On-campus masters students

Meet the Center for Sport Leadership at VCU on-campus class of 2019:


Koffi Adakpo

Undergraduate institution: Virginia Commonwealth University
Graduate Assistantship: Ascension Athletes

Didier was born in Togo which is a small country in West Africa and in 2008 he came to the United States. He played 3 years of varsity soccer in high school. In May, 2018 he graduated from VCU as a double major with a bachelor in Business Management and Marketing. Growing up in Togo, Didier dreamed of becoming a professional soccer player and now dream of helping other kids just like him achieve their dream. While enrolled in the CSL program, Didier will also be working as the social media graduate assistant at Ascension Athletes which is an athlete representation firm providing agency services to professional soccer players throughout the United States and Europe.


Adaeze Alaeze-Dimma

Undergraduate institution: Virginia Commonwealth University

Adaeze Alaeze-Dinma, better known as Daisy, was born and raised in Baltimore, Maryland. Daisy is a first-generation Nigerian-American and is the youngest of three. Daisy attended Roland Park Country School in Baltimore, Maryland where she holds the record for the most points scored in school history alongside being a 4x All Metro Player, 2x Fox45 Player of the Week, and a 4x All Conference Player. Daisy committed to VCU and played four years for the Women’s Basketball program where she graduated with a Bachelor’s of Science in Accounting. Daisy scored over 1,000 points in her collegiate career, was named an A-10 All Conference Player in the ‘14-’15 and ’15-’16 seasons. Immediately after her collegiate career, she was offered the opportunity to play Professional Basketball in Vigo, Spain and in Tenerife de Santa Cruz, Spain, Canary Islands for her second year. Daisy is interested in becoming a Wealth Advisor for Professional Athletes. She believes her background in accounting/finance and her professional athletic career alongside with the Center for Sports Leadership graduate program will serve as a great foundation to build on towards her goals of helping professional athletes manage their personal finances.


Darius Alleyne

Undergraduate institution: Florida International University
Graduate Assistantship: VCU Equipment Department

Darius Alleyne was born and raised in Miami, FL, where he graduated from Miami Southridge high school. He graduated from Florida International University in 2016 with a bachelor's degree in Recreational and Sport Management. While at FIU, Darius interned within four different departments including Marketing, Game Operations, Facilities and Operations and Student Athletic Academics. Darius is the current graduate assistant for VCU's equipment department. After graduation from the CSL, Darius wants to continue his career in collegiate athletics.


Jake Bailey

Undergrad Institution: Bridgewater College
Graduate Assistantship: VCU Athletics Ram Athletic Fund

Born and raised in Richmond, Virginia, Jake played three years of varsity baseball at Matoaca High School in Chesterfield County. He played collegiate baseball at Bridgewater College where he was elected captain and named to the ODAC All-Academic Team. He earned his Bachelor of Science Degree in Health Exercise Science. Jake was a leader in the Bridgewater community and a spokesman for Step Up, the student run alcohol awareness program on campus. Jake has been accepted to Virginia Commonwealth University master’s degree program in the Center for Sports Leadership where he will serve as a graduate assistant in Development/Ram Athletic fund. After completion of the program Jake plans to continue to work in the administrative side of athletics at the collegiate level or possibly pursue a professional position with the PGA.


Emma Ball

Undergraduate institution: High Point University
Graduate Assistantship: ECNL

From Worcester, Massachusetts, Emma Ball studied Exercise Science at High Point University. During her four years in High Point, Emma played club ultimate frisbee and also spent time being a volunteer mentor at the local high school. It is here that she began to develop a passion for teens and saw the impact sports had on their life and world view. Post college, Emma moved to Boswell, Pennsylvania to work for the North Star Youth Outreach - a local non-profit working with middle and high school students through relationships developed coaching. Here she coached the varsity soccer and basketball teams for two years. Most recently Emma has been living in Winter Park, Colorado, managing the children ski school at Granby Ranch Ski Resort and again coaching girls soccer. While at VCU, Emma will be working with the Elite Clubs National League. Her future career aspiration is in youth sport development and impacting low-income or underdeveloped regions through sport.


