Rising Star Spotlight: Kayleigh McCauley

Will 2017 bring you change and the opportunity for a new adventure? Are you ready to mix up your scenery, expand your professional circle, grow your skill set, and conquer new challenges? A study by Forbes shows that nearly 50 percent of the population relocates to another state or out of the country for a new job! Check out some of the top cities for twentysomethings on Forbes and Buzzfeed.

Many members in your Women Leaders in College Sports network have already made this transition!

Check out Kayleigh McCauley's story on her move to Portland!

In January of 2009 I picked up my life and moved from Massachusetts to Texas. Following graduate school I tried to find work in the New England area, so that I could stay close to my family (who all still live in Massachusetts), but the jobs were not there...at least not ones that I was qualified for at the time. I learned quickly, with the help of some very influential mentors, that if I wanted to start my career I needed to take some risks and open up my job search nation-wide.

So I did. After completing my doctoral coursework at Texas A&M University - Corpus Christi in 2014, I knew that professionally it was time to move on yet again. Without limiting myself to geographical locations I began my search again, and once again took a risk leaving Division I to start something new at a Division III institution with a new Director of Athletics I never actually spoke to until after I accepted the job. Trusting myself and listening to my mentors advice has allowed me to fully embrace my personal and professional growth. I've been here at Lewis & Clark College in Portland, Oregon, for two and a half years now and absolutely love it!

Living and working in different parts of the country has given me a perspective on life that most people never experience. I have been able to learn about different cultures, visit so many different places, and meet so many incredible people.

1. What do you wish you would have known before you made the move?

For each of my cross-country moves I have underestimated the cost of moving my belongings. Moving containers are incredibly expensive, but I'm glad that I've never driven a moving truck cross-country. Being away from family is HARD, especially if kids are involved. My oldest niece and nephew just turned 6. I have been away from them their entire lives and that is probably the hardest thing about living so far away from my family. Thankfully technology allows me to still have amazing relationships with them. Making friends as an adult is difficult. Making new friends in new cities pushes me out of my naturally introverted comfort zone. With that said, I have some AWESOME friends who live all over the country!

2. Professionally what has been most satisfying about your new position?

I think that the most satisfying part of my new position is that I have been able to get back to my Division III roots. As a DIII student-athlete at the University of New England, I never truly realized how much that experience shaped my life, my values, and my decision-making. Having been here on campus for two and a half years now, I realize how much I missed that type of environment. In addition, my position here allows me to explore my passions in and outside of intercollegiate athletics, I am also able to teach as an adjunct faculty in the Graduate School.

3. How would you describe your professional growth since moving to your new city?

I am extremely grateful to be surrounded by strong leaders and mentors here in Portland, both at Lewis & Clark and within the Portland community. I was encouraged to apply for IAA West by Shana Levine, and attended in June 2016. That experience made an incredible impact on my professional development. Since then I now co-lead the Women Leaders in College Sports Academics and Student-Athlete Development Circle. I have the confidence to take on responsibilities that I previously doubted I could achieve; in fact, I just accepted a new role on campus, Title IX Deputy Coordinator and received a new title within athletics Director of Student-Athlete Development. I am more focused on achieving work-life harmony. And I attended my first Women Leaders in College Sports Convention.