ELIZABETHTOWN, Pa. – The Landmark Conference hosted its second Women in Sports Symposium for conference members’ student-athletes and staff members that are interested in pursuing or elevating their career in college athletics. The symposium had attendees from all eight Landmark institutions that ranged from student-athletes, graduate assistants, coaches and administrators. The senior woman administrators from each member institution organized and planned the event with financial support from the conference and the NCAA Division III Strategic Initiatives Grant Program.
This year’s Symposium, entitled Women in Sports: Avenues to Athletics, worked with Strive Leadership to coordinate two days of programming for attendees. Strive mediated four sessions that included focused conversations and activities on cultivating resilience and success, communication, goal setting and more.
"The Women in Sport Symposium was a great opportunity to meet and connect with the amazing women who are the face of the Landmark Conference,” stated The University of Scranton softball student-athlete Meaghan Dowdell. “I really enjoyed every moment of the Strive Program and learned so much by hearing the different opportunities that are offered working in athletics. I especially learned how much Division 3 athletics is beyond being a player."
In addition to Strive programming the conference utilized the expertise of its own female leadership for other interactive sessions. Landmark Commissioner Katie Boldvich delivered the keynote speech on Saturday evening and then mediated a question and answer panel that included institutional administrators; Crystal Gibson (Interim Director of Athletic, Susquehanna University), Jamie Walls (Assistant Athletic Director for Recruitment and Compliance, Catholic University), Kathy Staib (Assistant Director of Athletics, SWA, Elizabethtown College) and Sarah Twiggs (Assistant Commissioner, Landmark Conference). The four women spoke to their own unique experiences, jobs and paths in college athletics while also answering a variety of questions from the attendees about their paths to leadership positions.
“The Women in Sports Symposium further solidified what we already knew, the Landmark Conference is blessed with strong leadership that wants to give back to its member institutions,” exclaimed Commissioner Boldvich. “I left the weekend feeling invigorated and inspired by the institutional leadership and stories they shared with our young administrators and student-athletes. If this engagement is any reflection of what’s to come from our future leaders, the outlook is bright for the Landmark and Division III athletics as a whole.”
The symposium also offered round table opportunities that allowed attendees to rotate through different professionals for quick-hitters and conversation on a variety of topics and roles within collegiate athletics. The topics included; strength and conditioning, building powerful relationships, graduate assistantships, officiating, personal branding, difficult/crucial conversations and more.
"When I reflect upon my time at the symposium, I can't help but feel grateful for the opportunity spent with women in all different avenues of athletics. D3 is special, we are all willing to share in best practices and help one another,” stated Mia Collarini Wascura, Head Softball Coach the University of Scranton. “Speakers were so engaging and were able to empower our young women to go forth and set the world on fire."
In total over 50 women attended the symposium that was hosted at member institution Elizabethtown College. Each member institution’s senior woman administrator played a critical role in planning and/or facilitating a part of the two-day event.
“Empowering our future female leaders was exhilarating,” said Staib. “The room was filled with many mentors; from our commissioner, administrators, head coaches, an official, a strength coach, our presenters and student-athletes. We all learned from one another. Elizabethtown College was honored to host such a powerful event for our future leaders.”
To learn more about Strive programming please click here.