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Students

On-campus masters students

Meet the Center for Sport Leadership at VCU on-campus class of 2018:

Gillian

Gillian Abshire

Undergraduate Institution: Quinnipiac University
Graduate Assistantship: VCU Women’s Basketball

Gillian Abshire was born in Colorado Springs, CO, and, after living four years in Naples, Italy, was raised in Washington, DC. She graduated from Our Lady of Good Counsel High School, where she played on both the soccer and basketball team, and earned an athletic scholarship to play basketball for Quinnipiac University. Gillian was Quinnipiac’s starting point guard for four years, during all of the team’s 134 games, and was the team captain for three years. While at Quinnipiac, Gillian helped lead the Bobcats to win two NCAA Division 1 Conference Championships, their first ever appearance in the NCAA Tournament, two undefeated seasons in conference games, and post-season play for all four of her years on the team. After earning a Bachelor of Arts degree in Criminal Justice at Quinnipiac, Gillian went on to play professional basketball for two years in Denmark, where she helped Virum win the 2017 Denmark National Championship. She was named the 2017 Denmark Championship MVP. Gillian is now preparing for a career in coaching, and is Graduate Assistant for VCU’s Women’s Basketball team. Contact Gillian at abshiregi@mymail.vcu.edu .


Christian

Christian Beyer

Undergraduate Institution: Virginia Tech
Graduate Assistantship: Richmond Flying Squirrels Corporate Sales

Christian Beyer was born and raised in Chesterfield, Virginia where he graduated from Cosby High School in 2010. He graduated from Virginia Tech in 2015 with Bachelor’s Degrees in Management and Psychology. In addition to being a student in the Center for Sport Leadership, Christian is also pursuing his MBA in VCU’s School of Business. Christian is currently working in the Corporate Sales Department for the Richmond Flying Squirrels as a graduate assistant and aims to pursue a career in Major League Baseball following graduation from VCU. Contact Christian at beyercg@vcu.edu.


Benjamin

Benjamin Blumenthal

Undergraduate Institution: Longwood University
Graduate Assistantship: VCU Athletic Communications

Born and raised in McLean, Virginia, Ben graduated from Longwood University in 2016 with a Bachelor of Arts in Communication Studies. While at Longwood, Ben was a member of the campus radio station, contributed to the school newspaper, and played club Ultimate. As a senior, Ben worked with J Alexander Sports and Entertainment as a Public Relations Intern. He also interned with Longwood’s television broadcast studio. After graduation Ben spent a year with Verizon’s Digital Media Services department as a Live-Event Operator streaming live sporting events. Ben is currently a graduate assistant for VCU’s office of athletic communication. He hopes to pursue a career in professional sports. Contact Ben at blumenthalbe@vcu.edu .


Andrew

Andrew Brandt

Undergraduate: Ithaca College
Graduate Assistantship: VCU Ram Athletic Fund

Originally from Philadelphia, Andrew is a 2016 graduate of Ithaca College with a degree in sports management. While there, he played varsity men’s basketball team for two years and was also a member of the men’s track and field team, competing in two indoor seasons, three outdoor seasons and earning NCAA Division III All-American Honors in the High Jump. After graduating, Andrew served as a ticket office intern at Villanova University where he oversaw day-to-day ticketing operations. He also fulfilled ticketing requests for Men’s & Women’s Basketball, Football and Men’s Lacrosse. After graduation from the CSL, Andrew wants to continue his career within collegiate athletics. Contact Andrew at brandtal@vcu.edu.


