NEW LONDON, Conn.—Anna Maria College Athletic Director Laura Habacker and head coaches Samantha Shomo, volleyball, and Chelsea Korp, softball, attended the fifth annual Women’s LeadHERship Symposium on Tuesday, January 19th at the Coast Guard Academy.
Following a welcome address by Tim Fitzpatrick, Coast Guard Academy Director of Athletics and Captain Melissa L. Rivera, Coast Guard Academy Commandant of Cadets, the LeadHERship Symposium got underway with the keynote address by Penn State Athletic Director Sandy Barbour.
“Any time that you have an opportunity to bring women together where we can share and all learn from one another is always important,” said Barbour in her keynote. “We all have something to learn from each other, particularly younger women coming into intercollegiate athletics. They have an opportunity to learn from shared experiences and get exposed to things that they might not even have known were available to them. Only good things happen from events like this.”
“Barbour’s keynote was the highlight of the day,” said Shomo. “She has accomplished so much in her career and there was so much to take away from her experiences.”
The symposium also featured a coaches panel with Nancy Stevens, head field hockey coach at UConn; Robin Salters, head volleyball coach at the University of New Haven and Jill Cook, head swimming and diving coach at Western Connecticut.
An administrators panel featured Susan Bassett, Director of Athletics at Ithaca; Kelly Mehrtens, Deputy Athletics Director and COO at the University of Maryland and Christine Lowthert, Associate Director of Athletics & Recreation at Assumption College.
“An event like this is so important,” said Habacker. “Listening to these veteran female administrators is a great opportunity. They’ve struggled through things I struggle with, and they’ve accomplished things I’d like to accomplish.”
The 100+ attendees closed out the symposium with three breakout sessions in the afternoon.
Habacker concluded, “It’s rewarding to see our young coaches learn and network with one another. Both Chelsea and Sam were among coaches new and old, experienced and fresh. In the breakout sessions, they had the chance to listen to new perspectives from other female coaches.”
To see more from the LeadHERship Symposium visit the online photo gallery.