Early Career Scholar Awardee Travis Dorsch Speaks at Annual NASPSPA Conference

September 15, 2022
Dr. Travis Dorsch presents at the NASPSPA Annual Conference
Travis Dorsch gave the inagural lecture of this year's annual NASPSPA conference.

Dr. Travis Dorsch, associate professor in Human Development and Family Studies, was honored with the Early Career Distinguished Scholar Award from the North American Society for the Psychology of Sport and Physical Activity (NASPSPA). Dorsch gave a lecture on his program of research and accepted recognition of his award at NASPSPA’s Annual Conference in Waikōloa, Hawaii this summer.

Alan Smith, Dean of the Emma Eccles Jones College of Education and Human Services, nominated Dorsch for the award and attended the conference. “Dr. Dorsch has established himself as a leading authority on youth sport parenting,” said Smith. “He has advanced scientific understanding in this area and offered practical insights that support meaningful and developmentally-sound sport experiences for children and their families.” 

“It’s a huge honor,” said Dorsch. “I never could have predicted 10 years ago what I’d be doing today.”

NASPSPA is an international society dedicated to the advancement of the study of motor behavior, sport, and exercise psychology. The Early Career Distinguished Scholar Award is given to a member of the NASPSPA for outstanding scholarly achievement within the first eight years of receiving their doctorate degree. Candidates are nominated by their peers, after which they submit their research materials and information on their scholarly contributions to the selection committee.

Dorsch said that being nominated for the award was a fulfilling reminder of everything he’s accomplished in his career, as well as a strong piece of motivation to continue to move forward. “It’s sort of a demarcation point, the end of my ‘early’ career,” he said. “Now I look at myself more as a mid-career scholar, and I think it raises the bar, the expectation. There’s a mantle for me to carry within the society and within the broader field, and it’s important that I continue to grow and view this award as a beginning of the next phase.”

Dr. Travis Dorsch presents at the NASPSPA Annual Conference
Dr. Travis Dorsch

“It’s not too often that we have a moment to take a breath and reflect upon the work that we’ve done,” Dorsch said. “It was a lot of fun to reflect on my holistic career trajectory and what brought me to thinking this was the right profession for me.”

In addition to his own growth and career, Dorsch appreciated the opportunity to recognize all the individuals who have supported him and worked with him over the years. “The award really represents a community of work, from my parents my wife and kids, to my teammates and coaches, my professors, and now my students,” he said. “We had 11 representatives from Utah State at this conference, and it was really nice to share the moment with them.”

Dr. Travis Dorsch is an Associate Professor in the department of Human Development and Family Studies, with an adjunct appointment in the Kinesiology and Health Science department at Utah State University. His research focuses on how youth sport impacts and is impacted by families, peers, and coaches, as well as organizations, communities, and society. As the founding director of the USU Families in Sport Lab, Dr. Dorsch works with highly motivated graduate and undergraduate students to investigate and improve family processes in sport, physical activity, and recreation contexts.