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Meet Dr. Ethan Swingle

Updated: Aug 23, 2021

Dr. Swingle graduated from the Higher Education Leadership doctoral program at Florida Atlantic University in December of 2019. After a brief stint at the University of Memphis, Dr. Swingle currently works as an athletic academic counselor for the men's basketball, men's and women's soccer teams, and the men's and women's golf teams at Missouri State University. Dr. Swingle also serves as an adjunct professor at Missouri State University and teaches leadership courses at Florida Atlantic University. Dr. Swingle's research interests are on the student athletes' experiences, transfer students, and leadership within organizations. You can follow him on Twitter: @Swingle_ethan

Favorite Quote: "Once you know what failure feels like, determination chases success." -Kobe Bryant

What advice would you give other graduate students?

First, be proactive in creating opportunities. For example, if you want to work in a field but do not have experience yet, ask if you could do volunteer hours. If you want to publish scholarly work, ask a faculty member if you can assist in any research projects. Second, embrace the journey. Grad school is difficult, but remember that you are building your future by your actions today.


Up, down, and all-around: The swirling-transfer student athlete experience at Athletic State University

Intercollegiate athletics have become an integral part of campus life (Shulman & Bowen, 2001), and have grown exponentially in the resources universities put forth to participate in this extracurricular activity (Clotfelter, 2011). Additionally, one of the biggest evolutions of intercollegiate athletics has been student athlete transfer (Cooper & Hawkins, 2014). However, little research has been conducted on the transfer student athletes, or the transfer student athlete experience (Cooper & Hawkins, 2014). As such, the purpose of this instrumental case study was to discover and describe the experiences and perceptions of swirling-transfer student athletes at Athletic State University. A purposive sample included nine student athletes, four coaches, and six athletic department staff interviewed and observed to gain a holistic experience of the swirling-transfer phenomenon, with multiple supporting documents also collected and analyzed. Three findings emerged from the data analysis; 1) “the roller coaster experience”, 2) “alternating support”, and 3) “the bigger picture”. The results of this study resonate with other findings within the literature but bring forward a new transfer experience within intercollegiate athletics. Recommendations to intercollegiate athletic governing associations, athletic departments, and scholars are included, with an emphasis of creating a database to track this subpopulation of transfer student athletes, as well as educating practitioners who support these student athletes every day.

Selected Publications

Floyd, D. L., Salinas, C., Swingle, E. C., Zeledon-Perez, M. J., Barhoum, S., & Ramdin, G. (Eds.). (2021). Graduate students’ research about community colleges: A guide for publishing. Routledge.

Swingle, E. & Salinas, C. (2020). Up, down, and all-around: The swirling-transfer collegiate athlete experience. Journal of Athlete Development and Experience, 2(3), 162- 181.

Salinas, C., Doran, E., & Swingle. E. C. (2020). The usage of the term Latinx in Community Colleges. New Directions for Community Colleges, 1-17.

Swingle, E. (2019). Military community colleges: An introductory examination. Community College Journal of Research and Practice, 44(4) 293-297.

Salinas, C., Malave, R., Torrens, O., & Swingle, E. (2019). It is who we are. We are undocumented: The narrative of undocumented Latino male students in a community college. Community College Review, 47(3), 295-317.

Swingle, E., & Salinas, C. (2018). Hazing in intercollegiate athletics. In C. Salinas, & M. Boettcher (Eds.), Critical perspectives on hazing in colleges and universities: A guide to disrupting hazing culture. Routledge.


As an associate professor in the Educational Leadership and Research Methodology Department at Florida Atlantic University (FAU), I have had the opportunity to develop curriculum for, and teach undergraduate, master, and doctoral students. In these courses, I center on fostering co-learning environments where students engage in collaborative learning. I draw from critical pedagogy, which challenges students to explore personal and systemic assumptions. In these classes, I seek to provide an education that will allow them to figure out the more complex problems, issues, and dilemmas that exist within the macro system to which they belong. Part of this process is to help students create an understanding of the complexity of higher education, and to discover the many areas that are understudied. All students can and should be inventors of their own theories, critics of other people’s ideas, analyzers of evidence, and makers of their own personal marks on this most complex world. Therefore, I encourage all students to do research, present at conferences and publish their work in academic journals. And I hope that in this blog I can highlight students’ critical thinking and scholarship.

I created this spot in my blog to highlight doctoral students I worked with during their graduate school experience. In particular, in my blog, I highlight postgraduate students for whom I served as a dissertation chair or co-chair.

I believe that it is crucial to highlight their work on this platform as another form of promoting and elevating them and their work, and as a simple way of saying THANK YOU for trusting me in your academic journey. Again, thank you, Dr. Ethan Swingle, for allowing me to learn with you and from you.

bell hook reminds us that critical thinking “requires teachers to show by example that learning in action means that not all of us can be right all the time, and that the shape of knowledge is constantly changing.” Through my teaching, research, and mentorship, I hope that I was a good real-role model to you, Dr. Swingle. Your scholarship and critical thinking are a reminder that knowledge is constantly changing. Thank you for your contributions to higher education.

In Fall 2019, Dr. Swingle graduated, and I had the honor to serve as his dissertation chair.

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