Margaret (Meg) Smith lives in Birmingham, Alabama, where she works primarily with athletes and sports teams on intergroup dialogue and team building. She's been on staff for Team USA Wheelchair Rugby (aka "Murderball") since the 2016 season when they won Silver at the Rio de Janeiro Paralympics, and everyone continues to train hard (if separately) for the Tokyo now-2021 Paralympics. She teaches for the US Army Master Educator Course, master's level graduate program where soldiers assigned to instructional roles can earn an MA in Education, and she also teaches Sports in Society and Self-Concept in Sport and Sports Ethics for Auburn University's sports administration program.

"You have to create the conditions that make your own work possible" was one of the many wisdoms Dr. Collins often shared with her students, and I remind myself of that nearly every day. I teach (adjunct) up to ten courses a year for as many as three different Universities, and most of them are hybrid or entirely online, which allows me to travel with the athletics teams I support, where I get to use sociology—social psychology and social theory—to helps identify and build a culture that allows performance and well-being to flourish. Dr. Ritzer's fascination with spaces and places is another lens I feel blessed to have been introduced to, particularly working in Paralympic sport, where it's obvious that accessibility of spaces and places quite literally changes everything about how people interact with one another and make meaning of those interactions. And I have only to picture Dr. Falk and Dr. Collins and my grad school battle buddy Dr. Sidra Montgomery, among many, many others I was so fortunate to meet in the UMD Sociology department, to remember that a little human kindness can mean everything.

wheelchair rugby players
USA's Josh Wheeler takes a hit from Japan during the World Championships in Sydney, Australia. (courtesy @lexibrantacoon)
smith at medal ceremony
USA staff during medal ceremony at Canada Cup in Vancouver, British Columbia. (UMD alum Margaret Smith (PhD 2015) on far right). (courtesy @lexibrantacoon)

 

margaret smith smiling