier in their professional journeys. This ability to have a positive influence in shaping others’ career paths sparked my decision to go to graduate school and become a university professor. This decision was fully encouraged by my undergraduate adviser from Mankato State University, Dr. Joy Joyner, and my graduate adviser from St. Cloud State University, Dr. Mark Moore. These two faculty members influenced me by commending my 20 years of service in the field and recognizing how my knowledge and expertise would be of value in the classroom.
What were some of your greatest challenges as a graduate student? Best experiences?
The greatest challenge was learning my way around the UM campus, it is very different from the universities I have been a part of in the past and I was often seen carrying around my campus map:).
As a graduate student, I appreciated the diversity, the expansive resources, and the relationships I made while in the program. The best experiences included traveling to conferences with my program colleagues, Dr. Jinhee Yoo and Dr. Megan Shreffler. I also enjoyed the learning process of how to take my practical experiences into the classroom to educate the Sport Management students; these experiences with the students are truly where I have seen my abilities to influence others pay off.
What advice would you give incoming graduate students?
Jump in with both feet and go for it! Keep a positive attitude, humble yourself when needed (which WILL happen), and be ready to join an elite group of professionals when finished. Enjoy each day of the program, each student you get a chance to interact with, and soak up the research opportunities. Overall, getting my PhD at UM was an amazing opportunity and I feel truly blessed to be a faculty member at Concordia University today because of my opportunities at UM.
Any details about your life outside of work you’d like to share?
Married for 25 years to husband, Todd, with two kids who are both currently CSP students (Paxton and Keaton). And, even with my position at CSP, I still find time to work in the field through part-time hours at the local YMCA. I am truly blessed.