Reinaldo

Reinaldo Brenes

Undergraduate Institution: The University of Akron
Graduate Assistantship: VCU Men’s Soccer Team

Born and raised in San Jose, Costa Rica, Reinaldo spent his last two years of high school at IMG Academies in Bradenton, Florida. Later he went to The University of Akron where in 2015 he graduate Magna Cum Laude with a bachelor’s of business administration in International Business and a minor in Human Resource Management. Reinaldo was a member of the men’s soccer team at Akron from 2010 through 2013, where every year they won both the Mid Atlantic Conference (MAC) regular season title as well as the MAC tournament title, for exception of 2011 where they won the regular season but lost in the semifinals of the tournament. He was part of the 2010 NCAA Division I soccer national title team. In 2013 he earned NSCAA/Continental Tire NCAA Division I Men’s Soccer and Scholar All-America. Reinaldo was drafted by MLS Sporting Kansas in 2014, and went on to play professional soccer in Costa Rica for two and half years. Right now he will be working with the VCU Men’s Soccer team hoping to share his experiences and help with the development of a great group of young athletes. Contact Reinaldo at brenesra@vcu.edu .


Jackson

Jackson Clark

Undergraduate Institution: Longwood University
Graduate Assistantship: VCU Athletics Ticket Office

Jackson was born and raised in Lynchburg, Virginia where he graduated from Brookville High School in 2013. Jackson graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Kinesiology with a focus in Exercises Science from Longwood University. While at Longwood, Jackson interned under their Sports Performance team serving as head strength coach for the cheerleading team and assistant strength coach for woman’s lacrosse and baseball. He also worked for campus recreation as the Secretary and did community outreach for the Sports Club Council. During the last two years at Longwood, he worked for American Sled Dogs as a personal trainer. Jackson is certified through the American College of Sports Medicine as an Exercise Physiologist. Jackson is excited about the opportunity to work as a graduate assistant in the VCU athletics ticket office to learn more about sport management. Contact Jackson at clarkjd9@mymail.vcu.edu .


Racheed

Racheed Davis

Undergraduate Institution: Virginia Commonwealth University
Graduate Assistantship: VCU Athletics Marketing

Racheed Davis is from Virginia Beach, Virginia, where he went to Ocean Lakes High School. He graduated from VCU in May of 2017 where he received his bachelor’s degree in psychology with a minor in general business. While attending VCU, Racheed was also a four-year student-athlete with the Men’s Track and Field team, where he earned the Iron Ram Award and Certificate for Outstanding Leadership his senior year. Additionally, before graduating he also worked as a facility manager at the campus recreational center. Racheed now currently works as a graduate assistant with the VCU Athletics Marketing department, where his main focuses are group sales and game day promotions with an emphasis on promoting fan attendance and enhancing the fan experience. He comes to the CSL with interests in becoming a Marketing Director on the collegiate level. Contact Racheed at davisrc2@vcu.edu .


Sean

Sean Dean

Undergraduate Institution: Christopher Newport University
Graduate Assistantship: Richmond Kickers

A Charlottesville, VA native, Sean Dean graduated from Christopher Newport University with a Bachelors Degree in English with a concentration in writing in 2016. Dean held a number of positions on campus such as Executive VP of Student Government, Orientation Leader, Resident Assistant, and Program Director for Intramural Soccer during his four years at CNU. While seeking his Master’s Degree through the Center for Sport Leadership, he will be working with the Richmond Kickers, a second division professional soccer team, in the hopes of pursuing a career in the front office of a top soccer club either abroad or in the states. Contact Sean at deansm3@vcu.edu .


Cameran

Cameran Garland

Undergraduate Institution: Virginia Commonwealth University
Graduate Assistantship: VCU Equipment

Born and Raised in Chester Virginia, Cameran attended Virginia Commonwealth University and graduated in 2017 receiving a degree in Mass Communications with a concentration in Public Relations with a business minor. During undergrad, she worked in facilities and event management as a student worker. During her time at VCU she had the opportunity to work with the Flying Squirrels, Redskins, Richmond Rough Raiders, as well as organize events for the Robertson School of Media and Culture. Cameran is currently completing her graduate assistantship with equipment. After completion of the CSL program, she looks forward to pursing a career in Operations or Community Relations for a professional sports team. Contact Cameran at garlandcn@vcu.edu .


