Krane prepares leaders in sport, social change

BOWLING GREEN, O.—Dr. Vikki Krane brings an interdisciplinary approach to the teaching of sport management, honed over 24 years of teaching and research, and always with the aim of empowering students to reach their goals.

Her remarkable abilities as a teacher and her dedication to creating the principled leaders of tomorrow have marked her as a Professor of Teaching Excellence, a title bestowed by Bowling Green State University at the 2015 Faculty Excellence Awards on April 15.

The honor is designated for BGSU faculty members who hold the rank of full professor and whose extraordinary achievements as effective teachers in their discipline or in interdisciplinary fields deserve special recognition. Krane will hold the title for three years and receive an annual stipend of $5,000, which includes $2,000 per year for professional development.

Krane received her doctorate in exercise and sport science with a concentration in sport psychology from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, in 1989. As a professor in the BGSU School of Human Movement, Sport and Leisure Studies, she brings that emphasis on psychology to her students, employing motivation theory and the core feminist pedagogical methods of participatory learning, validation of personal experience, encouragement of social understanding and activism, and development of critical thinking and open-mindedness.

In this manner, students become equipped to recognize and challenge bias where they find it, challenge the status quo, and work to effect social transformation. Krane’s personal goal is to “have a positive impact on sport by educating the future leaders in sport and exercise.”

She also has had a positive impact on non-sports majors. She served as the director and graduate coordinator of the Women’s Studies Program (now Women’s Studies, Gender and Sexuality Studies). In that role, she taught classes with gender content across women’s studies, American culture studies, psychology and sport management. Today, her graduate classes still attract students from those areas as well as popular culture, communication, higher education and college student personnel. Meeting the needs of such a diverse group of students requires a flexible pedagogy, Krane observed.

By having students take an active role in the course content, Krane encourages the development of their personal motivation to learn and succeed. She regularly engages students in professional development activities such as conference presentations and independent studies.

As a graduate student mentor, she works with students as they conduct sports psychology consultations, helping athletes deal with issues such as anxiety management, goal setting and positive thinking. These students also work with her as the Sports Performance Team, consulting with BGSU student-athletes to help them reach their goals.

She also includes graduate students in interdisciplinary research groups with other faculty. Together they design and conduct studies, write and publish their results and present at conferences. The groups are premised on the belief that each person has something to contribute, Krane said. They have been productive: the most recent group has completed one book chapter, five articles and 11 national and international presentations.

This early research work prepares students for subsequent thesis and doctoral dissertation writing. Krane’s students produced award-winning theses and presentations.

According to Dr. Janet Parks, Emeritus Distinguished Teaching Professor,  Krane is the “personification of what a teacher should be, and the web of positive influence she has woven among her students for the past 24 years will ensure BGSU’s reputation for many generations to come.”