Indiana State University Newsroom

Team will provide leadership to ISU motorsports program

August 17, 2009

TERRE HAUTE, Ind. - Three racing enthusiasts are among the team that will lead Indiana State University's motorsports studies initiative into the future. The initiative includes courses in motorsports management and student activities, such as Team Sycamore Racing.

Two College of Business professors - Joyce Young and Joe Harder - together with Randy Peters from the College of Technology will work to expand the program, engaging more students and partnering with industry.

Young, a professor of marketing, has a lifelong passion for racing, traced back to a visit as a young child to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Museum.

"At the age of 3, my family took a summer holiday that included a stop at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The photo of my dad, brother, and me (with me holding a checkered flag) in front of what was then the museum has been part of my memory all my life," Young said. "Being born and raised in Indiana, the Indianapolis 500 Mile Race is part of my heritage."

She recalls listening to the radio broadcast of the Indy 500 in the afternoon and then watching the television replay in the evening.

"While neither my dad nor brother had any real interest in racing, they did appreciate this great race event," Young added. "I, on the other hand, fell in love with the Indy 500. My appreciation of all motorsports has simply grown over the years...and the Indy 500 is the best of what Indiana has to offer the world," she said.

Young, who will serve as coordinator of the leadership team, is interested in the business of motorsports, the study of the industry, and all aspects of marketing, the global nature of the industry, and the influence of motorsports on culture.

"I am appreciative of the opportunity to work with a very collaborative and talented team, and we are 100 percent focused on the same goal: the continued success of the motorsports studies program at Indiana State and the creation of additional opportunities for our students, the industry, and the community to be involved and engaged in our winning strategies."

Harder, associate professor of management information systems, oversees student activities. He became interested in motorsports after moving to Terre Haute and being close to the Terre Haute Action Track.

"What got me started was that one of my son's friends from high school races on weekends at local tracks," Harder recalled. "We started going to watch him, and got hooked. Now my wife and I go to races almost every weekend during racing season."

Harder combined his love of motorsports with his expertise in information systems and developed a syllabus for a course in Information Systems for Motorsports.

"Like all organizations, information and the management of it are key to success in motorsports teams and companies," Harder said. "Motorsports organizations are constantly in motion, and tend to move at high velocity, so they look for the latest in technologies to gather, share and analyze information. The smallest bit of knowledge about their own performance or their competitors' performance might be the one that offers that critical edge."

Peters serves as team principal for Team Sycamore Racing, Indiana State's NHRA super comp, division III drag racing team. Peters is an assistant professor of ISU's automotive technology management program, housed in the College of Technology. He has more than 15 years of experience in the automotive service industry. An ASE Master Technician for more than 12 years, Peters has held such positions as drivability technician, general line technician, parts specialists, parts manager, shop foreman, body-shop manager, computer systems administrator, and fixed-operations director.

Administrative oversight for the program is provided by Nancy Merritt, dean of the College of Business, and Bradford Sims, dean of the College of Technology. Teresa Stateler, who will provide administrative support, helps coordinate internships for motorsport management minors. She earned associate and bachelor's degrees from Indiana State and worked 20 years in the South Vermillion School Corp.

"The motorsports studies program at Indiana State is unique among those at other institutions in that it encompasses three colleges - business, technology, and nursing, health and human services," Merritt said. "The university is fortunate to have someone of Dr. Young's caliber leading the program. She and the team are already in high gear planning next steps and ready to move our efforts to the next level."

Launched in 2006, Indiana State's motorsports program is multi-disciplinary, including students and faculty from the College of Business; College of Technology; and the College of Nursing, Health, and Human Services. It has been designated a "Program of Promise" under a program funded in part by a gift from the Lilly Endowment intended to highlight the university's most distinctive programs.

Photo caption:

ISU Motorsports Leadership team: (bottom to top) Joe Harder, Joyce Young, Teresa Stateler and Randy Peters.


Contact: Joyce Young, professor of marketing, Indiana State University, (812) 237-2026 or

Writer: Paula Meyer, ISU Communications & Marketing, (812) 237-3783 or