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RICHMOND, Va. (Nov. 5, 2009) - Representatives from 11 of the 12 Colonial Athletic Association members met in Atlanta, Ga. on October 23-25, 2009 to attend the NCAA Division I Regional Leadership Conference.  The Leadership Conference welcomed schools from the Mid-Atlantic Region, which included the Atlantic 10, Atlantic Coast, Big South, Colonial Athletic Association and the Mid-Eastern Athletic conferences.

The NCAA invited student-athletes, coaches, faculty members and administrators from these conferences and opened opportunities for everyone to interact with each other and learn to build partnerships, develop leadership skills and discuss Division I issues that impact student-athletes.  As a part of the conference, participants developed both professionally and personally as they explored individual values, communication styles and leadership behaviors that can be used on their campuses and communities to promote positive change.

On Friday, all of the participants gathered for the opening session and learned that the theme of this year's conference was "Leadership Through Service."  The participants were then broken up into color teams for various workshops that would continue through the weekend.  Each color team was guided by a pair of facilitators as they assisted the participants during an exploration of behavioral styles and leadership skills through self assessment and peer feedback.  Some items the participants were introduced to when defining a strong leader included, values, branding, people reading, goal setting, etc.

On Saturday, the color teams regrouped and continued learning about what makes a strong leader, including "The Six Domains Leadership Pyramid".  The participants were introduced to the DiSC Profile and were taught how to utilize the DiSC to make them better leaders as well as interacting positively with their leaders. 

Saturday afternoon all of the color teams were disbursed between two different elementary schools around the Atlanta area for a community service activity.  The participants helped the elementary school students, their parents and their school teachers with beautifying the school grounds.  Many of the activities included building gardens and planting shrubbery, painting mural boards, and interacting with the elementary students through crafts and physical activities.

The Division I student-athletes completed the day gathering with their conference members for a Conference Corner discussion.  The CAA started our conference corner session with a trivia game about the league and its history and then moved onto other topics relating to our conference and the impact of the student-athletes.  CAA Senior Associate Commissioner Kathleen Batterson opened a discussion about sportsmanship, which was followed by a presentation by CAA Director of Communications Niki DeSantis about what the Communications Department accomplishes on a daily basis.  CAA Intern for Compliance and Administration Marisa Biggins shared with the student-athletes the duties of her daily job at the conference office and post-graduate opportunities at the CAA headquarters. 

The conference began its close on Sunday with a special keynote speaker, Nancy Lieberman. Lieberman, an Old Dominion alumni and former women's basketball student-athlete, spoke to all the participants about leadership and stressed the importance for the participants to "accept all challenges put in front you," while giving examples from her own experiences.  Later on that afternoon, the participants completed their color team assignments with learning how to goal set and wrapped up the conference as the participants said their "See You Laters" to their color teams and new friends as they headed back to their campuses as future leaders.


2009 NCAA DIVISION I LEADERSHIP CONFERENCE CAA ATTENDEES

Name

Title

School

Bryan Vitagliano

Assistant Men's Soccer Coach

University of Delaware

Meredith Rubin

Student-Athlete/ W. Rowing

University of Delaware

Andrew Unthank

Student-Athlete/ M. Lacrosse

University of Delaware

Kathy O'Brian

Asst. Dir. of Academics and Student Services

Drexel University

Katrina Gaudier

Student-Athlete/ Softball

Drexel University

Justin Hummel

Student-Athlete/ M. Lacrosse

Drexel University

Nena Rogers

Life Skills Coordinator

George Mason University

Joseph Norton

Student-Athlete/ M. Volleyball

George Mason University

Lindsay Gray

Student-Athlete/ W.Tennis

George Mason University

Dominique Holloman

Assistant Director of Compliance

Georgia State University

Brittany Graham

Student-Athlete/ W. Basketball

Georgia State University

Bradley Logan

Student-Athlete/ Baseball

Georgia State University

Thomas Shifflet

Head Wrestling Coach

Hofstra University

Steve Bonanno

Student-Athlete/ Wrestling

Hofstra University

Candice Bellocchio

Student-Athlete/ W. Basketball

Hofstra University

Alise Svihla

Academic Advisor

James Madison University

Raymond Brown

Student-Athlete/ Football

James Madison University

Ida Donner

Student-Athlete/ W. Tennis

James Madison University

Rodney Young

Academic Support Coordinator

University of North Carolina-Wilmington

John Dillashaw

Student-Athlete/ M. Track and Field

University of North Carolina-Wilmington

Jessica Cohen

Student-Athlete/ W. Basketball

University of North Carolina-Wilmington

Taryn Provencher

Asst. Dir., Compliance & Student-Ath. Welfare

Northeastern University

Erika Smotrycz

Student-Athlete/ Swimming & Diving

Northeastern University

Jonathan Hall

Student-Athlete/ M. Track and Field

Northeastern University

Margie Tversky

Associate Director for Student Services

Towson University

Matt Hanzsche

Student-Athlete/  M. Lacrosse

Towson University

Tara Okusaga

Student-Athlete/ W. Track and Field

Towson University

Alisha Childress

Life Skills Coordinator

Virginia Commonwealth University

Joseph Edwards

Student-Athlete/ M. Track and Field

Virginia Commonwealth University

Christina Costello

Student-Athlete/ W. Cross Country

Virginia Commonwealth University

Chelsey Pryor

Athletics Business Manager

William & Mary

Ashley Williams

Student-Athlete/ W. Track and Field

William & Mary

Kevin Alas

Student-Athlete/ Baseball

William & Mary

Kathleen Batterson

Senior Associate Commissioner

CAA

Marisa Biggins

Compliance and Administrative Intern

CAA

Niki DeSantis

Director of Communications

CAA