Baylor Faculty Honored with 2024 Centennial Professor Awards Receive Funding for Summer Research

May 2, 2024
Centennial Awards

Julie Hoggarth, Ph.D., associate professor of anthropology, and Jeffrey C. Petersen, Ph.D., professor of sport management, have been selected to receive the 2024 Centennial Professor Awards for summer research projects. 

Contact: Shelby Cefaratti-Bertin, Baylor University Media & Public Relations, 254-327-8012
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WACO, Texas (May 2, 2024) – Baylor University faculty members Julie Hoggarth, Ph.D., associate professor of anthropology, and Jeffrey C. Petersen, Ph.D., professor of sport management, have been selected to receive the 2024 Centennial Professor Awards for summer research projects on the impact of drought on the Mayan collapse and the expansion of administrative staff within collegiate sports, respectively. 

The Centennial Professor Award, created by the Baylor Class of 1945, honors two tenured faculty members with a $5,000 Centennial Faculty Development award for research projects that facilitate their development and contribute to the academic life of the University. These projects may include travel for study or research, the development of innovative teaching materials or other professional development activities.

Fates of human societies

Hoggarth is an anthropological archeologist whose teaching seeks to understand the distant ways of life of ancient populations through a lens of cultural processes. She researches with an interdisciplinary approach that focuses on the effects of climate change on ancient Maya development and decline. This summer, Hoggarth will concentrate on her project, “The Fates of Human Societies: Testing Diamond’s Environmental Theories on Societal Collapse,” by examining very small bone fragments through radiocarbon dating to generate evidence to assess the impacts of drought on the “Classic Maya collapse.” 

Hoggarth will use the Centennial Professor funding to explore the relationship between environmental change, particularly severe drought, and the sociopolitical collapse of the Classic Maya. By expanding her radiocarbon dating project, Hoggarth will be able to assess the timing of changes in population with the timing of several severe droughts at the end of the Classic period. 

“The recognition of being named a Centennial Professor means a lot for the expansion of my course ‘The Evolution of Human Societies’ and the impact that the class has had on the undergraduate population of Baylor,” Hoggarth said. “I look forward to being able to utilize the research funding from this award to revamp the class and bring new types of primary data for the students to assess the environmental theories for the ‘Classic Maya collapse’ that have been put forward in the literature. This is critical, as new perspectives on the factors that contributed to the rise and fall of ancient societies continue to be some of the most pressing questions in archaeology.”

Projecting the future of NCAA athletics

Petersen, who directs the School of Education's Graduate Program in Sport Management, is an active researcher who has published work in more than 80 peer-reviewed journal manuscripts and made more than 180 refereed presentations at state, national and international conferences. Petersen's primary areas of research include sports facility design and management, sport management curriculum and pedagogy, interscholastic sport sponsorship and the Youth Olympic Games (YOG). 

His Centennial Professor Award funding will go toward his research titled, “Projecting the Future of NCAA Athletics: A Historical Analysis of Team and Athletic Department Staffing.” Petersen will study the historical expansion of administrative staff within collegiate sports and athletic departments to better understand changes in sport and society. His research seeks to investigate the evolution of administrative structures in NCAA Division I men's and women's basketball and football by utilizing a longitudinal analysis of media guides from the advent of television coverage in the 1950s onward to identify shifts in support staff roles and contextualize these changes within larger societal and economic trends. 

“The landscape of collegiate sports has evolved considerably since its inception in the early 1900s as student-led club organizations,” Petersen said. “These changes include incredible growth in financial resources and accompanied increasing complexity in its administrative frameworks. This study will delve into the historical expansion of administrative staff within these sports and the athletic department, aiming to reveal patterns reflective of broader changes in sport and society.”

Given the current developments of Name, Image, and Likeness (NIL) athlete compensation and conference realignments, collegiate sport is on the precipice of major financial changes. Petersen’s study seeks to examine past staffing levels as a proxy for the overall athletic budget and connect past trends to potential future projections for college sports.

“The Centennial Professor Award is indeed a tremendous honor, and the Class of 1945 demonstrated tremendous foresight in creating an award that continues to impact both the faculty and students at Baylor University on an annual basis,” Petersen said. “There is a rich tradition embodied within the many esteemed members of the Baylor faculty who have earned this distinction dating back to 1987, and I am both honored and humbled to be counted amongst this prestigious group of educators and scholars.”

The selection of the 2024 Centennial Professor Awards was made by the Centennial Faculty Development Review Committee, chaired by Joaquin N. Lugo, Ph.D., professor and graduate program director in psychology and neuroscience.


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