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Inclusion and Innovation at Grand Valley Athletics

Joe

Experience Information

Employer: Grand Valley Athletics
Job Title: Intern
Major: Sports Leadership
Received Credit?: Yes
Paid?: No

Description of the Organization

Grand Valley State Athletics is one of the top Division II Athletic Programs in the nation. Grand Valley State University won its eighth straight Director's Cup in 2010-11 staking a claim as the top all-around athletic department in the country.

Description of the Tasks/Projects Completed

As a intern for the athletic department under Associate Athletic Director Keri Becker, I was fortunate to work on several great projects. One of which was the new transgender student-athlete policy that Grand Valley has created for the upcoming year. I was in charge of preparing a presentation to the entire coaching staff to educate them on the new policy. This was extremely informative and I learned so much about inclusion in athletics. Grand Valley has shown that they pride themselves on being proactive and not reactive. I also have been working on the "ooVoo Champion Project". The purpose of the project is to further help student-athletes meet their obligations as students as well as athletes. The project allows student-athletes to have class recorded that they miss due to travel and watch them on their own time. The program reinforces that Grand Valley's student-athletes are truly students first, athletes second and further ensure we are "creating the best learning environment possible".

Skills/Knowledge Gained Through The Experience

I learned about issues surrounding athletics that I never thought of before. Working on the transgender student-athlete policy was a real cool experience. This internship has further strengthened my communication skills and has given me the opportunity to show what I have learned in the classroom and apply it to an actual job setting.

Favorite Part of the Experience

My favorite part of my internship was working on the ooVoo Champion Project. I was able to work on this project from the very beginning and begin to see it's benefits starting this Fall semester when it is implemented as a pilot program.

How the Experience Influenced Future Career Goals

This internship has helped me realize that I would like to work in higher education. I am very interested in LGBT inclusion in athletics and the college environment is a great avenue to work on these issues. I am also interested in academic advising and working with student-athletes.

All opinions, conclusions or recommendations expressed are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of GVSU.

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