Athletics News
Viggiano, Walsh Attend NCAA Leadership Forum

Stephanie Viggiano and Louis Walsh
Stephanie Viggiano and Louis Walsh

Nov. 15, 2013

Information courtesy the NCAA

Siena student athletes Stephanie Viggiano (softball) and Louis Walsh (men's golf) attended the NCAA Student Athlete Leadership Forum Nov. 7-10 in Providence, R.I. Accompanied by Director of Student Athlete Engagement Lori Jancik, Viggiano and Walsh were among 350 student athletes identified as leaders on their campus invited to attend the forum.

The Leadership Forum is one of the largest non-competitive gatherings of NCAA student athletes representing their colleges and universities. The forum was designed for student athletes to discuss key issues collectively and provide them with an opportunity to enhance personal awareness and leadership skills needed to positively impact their development at the campus and conference levels, as well as beyond the collegiate realm.

"The NCAA Student-Athlete Leadership Forum is another type of educational setting that helps our student athletes develop into more effective leaders and gets their thought process in motion which can help them on campus and even after they graduate," said Curtis J. Hollomon, NCAA director of leadership development.

"It also allows them to communicate more on key topics of interest to them and to share best practices, while getting to know one another aside from competition. They then take ideas back to their Student Athlete Advisory Committees and the results end up helping a wider range of student-athletes."

Throughout the Leadership Forum, representatives from NCAA member schools led small group discussions about a variety of topics such as: behavioral styles, branding, social media, decision-making, emotional intelligence and values. These discussions were geared to help the student athletes become more effective leaders and motivators when returning to their campuses.

In order to best facilitate these discussions, the 39 school representatives attended a four-day training session at the NCAA national office in Indianapolis in September to learn curriculum that was implemented during these sessions. These selected facilitators represent NCAA Division I, Division II, and Division III colleges and universities, athletic conference offices and the NCAA national office.

The student athletes also heard from several speakers including Chris Herren, former NBA player and founder of Hoop Dreams with Chris Herren and The Herren Project, about decision-making. They also heard from Rayna DuBose, a former basketball student athlete about facing adversity. Additionally, participants heard from keynote speaker Sam Davidson, president and co-founder of Cool People Care, about leadership lessons that he learned at a young age.

To gain a better understanding of the NCAA association-wide and division-specific structures and committees, participants also learned from peer representatives on the NCAA National Student Athlete Advisory Committees as well as NCAA governance staff. During these sessions, participants learned about the NCAA legislative process and discussed current hot topics. To compliment these sessions, a panel discussion addressed global leadership and how student athletes transition from a leader on campus and into the world. Panelists included Bridget Belgiovine, director of athletics and chair of physical education, recreation and athletics at Wellesley College; Clyde Doughty Jr., director of intercollegiate athletics and recreation at the New York Institute of Technology; and Amy Huchthausen, America East conference commissioner. Participants also completed team-building activities in order to collect supplies for a service project to benefit Providence's St. Mary's Home for Children.

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