The Sports Administration Faculty commissioned Fulbright to study student athletes: UNM Newsroom

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John Barnes, a professor of sports administration at the University of New Mexico, will represent UNM abroad next year on a Fulbright scholarship. He will travel to Hungary in the spring semester of 2023 to complete research and courses on leadership in university sports. The Fulbright program just announced its award for collaboration with the Hungarian University of Physical Education and Sport Science (TE).

“Your scholarship is a reflection of your leadership and contribution to society.” – Fulbright Award letter to John Barnes

Fulbright is the world’s largest and most diverse international educational exchange program dedicated to promoting mutual understanding between people in the United States and people in other countries.

“I cannot express how grateful and excited I am for the opportunity this brings,” Barnes said. “With the relationships we have established in Budapest, especially with my host institution, the Hungarian University of Physical Education and Sport Sciences, I expect wonderful collaborations and interesting research.”

Barnes’ research examines how other nations provide intercollegiate sports experiences for college student-athletes. Because collegiate athletics is still in its infancy in Hungary, Barnes says it’s a perfect laboratory for testing effective and educational benefits for students.

“I want to observe how the development of the sport is managed from the ground up in this environment and see what concepts and practices can inform US collegiate sports for the future,” he explained. “College athletics in the United States is evolving and appears to be undergoing a paradigm shift due to economic, legal and political pressures at the highest levels.

By conducting research in Hungary, Barnes says there is potential to provide insights to academic and sports administrators in the United States. He hopes his project will fill gaps in the academic literature by directly comparing collegiate athletics in the United States to those in other countries.

In addition, Barnes will teach two classes specifically designed for the Fulbright appointment. One covers leadership in sports, the other gives an overview of the sports systems in North America.

“Also, Fulbright encourages participation in local programs in the host country, and I can’t wait to be a part of it,” he said.

During his stay in Budapest in 2019, Barnes presented a Lobo flag to the rector of TE.

The relationship with TE began in the summer of 2017 when a group of educators held six-week English immersion courses on UNM’s campus. Each subsequent year, they have sent faculty to UNM for English classes and workshops offered by various programs on campus, including Physical Education Administration, Physical Education Teacher Training Program (PETE), Physical Education Science, and others. In 2019, the school asked Barnes to be the keynote speaker at the Sport and Innovation International Conference.

Barnes received his PhD in Sports Administration from UNM in 2004. Prior to his PhD, he earned a master’s degree in kinesiology from UNLV and a bachelor’s degree in physical education from California State Polytechnic University, Pomona.

Before entering academia, Barnes worked as a sports coach. His experience has spanned high school, college, and professional levels. This included three years in the California Angels organization and a season on the Montreal Expos Double A team in Harrisburg, PA. He was also the senior athletic trainer at Chaffey College for ten years.

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