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Meet the Team

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Principal Investigator

Dr. Marlene Dixon

Dr. Marlene Dixon is the founder and principal investigator of the Sport and Life Quality Lab (SLQ).


She is a Professor and Chair of the Sport Management Division in the Department of Health and Kinesiology. A graduate of The Ohio State University, she has over 20 years experience in work dedicated to enhancing the life quality of those who work and play in sport. Dixon is a former president of the North American Society for Sport Management, and currently serves as an Associate Editor of The Journal of Sport Management. She was named a NASSM fellow in 2008, and a recipient of the Earle F. Zeigler Career Achievement Award in 2020.


In addition to her extensive work surrounding work-life balance in a collegiate sport context, she has a passion for serving girls and women in disadvantaged contexts around the world. Most recent work for her involves a program called Highway of Hope in Nairobi, Kenya, and several emerging opportunities in India.

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Executive Director

Ashlyn Hardie

Ashlyn Hardie currently serves as the Executive Director of the SLQ, while pursuing her Ph.D. in Sport Management at Texas A&M University. Prior to starting her doctoral studies, Ashlyn worked in the field, coaching four seasons of collegiate soccer in the NCAA, and then consulting internationally in the sport for development and peace (SDP) domain for Coaches Across Continents.

With a Bachelors in Sport Management and Masters in Business Administration, her research line focuses through a critical lens on sustainability of SDP grassroots initiatives, and SDP stakeholder relationships. From lived experience as a collegiate athlete and coach, to SDP practitioner, and now sport management scholar, her goal for her work is to leverage those three divergent sport experiences to first, bridge the gap between SDP scholarship and practice, and second, generate innovative methods to increase quality of SDP scholarship for more impactful implications in the field.

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Research Affiliate

Dr. Arden Anderson

Dr. Arden Anderson is an Assistant Professor of Sport Management at High Point University, where she currently teaches Gender Issues in Sport and Sport in Society. She obtained her Ph.D. in Sport Management from Texas A&M University. In addition, she received a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology from Wofford College and a Master of Science degree in Kinesiology with a Certificate in Sport Management from East Carolina University. Her research line investigates how individuals function in groups and how these group interactions impact their overall experience and quality of life. Based upon her experience as a former Division I
volleyball athlete, her current research interests include role identity, team cohesion, and the impact of college sport on athlete well-being. By better understanding the experience of group members, she intends to provide managers and practitioners with the tools necessary to implement policies and procedures that generate positive change.

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Graduate Teaching Assistant

Daniel Springer

Daniel Springer is a Graduate Teaching Assistant in the Division of Sport Management at Texas A&M University. Prior to beginning his doctoral work at Texas A&M, Daniel received a Masters of Education from Oklahoma State University in Educational Leadership with an emphasis on College Student Development. He spent 4 years working in student activities and another 4 working as an undergraduate academic advisor for the Sport Management program at Texas A&M.


His research examines the nexus of sport and individual development in higher education through various developmental and organizational frameworks to construct a better contextual understanding of formal sport environments, focusing especially on their philosophical and structural characteristics. It is his goal to contribute to the conversation both in higher education and in sport management about how to effectively leverage and deliver sport within higher education.

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