CSL Daily

August 31, 2015

The Week Ahead

This week at the Center for Sport Leadership at VCU:

  • Our Alumni Advisory Board will be meeting on campus for the first time. It will be great to have some of our most accomplished graduates helping us shape the week-aheaddirection of the CSL and meeting our current students. Stay tuned to the blog for more on their visit.
  • Guest Speakers this week include Atlantic 10 Commissioner Bernadette McGlade, John Moreland and Megan Driscoll from Richmond International Raceway.
  • All students who have a graduate assistantship with VCU Athletics will be meeting with Director of Athletics Ed McLaughlin and a panel of athletic department members who will talk about expectations and the keys to a successful and valuable experience.
  • Dr. Dwyer will be presenting a supplemental lecture on APA format to ensure all written work submitted by graduate students is compliant with the current standard.

August 27, 2015

A Good Breakfast

city diner

by Greg Burton

I got to City Diner about 7:30 this morning even though the meeting wasn’t supposed to begin until 8. I wanted to make sure I got the “big booth” so all of the students who were joining me would fit comfortably, enjoy breakfast and feel encouraged to talk about the book.

We have every incoming student read Mindset, the groundbreaking book by Carol Dweck.  The CSL faculty and staff read it three years ago for a retreat and quickly decided we mindsetshould not only require our students to read it but we would have small group discussions about it.

It would have been easier to have this meeting in the workroom or conference room but I have found the conversation is better in a more casual, even unfamiliar setting. It may seem like I am bribing them with breakfast and trying to be the “cool” professor but that’s not the reason I do this.

One of the things that makes the CSL unique is our focus on real-world experience, creating hands-on opportunities and authentic scenarios they can learn from.  I probably have 4-6 breakfast meetings a month.  I think most people in sport (and business) will tell you it’s a common and valued practice to have a productive, informative conversation with a client, partner or stakeholder before the “official” work day starts.

The breakfast meeting also illustrates a main point in Dweck’s book: effort. Among the many enlightening points she makes in her book, Dweck talks about the stigma of effortless success. In a fixed mindset, effort is only for people with deficiencies. In a fixed mindset, the truly gifted are not supposed to need effort. Their gifts & skills come naturally so effort would cast a shadow on their abilities. As Dweck explains, effort “…robs you of all your excuses.”

In a growth mindset, effort is the enemy of complacency. People with a growth mindset believe effort will take them beyond whatever success they have already achieved towards accomplishments they may have never imagined but realize are possible.  In a growth mindset, the effort is inspired by both success and failure.

I am appreciative of my God-given gifts and talents, my natural ability.  However, I recognize that is not enough. I have to work harder and exhibit more effort than many of my peers to accomplish my goals and meet the standard I have set for myself.

Today, that meant an early breakfast with 7 students, discussing a fascinating book and getting to know each of them better. It’s not always the case but today, breakfast was the most important meal of the day.



August 27, 2015

New Polos & Logos for the CSL

polos 2

If you see a line outside of Mrs. Harmon’s door, it means one of two things: students have questions about financial aid OR they want to pick up their new CSL Nike polo shirt.  These are the shirts we ask each student to wear during CSL group activities, sponsored events & field trips.

Screen Shot 2015-08-27 at 9.23.32 AM

This year, we are using VCU’s “spirit mark” on the front, which features a shield with the Ram. The university underwent a major re-branding initiative in the last year and every department must become compliant. Below are the new logos we’ll be using. We will be retiring the old logo with the blue “horn burst”.

CSL logo

CSL logo


August 26, 2015

Guest Speaker: Security Expert & CSL Alum Brett Burdick


by Lindsay McBride, CSL graduate student

This morning the CSL students in the Sport and Entertainment Event Development (SEED) class got to hear a guest lecture from CSL ’03 alum Brett Burdick. Brett has a long list of experiences in various sports fields such as playing intercollegiate soccer, coaching, USA rugby coaching development, sport security management, and working with Olympic national governing bodies in coach development programs.

Brett’s presentation explained to the class exactly what terrorism is, as defined by the FBI, and how threats to security are an increasingly important part of sport event planning. Sporting events as global as the Olympics and as local as minor athletics games have been gradually increasing their budgets and protocols for safety to help balance a positive fan experience and fan safety. Brett helped answer student questions about the security at the upcoming UCI bike race and what to look out for to help the event go smoothly. There was also some coverage of how technology and sports security are becoming ever-more integrated with the increased use of cameras, scanners and facial recognition software .

Brett gave our new class of graduate students a new and interesting perspective on a field that many may overlook as they enjoy the wide world of sports, thanks for the great speech Brett!

August 25, 2015

Picture Day

pic day 9

Whether it’s first grade, senior year or grad school, Picture Day is a big deal.

Today, the Class of 2016 posed for their group shot as well as the professional head shots we provide for each student.

Here’s a look behind-the-scenes:


August 25, 2015

Hat Tip Tuesday


On Tuesdays, we offer a “tip of the hat” to current students and alumni who have been hired, promoted, recognized for outstanding achievement or embarked on new opportunities. 

steve dadamo

Steve D’Adamo (’13)  has been hired as the Director of Student Activities at L.C. Bird High School in Chesterfield, VA.  Steve had been the assistant AD and a Technology Education teacher at the school since August 2013. He has also served as an adjunct professor for the CSL.

©2013 Scott K. Brown Photography, Inc.

©2013 Scott K. Brown Photography, Inc.

Erin Hauser (’15)  has been hired as Athletics Operations Coordinator at Randolph-Macon College. Erin works primarily with R-MC’s coaches on scheduling and operations while also playing a role in development. Erin joins two other CSL alumni on staff: AD Jeff Burns and Senior Women’s Administrator & women’s lacrosse coach MK Geratowski. Erin is a recent graduate of the CSL’s Dual Degree program.