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Leading A Historic Rivalry With Harvard’s Erin McDermott & Yale’s Vicky Chun

Guest Erin McDermott, Harvard; Vicky Chun, Yale
14:01 min watch


Harvard’s John D. Nichols ’53 Family Director of Athletics Erin McDermott and Yale’s Thomas A. Beckett Director of Athletics Vicky Chun set their differences aside to join ADU’s Steph Garcia Cichosz at the annual Women Leaders Convention for a discussion about leading one of the country’s oldest rivalries. McDermott and Chun talk about maintaining their friendship throughout various career stops and now as athletic directors, how they recruit administrators to the Ivy League, what types of mental health resources they’re providing for their departments and how their student-athletes are tapping into their entrepreneurial spirit to engage with NIL. The pair also share their favorite thing about visiting one another’s campuses and why it’s so important to lift up women in the industry— even a rival.

The conversation is indexed below for efficient viewing (click the time stamp to jump to a specific question/topic).

  • - Harvard versus Yale is a historic rivalry - how can you keep it civil during this conversation?
  • - How have you kept your friendship going throughout your different career stops and now as "rivals"?
  • - How do you translate the aspiration and hustle of your campus culture into the fabric of your athletic departments?
  • - What are some unique opportunities for your department when your athletes and coaches don't have to worry about athletic scholarships?
  • - How do you define fit when hiring administrators?
  • - Harvard and Yale both have entrepreneurial spirits - are you seeing that translate into NIL activities for your student-athletes?
  • - How are Harvard and Yale addressing mental health and wellness concerns for your student-athletes? 
  • - What is something you enjoy about visiting one another's campuses?