Xavia

Xavia Gary

Undergraduate Institution: James Madison University
Graduate Assistantship: Athletic Director for Carver College Career Academy

Born and raised in Richmond, Virginia, Xavia Gary is a current CSL graduate student. Xavia graduated from James Madison University with a Bachelor of Science in Sports and Recreation Management and double minors in Business and Human Resource Development in 2015. In the summer of 2015, he completed an internship with the Boys and Girls Clubs of Harrisonburg and Rockingham County as a Spark Instructor and Assistant Director for the Teen Center. This past year, Xavia served as the first Engagement Fellow for the Valley Scholars Program at JMU. Xavia is currently the high school Athletic Director for Carver College and Career Academy in Chester, Virginia. Upon earning his Master of Education, Xavia plans to start a non-profit that focuses on the transition of students to life after high school, while serving as a high school Athletic Director. Contact Xavia at xagary@vcu.edu .


Erik

Erik Henderson

Undergraduate Institution: Virginia Commonwealth University
Graduate Assistantship: Randolph Macon College Athletics Department

Born and raised in the Nations Capital Washington D.C. Erik Henderson graduated in 2017 from Virginia Commonwealth University with a Bachelors Degree in Health Science with a concentration in Exercise Science. As a student, Erik has held various reputable internships. Such as, Bon Secours Washington Redskins Training Camp and Select Physical Therapy Rehab Center. Erik's passion has led him to volunteer his services at the YMCA of Greater Richmond in which he works with the kids and officiates their youth soccer league. Currently Erik is completing his Graduate Assistantship at Randolph Macon College in the Athletics Department. Erik has a passion in helping other's and intends to pursue a career after graduation of the CSL program, specifically within the field of Athletics as an Athletic Director or Coach. Contact Erik at hendersoned2@vcu.edu .


Dominic

Dominic Hoffman

Undergraduate Institution: Bucknell University
Graduate Assistantship: VCU Men's Basketball

Coming to Richmond by way of New Jersey, Dominic Hoffman graduated from Bucknell University in 2016 with a bachelor's degree in English and being a four-year contributor to the Men's Basketball. In his time at Bucknell, Dominic played in 117 games and assisted in winning three Patriot League regular season championships, one Patriot League tournament championship, two NIT appearances and one NCAA Tournament appearance. Upon graduating, Dominic spent one year as the Director of Player Development for the men's basketball team at Rider University. While at Rider, he assisted in the organization and administrative duties of a Division 1 basketball team while also working closely with the players on and off the court. Dominic comes to VCU and the CSL program to further his education, build relationships with the VCU Men's Basketball team, learn from the current coaching staff on how to run and operate a high level program, and the aspirations of becoming a Division 1 basketball head coach. Contact Dom at hoffmandj@vcu.edu .


Anthony

Anthony Horn

Undergraduate Institution: University of Wisconsin-Madison
Graduate Assistantship: Intramural Sports at VCU RecSports

Born and raised in Wauwatosa, WI, Anthony graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2017 with a Bachelor of Science in Economics and a certificate in leadership. While pursuing a degree, Anthony worked as a student supervisor and lead for the intramural sports department at Wisconsin. Anthony was responsible for hiring, training, scheduling, and evaluating student officials. He was also responsible for scheduling leagues and tournaments and acting as a direct liaison between the intramural sports participants and the professional staff. Here at VCU, Anthony is a Graduate Assistant for the intramural sports department and is excited to start building relationships and training new student officials. Outside of school and work, Anthony is a state certified High School basketball official. He hopes to one day officiate Division-I college basketball. Contact Anthony at hornae@vcu.edu .


Charlie

Charlie Hurd

Undergraduate Institution: Texas A&M University – Corpus Christi
Graduate Assistantship: VCU Men’s Basketball

Charlie Hurd was born and raised in Houston, TX. He graduated from Texas A&M University – Corpus Christi in 2013 with a degree in Kinesiology: Emphasis in Exercise Science. He was also a point guard for the Islanders during his tenure at the university. Charlie got his coaching start while at A&M Corpus Christi serving as the team’s video coordinator for one year. After graduation, Charlie moved back to Houston to work for John Lucas Enterprises where he was a player development instructor working with several high profile NBA and college athletes. Charlie was also a talent scout for John Lucas’s nationwide invitation only basketball camps. In addition to his work with John Lucas, Charlie was a high school coach at Westbury Christian School from 2013-2015. In his two years at Westbury Christian they won the state championship twice. Charlie also coached travel basketball for the Nike sponsored program Houston Hoops where he would go on to coach and recruit several Division I players. Charlie hopes to one day become a head basketball coach. Contact Charlie at hurdcw@vcu.edu.


