CSL Daily

July 25, 2017

CSL to Lead Sport Diplomacy Mission to Kazakhstan

The Center for Sport Leadership at VCU will lead a delegation of local soccer coaches and youth soccer players to Kazakhstan this summer for a program aimed at ways sports can create social change.

The program, called ENVEST (Empowering New Voices through Education and Sport Training) is funded by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Education and Cultural Affairs through their Sports Diplomacy Division.  The Richmond-based delegation will be traveling to Astana, Kazakhstan from August 7-13 where they will meet up with coaches and players from Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, Tajikistan, and Kyrgyzstan. The visit will coincide with the World Expo taking place in Astana this summer.

ENVEST will operate under the leadership of CSL Executive Director Dr. Carrie LeCrom, who has been awarded three previous grants from the U.S. Department of State and has partnered with them to lead sport-for-development missions in Ethiopia, China and South Africa.

“We are grateful to be working with U.S. Department of State again to provide impactful sport for development programming. The trip to Kazakhstan is unique because it is the first time youth will be part of our delegation,” said LeCrom.

The youth players and coaches will participate in programming designed to promote cultural understanding. Groups from all countries will create action plans using soccer as a vehicle to address social issues effecting their communities.

The Center for Sport Leadership at VCU is partnering with the Richmond Strikers Soccer Club and the Football Federation of Kazakhstan. Following the U.S. delegation’s visit this summer, a delegation from Kazakhstan and other participating countries will visit the United States in early 2018.

“By incorporating strategic partners in a productive way, ENVEST has the potential to not only be impactful to those involved, but to have a ripple effect, reaching so many others as well,” said LeCrom.

Learn more about the trip and the delegation through our ENVEST Facebook page.
The delegation headed to Kazakhstan includes the following people:
Carrie LeCrom (VCU)
Brendan Dwyer (VCU)
Jen Gellock (VCU)
Tiesha Martin (VCU)
Will Bates (Strikers)
Pat McStay (Strikers)
Todd Johnson (Strikers)
Mitchell Brown
Nicholas Cavallo
Ethan Johnson
Nicole Mills
Michael Morrissey
Connor Peed
Anne Christian Robertson
Nick Vantre


July 25, 2017

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.


Matt Butta (’15) has been hired as Assistant Director of Athletics Development at American University. Previously, Matt was an Account Executive with Virginia Sports Properties in Charlottesville.


Karise Baxter (’14) has been hired as Assistant Track & Field Coach at Virginia Union University.  Karise will be working with both the men’s & women’s teams, focusing on sprinters and hurdlers.



Chris Kautza (’10) has been hired as Assistant Commissioner for External Relations/Marketing for the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference.   Kautza will be working with various NSIC stakeholders. The position will be the liaison from the Commissioner’s Office in support of the conference development directors.


July 11, 2017

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.


Nick Michael (’14) has been named Director of Athletic Performance for University of Alabama-Birmingham Men’s Basketball. Most recently, Nick served as the Assistant Athletics Director for Athletic Performance at the University of Missouri during the 2016-17 season. He worked as the strength and conditioning coach for Rice Men’s Basketball.


Artis Gordon (’06) has been named the Director of Student-Athlete Development for VCU Athletics. Most recently, Gordon served as the Director of the Transfer Center at VCU since 2011.


Ben Blevins has been named Co-SID of the Year by the Collegiate Women’s Water Polo Association. It’s the second year in a row Ben, who is the Director of Communications for Michigan Athletics, has won the award