Svensson was selected as student speaker for the university’s 6:30 p.m. commencement ceremony May 10. He is graduating with a doctoral degree in educational leadership and organizational development with a concentration in sport administration.

Much of Svensson’s research during his years with CEHD’s health and sport sciences department examines how sports can build stronger communities and foster positive social change.

“There are a growing number of nonprofits using sports as a vehicle for youth development programs aimed to address various social issues in communities across the U.S. and across the world,” said Svensson. “My research aims to examine how these sport-based organizations can increase their ability to achieve their respective missions.”

A native of Sweden, Svensson completed his undergraduate degree in sport management from Slippery Rock University, Slippery Rock, Pennsylvania. He then headed to UofL after hearing good things about the CEHD’s sport administration program.

“The sport administration program at UofL has a strong reputation and was highly recommended by my undergraduate faculty,” Svensson said.

And, while sport administration faculty surely appreciates such kudos, many would probably add that Svensson has done his part to further enhance that reputation.

Per has been an exemplary doctoral student and research partner,” said professor Marion Hambrick, one of Svensson’s mentors and colleagues. “His research area, sport for development and peace, is at the forefront of the field.

Svensson’s background in sport management includes experiences with the PGA Tour, PGA of America, Special Olympics and the 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games. His scholarly work has been published in such well-known journals as International Journal of Sport Communication and Journal of Intercollegiate Sport.  

This fall, he will begin a career at Louisiana State University as an assistant professor in sport management.

In his commencement speech, he will encourage his peers to have an open mind and describe how mindfulness can help in the pursuit of excellence.