Lia Batchelor

Undergraduate institution: Christopher Newport University
Graduate Assistantship: VCU Athletics Ticket Office

Lia was born and raised in Yorktown, Virginia where she graduated from York High school in 2014. She transferred to Christopher Newport University after her freshman Year of College where she played Division I softball at Campbell University. Lia Graduated from Christopher Newport University in 2018 with a Bachelor’s of Science in communications and a minor in Sociology. During her time at Christopher Newport, in addition playing one season of softball, Lia was an athletic supervisor for game day event staff, as well as an intern in the athletic ticket office with the Athletic director. She was responsible for scheduling all game day events, coordinating halftime and band performances, as well as hiring and scheduling mascot appearances. Currently Lia is working in the VCU Athletic Ticket Office and has the professional goals of pursuing a career in college athletic administration.


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.


Justin Browner

Undergraduate Institution: Hiwassee College
Graduate Assistantship: VCU Men’s Basketball: Strength and Conditioning

Born and raised on the northside of Atlanta, Georgia, Justin Browner graduated with honors from Hiwassee College with a Bachelors of Science in Liberal Arts, with a concentration in Social Sciences. In his time at Hiwassee, Justin found himself in several leadership roles which includes; being the captain and all-time leading scorer for the men’s basketball team, resident assistant for two years, and a vital part of student life team on campus. During the summer months for three years, Justin mentored, and was a camp counselor for students who sought higher education under an organization called Upward Bound. Upon graduating from Hiwassee in 2014, he went on to become a manager at a Wal-Mart Distribution Center in Monroe, Georgia. During his spare time Justin assisted at his former school, Osborne High, as the head junior varsity boys basketball coach, and an assistant on the Varsity level. After serving three years at Wal-Mart, Justin decided to take upon coaching full time. His passion for strength and conditioning grew during his time at Osborne, which lead him to VCU as a strength and conditioning Graduate Assistant for the Men’s Basketball team. Before entering the Center for Sports Leadership program, he served as a professional intern for one year, under former CSL student and head sports performance coach Don Brown. Justin plans on following the footsteps of his mentor by becoming a head strength and conditioning coach for a division 1 basketball program. He also has several other business ventures that he wishes to pursue, and believes CSL can teach him the necessary tools for accomplishing them.


Kelli Buhrdorf

Undergraduate institution: Virginia Tech
Graduate Assistantship: Sportable

Originally for Christiansburg, Virginia, Kelli is a 2018 graduate of Virginia Tech with a bachelor’s degree in marketing and a minor in business leadership. During her Undergraduate career, she interned for two years with Virginia Tech Athletics within their Marketing department, helping to coordinate and execute marketing and promotional initiatives at sporting events. Kelli also spent a year working for the Virginia Tech Athletic Ticket Office and served for one season as the on-field promotions intern for the Pulaski Yankees, a minor league baseball team. While she will be studying at the Center for Sport Leadership, Kelli will serve as the program associate for Sportable, a non-profit organization that provides adaptive sports and recreation opportunities to the Richmond community.


Robert Chisley

Undergraduate institution: Virginia Commonwealth university
Graduate Assistantship: The Collegiate School/Varsity Basketball

Robert was born and raised in Newport News, Virginia where he graduated from Woodside High School in 2009. He graduated from Virginia Commonwealth University in 2014 with a Bachelor’s degree in Exercise Science. As an undergrad Robert interned with the University of Richmond’s Men’s Football team Athletic training staff, and also with VCU Recreational Sports Fitness/Wellness staff. He was also a member of Alpha phi Alpha fraternity Inc. where he served as the community service chair. After graduating from VCU, Robert participated in several volunteer coaching roles. Robert has volunteered as an assistant basketball coach with Newport News Parks and Rec, Tucker Highschool men’s basketball in Richmond, Virginia, and the Central Texas wolves in Pflugerville, Texas. Robert’s volunteer work sprouted a desire to work in collegiate sports. Robert is currently a graduate assistant with The Collegiate School High School men’s basketball team, where he hopes to help them obtain a state championship. After graduation from the CSL, Robert would like to work in collegiate athletics as either an Athletic Director or a Division-I NCAA basketball coach.


