Golf is the foundation upon which United States Sports Academy Student of the Month Kerrilyn Curtin’s life has been built.
Curtin works full time as the market research director for the Ladies Professional Golf Association (LPGA) and is raising a family with her husband, Brian, who is the general manager of a golf club in New York. Because of the Academy’s flexible learning options, she’s also able to pursue her Doctor of Education degree in sports management from the institution at the same time.
“The Academy has provided me the flexibility to be a full time working mother and to pursue my doctorate at the same time,” Curtin said. “For someone like me, who works full time and has a family and a busy life, the Academy’s scheduling options are great. It has been a very good experience and I am learning so much in the program.”
Curtin, of Manorville, N.Y., recently finished her doctoral mentorship program through York College of Pennsylvania, where she worked under Dr. Molly Sauder, a professor of sport management and an Academy alumna who earned a Doctor of Education degree from the institution in 2015. Together with Dr. Michael Mudrick and Dr. Melissa Davies, Curtin worked on a research project based on LPGA consumer and fan behaviors.
“My mentorship was a great experience because I was able to use some of the work I’ve done with the LPGA and really dive deeper into it,” Curtin said. “We looked at some of the industry research from the LPGA and studied it from an academic standpoint. It was very valuable to me in my career, because as market research director I need to know everything there is to know about LPGA fans, their habits, their likes and dislikes, and everything in between.”
At the LPGA, Curtin has been part of the organization’s partnership with the United States Golf Association (USGA) for the LPGA-USGA Girls Golf program, which teaches girls the valuable life lessons that can be learned from playing golf. The national junior golf program specializes in providing girl-friendly environments for young golfers to learn the game.
“Golf is very big part of my family’s life,” Curtin said. “I met my husband on a golf course, and we both work in the sport now. The game instills good values and can provide a good outlet for you to spend time with the people you care about.”
Curtin earned her master’s degree in sport management from the State University of New York College at Cortland and her bachelor’s degree in sport management and marketing from York College of Pennsylvania. She would like to teach once she earns her doctoral degree from the Academy.
“I want to teach because I’d like to be able to share my experience working in the field with others,” Curtin said. “I know there are a lot of women out there like me who want to work in sports, and I’d love to be able to help them accomplish that goal.”