U.S. Bank Stadium lights up at night in MinneapolisU.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis.

Three-Minute Thesis winner studies mega-events

Graduate student Madeline Orr examines the impacts of large-scale sports events

Does hosting mega sports events really benefit cities? That’s the question asked by sport management graduate student Madeleine Orr in her award-winning short speech for 3MT, the Three-Minute Thesis competition.

3MT winner Madeline Orr accepted a check from Graduate School dean Scott Lanyon
3MT winner Madeline Orr accepted a check from Graduate School dean Scott Lanyon. Photo courtesy of the Graduate School.

In 2017, Orr won the college-level 3MT competition, then the U-wide competition in November. This spring she competed at the Midwest regional competition in Grand Rapids, Michigan, with her speech “Mega-Event Legacies: Rhetoric vs. Reality” and advanced again.

Faculty adviser Yuhei Inoue is the reason Orr came to the School of Kinesiology’s sport management program.

“His research has never focused on the economic piece as a central factor for why sports are a good thing,” she says.

“It’s always been about social impact, about community well-being, about health.”

Orr says Inoue is a champion for his students and an outstanding mentor. As a grad student and daughter of professors, she views Yuhei in the top one percent of advisers.

With a diverse disciplinary background, Orr has capitalized on unique perspectives and established her own independent baseline knowledge with high potential impact, Inoue says. For example, as a French speaker on a multilingual research team, Orr is working to compare and contrast how sporting event legacies are defined in non-English languages. She’s also working with Inoue and assistant professor Yonghwan Chang on a comprehensive survey studying the intangible benefits of Super Bowl LII, just held in Minneapolis. All this research flows smoothly into her teaching.

“Bringing your research into the classroom makes you a more interesting instructor,” she says.

That viewpoint and her research savvy will make Orr highly sought after in the academic world, says Inoue. One day when an amazing grad student is asked, “Why did you come here?”, he says, the answer will undoubtedly be, “Madeleine Orr.”

Watch Madeleine Orr describe her dissertation in three minutes.

Return to “Fans for health,” about the research of Yuhei Inoue.

Story by Gayla Marty and Jonathan Sweet | Top photo by Matthew Paulson | Spring/Summer 2018