CSL Daily

March 30, 2016

First Tee SEED Event

IMG_1151Center for Sport Leadership Students welcomed over 100 Richmond area youth to the First Tee of Greater Richmond for a day of fun and learning through golf. The First Tee of Greater Richmond operates through nine different core values: Confidence, Responsibility, Perseverance, Integrity, Judgment, Honesty, Respect, Courtesy, and Sportsmanship. The SEED group created an Olympic theme day with golf activities that represented these core values complete with opening and closing ceremonies.

IMG_0888Before the activities began, a representative from Fleet Feet was on hand teaching everyone about their foot bone structure and the proper way to warm up the body before a day of activities. Children were divided into groups based on age and rotated around the golf course, or around the world, and got to try different golf and putting activities with CSL student and VCU golf instructors. Upon arrival, kids received First Tee Olympics t-shirts and passports that they carried around and got stamped at each different country they visited.

IMG_1206Special visitors like Nutsy from the Squirrels, Rodney the Ram from VCU and Kickeroo from the Kickers joined the athletes and tried their hand at golf. One of the most popular stations at the event was the Golf-Zilla, where kids were tasked with hitting balls into the mouths of a large blow up hippopotamus and ‘Godzilla’. Throughout the day, First Tee Olympic Athletes were treated to snacks from Capital Ale House. The Closing Ceremony wrapped up the day with a lesson on Respect, medals for the athletes and the chance to meet Hugh Roberts from the Richmond Kickers.


March 30, 2016

CSL Students Recognized by VCU School of Education

SOE awards

Thirteen CSL graduate students who received scholarships were honored at a VCU School of Education award ceremony Tuesday night at the University Student Commons Commonwealth Ballroom.

Each year, VCU’s School of Education honors students who have received scholarship from one of their programs. The Center for Sport Leadership, housed within the School of Education, offers two scholarships: Future Leaders in Sport and Diversity Enhancement.

During the award ceremony, each student had their name called and was presented with a certificate of achievement.  Congratulations to the students recognized by the School of Education:

  • Ashley Alletto
  • Wes Chappell
  • Kyle Clark
  • Beatriz Ferreira
  • Brittany Hill
  • Parker Kirwan
  • Romy Kolzer
  • Kiara McClendon
  • Katy Mitton
  • Greg Moon
  • Scooter Renkin
  • Alex Ritter

March 30, 2016

Alumni Insight-Alan Ashworth

Each week, one of our accomplished alumni will share some thoughts and feedback on working in the sport industry by answering questions asked by our current graduate students.  

Alan Ashworth is a classic example of a hard-working CSL student who wasn’t exactly Ashworth_Alansure what he wanted to do. This 2010 CSL graduate loved sports but wasn’t sure what segment of the industry was best for him. A former college baseball player, Alan thought he wanted to work in the sport he loved but an opportunity to work in development changed everything. He is currently the Regional Director of Athletic Development at Wake Forest, a job he loves and has excelled at since joining the school five years ago. Alan’s primary responsibility is to serve as a development officer for scholarship, capital and endowment support for Demon Deacon athletics. This Q&A was conducted by CSL graduate student Alyce Bryant.


Alyce Bryant: Why did you enroll in the Center for Sport Leadership program at VCU?

Alan Ashworth: I wanted to further my education in the College Athletic industry and help position myself better to obtain a career in Athletic Development.


AB: What challenges/adversity have you faced in the workplace and how did you overcome it?

AA: The biggest challenge I have faced in the workplace is continuing to find new ways to keep alumni and supporters engaged and involved. In Athletic Development, you must have a creative mind to help cultivate and steward donors, and sometimes I struggle with the creative aspect. I have tried to incorporate other staff members and not be afraid to ask for help when it comes to creative ideas. Several voices and opinions are better than one. A new perspective is good in any situation I believe.


AB: How do you achieve work/life balance?

AA: Work/life balance is the most important part to anyone’s success in my opinion. If you work too much, the stress and overload on your mind will affect your performance. You must balance the time at work and home because only a healthy, happy mind will be useful. I achieve this with a mindset—I am going to enjoy myself at work and I’m going to enjoy myself when I’m not at work. I give 100% at while I’m at work and I give 100% to my personal life when I’m not at work. Work hard, play [hard].


AB: Who is the best leader you have worked for and why?

