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Student-Facing Leadership With Fordham’s Makini Thompson & Missouri’s Rachel Blunt

Guest Makini Thompson, Fordham; Rachel Blunt, Missouri
24:39 min watch


Fordham Senior Executive Associate AD for Student-Athlete Welfare & Competitive Excellence/SWA Makini Thompson and Missouri Senior Associate AD of Student-Athlete Development & Championship Performance/SWA Rachel Blunt sit down with ADU’s Steph Garcia Cichosz at the 2022 Women Leaders Convention to reflect on their student-athlete experiences and discuss how their departments seek to provide world-class service for their student-athlete constituents. The duo dive into issues of gender and sport equity, NIL, the increasing use of technology and data in college athletics and how the industry can best incorporate the student-athlete voice into the governance process.

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

  • - You were both student-athletes; what is something about the student-athlete experience that athletic administrators need to understand to be effective at this work?
  • - How do you manage the widening gap between your duties as a senior-level administrator and face-to-face connection with student-athletes?
  • - What metrics does your organization tap into to gauge student-athlete wellbeing and satisfaction?
  • - How do you ensure that you're communicating any informal feedback you get from student-athletes up to your AD?
  • - How are your organizations continuously addressing any questions of equity - between genders and across sports programs?
  • - What advice do you have for administrators who are the only person in their department thinking about equity? 
  • - What are some tangible ways that we can incorporate the student-athlete voice into the decision-making process?
  • - How are you, as a senior leader, staying engaged with the increasing use of data and technology in college athletics?
  • - How are you seeing NIL impact your student-athletes from a performance and mental health standpoint?
  • - If NIL was in place when you were a student-athlete, how would you be engaging with it?