Sport management student heads to Taiwan

A Grambling State University master’s student is the first to spend a semester abroad as a sports administration intern at Alethia University in Taipei, Taiwan.

Though Devin Brown does not leave for Asia until September, he is getting more and more excited about visiting another continent for a dual academic and professional internship experience. 

“This opportunity is truly a blessing for me,” said Brown, 23. “Dr. (Christina) Gipson has been a great mentor and inspired me to push and challenge myself to greater heights, not only with my education and career but also in my daily life.” 

“Devin will be exposed to a myriad of sports and sport-related experiences at the university level,” according to Dr. Willie Daniel, head of the Department of Kinesiology, Sport and Leisure Studies in the College of Education. 

“He’ll have a hands-on opportunity to develop and work with the World Association of Sport Management’s Global Sports Management Summit that will take place in October and to help prepare for the World University Games, which will be hosted by Taiwan in 2017. This is a first for our program, and our university, and we’re ecstatic.”

The association is a new organization, founded just last year during a meeting of the Global Sport Management Summit.  The group’s goal is “to facilitate sport management research, teaching and learning excellence and professional practice” as a forum for international ideas about sport management among university faculty, students, sport federations and sports professionals.

Aletheia University is recognized as Taiwan’s oldest institution of higher learning. Since 1994 the university has operated as an independent, four-year institution with eight colleges, including sports knowledge, management science and tourism.

Brown learned about the opportunity in Asia from one of his professors, Gipson, an assistant professor of sport management and Brown’s academic advisor. 

“I am always looking for students who are organized, versatile, and interested in international sports,” she said. “I learned about this internship opportunity through one of my academic listservs and presented the information to a number of students, and Devin was the only student who decided to apply.”

Ever diligent about providing students with legitimate opportunities and exposing students to opportunities, Gipson contacted the World Association committee members, an American and a Venezuelan, to make sure “everything was legit.” 

When everything checked out, she worked with Brown to get his application submitted and, a few weeks later, Brown got the official word that he had been selected.

Brown, who left Carson, Calif., to attend Grambling State University as a freshman, is a strong student, and he’s maintained a 4.0 GPA in the Master of Science in sports administration degree program. 

He graduated from the business undergraduate program in 2012 and decided to continue his education, especially since he had developed a special professor-student relationship with Gipson.

“She has been a special person in my life,” said Brown. “She presented this opportunity to me because she had faith in my abilities to step up and rise to the challenge of the unknown.”

“I will use this great opportunity to represent the GSU Sports Administration Program to open new doors in the sports industry domestically and globally.”