Interview with Dr. Mauldin
“They will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit.”
~ Jeremiah 17:8
Introducing Kristin Mauldin, Ph.D., Director for the Masters of Sport and Performance Psychology Degree
Psychology and Assistant Professor at California Baptist University. Dr. Mauldin obtained her Ph.D. at Miami University and then served as a postdoctoral fellow at UCSD. Dr. Mauldin has taken her background in cognitive neuroscience research and teaching and is applying it to the specific issues within the sport and performance domain.
She created the Center for Sport and Performance Psychology (CSPP) program at California Baptist University with the vision of developing a rigorous program that will produce marketable and compassionate graduates with increased confidence and competency through applied practice as well as prepare them for the Certified Mental Performance Consultant (CMPC®) exam after graduation. She takes pride in the fact that this program is unique, providing graduates with several opportunities for applied practice, in-house internships, and close mentorship amongst three mentors.
At the time of formation in 2017, there were not many programs offering Sport and Performance Psychology. Interested in the field, Dr. Mauldin saw her opportunity to bring the SPP graduate program into existence at CBU as a new addition to the university. The development of the program happened quickly, created in less than a year. Though the months of planning were challenging and intimidating, Dr. Mauldin persevered in her exciting journey of producing the SPP program with the first cohort starting Fall 2018.
She describes the process of creating this program as “God-led,” feeling overwhelmed at times and looking to God for guidance; He who always answered and gave her the courage and hope to keep going. Since there was, and is, no “user manual” to constructing an SPP program, Dr. Mauldin’s experience in research assisted her in customizing this applied curriculum, establishing necessary connections to form partnerships with coaches, teams, and organization leaders for applied opportunities, analyzing pre existing models of other established programs, and understanding the guidelines and prerequisites mandatory to prepare for the CMPC® exam. She greatly values the support from both the Dean, Dr. Gustafson, and the Associate Dean, Dr. Routon, for program funding, their ideas and collaboration, and efforts put forth towards the SPP program.
As the SPP program as CBU continues to evolve in years to come, Dr. Mauldin expects there to be an even stronger infrastructure, potentially an online curriculum, expansion of connections and opportunities for in-person graduate students, such as with hospitals, first responders, people with disabilities, and other diverse populations, and hiring more faculty with different perspectives and styles in the field as well.
Dr. Mauldin’s passion for sport and performance psychology led her to create a graduate program many may describe as “special” amongst SPP programs offered by other universities. The applied component, integration of faith, holistic purpose, and pre-approved academic offerings through AASP are all characteristics that make the SPP program offered by California Baptist University a one-of-a-kind. She enjoys that the SPP program is a very close experience for students, almost like a family. Each cohort develops their own “cohort vibe” that keeps them connected years after they graduate.
Lastly, Dr. Mauldin hopes that each student in the SPP program at California Baptist University graduates feeling that the program met or exceeded their expectations and that they feel competent and prepared to pursue a career in the field. She advises all SPP students to stay humble, have initiative, take opportunities, and be willing to learn.
*Interviewed by CBU grad student, Skyla Wilson. 2022.