Alexa Covarrubias

Undergraduate Institution: University of Washington
Graduate Assistantship: Richmond Raceway

Alexa Covarrubias was born in Pasadena, CA and raised in Lakewood, WA, where she graduated from Lakes High School in 2014. She then went on to graduate from the University of Washington in March of 2018, with a Bachelor’s Degree in Education, along with a minor in Global Health. During her time at UW, Alexa dedicated her last two years to the Sports Medicine Department as an Athletic Training Intern for the football, baseball, gymnastics, and track teams. During her last year at UW she also interned as an Assistant to the Director of Football Operations, while also working at Pro Sports Club doing member services. In the summer of 2017 she was contracted through the Dept. of Defense to work as a Swim Instructor on the U.S. military base in Sicily, Italy. Currently she is working as a Sales and Marketing Graduate Assistant at Richmond Raceway. Upon completion of the CSL program, Alexa hopes to pursue a career within professional athletics.


Morgan Dale

Undergraduate institution: Berry College
Graduate Assistantship: VCU Compliance

Morgan was born and raised in Swannanoa, North Carolina, which is a small town right outside of Asheville. She attended Berry College where she graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Sports Administration and a minor in women’s studies. While there she worked in the sports medicine and was in charge of the 50-student worker team that assisted the 21 sports that Berry has. She also interned with the Senior Woman Administrator and assisted with Title IX programming. Morgan also had the opportunity to intern at a non-profit youth sports organization in New Zealand that helped kids in low-income schools receive physical education. At Virginia Commonwealth she will be obtaining her masters in Sport Leadership and will be assisting in the compliance department. Her career interests include working in compliance or student-athlete development at a collegiate athletic department and her dream job would be working for the Women’s Sports Foundation.


Jamal Davis

Undergraduate institution: Old Dominion University
Graduate Assistantship: VCU Athletic Communications

Jamal Davis was born on October 28, 1995 in Richmond, Virginia. Jamal is the son of Christy and Shawn Davis and has two siblings, Joshua (20) and Bella (2). He grew up in Chesterfield, Virginia and is a graduate of Thomas Dale High School (’14). Upon graduating high school, Jamal attended Old Dominion University where he earned his Bachelor’s Degree in Sports Management. During his time at ODU Jamal held various internships, most notably with ODU’s Athletic Communications Department, the Village News/RVA Gamebreak, and the Washington Redskins. In addition to his internships, Jamal worked as an Intramural Official/Manager for Old Dominion Recreational Sports as well as being an editor for a student ran newspaper. Upon graduation, Jamal hopes to continue his career working in a Communications/External Relations Department at the collegiate or professional level.


Jamie Dompier

Undergraduate institution: Michigan Technological University
Graduate Assistantship: VCU Track & Field

Dompier hails from Baraga, MI where she graduated with magna cum laude honors from Michigan Technological University in December 2017. Jamie received two bachelor’s degrees in Sports and Fitness Management and Management. During her undergrad, Jamie was a sprinter on the women’s track and field team where she earned GLIAC All-Academic Excellence Team honors for three seasons and was a recipient of the NCAA 2017-18 Division II Degree-Completion Award. She gained experience in NCAA compliance and athletic facility operations through two internships during undergrad. After graduating, she stayed at Michigan Tech to continue working in the Athletic Department and serve as an assistant coach for the men’s and women’s track and field teams before coming to VCU. Dompier is pursuing the dual degree Sport Leadership and MBA program while she serves as a graduate assistant for VCU’s track and field teams. After graduating in 2020, Dompier has an interest of pursuing a career in operations for a collegiate track and field program with the ultimate goal of working for USATF or the US Olympic Committee.


