2016 Women Leaders in College Sports National Convention Testimonials

"As a first-time Women Leaders in College Sports attendee and scholarship recipient, I could not be more grateful for the experience I had at the 2016 Women Leaders in College Sports Rally in Kansas City. I am new to the college athletics arena and while I have great contacts in my own community, lacked those connections with counterparts across the country who are doing similar work. I made dozens of connections in those few days that will undoubtedly elevate my own work here at the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay. In addition, the programming and workshop topics motivated me to think differently about my own potential and confidence in the realm of college sports especially as a female in the industry. I hope to continue the momentum I’m feeling today back in Green Bay!." – Molly Vandervest, University of Wisconsin, Green Bay
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“Not only was the Rally filled with nothing but good vibes and material that left me feeling both re-energized personally and professional, but it also provided for an incredible opportunity to connect with others within the industry. As a young professional and only a second time attendee of the event, I can honestly say that already in my short time with Women Leaders in College Sports, the organization has touched my heart and enriched my life forever. I feel so blessed that the whole Women Leaders in College Sports community made my time in Kansas City possible and I look forward to the years to come with the entire family. ” – Erin Mykleby, St. Leo University
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“If I had to sum up the Convention in one word, it would be Empowering! Having the opportunity to interact with and learn from so many high achieving, successful women ignited a fire deep within. I’m motivated to return to campus and make a greater impact!” – Cori Pinkett, Kansas State University 
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“Attending the Women Leaders in College Sports Convention was one of the best decisions of my professional career. I was able to connect with empowering women; women that encouraged me to press on towards my dreams. I learned that no dream is too big or unattainable as many strong women have already started paving the way for the rest of us. From Graduate Assistants to SWA’s, from Junior Colleges to Division-I institutions, the diversity of administrators completely enriched our experience. I am looking forward to being “EXTREME” with these women that make a DIFFERENCE in college athletics!” – Elizabeth Reyes, University of Arkansas
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“I have long been a member of Women Leaders in College Sports, but had never been to a convention and finally took the initiative to do it this year and it was one of the most amazing experiences of my professional life to date. I participate in the Women of Color calls throughout the year and it was phenomenal to meet with some of the speakers we had throughout the year. It was just great to be around like-minded women who I could pick their brains about a variety of topics. I think as women that’s one of the ways that we connect with people, by conversing and interacting and it was nice to just have some “face time” with some of the most influential women in our industry.  I’m a graduate of IAA West '13 and it was a life and career changing experience and the 2016 Women Leaders in College Sports Rally was equally as affirming and life changing."  – Jessica Poole, University of Mississippi
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It was a great experience.  The Women Leaders in College Sports Rally had a mixture of educational and inspirational sessions designed to meet our ever-changing climate in collegiate athletics. Thanks, Women Leaders in College Sports for the opportunity to meet and engage with other strong women in the field of athletics.” – Ronda Seagraves, Concordia University 
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“As a former softball player, I took the opportunity to write my reflection from a softball perspective. 

Walking Up to Bat
NERVOUS – I was so nervous about attending the Rally. Not knowing what to expect or who I would meet. I had been in the industry for the past 15 years and had never attended the Rally. I worked as an SID for seven years and as an Associate AD for the last seven years so I never had a chance to attend due to the f-word…FOOTBALL. 

1st Base
Getting off the shuttle and seeing my “peeps” from the CIAA immediately reenergized me. Albeit a brief hug, that was the hug I needed. The hotel was fantastic; everything was centrally located and it was awesome.

2nd Base
Attending the New AD workshop with the Pictor Group was refreshing and empowering. To hear from leaders at NCAA Division I and Division III institutions about the challenges as well as successes, was just fantastic. Dr. M. Dianne Murphy’s energy, passion and confidence had me in total amazement. What can I say about Sarah Robb O’Hagan that hasn’t already been conveyed? In order to be the extreme, me, I have to operate at the edge of my potential. That quote is also being conveyed to my staff in our meeting tomorrow. We are victorious leaders!!

3rd Base
Opening Keynote with Amy Cuddy was great. It made me think – what are my values. Why is this important to me? I recognize as Amy said: “Be your authentic, best self.”
The highlight of the rally for me was being recognized on the stage amongst all those leaders nearly had me in tears. To know how much I wanted to be an AD, and to finally sit in that seat, it hit me right then and there…on the stage. No, not that I have arrived, but that despite all the obstacles placed in my way, I persevered and when the time was right, it became my time. We must follow our passion…our calling. I TRULY LOVE WHAT I DO!!

Home Run
I look at the Women Leaders in College Sports Rally as an opportunity to empower women, to network, to share ideas, to celebrate successes. The energy in the room, the feeling that we are all in this together…being able to reconnect and connect with so many leaders in the industry is exactly what I needed." – Kristene Kelly, Keene College