UMass Boston Sports Leadership and Administration Program Hosts First-Ever International Women and Girls in Sports Week
Week-long educational series examines current state of women in sports and empowers students as they prepare to begin careers in the field
“ This program holds great importance around how we continue to advance girls and women in sport... ”
The New Balance Sport Leadership and Administration program at UMass Boston hosted its first-ever International Women and Girls in Sports Week with a series of learning activities for students that feature some of the field’s most accomplished and influential women. The program, which began in 2019, was launched to cultivate equity-minded, character-driven, and transformational leaders who will positively improve society through sport.
International Women and Girls in Sports Week was highlighted by a welcome address from Amy Latimer, president of TD Garden and UMass Boston’s Sports Leadership and Administration program executive in residence. A panel discussion featuring female sports industry leaders was led by UMass Boston Vice Chancellor for Athletics and Recreation Dr. Jacqui Schuman. A groundbreaker in the field of intercollegiate athletics in her own right, Schuman is the first woman athletic director in UMass Boston history. As well, the week included small group breakout sessions with industry leaders, presentations about empowerment of women in sports, strategies for unlocking sponsorship value for women’s sports and a career-building workshop.
“This week’s program holds great importance around how we continue to advance girls and women in sport through access, equity, and the building of future women leaders,” said Schuman.
“The Sport Leadership and Administration program cultivates distinct educational opportunities that prepare our students to positively impact sport and society,” said Dr. Allison B. Smith, assistant professor of Sport Leadership and Administration, lead organizer of the week-long series. “It was an intentional effort to spotlight a week having some of the most inspirational and influential women in sport engaging directly with our students to share their wisdom and experiences. We are grateful to the incredible group of participants and New Balance as the Sport Leadership and Administration’s program’s sponsor.”
Among the stellar roster of leaders who participated were Megan Cullinane, UMass Boston Assistant Director of Athletics for Compliance, Student Athlete Welfare, and Deputy Title IX Coordinator; Denise Kaigler, Founder and Principal of MDK Brand Management; Katie Kelly, Talent Acquisition Specialist for the Boston Red Sox; Erin McDermott, Director of Athletics for Harvard University; Demeka Fields, General Counsel of New Balance; Saskia Epstein, Vice President of Client and Corporate Relations for PNC; Molly Murphy, Director of Kraft Analytics Group; Caroline Fitzgerald, CEO of GOALS; Jayme Parker, Creator and Host of Outside the Fame; Donna Cohen, Founder & CEO of Donna Cohen Strategies and Advisor to Baseball for All, Inc.; Dr. Jessica Hammond-Graf, Lecturer of Sport Leadership and Administration; Molly Hiniker, Consultant at Kraft Analytics Group; Caroline Foscato, President of Soccer Unity Project; Stephanie Dollar, UMass Boston Deputy Athletic Director for Internal Administration; Dr. Kerrie Wilkins-Yel, Professor of Counseling and School Psychology; Cosmina Schulman, Sr. VP Partnerships NESN; Holly Burgess, Director of Traffic, NESN; and Allyce Najimy, CEO Foundation To Be Named Later.
“I’m honored to be a part of an amazing group of accomplished women,” said Latimer. “It was rewarding to engage directly with students and provide perspective on how the sector continues to evolve and how this next generation of leaders has the power to shape it moving forward.”
The New Balance Sport Leadership and Administration Program is designed to equip students with the skills and knowledge necessary to be effective, transformative, and equity-minded leaders of social change through sport. The rigorous academic program covers a range of topics, including innovation, analytics, marketing, philanthropy, communications, law, and business. Students also participate in real-world, experiential learning opportunities to actualize their leadership potential. Program participants have interned at many leading sports organizations, including the Boston Red Sox, Foundation to Be Named Later and New Balance. The program graduated its inaugural class of students in 2021.
For more information about the New Balance Sport Leadership and Administration Program at UMass Boston, please visit www.umb.edu
About UMass Boston
The University of Massachusetts Boston is deeply rooted in the city's history yet poised to address the challenges of the future. Recognized for innovative research, metropolitan Boston’s public university offers its diverse student population both an intimate learning environment and the rich experience of a great American city. UMass Boston’s colleges and graduate schools serve 16,000 students, one of the most diverse student bodies in New England, while engaging local and global constituents through academic programs, research centers, and public service. To learn more, visit www.umb.edu.
About the New Balance Sport Leadership and Administration Program
UMass Boston's New Balance Sport Leadership and Administration Program was established in 2019 to equip students with the skills and knowledge necessary to be effective, transformative, and equity-minded leaders of social change through sport. Students engage in study of the phenomenon of sport from a variety of theoretical lenses based in the liberal arts and participate in experiential learning opportunities that help them apply classwork and actualize their leadership potential. To learn more, visit www.umb.edu.