Clarion University head women’s soccer coach Christina Feldman and two student athletes, Chinonyelum Nwokedi and Alfonso Hoggard, have completed the three-day NCAA Division II Leadership Academy.
In support of the Division II Strategic Plan, the Leadership Academy is weekend-long opportunity for student-athletes, coaches, administrators and faculty to develop their leadership skills, become more familiar with the Division II experience and plan for action. In a forum intended to foster partnerships, participants are equipped to be active leaders and change agents within their campus, conference and community spheres of influence.
“I thought it would be great to have Nina and the students represent Clarion University at the Academy,” said Dave Katis, athletic director. “I attended a previous Leadership Academy and noted a lack of minority representation. As added value to their individual contributions, Chinonyelum and Alphonso, enhanced the diverse representation of the Academy.”
The Northeast Region Leadership Academy was held at the Hyatt Regency in Philadelphia. NCAA Division II covers all the Academy costs, room, board, and transportation expenses. The Northeast Region includes all of Clarion’s sister institutions in the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education, along with members of the Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference, Northeast 10 Conference, and East Coast Conference.
For the attending coach, administrator or faculty member, the Division II Leadership Academy is a professional development opportunity to enhance leadership skills that contribute to their role on campus, and engage in dialogue with colleagues concerning their influence upon student-athlete well being.
Student-athlete participants must have eligibility, participate in a NCAA-sponsored sport during the 2007-08 academic year, and have eligibility remaining for the 2008-09 academic year.
Clarion’s participants engaged in sessions that promoted an understanding of the NCAA, Division II Governance, the Division II Student-Athlete Advisory Committee, the Division II model athletics program and other Division II-specific issues. Using information and knowledge gained throughout the weekend, participants representing the same institution create "action plans" for implementation on their campuses in order to influence positive change in cooperation with other campus leaders.
The Academy’s learning outcomes include: learning about, developing and applying leadership skills; gaining insight into their personal styles through self-assessment and peer feedback; becoming better acquainted with NCAA and Division II structures and initiatives; and working collaboratively with school teams to develop and implement action plans that promote positive change.
“The Clarion representatives will report to the Student Athlete Advisory Council about their experience,” said Katis. “It is a good experience for both the coach and the athletes. They will be better leaders and this will also help them in their personal lives.”
Hoggard, a freshman business major, is a son of Alphonso Hoggard Jr. and Jacqueline Speaks of Philadelphia and is a graduate of Caravel Academy. He is a wide receiver/return specialist on the Golden Eagle football team was named PSAC Rookie of the Year and was a Division II All-American. He was also a Football Gazette Honorable Mention All-American and named second team Football Gazette All-Region.
Nwokedi, a junior communication sciences and disorders major, is a daughter of Anthony and Livina Nwokedi of Oil City and is a graduate of Oil City High School. She is a member of the track and field team participating in the sprints and the shot put.