Tamika

Tamika Jones

Undergraduate Institution: North Carolina State University 

Graduate Assistantship: University of Richmond Recreation and Wellness

Born and raised in Magnolia, Delaware, Tamika Jones graduated in 2015 from North Carolina State University with a Bachelor of Science in Sport Management and a minor in Business Administration. As a student she held various positions within the University Recreation department, interned with a NASL soccer club formerly known as Carolina RailHawks FC and in the Sport Information department at Shaw University. After graduating from NC State, Tamika worked at Triangle Sports and Social Club before entering the Center for Sport Leadership program. Currently she is a Facility Supervisor and working with Sport Clubs, Marketing and the budget coordinator at the University of Richmond in the Weinstein Center. Contact Tamika at jonestl25@vcu.edu .


Thomas

Thomas Koller

Undergraduate Institution: Penn State University
Graduate Assistantship: VCU Recreational Sports - Aquatics

From Lancaster, PA, Thomas Koller studied Recreation, Park and Tourism Management at Penn State University. During his time in State College, he committed his time in student affairs working as a New Student Orientation Leader and volunteering as a student ambassador. He served on the executive board as an ambassador as well as the Campus Recreation Student Advisory Board that guided decisions for the $12 million facilities development project. While pursuing his degree, Thomas worked with Penn State Campus Recreation as a Lifeguard Instructor teaching American Red Cross first responder classes. In the summer, Thomas commits himself to emergency preparedness and public service in the Outer Banks with Corolla Beach Rescue. Some of his hobbies include distance running, swimming, cycling and lacrosse. Thomas is honored to continue his work in water safety and facility managements as the Graduate Assistant of Aquatics for VCU Recreational Sports. Contact Thomas at kollert@vcu.edu .


Demitri

Demitri Lahanas

Undergraduate Institution: East Stroudsburg University
Graduate Assistantship: VCU Recreational Sports

Demitri Lahanas was born and raised in Allentown, Pennsylvania. He graduated from East Stroudsburg University in May 2017 with a Bachelor of Science in Sport Management and a minor is Sport Psychology. Throughout Demitri’s undergrad, he held a number of internships at the likes of the University of Oregon and Florida Gulf Coast University, all in the department of Campus Recreation. Demitri spent all five years as a student working with ESU’s Recreational staff in various positions prior to attending VCU. Currently, Demitri is a Facilities Graduate Assistant at VCU Recreational Sports. Upon culmination of the Sport Leadership degree, Demitri plans to pursue a career with collegiate recreation or with a collegiate athletics program. Contact Demitri at lahanasdm@vcu.edu .


Aura-Maria

Aura-Maria Laukkanen

Undergraduate Institution: Averett University
Graduate Assistantship: VCU Sport Operations

A Finnish native, Aura-Maria Laukkanen graduated from Averett University in December 2016 with a Bachelor’s degree in Sports Management. She transferred to Averett University from Pajulahti Sports Institute in 2014. During her time at Averett, she served as an administrative intern for the athletic department. Prior coming to the United States, Aura-Maria worked for the Finnish League ice hockey team where she was a part of the game day operations staff. She also volunteered for the Finnish Ice Hockey Association where she had the opportunity to be a member in the tournament assistant team for multiple tournaments including the Ice Hockey World Championships in 2012 and 2013. Aura-Maria is currently a graduate assistant for the VCU Sport Operations and upon graduation will continue to pursue a career in professional ice hockey administration. Contact Aura-Maria at laukkanenam@vcu.edu .


