CSL Daily

August 30, 2017

Picture Day

Just like they did through elementary school, middle school and high school, our new graduate students dressed to impress for Picture Day.  While we use these images throughout the year on our website, blog and social media channels, the primary purpose of Picture Day is for the students to receive a professional headshot. We encourage them to make this shot the profile picture for their LinkedIn account and other social media channels. We also have a little fun with the students holding signs that have our five core values and #CSLnetwork.

August 28, 2017

A Little Advice

A year ago, we thought it might be helpful for the incoming students to hear from our most recent graduates about what to expect from the CSL. Below is a video we showed during Orientation on Thursday, featuring members of the Class of 2017 sharing their advice with the Class of 2018.

August 25, 2017

Learning the Ropes

It’s become a CSL tradition. Each of the last 10 cohorts entering the Center for Sport Leadership (dating back to our Sports Center days) have experienced the ropes course. Our friends at Signature Teambuilding (formerly Challenge Discovery) have facilitated an morning’s worth of exercises and activities aimed at igniting camaraderie among the 35 incoming students.

The highlight (pun intended) is the ropes course. Working in small groups and working with a trained professional as a guide, each student ascends the rope netting. Once atop the structure, the bonds start to form as they work together to conquer the task and their fears.

August 24, 2017

Welcome Class of 2018

There is always a range of emotions on Orientation Day.  As the Class of 2018 gathered for the first time , they were no doubt nervous, excited, anxious, even intimidated. We know this because alumni over the years have shared their feelings about that first day.

CSL Executive Director Carrie LeCrom greeted the newest cohort and began a session filled with advice, information and guidance for the coming days, weeks and months. The group heard from VCU School of Education Dean Andrew Daire who asked, “Why would you want average for your life?”

VCU Director of Athletics Ed McLaughlin offered direct, valuable advice when it comes to graduate assistantships,”Work hard, be positive and bring positive attention to yourself.”

VCU Men’s Basketball Head Coach and CSL alum Mike Rhoades challenged the new graduate  students. “You are in this program for eight month. Every single day should be your best day. Bring your very best each day.”

Friday features a CSL tradition: the ropes course at Challenge Discovery. These team building exercises have often been referenced as the moment when the cohort starts to bond with their classmates.



August 22, 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.


Sean Wheeler (’16) has been promoted to Development Coordinator for Colorado State Athletics. Sean will be based in Denver, connecting with CSU alumni in the area. Sean joined CSU’s development staff in June 2016 as a development intern.

August 15, 2017

ENVEST (Day #7) – Bidding Farewell to Astana

Astana, Kazakhstan – Settle in for a reflective post today, as it’s our last day in Kazakhstan! In fact, this is being written from the airport as we wait to fly to Almaty, then Amsterdam, then New York, and finally D.C., followed by a rush-hour drive back to Richmond. This day may be a long one, but the travel time will have been more than worth it for the experiences we’ve gained over the past week.

We bid adieu to our friends from Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan last night, as they departed early this morning. We expected to spend the day the way we started the trip – just the 14 of us from the United States – touring this beautiful city. But things sometimes end up working out better than you plan, and today was definitely an example of that. Because of the many relationships, we’d build over the past week, nearly 20 of our local friends from Astana met up with us so that THEY could show us their city. Seeing how proud they are of where they come from was enriching and refreshing.

We began the day at an 8-story mall, complete with a dinosaur roller coaster and water park inside! We resisted the urge to stay and ‘play’ and instead ventured outside and strolled several miles up a road that I can only describe as a cross between the National Mall in Washington, D.C. and the Champs-Elysees in Paris. It’s a beautiful walk way adorned with small market shops and various sculptures and artwork commissioned for the Expo. It’s a colorful, vibrant area that connects the important monuments of the city, including ‘the lollipop’ and the President’s Palace. As we walked along slowly, stopping to take pictures and appreciate the beauty of this young city, our Kazak friends shared stories about their lives here, their hopes for the future, and their changed impressions of Americans resulting from our week together.


One of the pieces of artwork on the avenue was a chalkboard wall that read “Before I die, I want to…” Passers-by can fill in the blank space, which was so full you had to write over others’ responses. However, some stuck out more clearly than others, including a very fitting one, which read “Before I die, I want to CHANGE THE SOCIETY.” Given the focus of our week, it was somewhat poetic to see that others before have visited this city spreading the message that we can all change society for the better.

Leaving our new friends was difficult, but our memories will last, and we know we will see some of them again in the Spring when we invite a delegation to the U.S. for the second phase of ENVEST. Reflecting on all that we’ve seen and done in such a short time makes my head spin, but I think it’s appropriate to say that none of us are leaving here the same as we came. We built relationships, embraced differences, and grew personally, all while playing the game that we love. At the end of the day, there’s not much more you could ask for. Until next time Astana!