Jesse Flannery

Undergraduate institution: Johns Hopkins University
Graduate Assistantship: VCU Men's Basketball

Jesse Flannery was born and raised in Lewisburg, Pennsylvania. He graduated in 2018 from Johns Hopkins University with a bachelor's degree in Economics and Political Science. While at Johns Hopkins, Jesse was a four-year student athlete on the men's basketball team, and a member of two NCAA tournament teams. He served as a team captain for the 2017-2018 season, which resulted in a Centennial Conference championship for the program. Jesse held a number of internships in the healthcare industry prior to his time at VCU. He comes to the CSL excited to become more educated about careers in sports and learn from the VCU men's basketball staff as a graduate assistant coach with the program.


Adam Friedman

Undergraduate institution: University of Florida
Graduate Assistantship: VCU Athletics Marketing Department

Born in New York, Adam Friedman moved to Florida after high school and while attending the University of Florida. He graduated cum laude from UF in 2016 with a Bachelor’s degree in Sport Management and a minor in Business Administration. While in Gainesville, Adam spent two years working with the Gators in their guest services and marketing and promotions departments. As a senior, he completed a yearlong internship with an intercollegiate search firm, Carr Sports Consulting. Upon graduation, Adam moved to Indiana to work at the University of Evansville. There, he was involved with the athletic department’s marketing, event management, ticket sales, social media and special events. While earning his Master’s degree in the CSL, Adam will be a Marketing GA for VCU Athletics.


Matt Furlough

Undergraduate institution: Western Carolina University
Graduate Assistantship: VCU Athletics - Facilities

A Greensboro, NC native, Matt attended Northern Guilford High School. In May of 2018, he graduated from Western Carolina University in Cullowhee, NC with a Bachelor of Science in Parks and Recreation Management while double minoring in Sport Management and Leadership. Throughout Matt’s time in Cullowhee, he held multiple positions on campus including head manager for WCU’s Men’s Basketball program, New Student Orientation leader, Greek Life ambassador, and Student Catamount Club Vice President. Along with these positions, he also interned with the Catamount Club, which supports WCU's athletic teams, and at Jackson County Parks and Recreation. During the 2018-2019 academic year, Matt will be completing his Graduate Assistantship with VCU Facility Athletics while also volunteering for The Collegiate School Men’s Basketball program. His goal is to become a NCAA Division 1 head basketball coach.


Jared Gaynor

Undergraduate institution: George Mason University
Graduate Assistantship: VCU Baseball

A native of Phoenix, Arizona, Jared Gaynor graduated from George Mason University in 2014 with a B.A. in Integrative Studies: Health Management. While at GMU, Gaynor was a member of the baseball team where he received all conference honors as a pitcher in 2014. After graduating, Gaynor went on to play for four years of professional baseball. During each off season, he spent time as a high school baseball coach in Phoenix for two years and then proceeded to be the pitching coach at Arizona Christian University for the 2017 and 2018 seasons. Gaynor is currently serving as the director of baseball operations for the VCU baseball team.


Kamren Gilliam

Undergraduate institution: Old Dominion University
Graduate Assistantship: Bon Secours Washington Redskins Training Center

A native of Cumberland, Virginia, Kamren graduated Magna Cum Laude from Old Dominion University with a Bachelor of Science in Sport Management and double minors in Marketing and Coaching Education in 2016. While pursuing her Undergraduate degree, she served as President of the ODU Undergraduate Sport Management Association club, worked as an official and student manager within the Intramural Sport Department, and volunteered at various sporting events. In the summer of 2016, she completed an internship with the Georgia State Games in Kennesaw, GA as an Event Manager and hosted the 26th Annual Grassroots Boxing Tournament. Over the past year, Kamren coached girls volleyball, basketball, and softball at Cumberland High School and served as Recreation Director for the County of Cumberland. Currently, she is a Graduate Assistant with the Bon Secours Washington Redskins Training Center. Upon completing the CSL program, Kamren intends to pursue a career in facility and event operations.


