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American Athletic Conference leaders convene for Senior Woman Administrators Symposium at Temple University

By: Jamie Cann
First Published: October 11, 2016
Topics: Applied Knowledge, Connections, In the News, STHM School

Mary McElroy of Temple University. (All photos by Lou Caltabiano)

Mary McElroy of Temple University. (All photos by Lou Caltabiano)

Leaders from the American Athletic Conference and its 12 all-sport member schools visited Temple University to speak to students in an inaugural Senior Woman Administrators (SWA) symposium.

In a question-and-answer roundtable format, students from Temple’s School of Sport, Tourism and Hospitality Management (STHM) met with administrators in 20-minute intervals in small-group settings. The event provided a unique platform for students pursuing sport management and sport business degrees at the graduate and undergraduate levels to ask sport administrators about career outlook and professional opportunities.

“For students, it’s an incredibly enlightening experience to hear about the profession from people who work in it daily,” said Monique Holland, Executive Senior Associate Athletic Director for Administration and SWA at Southern Methodist University and chair of The American’s SWA group. “This type of event provides students with a heads-up, so to speak, for the field they are hoping to pursue.”

Patrick B. Colbert, Director of Sport Administration and Championships with the AAC.

Patrick B. Colbert, Director of Sport Administration and Championships with the AAC.

Dr. Jeremy Jordan, STHM Associate Professor and Temple Athletics’ NCAA Faculty Athletic Representative, organized the SWA symposium.

“STHM is proud of Dr. Jordan’s efforts, and those of the AAC and its member institutions, to organize this event and assemble this talented group of administrators,” said STHM Associate Dean Dr. Aubrey Kent. “We place great effort into providing our students with exceptional opportunities to succeed, and this is one of them.”

Beyond the scope of their professions, athletic leaders from the American and its member schools also discussed: academic compliance; building a fanbase; crisis management; external services; financial literacy; mentorship; and the utilization of social media.

 Jocelyn Fisher of the University of South Florida.

Jocelyn Fisher of the University of South Florida.

Temple graduate student Bridget Halligan, who is pursuing a Master of Science degree in Sport Business, viewed the SWA symposium as “a chance to network with professionals in roles we see ourselves holding in the near future.”

“I have been fortunate to meet many people within athletics,” said Halligan, who works as a compliance assistant with Temple Athletics, “and this event allowed me to expand my web and learn more what makes the American Athletic Conference and its member institutions unique.”

Mike Aresco, Commissioner of the American Athletic Conference, pointed to the success of the inaugural event and hopes that future events like this one will take place on other American campuses.

“The symposium was a great opportunity for Conference outreach to the Temple community, and gave students contemplating a career in collegiate athletics the chance to hear from athletic administrators and leaders in our Conference,” said Aresco. “We continue to look for ways to foster partnerships with faculty, staff and students, and are committed to enhancing educational experiences for students at our institutions.”

American administrative fellow Kauri Black shared with students his story of professional development. As a student and men’s basketball player at Tulsa University, he envisioned one day becoming an athletic director.

“I remember being in your shoes – making a 10-year plan and then realizing, ‘I don’t want to be an AD,’” said Black. “For me, there’s no true right or wrong path. But if you do your research, and talk to the right people like you can at this event, you can find the career that’s the best fit for you.”