Amanda Curtis, Ph.D.
Amanda Curtis, Sport Studies
As the daughter and granddaughter of teachers, Amanda Curtis grew up knowing that, one day, she too wanted to teach. Her lifelong love of basketball also drew her toward the profession, particularly once she realized that she would rather teach about sports than coach them.
Originally from Edon, Ohio, Amanda pursued her undergraduate studies at Albion College in Michigan where she earned a bachelor’s degree in physical education and English in 2001. She next attended the University of Akron in Akron, Ohio, earning her M.S.Ed. in sports science and wellness education in 2002 before earning her Ph.D. in health and sport studies from the University of Iowa in 2013.
As a culmination of her academic training and her athletic interests, Amanda came to realize that teaching sport studies was the perfect way to continue her interest in sports in a way that she enjoyed and found rewarding. “The field of sport studies is great because it allows me to teach classes within both sport sociology and sport history,” she said. “Sport is, and always has been, a hugely important part of our culture, and it is fascinating to investigate the ways in which sport both creates and reveals aspects of society.”
When the opportunity arose to help build and grow a sport studies program at Lake Erie College within the sport management department, Amanda was eager to start. “I was immediately drawn to the vision for the program and happy about the prospect of teaching classes at a smaller, liberal arts school,” she said. “I love getting to show students the underlying ideologies and connections between our society and sport.”
At LEC, Amanda teaches a variety of courses involving the connections of sport with areas such as new media, communications, history, psychology, management and more, though her favorite subject is the connection between gender and sport in our society.
Regardless of the topic, Amanda’s favorite thing is when students apply the lessons they learn in her classes to their experiences even after the semester ends. Following a particularly engaging semester teaching Gender and Sport last spring, Amanda was contacted by several of her students over the summer who were watching the Women’s World Cup. “They wanted to tell me that they watched the competition because of the issues we had talked about in class,” she said. “It was rewarding to hear that they not only watched the event but thought critically about it!”