Jackie Grant

Undergraduate institution: University of Virginia
Graduate Assistantship: VCU Student Athlete Support Services

A Charlottesville, Virginia native, Jackie Grant graduated cum laude from the University of Virginia in 2014 with a Bachelor of Arts in American Studies and a minor in media. During her time at the University, Jackie remained an active member in her community working as a youth basketball coach, the UVA Women’s Basketball athletic manager, a 7th grade female mentor, a resident advisor and a teaching assistant in San Sebastian, Spain. After graduation, Jackie was inducted into the United States Peace Corps where she served as a TEFL volunteer for two secondary schools in Sevan, Armenia. Upon her return to Virginia, Jackie worked as the administrative assistant to the University of Virginia Director of Athletics and for the UVA Olympic Sport teams, coaches and administrative staff. Currently, Jackie serves as the graduate assistant to the VCU Student-Athlete Support Services office working alongside the athletic advisors and tutor coordinator. After graduation from the CSL program, Jackie aspires to work in a Women’s Basketball office where she hopes to coordinate academic support programming geared towards expanding diversity initiatives and motivating student athletes to excel academically and athletically.


Alfreda Hagans

Undergraduate institution: Campbell University
Graduate Assistantship: VCU Track & Field

Alfreda Hagans was born and raised in Pinetops, North Carolina where she graduated from Southwest Edgecombe High School in 2012. She graduated from Campbell University in 2016 with a Bachelor of Business Administration, with a concentration in Accounting. While at Campbell, Alfreda was a four-year student-athlete with the Women’s Cross-Country and Track and Field team. During Alfreda’s junior and senior year, at Campbell University, she served as the Student Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) representative for the Women’s Cross-Country team. After graduating, Alfreda worked for Longwood University athletic department for two years as the Compliance and Student Services Intern where she educated coaches, student-athletes and administrators about NCAA rules and regulations. She was also a volunteer Sports Performance Intern during her time at Longwood where she assisted the staff and oversaw Women’s Field Hockey and Women’s Soccer sport performance. Currently seeking her Master’s Degree through the Center for Sport Leadership, Alfreda will be a graduate assistant for VCU’s Cross-Country and Track and Field teams where she will learn the day-to-day track and field operations and assist the Director of Cross-Country. She hopes to pursue a career in coaching collegiate Track and Field.


Dustin Hassell

Undergraduate institution: Roanoke College
Graduate Assistantship: VCU Athletics Ticket Office

Born and raised in Botetourt County, Virginia, just north of Roanoke, Dustin graduated from Lord Botetourt High School in 2014. He graduated from Roanoke College in 2018 with a Bachelor of Science in Sport Management. While at Roanoke, Dustin played on the Varsity Men’s Basketball team for three years, worked in Athletics for two years, and earned the ‘Senior Scholar’ award for his major. Currently a student in the Center for Sport Leadership, Dustin is also working as a Graduate Assistant in the Ticket Office. He aims to pursue a career in collegiate athletics administration following graduation from VCU."


Yousef Hattar

Undergraduate institution: Old Dominion University
Graduate Assistantship: VCU Athletic Communications

Yousef Hattar was born and raised in Chesterfield, VA which is a few miles south of Richmond. He graduated from Thomas Dale High School in 2014, where he played on their football team. Yousef attended Old Dominion University and graduated in May of 2018 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Sport Management. While at ODU, he partook in several different internships. First of which, he worked with the local newspaper, The Village News, as a sports journalist. He then progressed into a Communications/PR intern position with the Washington Redskins, where he worked for the entire football season in which he abetted with stat distribution and recording/transcribing press conferences and interviews. Soon after, he aided the Old Dominion Athletic department as one of the assistant directors of communications working as an intern. With ODU’s Athletic Communications department, he attended several different sporting events in which he assisted with taking stats, stat distribution and being the PA for the Conference USA Tennis Tournament. Yousef is now preparing for a career in either collegiate athletic communications and/or professional sports PR and is a Graduate Assistant with VCU’s Athletic Communications department.


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.


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.