Ryan

Ryan Leary

Undergraduate Institution: University of Kansas
Graduate Assistantship: VCU Volleyball

Ryan Leary was born and raised in Lawrence, Kansas. In December of 2016 Ryan graduated from the University of Kansas with a Bachelor's of Science in Sport Management with a minor in Business. While at Kansas, Ryan served as the Head Student Manager for the Women's Volleyball program under head coach Ray Bechard. Ryan was an integral part of the Kansas Volleyball program for four years, assisting in team logistics, equipment operations, and facilities management, as well as assisting in the running of the first two rounds of the NCAA Tournament (2013-2016). Ryan also served as the Co-Director of Ray Bechard Volleyball Camps. During his time with Kansas Volleyball he experienced the team’s first ever trip to the NCAA Final Four (2015), as well as the team’s first Big 12 Championship (2016). Ryan is currently serving as the Graduate Assistant for VCU Volleyball. Upon graduation from CSL Ryan plans to pursue a career in division one athletics. Contact Ryan at learyrm@vcu.edu .


Tony

Tony Lee

Undergraduate Institution: Troy University
Graduate Assistantship: VCU Athletics-Sales and Development/Ram Athletic Fund

Tony L. Lee hails from Boaz, AL. In 2016, he graduated from Troy University in Troy, AL, with a Criminal Justice major, and a minor in Military Science. Tony is also a 20-year Army Veteran who retired in June 2016. Over his time spent in the military, Tony deployed twice to Iraq from January 2005-06 and March 2007-June 2008 as well as Korea 2003-04 and then again 2014-15. He also enjoyed playing basketball for over ten years while in the Army. When he was not deployed, he spent his free time refereeing and umpiring High School Sports in Alabama, Georgia, and Virginia. Currently, Tony is a graduate assistant in the development/sales department of VCU Athletics and has the professional goals of pursuing a career as an athletic director. Contact Tony at leetl2@vcu.edu.


Andy

Andy Lohman

Undergraduate Institution: James Madison University
Graduate Assistantship: VCU Athletics Communications

A native of Manassas, Va., Andy Lohman graduated Cum Laude from James Madison University with a Bachelors of Science in Sport and Recreation Management and minors in Business and Sport Communication in May 2016. After graduation, he spent a year as the JMU Athletics Communications Assistant, serving as the primary Sports Information Director for baseball, men’s soccer, women’s track & field, and cross country. Andy also worked with men’s and women’s basketball, and served as the tertiary contact for football. As a student, Andy worked in JMU’s athletics communications office, was a broadcaster for men’s and women’s soccer games, and coached youth soccer for Shenandoah Valley United. Andy intends to pursue a career as a content creator for a professional sports team. He is currently the graduate assistant for VCU Athletics Communications, serving as the contact for men’s and women’s tennis, with an emphasis on writing feature stories for the department. Contact Andy at lohmanar@vcu.edu.


Daryl

Daryl Monfils

Undergraduate Institution: VCU
Graduate Assistantship: VCU Student Athletes Support services

International student from Paris, France. Daryl Monfils began to study in France and came in the United States to live a new experience. Daryl graduated from VCU in May 2017 with a Degree in Sociology. While at VCU, Daryl won one time the A10 conference title, was named 2 times first time in single with VCU men's tennis. He also was ranked number 52 in the country at the best with his double partner. Daryl is currently the graduate assistant for VCU’s Student Athlete Support Services, where he assists the Academic Advisors and the Tutor Coordinator. After graduation, Daryl hopes to work in the professional tennis field but still open minded for any opportunities to gain experience. Contact Daryl at monfilsd@vcu.edu.


Lamont

Lamont Moore

Undergraduate Institution: Randolph-Macon College
Graduate Assistantship: VCU Men’s Basketball

Lamont Moore was born and raised in Waverly, Virginia where he graduated from Tidewater Academy in 2012. In 2016, Lamont graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics/Business from Randolph-Macon College. While at R-MC, Lamont was a four-year athlete on the men’s basketball team, receiving All-Conference Honors and All-Academic Honors, also served as team captain his senior year. For the past year, Lamont worked as a substitute teacher for Chesterfield County Public Schools and was head coach for the JV boy’s basketball team at James River High School. Lamont is excited about the opportunity to work as a graduate assistant coach for the VCU men’s basketball team this season. Contact Lamont at mooredl7@vcu.edu .


