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today I choose joy


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 have always been a lover of books, hearty discussions, teaching, and finding solutions to challenges. My doctoral (leadership and organizational behavior) studies and experiences have led me to two primary foci: Race & Racism Education and Sports Business. 

Sports business

I founded the Center of Sports Business and Analytics (CSBA), which serves as a platform to educate and connect people in this fast-growing industry. Offerings include the Basketball Analytics Summit, LASER (Life After Sports with Effective Results), and consulting. I've spent the past 15 years teaching at the University of North Carolina in the sports business and entrepreneurship domains, advising incredible students on their life choices and professional pursuits.

Sport business is a multi-billion dollar industry today. My journey was ignited as I began to examine the increased interest in objective measurement of performance. From scoring, defense, physiological response and recovery - the numbers matter. I co-designed and taught the first sport analytics course at the UNC and introduced students to many opportunities to engage and learn from analytics leaders in basketball and football. As the faculty advisor to the Carolina Sport Business Club, I supported the students interests in experiential education by establishing partnerships across the industry including The Atlantic Coast Conference, NBA Charlotte Hornets, and the College Football Playoff. As a mentor for the State Department's Global Sports Mentoring Program, I provide counsel to a young professional woman from Benin. 

Health is most important in any system or institution. Thus, the opportunity to create and deliver health-related activities for sports has been rewarding. CSBA hosts mental health (No Shortcuts) and brain health workshops. 

Race & Racism education

At UNC, my faculty appointment is in the Gillings School of Global Public Health (a graduate program for Health Equity, Social Justice, and Human Rights). I co-designed and instruct ed in the popular "Leading for Racial Equity" graduate course that engages students across campus and community leaders. Currently, I enjoy providing insight and strategy on equity for numerous Schools and departments including the director of education for the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research's Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in Research program. This unique offering is available to the employees of 13 Centers and Institutes. 

My goal is to encourage inclusion and racial analysis in the classroom and research labs such that we can lift up all of humanity and create more champions of people who want to make the world a better place. My offering is called Race Realities. Last year I partnered with Learn to Win to create an online version

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 of North Carolina.

I am also honored to teach at the University of Virginia's Frank Batten School of Leadership and Public Policy.
In 2018, I received the "Salute to Champions" Award from Capitol Broadcasting Company and Deloitte for service work in the community. I am blessed to provide race and racism education to units across campus and beyond. In addition, I serve as a national trainer for the Racial Equity Institute. 

My life goals are pretty simple now: Seek Joy. Fight for Justice. 

Dr. Deborah L. Stroman
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Before I came back to UNC as a professor, 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. 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. I joined a great group of women to start the Greater Raleigh chapter of Women in Sports and Events too. 
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, University of Virginia, 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 in the United Church of Christ 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 Ph.D. CLU

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