by Julie Lineback and Sheryl Marlar

While the New England Patriots and the Seattle Seahawks were practicing for Super Bowl XLIX in Phoenix, student athletes were attending NFL Prep’s Sports Career Expo for a full day of workshops to learn about career building and life skills. The University of West Georgia’s Dr. Markesha Henderson, assistant professor of sport management and program coordinator in the Department of Leadership and Instruction, College of Education, was there to lend a hand as a research and assessment advisor.

Dr. Markesha HendersonProduced in conjunction with Why Not Sports, the Sports Career Expo is a national campaign that enlists professionals from all aspects of the industry to inform, educate, and enlighten student athletes on career opportunities in professional sports. As research and assessment advisor, Dr. Henderson’s goal is to observe and identify best practices, collect important data on target groups, and develop strategies that will enhance the research-based workshops that are implemented at each expo across the country.

“I am working on an assessment plan to examine overall program effectiveness and to determine whether or not learning outcomes and programmatic goals are being met,” Dr. Henderson explained.

UWG junior Landry Smith currently assists her with data collection as part of his sport management practicum. Dr. Henderson looks forward to expanding student involvement.

“I hope to eventually engage our students in this research if I can secure funding for their travel,” she said.

Sports Career Expos occur throughout the year all over the country. UWG recently hosted one geared toward college students interested in sports management careers, regardless of whether they are student athletes or not. The expo opened with remarks from Dr. Henderson and Nenette Chambliss, CEO of Why Not Sports. The keynote speaker for the event was Jerome Boger, an official referee with the National Football League.

A native of Atlanta, Jerome began his officiating career in 1978 in the Georgia High School Association. Following that, he worked through both Division II and I football. The pinnacle of his 36-year career came as he officiated as a referee of Super Bowl XLVII.

For more information about NFL Prep’s Sports Career Expo, visit For more information about UWG’s sport management program, visit

Posted on April 9, 2015