Adam

Adam Richardson

Undergraduate Degree: Wake Forest University
Graduate Assistantship: VCU Athletics Compliance Office

Born and raised in Richmond, Virginia, Adam graduated cum laude from Wake Forest University in 2016 with Bachelor of Arts degrees in History and Religion. While at Wake Forest, he worked with the football team as a student recruiting assistant for three years. For the past year, he worked as a legal recruiter in New York City before making his way back home to VCU to pursue his master’s degree. While enrolled in CSL he will serve as the Graduate Manager for the VCU Athletics Compliance Office. He hopes to continue a career in compliance following graduation and ultimately plans to pursue his J.D. Contact Adam at richardsonac@mymail.vcu.edu .


Alieh

Alieh Shaban

Undergraduate Institution: University of Mary Washington
Graduate Assistantship: Virginia Commonwealth University Ticket Office

Alieh Shaban was born and raised in Ashburn, Virginia where she graduated from Stone Bridge High School in 2013. In 2017, Alieh graduated with a Bachelors of Science degree in Economics from The University of Mary Washington. While at Mary Washington, Alieh was a four-year manager on the men’s varsity soccer team and was the founder of their Instagram and social media campaign. Alieh had a 6-month internship with VYSA and played a big role in the planning and operating of the Region I tournament for youth soccer. Alieh is excited about the opportunity to work as a graduate assistant in the VCU Ticket Office. Contact Alieh at shabanar2@vcu.edu .


Jake

Jake Sidwell

Undergraduate Institution: Davidson College
Graduate Assistantship: VCU Baseball

Jake was born and raised in Orlando, FL. He played three years of varsity baseball at his high school, serving as a team captain in his senior year. Jake graduated from Davidson College in 2017 with a Bachelor of Science in Physics. At Davidson, he was voted a two-year captain on the baseball team and was a member of the Atlantic 10 championship team in 2017, helping Davidson secure its first NCAA tournament berth ever. As a catcher, he was a Gold Glove finalist his senior year. Jake is currently serving as a student manager with the baseball team at VCU. He hopes to continue his coaching career and one day open a non-profit organization that uses sports as a tool to reach out to children in underprivileged communities. Contact Jake at sidwelljr@vcu.edu .


Jamaal

Jamaal Stokes

Undergraduate Institution: Miles College
Graduate Assistantship: VCU Men’s Basketball

Jamaal Stokes was born and raised in Birmingham, Alabama. Jamaal graduated from Central Park Christian School where he was a three-year varsity basketball player amassing a 91-1 record and one NACA National Championship. His junior and senior seasons at Central Park Christian School the basketball team spent a week in Germany playing exhibition basketball games and touring the country. Jamaal was member of the 2009 Wiley College Men’s basketball and track teams. Jamaal was also a volunteer assistant coach at Central Park Christian School for the 2016-2017 basketball season where he helped them achieve a 19-7 record for the season. After taking a hiatus from college studies he returned to obtain his Bachelor of Science degree in Biology from Miles College in June 2017. Jamaal is currently a men’s basketball graduate assistant here at Virginia Commonwealth University. His goal is to become a NCAA Division 1 head basketball coach. Contact Jamaal at stokesjd@vcu.edu.


