“Create with the heart; build with the mind.”
– Criss Jami
Thanks for visiting my website! My life has been a wonderful journey of exploration and engagement. From an early age I can say that I had the seeds of being an enthusiastic educator and entrepreneur. I was born and raised outside of Philadelphia. I have always been a lover of books, hearty discussions, teaching, and finding solutions to challenges. I guess those attributes were the threads of a diverse fabric of many adventures and my current position as a faculty member and business advisor at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. My doctoral work and experiences have led me to two primary foci: sport business and racial equity work.
Sport Business - I founded the Center of Sport Business and Analytics, which serves as the platform to educate and connect people in this fast-growing industry. Offerings include the Basketball Analytics Summit, LASER, sport analytics instruction, seminars, and consulting. I have spent the past 13 years teaching at UNC in the sport business and entrepreneurship domains, advising incredible students on their life choices and professional pursuits, encouraging inclusion and racial analysis, and being a champion for all persons who want to make the world a better place. It is rewarding to be able to foster creativity with young bright minds! I was blessed to be the recipient of the 2013 General Alumni Association Harvey E. Beech Outstanding Faculty/Staff Award and the 2013 The Class of 1996 Award for Advising Excellence. In addition, I was inducted into the university's highest and oldest honorary society, The Order of the Golden Fleece. It is a blessing, although kind of strange from an equity perspective, that I am the first African-American female coach at the university.
Racial Equity Education - I currently teach in the Gillings School of Global Public Health (graduate program for Health Equity, Social Justice, and Human Rights). I co-designed and instruct for the popular "Leading for Racial Equity" graduate course that engages students across campus and community leaders. In 2018, I received a "Salute to Champions" Award from Capitol Broadcasting Company and Deloitte for service work in the community. I am blessed to serve as a national trainer for the Racial Equity Institute. This racial analysis changed my life, and I enjoy sharing the concepts and history of our country.
I appreciate your taking the time to stop by and learn more about me. Let’s find a way to work together! (Why the Ansel Adams nature photo? It represents everything pure and beautiful, and I am ever grateful. Enough said.)
Former Sport Business Professor at the UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School
Campus-wide Entrepreneurship Advisor
Professor at the Gillings School of Global Public Health (Health Behavior)
Research Interests: leadership, entrepreneurship, marketing, and social issues in sport
Chairperson Emeritus, Carolina Black Caucus
Before I came to UNC, I successfully owned a sport marketing and golf event planning company and also enjoyed a 17-year career in financial services. Being a salesperson of intangible products taught me so many skills that were transferable to any career path. I was a 2006 recipient of the State of Maryland’s Top Minority Business Enterprise Award from the Governor’s Office, which recognizes entrepreneurial success in business development, professional affiliation, client satisfaction, and community involvement. The lessons learned and contacts made helped me to build and sustain important relationships in entrepreneurship. I am happy to still work closely with many friends in the basketball and golf world to provide consulting services to sports teams and sport-related organizations including the NCAA member institutions, College Football Playoff National Championship, and the Atlantic Coast Conference. The startup bug is still active too. My company, Life After Sports With Effective Results (LASER™) serves to assist former professional athletes through the necessary transition from their sporting career to a valued career, business ownership, and/or the completion of an academic degree. And most recently, I joined a great group of women to start the Greater Raleigh chapter of Women in Sports and Events.
James Baldwin stated, "The paradox of education is precisely this - that as one begins to become conscious, one begins to examine the society in which he is being educated." My interest and passion for the healing of America started at a very early age. Today, with my awareness and understanding of racism in this country, I read, write, discuss, and instruct on the history and manifestations of the racial construct operating in our society. Authentic relationships across color lines must be informed and guided by this very powerful dynamic. Let the truth telling begin!
Although my many interests and students at UNC-Chapel Hill and at other Raleigh, Durham, and Chapel Hill universities keep me busy, I am a strong believer in servant leadership and service within your local community. Giving back through my board of director positions with Healthy Girls Save the World, Learn Fresh Education (NBA Math Hoops), and membership at the United Church of Chapel Hill helps to ground me. I captained the basketball team at the University of Virginia and was an assistant coach for the University of North Carolina Tar Heels. So not surprisingly, basketball remains my first love; I enjoy writing for basketball publications and being a radio personality (WRAL 99.5 FM & WCHL 97.9 FM sports commentator). I stay active and youthful by reading, traveling, playing golf, basketball, and biking.
My life goals are pretty simple now: Seek Joy. Fight for Justice.
So, do I sleep? Absolutely. Rest and the quieting of the mind is crucial to my work. I am intentional in my strategy and effort to be an agent of change.
Deborah L. Stroman, PhD CLU