PAINESVILLE, OHIO – Lake Erie College junior Liz Stephens (North Royalton, Ohio/North Royalton) has been selected to participate in the 2011 NCAA Career in Sports Forum in Indianapolis, Ind. June 12-15, 2011. A two-sport performer at Lake Erie, Stephens was one of 303 student-athletes selected to participate in the forum from a pool over 1,100 nominations.
"I am so surprised, but really honored and excited to be selected," Stephens, who plays basketball and lacrosse for the Storm, said. "This is going to be a really great opportunity and hopefully an amazing experience."
The NCAA Career in Sports Forum is a four-day event through which selected student-athletes will explore and be educated on careers in sports, with a primary focus on intercollegiate athletics. Through the use of dual tracks, participants will examine the key functions of a coach or administrator within sports.
Stephens will be participating in the basketball coaching track, where she will learn a realistic view of the role of a coach in collegiate athletics and examine the viability of selecting coaching as a career. The coaching tract will also include foundational skills of the administrator tract including, but not limited to: academics, communications, compliance, development, event management, marketing, etc.
"By selecting the coaching tract, I feel I am really getting the 'best of both worlds' because it also includes several elements of the administrative aspect," Stephens, a marketing and business administration double major, said. "There are so many more opportunities within college athletics not just coaching, which I've always had an interest in, but in positions related to marketing, business, sales and sponsorship, travel and other areas I am interested in."
As a high school student in 2007, Stephens had the opportunity to attend a "Women in Sports" leadership conference held in conjunction with the Women's Final Four in Cleveland. The event featured several of the leading female college coaches and administrators, most notably University of Tennessee Women's Athletic Director Joan Cronan.
"It was fantastic to be able to attend that event and listen to many of the female leaders and pioneers in intercollegiate athletics. To hear about their challenges, successes and struggles," Stephens said. "Since then, I've continually considered a career in college coaching or administration as a professional option."
One of the tools Stephens learned about at that 2007 event, and one she is truly excited about this summer, is networking.
"Getting to know a lot of athletes in the area during that event was wonderful," she said. "But now, I'll have the opportunity to meet athletes from all over the country, in every NCAA Division and from nearly every sport. I am not only excited to learn about them, but also to share about 'us'."
"As a new member of the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference and to Division II, this will be a great chance for me to represent Lake Erie College and Storm Athletics and get our name and brand out there. It's something I am really looking forward to."
Stephens, who prior to the conference will spend several weeks in Germany as part of the Lake Erie study abroad program, will be writing a blog from Indianapolis throughout the NCAA Career in Sports Forum on www.LakeErieStorm.com
For more information on the NCAA Career in Sports Forum, click here.