Emily Kelly

Undergraduate institution: University of Richmond
Graduate Assistantship: Richmond Women’s Assistant Soccer Coach

Emily Kelly was born and raised in Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands where she was the starting goalkeeper for her U-17 and U-20 National Team. While playing for her National team, they achieved recognition as the first program - men’s or women’s - in Cayman history to qualify for the CONCACAF World Cup qualifying rounds. She attended undergrad at the University of Richmond, where she was a goalkeeper for the women’s soccer team. She graduated in May 2016 with a degree in Theatre. In the fall of 2016, she started her career as an assistant women’s soccer coach at the University of Mary Washington. While working for two years at UMW, Emily also did goalkeeper training with a local club team, Stafford Soccer Club. Emily is currently serving as an assistant coach at the University of Richmond women’s soccer program and doing goalkeeper training with the youth side of Richmond Kickers. Upon graduation, she plans to continue pursuing a career in college athletics.


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 beginning his second year with VCU Recreational Sports as the Graduate Assistant of Aquatics. He will also focus on student programming and water safety events along with supervising the facilities.


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.


Elizabeth Larsen

Undergraduate institution: Yale College
Graduate Assistantship: Chesterfield County Sports Tourism

Originally from right here in Richmond, Elizabeth completed her Undergraduate degree in History at Yale College. She was a member of the Yale Women's Swimming and Diving Team for all four years and was the Captain of the Women's team during the 2014 - 2015 season. After graduating in 2015, Elizabeth remained on campus as a Student Affairs Fellow and then Student Affairs Associate in the Yale College Dean's Office. She worked in the Office of Gender and Campus Culture to cultivate a more positive sexual and social climate through many workshops and trainings. Additionally, Elizabeth developed and provided educational services to students that aimed to reduce risks associated with drug and alcohol use. She also worked closely with and oversaw the Communication and Consent Educators (CCE) program, a program which she was also involved with as an undergrad at Yale. Elizabeth is excited to further her education and pursue a career in the athletics industry after graduation from the program!


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.


Logan Madill

Undergraduate Institution: Penn State University
Graduate Assistantship: VCU Recreational Sports – Sport Clubs

Raised in Midland MI, Logan graduated from Penn State University in 2017 with a Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology. During his time at Penn State he received his CSCS and interned with Penn State Strength and Conditioning. While pursuing his degree, Logan worked as facility supervisor in Campus Recreation. Logan was responsible for managing the day to day facility operations and to train, direct, and oversee a staff of 45 employees. He worked directly with the Assistant Director and Facility Coordinator to ensure all policies and procedures were being met. Logan plans to pursue a career in Sport Management or with Athletic Development.


Hannah Matheson

Undergraduate institution: University of Richmond
Graduate Assistantship: CSL Communications

Hannah, born and raised in Skillman, New Jersey, first attended Penn State University in 2013 as a member of the swim team. In 2015, she transferred to the University of Richmond and continued her athletic career with the Spiders. In her two years at Richmond, Hannah was a five-time medalist at the Atlantic 10 Conference Championships, helped win two Atlantic 10 Championship titles for the Spiders, and was named captain her senior year. In May of 2017, Hannah graduated from Richmond with a Bachelor of Arts in journalism. After graduation, Hannah worked for The Literacy Lab as a reading tutor in Richmond Public Schools, where she tutored elementary students individually to help them reach grade level reading. Hannah is currently a communications graduate assistant with the Center for Sport Leadership and hopes to pursue a career in athletic communications after graduation from the CSL.


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 and All-Academic Honors, also served as team captain his senior year. Before enrolling into the program, Lamont worked as a substitute teacher for Chesterfield County Public Schools and was head coach for the JV boys’ basketball team at James River High School. Lamont is excited about going into his second year as a graduate assistant with the VCU men’s basketball team this season.