Samuel

Samuel Tinkham

Undergraduate Institution: Grinnell College
Graduate Assistantship: VCU Baseball

A Newington, Connecticut native, Sam Tinkham graduated from Grinnell College in 2016 with a Bachelor of the Arts in History and a secondary education teaching license. At Grinnell, Sam was a four-year member of the baseball team, where he served as a two-time team captain. During his senior year, the team started off 26-4 in route to a program best 30-8 record, good for an appearance in the Division 3 Top 25 Poll. On April 11, 2016 Tinkham was named National Pitcher of the Week after he threw just the second no-hitter in program history. As a player, Tinkham was a two-time All-Conference honoree, an All-Region selection, and ranks within the program’s top five for career wins, strikeouts, and innings pitched. In August 2016, Tinkham joined the Grinnell Baseball coaching staff as their pitching coach, where he coached four All-Conference players. Freshmen pitcher, Sam Lamotte was named Conference rookie of the year under Tinkham’s guidance. He remained there until named Director of Baseball Operations for the VCU baseball team in 2017. He will be completing his graduate assistantship with the team. Contact Sam at tinkhams@vcu.edu.


Jalen

Jalen Upshaw

Undergraduate Institution: Central Michigan University
Graduate Assistantship: VCU Recreational Sports

Jalen Upshaw was born and raised in Detroit, Michigan where he graduated from Harrison High School in 2011. In 2016, Jalen graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Business Management with a Minor in Sports Management and Legal Studies from Central Michigan University. While at Central Michigan, Jalen held multiple positions in Athletics and Recreation. He was a Student Manager for the Men's Basketball Team, a Practice Player with the Women’s Basketball Team, and a Marketing and Promotions Intern in Athletics. He also was a Student Manager for two years at Central Michigan’s Recreation Center, which led him to his internship at UCLA as a Facility Operations and Special Events. He hopes to pursue a career in facility operations and event management after graduating. Currently, Jalen is the Facility Operations and Special Events Graduate Assistant at VCU Recreational Sports. Contact Jalen at jaupshaw@vcu.edu.


Kate

Kate Ward

Undergraduate Institution: Appalachian State University
Graduate Assistantship: VCU Women’s Soccer

Kate Ward was born and raised in Atlanta, Georgia. She attended undergrad at Appalachian State University, where she was also a 4-year member of the women’s soccer team. She graduated Magna Cum Laude in May 2016 with a Bachelor of Science in Cellular Molecular Biology. In 2016, Kate was a volunteer coach at the Atlanta School for the Deaf and St. Pius X Catholic High School in Atlanta. She now coaches at Richmond Strikers and is the graduate assistant for VCU Women’s Soccer. Kate has been a member of the US Deaf Women’s National Team since 2009, co-captain since 2016, and also a member of the US Deaf Soccer board since 2013. She hopes to pursue a coaching career, while also continuing to advocate for disability sports. Contact Kate at wardka3@vcu.edu .


Kayla

Kayla Watts

Undergraduate Institution: Randolph-Macon College
Graduate Assistantship: Athletic Directing at St. Gertrude H.S.

From Woodbridge, Virginia, Kayla Watts received her undergraduate degree from Randolph-Macon College in Sociology and Anthropology with a minor in Communication Studies. During this time, she was the Intramural Supervisor. Upon graduation, Kayla accepted her offer from the Center of Sport Leadership Program at Virginia Commonwealth University in hopes to become a high school or division three athletic director. Kayla is currently partaking in a graduate assistantship with the Saint Gertrude High School Athletic department shadowing the athletic director; where she is also coaching the freshman volleyball team. Kayla also mentors at John Rolfe Middle School with the TEAM EXCEL program, working to help student athletes prepare for the future through school and community service. Contact Kayla at wattske@mymail.vcu.edu .


Courtney

Courtney Zehnter

Undergraduate Institution: Randolph-Macon College
Graduate Assistantship: University of Richmond Women’s Soccer

Courtney Zehnter was born in Charlottesville, Virginia. She began college in 2013 at Randolph Macon. She played soccer all four years while studying biology. She received her BA in biology in May of 2017. While at Macon, Courtney was the assistant coach for St. Gertrude’s high school girls’ soccer team. In the summer of 2017, she started a camp at Richmond Strikers for children 2-4 to come learn the basics of soccer in a fun way with their parent or guardian. Currently, Courtney is the graduate assistant for the University of Richmond women’s soccer team. She hopes to coach at the collegiate level, as well as develop a program for children with Autism and implementing it in the public school system. Contact Courtney at zehnterc@vcu.edu .


