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What Year One As An AD Is Really Like With Drexel’s Maisha Kelly

Guest Maisha Kelly, Drexel
17:09 min watch


Drexel Director of Athletics Maisha Kelly sits down with ADU’s Steph Garcia Cichosz at the annual Women Leaders Convention to celebrate her first year leading the Dragons. Kelly, who kicked off her tenure as AD with a letter to the city of Philadelphia for ADU, reflects on her early administrative wins and shares how she’s adjusted to the pace of being an AD by establishing cultural buy-in from staff and cultivating key organizational relationships across campus.

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

  • - Philadelphia is home for you - how are you experiencing the city from this new lens as Drexel's AD?
  • - How did you know you were ready to be an athletic director?
  • - How have you made the shift from short-term planning to long-term strategic thinking?
  • - As a new leader, how did you establish buy-in with existing staff, coaches and student-athletes?
  • - What was the moment when the rose-colored glasses came off and you had to make your first tough decision?
  • - What were some of your early external wins?
  • - What did you learn through the process of making your first administrative hire?
  • - What did you learn from your first coaching hires?
  • - What is something about athletic administration that would have surprised you to know as a student-athlete?
  • - What does work-life balance look like for you now?
  • - What advice would you give yourself on Day One of being an AD?