Conference Schedule

Examining Professional Development Among Faculty Members Across Varying Career Stages

Wednesday, May 1, 2019 • 4 p.m. – 6 p.m.
Alumni Auditorium
Laura Chittle University of Windsor Show biographies
Laura Chittle is a doctoral candidate in the Department of Kinesiology at the University of Windsor. She is currently funded by a Joseph-Armand Bombardier CGS Doctoral Scholarship and a Sport Canada Research Initiative Grant. Her previous work has examined the moderating impact of academic timing on relative age effect patterns within intercollegiate sport, while her current dissertation studies are evaluating the role that relative age has on athlete leadership development and positive youth experiences in sport.
Sara Santarossa University of Windsor
Sara Santarossa is a PhD candidate in Kinesiology, at the University of Windsor, working under Dr. Sarah Woodruff. Her research examines the relationship between social media and various psychosocial variables. Sara has received research funding at both the provincial and national level, and was most recently awarded a Joseph-Armand Bombardier CGS Doctoral scholarship from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC). Sara has published and presented her research locally, nationally, and internationally.
Irene Muir University of Windsor
Irene Muir is a second year Ph.D. student in the Department of Human Kinetic, specializing in the area of Sport and Exercise Psychology. Her main research interests include investigating dancers’ use of imagery as a performance enhancing technique, and examining the effects of physical activity on mental health. Irene has published articles in the Sport Psychologist and the Journal of Dance Education and is a SSHRC award recipient at the masters and doctoral level.
Jess Dixon University of Windsor
Jess C. Dixon is an Associate Professor of Sport Management and Graduate Coordinator in the Department of Kinesiology at the University of Windsor. His research and scholarly interests include strategic management, executive leadership and human resource management in sport, as well as pedagogy and mentoring. He is the editor of Case Studies in Sport Management.

Professional success as a faculty member has been described as an integration of inquiry, teaching responsibilities, and service activities (Caffarella & Zinn, 1999). Engaging in professional development (PD) is vital to improve faculty’s knowledge (Steinert, 2014), and facilitate institutional change (Jolly, 2014), and encompasses three activities: self-directed learning experiences, formal PD progress, and organizational development strategies (Caffarella & Zinn, 1999). However, PD can be aided or impeded by numerous factors. This study examined PD among faculty members to identify possible barriers and methods to overcome these. Three participants, at different stages in their academic careers (i.e., early, middle, and late career), were recruited to participate in semi-structured interviews. Interviews were guided by Caffarella and Zinn’s (1999) PD conceptual framework of barriers and support, which includes four domains: (1) people and interpersonal relationships, (2) institutional structures, (3) personal considerations and commitments, and (4) intellectual and psychosocial characteristics. Barriers to PD included time and expenses, whereas people and interpersonal relationships (e.g., family) were identified as key support systems and coping mechanisms. Furthermore, participants reported mentorship and self-directed learning as important factors for PD. Future research should continue to explore barriers to PD to create resources to better support those in higher education.