AA: Mike Piscetelli—he is my supervisor here at Wake Forest. He is not a boss, he is truly a leader. He does not dictate or describe how things need to be done, he shows us. He is a great leader for our team because he leads by example and is there to encourage and inspire.


AB: How would you define leadership?

AA: Leadership is the ability to inspire and get workers excited about the task at hand. Leadership is consistency, flexibility, fairness, and reliability.

March 29, 2016

UR AD to CSL: “Be Intentional”

IMG_9576At the Center for Sport Leadership at VCU, we don’t look at the University of Richmond as a cross-town rival. We look at them as a partner and collaborator in our mission to provide real world experience to our graduate students. Over the last three years, more than a dozen CSL students have had graduate assistantships at UR.

Tuesday, Richmond Athletic Director Keith Gill was the guest speaker in Dr. LeCrom’s Leadership in Sport Class, discussing the daily challenges he faces and some of the current issues facing college athletics.

Of course, the questions from our students always turn to the search for that first job in the sport industry and Gill was direct with his advice.

“Be really intentional and be flexible. That first job can be tough to land so be flexible with things like location and job descriptions. Certainly, think about what you like the most but still cast a wide net and eventually you’ll get on the right path. After you land the first job, you can be more intentional.”

Gill’s career started in compliance, an area he had not given much thought. He heard about the job while playing basketball with some athletic department staff. That moment set him on his career path that has seen him work at the NCAA, Oklahoma, American University and now Richmond.

He left our students with poignant words for dealing with the daily challenges that all leaders face: “You don’t have to have all the answers but you do have to find them.”


March 29, 2016

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. 


don browbn

Donald Brown (’15) has been hired as the Director of Athletic Performance for Men’s Basketball at Rice University. For the past year, Don worked in a similar position at East Tennessee State. At Rice, Don will be working with another CSL alum: Rice Head Coach Mike Rhoades.


jamie corti

Jamie Corti (’10) has been hired as assistant women’s soccer coach at Campbell University. Most recently, Jamie was an assistant coach at University of Central Florida since June 2013.



March 25, 2016

Get To Work… Support Services

Screen Shot 2015-10-30 at 12.38.40 PMOne of the most unique aspects of the Center for Sport Leadership at VCU is the opportunity to provide students with a year of real-world experience while simultaneously earning a master’s degree. Each Friday, we will be showcasing one of our current students, highlighting their graduate assistantship within the Richmond sports community.

Student-athletes are often praised for their performance on the court and ability in the weight room. In fact rarely are students praised for the work they put into their studies, which often revolve around strenuous work outs and game schedules. In order for these athletes to remain successful students, VCU has created a student-athlete support services center to help with tutoring, studying and time management. Kiara McClendon, the CSL graduate assistant for the VCU Athletic’s Student-Athlete Support Services, is one of the essential team members keeping VCU student-athleteIMG_9499s on track academically.

McClendon is the advisor for the VCU freshman women’s field hockey team with whom she meets weekly to go over grade updates and upcoming assignments. Additionally, she helps these new college students learn how to manage their time and coordinate extra assistance or tutoring should the girls need it. McClendon also assists various other student-athletes with study skills and organization, making sure they have detailed calendars for their upcoming work.

One of McClendon’s career goals is to be the director of a similar student-services program at the D1 level and she believes this GA has put her one step closer to this vision. Learning to manage school, athletics and personal commitments can be tough for student-athletes, and McClendon hopes to help them feel less overwhelmed by their work load. Aside from the sport they play, McClendon hopes to help college athletes find something they are passionate about that can prepare them for life both emotionally and academically. McClendon relishes the opportunity to be a beacon of trust for athletes and strives to always be available to give advice.

Throughout this school year, McClendon’s favorite part of her position has been working with the field hockey girls and watching them discover what majors/careers they would like to pursue. McClendon particularly enjoys encouraging the students when their schedule is most difficult. One studentIMG_1021 in particular has left an impression on McClendon, a student whom she helped through the struggle to adjust to college life and increase her confidence in her academic potential and achievements.

“My experience as a GA has made me realize there’s so much more I want to do to help student-athletes. The more involved I am in this field, the more I want to help student-athletes realized how gifted they are, and how successful they can be in all areas of life. Success in academics isn’t just about how many points you can score, its about your character. What you do off the field and in the classroom is just as important as what you do in the game.”