International Women's Day: Dr. Stacey Forsythe
- Friday, March 8th, 2019
In celebration of International Women’s Day, we are highlighting one of the many female researchers at WKU. Dr. Stacey Forsythe, assistant professor in Sport Management, Recreation & Sport Administration, is researching an innovative application of the Birkman Method Personality Assessment. Typically, this assessment is used for leaders in corporate and professional scenarios, but Dr. Forsythe hypothesized that it could also be useful in college athletics and began her study with athletes from WKU’s football and women’s basketball teams.
“If we have self-awareness of what our needs and stress behaviors are, we can more easily communicate those needs and mediate that stress. I wanted to see if the general application of the programming could be adapted to sports, specifically college sports,” said Dr. Forsythe.
Dr. Forsythe is a three-time graduate of WKU, earning her Ed.D while becoming a new mother and working within the College of Health and Human Services fulltime. She has served in several positions across her 17 years on the Hill, but found her ideal role working with students.
“I realized that my true passion was working with students and I wanted to teach, and be a mentor, and make some difference – even a small difference – in the lives of future professionals,” she said.
Dr. Forsythe’s ambition is driven by the example she sets for her children. “My biggest motivator is my personal drive to make a difference and show my children that if they work hard, show respect, search for opportunities, and are kind to others, they can be whatever they want to in this world,” she said.
She encourages other women to participate in the research process as well.
“I would advise other women and girls who want to do research of their own to find their passion, network like crazy, surround themselves with supportive people, and ask for help when you’re stuck - not because you’re helpless, but because sometimes others have knowledge and experience we don’t have, are willing to share it, and have a key to a locked door in which we would not otherwise have access," she said.
This spirit of teamwork and support is what Dr. Forsythe believes will pave the way for more opportunities within her field.
“Women have been working hard to prove their abilities and ambition since the dawn of time. We have got to continue to support each other and help when we can. I think there are a lot of men who are great supporters of women; when we can build a support network of collaborators and like-minded researchers, there is so much opportunity for success for us all.”