PhD Students

Jen

Jennifer Gellock

Jennifer Gellock was born and raised in Westfield, Massachusetts. She earned her bachelor’s degree from The University of Tampa in 2012 in Exercise Science with a concentration in Physical Education. At Tampa she worked with both the women’s basketball team and sports information department as a student assistant. She then continued her education at Saint Leo University earning her Masters of Business Administration with a concentration in Sport Business in 2014, while also serving as the Lion’s assistant women’s basketball coach. While at Saint Leo she helped lead the team to their best record in school history and two first ever appearances in the NCAA Division II Tournament. Also at Saint Leo, Gellock took part as a panel speaker for the Sunshine State Conference Professional Women in College Sports symposium and also attended The Alliance of Women Coaches academy. After receiving her degree, Gellock joined the Student-Athlete Services staff at Central Michigan University as an academic advisor where she worked with both volleyball as well as the track and field programs. She directly oversaw the tutorial program, NCAA Life skills, and ChAMP mentor program. Her time at CMU gave her a hands-on experience that ignited a passion recognizing the importance of student-athlete well being. In conjunction with completing her Ph.D. in Sport Leadership at VCU, Gellock will serve as a Graduate Research and Teaching Assistant to the Center for Sport Leadership faculty and staff. Her professional goals are to become a leading researcher in student-athlete well being and contribute meaningful research for the betterment of student-athlete health and overall collegiate experience.


Chad

Chad Goebert

Originally from Port St. Joe, Florida, Chad is a 1 st year Ph.D. student. He earned his bachelor’s degree from Clearwater Christian College in 2005. After graduating from CCC he began working in sports journalism and high school athletics. In 2010 while working in athletics he earned his MS in Sport Management from Barry University in Miami Shores, Florida. For the past ten years he served as Director of Athletics for two college preparatory schools in Tampa, Florida most recently at Cambridge Christian School. In his time as a NIAAA Certified Athletic Administrator his programs and athletes won multiple, district, regional and state championships. He served in leadership roles as a FHSAA state district coordinator and president of the Bay Conference of schools. While at CCS he utilized technology to enhance programs including implementing athletic event webcasts, social media initiatives and the 1 st virtual reality training program in the state of Florida. His research interests include interscholastic athletic leadership and technology in sports. While pursuing his Ph.D. Goebert will serve as a Graduate Research and Teaching Assistant for the VCU Center for Sport Leadership. After graduating, Chad hopes to become a Professor in a Sport Management program.


Tiesha

Tiesha Martin

Originally from Cary, North Carolina, Tiesha is a second year Ph.D. student with the Center for Sport Leadership. She has earned a Bachelor of Arts in Exercise and Sport Science from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a Master of Science in Exercise Sport Science from East Carolina University. Tiesha’s primary research focus is Sport for Development and Social Change. She is interested in how sport can be used to help solve social issues within underserved communities. During her time at VCU, she has worked with Project P.U.S.H, an international Sport for Development program involving South African coaches. Her other lines of research deal with Community Outreach and Service-learning., and using sport to promote physical activity and other positive health outcomes for low SES individuals. Tiesha has also had experience working in the sport industry as a Community Outreach and Grassroots Marketing Intern for the Carolina Rail hawks, and as the Sport Outreach Coordinator for Hands and Hearts for Haiti. After graduating from the CSL, Tiesha hopes to become a Sport Management Professor.

List of Publications
Martin, T. R., Warner, S. M., & Das, B. M. (2016). Senior games: Service-learning with older adults in a sport setting. Sport Management Education Journal 10, 43-53.

Dlugonski, D., Das, B. M., & Martin, T. R. (2015). Increasing self and collective efficacy for physical activity: Design and rationale of Moms UNITE for Health. Contemporary Clinical Trials 45, 233-238.

Marks, W., Martin, T. R. & Warner, S. M. (2015). To run or not to run? A community in crisis. Case Studies in Sport Management, 4, 21-27.