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Humans Of The Hilltop: Sports Communication’s Sitong Guo

Photo courtesy of Bradley University

Bradley sports communications professor Sitong Guo strives to help her students excel in their careers and better understand the international aspects of sports.

Guo received her undergraduate degree from Jilin University in Changchun, China, before coming to the United States to pursue her master’s and PhD from the University of Alabama. She then went to the University of Michigan to continue her postdoctoral position and taught for a year before coming to Bradley in August of 2022.

“This school has a really good sports program and they are still developing that so that’s what interests me a lot,” Guo said. “I think my research and my teaching can help each other to make more improvement in my career and also I can make some contribution for this program.”

Last semester, Guo taught three courses: Ethical Issues in Sports Communication, Communication Theory and Gender and Sport. Her variety of courses has not only helped her students learn, but helped herself learn as well.

“Even though we [professors] already have a PhD in a certain area, it doesn’t always mean we know everything in this part,” Guo said. “I think teaching classes will also help me to broaden my knowledge in a certain area … I think the interaction with students and through some student activities, I can see a lot of potential in this area.”

While teaching Ethical Issues in Sports Communication, Guo educated her students on important sports theories such as consequentialism and utilitarianism. She speaks about these theories in order to better help her students learn why people make different judgements about sports based on moral values and theories.

“Friday discussions are great when everyone contributes their own knowledge to the conversation,” junior sports communications major Josh Messenger said. “I also like how she’s incorporating watching games into the coursework to make class content more applicable.”

For her Communication Theory course, she wants her students to be able to write research papers and how to use theory to help them put forward certain research questions.

While teaching her Gender and Sports course, she hoped to curve the idea of male dominance and gender inequity in sports. Guo expected her students in this class to look outside of their comfort zone to gain a critical perspective of gender issues in sports. She also was the moderator for the diversity and inclusion panel at Bradley’s Steiner Symposium in November 2022.  

This semester, Guo still teaches Ethical Issues in Sports Communication, along with Communication Theory. In addition, she also teaches Global Perspectives in Sports Communication.

“For the global perspective of sports, I think I can bring my students beyond just the U.S. sports market,” Guo said. “Because of the globalization, it is really important if they want to work in a sports organization in the future. Maybe sometimes they need to consider how to attract international fans.”

In only just a short semester at Bradley, Guo has learned lessons about what it means to be an educator. 

“There are so many new things I can see being a professor,” Guo said. “Since I’ve become a [post-doctorate], I think I already have taken the role of being a teacher cause I still needed to teach classes. Teaching is a very interesting and meaningful experience for me.”

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