CSL Daily

December 16, 2016

Service Learning with a Holiday Twist


Dr. LeCrom requires all of the students enrolled in her Leadership in Sport class to engage in a service learning project. Thanks to a new partnership with the YMCA of Greater Richmond, several students have been volunteering throughout the semester.

Thursday night, students Maggie Brocklebank and Miles Hayer helped at the Oak Grove YMCA’s Christmas celebration. Dr. LeCrom joined them, helping to make crafts, sing songs and enjoy a visit from Santa Claus. It was great way to end the semester.

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December 15, 2016

CSL Connections Strong at R-MC


Thanks to the strength of our alumni network, clusters of CSL graduates have developed at a few colleges, universities and sport organizations. One of them is Randolph-Macon College, a Division Three school in Ashland, just a few miles north of Richmond. R-MC has six CSL alumni working in the athletic department.

CSL staff members Abby Bergakker and Greg Burton visited the campus recently to do some recruiting and caught up with several of the alums, all of them great advocates and representatives of our program.

  • Jeff Burns, Director of Athletics
  • MK Geratowski, Senior Women’s Administrator/Director of Compliance
  • Erin Marie Hauser, Athletics Operations Coordinator
  • Connor Ford, Assistant Sports Information Director
  • David Matturo, Assistant Men’s Basketball Coach
  • Brent Kintzer, Head Swimming Coach

In addition to the alumni working at R-MC, Head Field Hockey Jessica Weiss and Jenna Steele, assistant field hockey coach are enrolled in our Distance Learning program. Tyler Dandridge, currently enrolled in our on-campus cohort, is a graduate assistant for the R-MC men’s basketball team.


December 14, 2016

Gratitude is Critical Component of Leadership


by Neil Farrell, Zack Freesman, Andrew Hogue, & Jalen Manning

Voltaire said, “Appreciation is a wonderful thing.  It makes what is excellent in others belong to us as well.”  Given the time of year, it is important to remember how important it is for leaders to be grateful.


Showing gratitude has the potential to increase morale which in turn can increase work ethic and productivity.  Conversely, as students in the Center for Sport Leadership, the burden is on us to show gratitude towards everyone who helps us in our careers.  It is crucial to remember how we are being helped now so that we may pay those favors forward to future sport leaders.


Being a graduate assistant in the VCU Athletics Communications office, Andy Hogue sees the benefit of showing gratitude on a daily basis.


“It’s an affirmation that you’re on the right path,” Hogue said.  When you’re working hard on something for a while, then someone thanks you for your work, it sort of validates all the time you put in.”


Gratitude is a two-way street.  While leaders should recognize the hard work of those following them, the follower must too realize and be grateful for the things leaders do every day to keep things running.  Zach Freesman, a graduate assistant for VCU men’s basketball, talks about how grateful he is for the opportunities he has received here.


“I’m so grateful to Coach Wade and his staff for giving me an opportunity to pursue my dream of coaching college basketball.  Some of my responsibilities include on-court development, film breakdown, and assisting with scouting reports.  I show my gratitude by working as hard as I can to help get the Rams to be the best possible team that we can be.”


Neil Farrell, also a VCU men’s basketball graduate assistant, echoed Freesman’s thoughts.


“I have an extreme level of gratitude for both the VCU Men’s Basketball team and the Center for Sport Leadership for giving me an opportunity to further my career in athletics. I have made so many long-lasting relationships which I am extremely grateful for and have gained amazing experience along the way.”


Jalen Manning, a VCU Athletic Compliance graduate assistant, opened up about how having gratitude impacts his life as a CSL student.


“I’m extremely grateful to the Athletic Compliance Department at VCU for allowing me to serve as their graduate assistant for the year.  This position has helped further my knowledge on how the NCAA operates and helped me see firsthand how the compliance team collaborates with the other athletic and academic departments at VCU.”


Being grateful is more than an internal feeling.  It is something that we as leaders should show to those who help us and have our backs.  In this effort, we will find that we take less for granted and appreciate others for their work.

December 13, 2016

End of the Semester Party


Before our graduate students bolt in different directions for the holidays, we like to get together to celebrate their hard work. The Annual Ugly Sweater-Holiday Cookie Contest and Pot Luck Lunch has become an end-of-the-semester tradition at the CSL. This year, alumni that work at VCU joined faculty, staff and students to enjoy a random assortment of treats and sweets. Congrats to Natalie Pollard, winner of the Ugly Sweater Contest and Hannah Livermon for winning the Cookie Contest.

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December 13, 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.



Nathan Edick (’14) was named an assistant basketball coach at U.S. Merchant Marines Academy. Most recently, Nathan spent the past two seasons as an assistant at UVA-Wise. At the USMMA, Nathan is working under head coach Dennis Kazimir, a 2013 graduate of the Center for Sport Leadership.



Danish Saadat (’14) received the ABCD Award from Richard Bland College. The award, which stands for Above and Beyond the Call of Duty, is given out annually by the school president and voted on by colleagues and peers in the university community. Danish is the Coordinator of Athletics Development & Special Events/Sports Performance Coach. In receiving the award, Danish was described as “someone who seamlessly wears many hats in his department … [however] his competing priorities never interfere with his dedication to student success and excellence in all he does.”

December 12, 2016

CSL Alum Raises $20k by Cutting His Hair


When our friends at Sportable were tossing around fundraising ideas, they not only wanted to raise money but awareness by doing something unique. The focus turned to executive director Hunter Leemon (CSL ’09) and his trademark long hair.

The woman who trims Hunter locks had recently mentioned that it was long enough to make a wig for a cancer patient. Sportable’s board of directors loved the idea of people pledging money to encourage Hunter to shave his head. Anyone who knows Hunter shouldn’t be surprised to know he gave the plan to help two worthy causes a thumbs up.

By the time they fired up the clippers last week, Leemon had raised more than $20,000 in donations to support Sportable. Hunter’s hair was donated to Pantene’s Beautiful Lengths Campaign so that it can be given to someone who has lost their hair due to cancer.

Family, friends and supporters of Hunter & Sportable took turns cutting locks of hair. A professional finished the job and gave Hunter his new look. Yes, his hair will grow back but, the mission of Sportable will also grow thank to Hunter’s selflessness and generosity. We couldn’t be more proud to call him an alum and friend.