January 10, 2013

SSC to Host "Professional Women in College Sports" Forum

WINTER PARK, Fla. - The Sunshine State Conference will host its second "Professional Women in College Sports" student forum on Thursday, Jan. 31, at the Radisson Resort Orlando-Celebration.

The event, which is open to current SSC female student-athletes who are interested in pursuing a career path in college athletics, returns after the inaugural forum in 2012 was a great success.

Jenn Fraser, who serves as an NCAA Director of Academic and Membership Affairs, will be the keynote speaker for this year's event. Fraser joined the NCAA staff in 2008. In her current role, she focuses primarily on academic policies for Division I. She previously spent three years focusing on legislative matters with the Division II team. A former volleyball student-athlete at California State University, San Bernardino, Fraser also worked as an assistant athletic director at Metropolitan State College of Denver and as an assistant commissioner at the California Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA).

A panel of four guest speakers will also address the student-athlete participants.

  • Pennie Parker, Director of Athletics, Rollins College - In her sixth year as AD at Rollins, Parker is only the second female to serve in that capacity at the College. Parker came to Rollins in May 2002, serving initially as an assistant AD. Prior to arriving at the Winter Park campus, she worked in compliance at three NCAA Division I institutions.
  • Kelley Kish, Associate Athletic Director for Compliance, Nova Southeastern University - Currently in her first year at Nova Southeastern, Kish previously served as the Assistant AD for Compliance at the University of Indianapolis. Prior to UIndy, she spent nine years working in the athletic department at the University of Florida, where she served as the Coordinator of Volleyball Operations.
  • Nikki Jessee, Head Women's Basketball Coach, Saint Leo University - Jessee is in her second season as head coach of the Lions' women's basketball program. She has unique ties to the SSC, having also served as the head coach at Lynn University and as an assistant at the University of Tampa. Additionally, Jessee played three seasons of women's basketball at Rollins College, where she was a three-time All-Sunshine State Conference selection.
  • Mark McClenney, who has served as the SSC's assignor of women's basketball officials for three seasons, will also join the panel to advise participants interested in pursuing a path in officiating.

In addition, Jen Gellock and Ewa Jamborska, who currently work in SSC athletic departments and attended the inaugural "Professional Women in College Sports" forum in January 2012, will provide brief insights into their transitions into their current positions. Gellock joined the Saint Leo women's basketball staff as an assistant coach in May 2012. Jamborska, who competed as a swimmer at Nova Southeastern, is currently serving her first year as a swimming graduate assistant coach at Lynn University.

Approximately 60-100 student-athletes are expected to attend the forum from the SSC's nine member institutions. Attendees will participate in roundtable discussions during lunch, which will be provided by the SSC. They will also receive professional development advice.

Any female student-athletes at Saint Leo who are interested in attending the forum should communicate with Erika Brennan at erika.brennan@saintleo.edu.