Seven master of arts in business with a specialization in intercollegiate athletic administration (MAIAA) students from the University of Nebraska–Lincoln College of Business Administration attended the Emerging Leaders Seminar (ELS) at the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) in Indianapolis in January. Selected by a committee from the NCAA membership, only 200 students attended the seminar for effective leadership, educational and transitional programming.
An annual professional development event for graduate students and interns from NCAA member institutions, the ELS educates, develops and connects participants during the three-day program and can increase the likelihood of rapid career progression within college sports. The membership committee selected second-year students John McCaig, Blair, Nebraska; James Hajek, Omaha, Nebraska; Alex Wach, Wauneta, Nebraska; John Baker, York, Nebraska; and Jordan Linder, Colorado Springs, Colorado; and first-year students Sean Bourke, Elk Grove Village, Illinois; and Lorie Garnett, Manteca, California to represent the MAIAA program. The students traveled to the NCAA headquarters in Indianapolis for the seminar and heard from guest speakers, went through personal DISC assessment training and team building simulations. Participants took the DiSC assessment and received their individual DiSC Personality Profile to help them understand better their personality tendencies and behavior. Only one other NCAA member institution had more than seven students admitted to the seminar.
“Attending ELS was significant to me because it allowed me to connect with many athletics interns and graduate assistants from across the nation,” said Wach, the sports analytics graduate assistant in the Nebraska Department of Athletics. “ELS programming helped me determine how to use my strengths, improve my weaknesses and provided motivational speeches from some of the best leaders in the industry.”
Notably, participants heard from leaders in the industry such as Oliver Luck, executive vice president of regulatory affairs at the NCAA; Karen Stromme, associate athletic director, internal operations and senior woman administrator at the University of Minnesota–Duluth; and Meg Stevens, director of athletics at Averett University.
While in Indianapolis, students connected with MAIAA Advisory Board President Kathy Sulentic, who serves as associate director of enforcement at the NCAA.
“Meeting with Kathy is a testament to the growth of the MAIAA program and how professionals in this industry are eager to give back,” said Linder, the development and ticketing graduate assistant in the Nebraska Department of Athletics. “She treated us to an hour of advice that will help us advance as young professionals.”
The admittance of the seven students to the prestigious seminar marks the first time MAIAA students were selected to attend. The second class of MAIAA students graduate Saturday, May 5 at Pinnacle Bank Arena.