For 27 years at Taylor, Assistant Professor of Sport Management Amy Stucky has been a positive influence for all women looking to make strides in sports.
As a young student at Taylor, she knew she wanted to work in sports, but did not know in what area. She started out in the athletic training field, graduating with a biology degree from Taylor and starting out in physical therapy.
A few stops after graduating, Taylor University reached out to her to offer her a job in athletic training. They offered to help pay for her master’s degree in higher education, which she completed at Ball State University.
“It introduced me to this whole world of administration, managing and leadership,” she said.
After her first year back at Taylor, she was brought onto the athletic administration staff as an assistant athletic director, on top of her role with athletic training. She also started to teach courses in the athletic training program.
Her role in the athletic administration department continued to grow throughout the years and in 2005, she was promoted to associate athletic director. She would stay in this role until May 31, 2017, where she took on the full-time role of running the sport management degree program at Taylor.
“I am just really passionate about women in sports and having opportunities to grow,” she said. “I wanted to be a role model for women to show it can be done.”
While at Ball State, she began to learn as much as she could about Title IX.
On the sports side of it, Title IX is a federal law that allows women to have a much more level playing field. Specifically, the law says that no one should be discriminated against on the basis of sex. In the sports world, this meant that men’s and women’s sport programs would be given equitable opportunities. The bill helped women’s participation in sports to skyrocket.
Stucky tried to spark conversations about Title IX at Taylor, but she felt like she was often brushed off. There was still a stigma that Title IX was a way to take away opportunities for men.
When she did try to speak up, she said she was often ignored simply because she was a woman. She would not be involved in conversations sometimes simply because other people in the department just did not think to ask her opinion.
“I felt like I was constantly in a position of having to push myself,” she said.
When she was promoted from assistant athletic director to associate athletic director, she pushed hard for others to be more receptive to her ideas, but it did not change much at all. In fact, people across campus would still call her an assistant athletic director. However, she did feel that it added credibility outside of Taylor. She felt that her promotion pushed more NAIA schools to hire more women in higher athletic administration roles.
One of her most important roles for Title IX obedience was filling out the Equity in Athletics Disclosure Act for the athletic department. These show the money spent between each team as well as how much they bring in. It shows any potential inequalities in money spent between men’s and women’s sports, something she is passionate about. She was concerned about facility renovations, making sure women’s facilities were not being ignored. Scholarships were also something she was adamant about.
She worked to have more women coaching to give female athletes a female role model in sports to look up to.
At the NAIA level, she was a part of the gender equity committee. In this role, she strived to encourage healthy conversations about women in sport, something she is passionate about.
Today, she educates Taylor sport management students and wants young women to understand one thing.
“You can be what you want to be and have your identity in Christ who is unbiased,” she said.
She believes gender biases still exist in the sports world for women, but they can be worked around with the right mindset and hard work.