Doug Schuler’s Program for Women MBAs is A Hit on the Court
HOUSTON, April 8, 2006—Associate Professor of Management Douglas A. Schuler has always had a passion for tennis and teaching. It is the combination of the two that led him to organize a tennis program particularly for women MBAs.
For many years, Schuler taught a class in business ethics in which he used a case about sex discrimination in the workplace. In the case, one of the primary deciding factors for a man being promoted over a woman was that the man got to know his manager socially through sports.
After years of teaching this case, Schuler was inspired to offer women MBA students an opportunity to expand their sports horizons, in this case towards tennis. With the help of the Rice National Association of Women MBAs (NAWMBA) president, Trisha Eggleston (MBA ’06), Schuler set up the “NAWMBA Tennis Program: Success through Sport,” a program aimed at female students, who might – or might not – be athletes.
Schuler said, “I know from my own experience what women are capable of doing athletically. My goal was to expose more women to sports and the opportunities that they can present outside of the courts.”
Thirty women signed up for the program and there were eight sessions. Schuler was joined by four additional tennis coaches: Elizabeth Schmidt, Anousjka Van Exel, Callie Creighton Hubble, and Michel Achard. Schuler himself served as a volunteer assistant coach for the Rice Women’s varsity tennis team. Schmidt and Van Exel both played on the Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) professional tour and both of them and Hubble were all-American tennis players at U.S. universities. Achard, also an associate professor at Rice, has coached tennis and soccer to elite athletes for many years.
Program participant Maureen Wan (MBA ’06) thoroughly enjoyed her experience. Wan said, “The NAWMBA tennis program experience was fantastic. We had enthusiastic instructors, fun tennis drills, and personalized instruction to improve our tennis. In addition, we had great opportunities to meet our fellow MBA classmates outside the usual academic environment.”
Allison Gavazzi (MBA ’06) enthusiastically adds that "The Friday morning NAWMBA Tennis program provided a great outlet for our organization to learn a new skill set, participate in beneficial physical activity, engage in friendly competition, and elevate the value of our membership. The commitment from Professor Doug Schuler and the Women's Tennis coaching staff was remarkable; their patience and teaching went a long way in making the experience an enjoyable one. I am delighted to have been able to be a part of it!"