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Athletes, administrators prepare for leadership forum

Annual conference will bring over 285 college athletes to Baltimore this week

More than 285 NCAA college athletes representing all sports and various campus academic departments will meet Thursday through Sunday in Baltimore for the latest edition of the NCAA Student-Athlete Leadership Forum.

The NCAA leadership development and governance groups at the national office collaborate to host the forum, which also will include 70 athletics administrators, coaches and faculty from colleges and universities. Eighteen administrators and coaches were selected earlier in the year by a committee from the NCAA membership to attend facilitation training in preparation for conducting the curriculum at the forum. 

“The Student-Athlete Leadership Forum is an excellent way to provide student-athletes with a nontraditional form of education that centers on developing them as leaders in their communities and on their campuses, and it ultimately prepares them for life after their collegiate playing days are over,” said Curtis J. Hollomon, NCAA director of leadership development.   

During the forum, the student-athletes will be separated into small teams for projects and discussions. The facilitators lead the teams each day and spur conversations that will help the student-athletes with analytical thinking and ways to address any topics and concerns they may have on issues that impact them on their campuses.

Attendees are scheduled to hear and engage with keynote speakers. Appearing at the November event will be Samantha Peszek, a former NCAA champion in gymnastics at the University of California, Los Angeles, and an Olympic team silver medalist. Peszek currently works as a Pac-12 Conference broadcaster. Also appearing will be Ryan Gilliam, a former football and track and field team member at the University of South Florida, who became a successful entrepreneur and ordained minister.

During the forum, the student-athletes will learn about NCAA governance structures and how committees work and make membership decisions. They’ll also learn more about Student-Athlete Advisory Committees and how impactful they can be at the national, campus and conference levels. SAAC is the voice of the student-athlete within the NCAA governance structure. Student-athletes are encouraged to share their knowledge with the SAAC on their campuses.

Additionally, the student-athletes will participate in a community service project to benefit Baltimore-area children and adults fighting cancer.

NCAA leadership development, located in Indianapolis, coordinates and facilitates education and training for student-athletes, coaches and athletics administrators. The staff annually hosts programs, at little or no cost to members, using expert curriculum designed to enhance the well-being and personal development of college athletes. The staff also provides ongoing education and topical training to athletics professionals who identify and serve student-athlete needs. For more information, visit

NCAA Student-Athlete Leadership Forum facilitators - Baltimore 2016:

Kristen Basu Associate director of strategic communications NCAA
Renee Bostic Director of athletics Medgar Evers
Chelsea Crawford Assistant director of academic and membership affairs NCAA
Danie Daluisio Associate director of compliance Ohio State
Dan Fisher Commissioner Landmark Conference
Ventric Fletcher Academic counselor for football Mississippi State
Amanda Knight Assistant director of athletics for compliance Barry
Goeun Lee Assistant athletics director for compliance Palm Beach Atlantic
Cory McCain Assistant to the athletics director Eureka
Erin Mykleby Assistant athletics director for marketing and fundraising Saint Leo
Cori Pinkett Director of student-athlete development Kansas State
Lamarr Pottinger Director of student-athlete development Old Dominion
Julie Rainey Development and special events intern Minnesota Duluth
Alexiss Robinson Coordinator of diversity and achievement in athletics Immaculata
Trayvean Scott Associate athletics director for compliance Southern University
Reggie Thomas Assistant athletics director for compliance Bethune-Cookman
Sharod Williams Assistant commissioner for strategic communication Conference Carolinas
Kristia Worthy Academic coordinator Michigan State