Chloe Mujwit

Undergraduate institution: Virginia Commonwealth University
Graduate Assistantship: VCU Women’s Lacrosse

Chloe Mujwit was born in Beaver County, Pennsylvania and raised in Weston, Florida. She graduated from St. Thomas Aquinas High School, where she played lacrosse, and earned an athletic scholarship to play lacrosse at Virginia Commonwealth University. Chloe graduated with a degree in Mass Communications with a focus in Public Relations in May of 2018 from VCU. She is a current student athlete and is a member of the VCU Women’s Lacrosse inaugural team. Chloe comes to the CSL to hopefully pursue a career in public relations for a professional sports team.


Patrick Nugent

Undergraduate Institutions: Randolph-Macon College
Graduate Assistantship: Randolph-Macon Women’s Lacrosse Strength and Conditioning Coach

Originally from Louisiana, Patrick was raised in Charlottesville Virginia where he graduated from Western Albemarle High School in 2007. He then attended Randolph-Macon College where he studied environmental science. While at R-MC he was a four-year varsity athlete, playing lacrosse for the Jackets his first two years, and tennis for his final two years. After graduating from Macon in 2011 he enlisted in the United States Air Force where he spent his active duty time stationed in Anchorage, AK. In the summer of 2015 he transferred to the Virginia Air National Guard and returned to school at Virginia Commonwealth University in August 2015. He graduated from VCU in December of 2017 with a bachelor’s degree in exercise science. Patrick is completing his graduate assistantship position with the Randolph-Macon College women’s lacrosse team as their strength and conditioning coach. Upon his completion of the CSL program Patrick plans to pursue a career as a strength and conditioning coach at the collegiate level.


Alejandra Ortiz

Undergraduate institution: Torcuato Di Tella University
Graduate Assistantship: SwimRVA

Born and raised in Panama City, Panama, Alejandra went to the Torcuato Di Tella University in Buenos Aires Argentina where in 2017 she graduated with a bachelor’s of International Affairs and Studies. Alejandra complemented her academic career with the sport of horse show jumping where she was the National Champion from 2008 to 2011. During this time, she was also a silver medalist at the 2010 Central American Games, and the first Panamanian woman to qualify for the 2010 Singapore Youth Olympic Games, representing the entire Central American and Caribbean region. After finishing her Undergraduate studies, Alejandra was accepted at the Permanent Mission of Panama to the United Nations to work as a political adviser. She is currently a graduate assistant at SwimRVA, and enjoys running and participating in triathlon races. Upon graduation, she hopes to pursue a professional career in sports diplomacy for social development.


Warder “Ben” Page

Undergraduate: East Tennessee State University
Graduate Assistantship: First Tee of Greater Richmond

Ben Page was born in Durham, North Carolina and moved around the country before settling in Johnson City, Tennessee. He is a graduate of East Tennessee State University, where he was heavily involved on campus and the university’s athletic department. Ben served as his Fraternity’s Vice President of Finance and ultimately voted the university’s Interfraternity Council President at ETSU. During that time Ben also interned for the athletic department in their marketing division where he worked with all eleven of its D1 programs. Ben graduated in December of 2017 with a B.S in Sport and Leisure Management.

He will be a graduate assistant for The First Tee of Greater Richmond. After graduation Ben is looking forward to getting a job in athletic administration to pursue his career goal of becoming a Division One Athletic Director.


Tiffani Phillips

Undergraduate institution: Longwood University
Graduate Assistantship: YMCA of Greater Richmond

Tiffani Phillips raised in Fredericksburg, Virginia graduated in May of 2018 from Longwood University with a bachelor’s degree in Kinesiology with a concentration in Exercise Science. While at Longwood, Tiffani was a personal trainer and group fitness instructor for Campus Recreation while also serving as Vice President for the club softball team. Tiffani is certified through the American College of Sports Medicine as an Exercise Physiologist. She looks forward to a future career in athletic directing or as a fitness and wellness coordinator at a University.


Jessica Pieroni

Undergraduate institution: James Madison University
Graduate Assistantship: VCU Athletics Ram Athletic Fund

Jessica was born and raised in Chesapeake, Virginia, where she graduated from Nansemond-Suffolk Academy in 2014. Jessica graduated in 2018 from James Madison University, where she received her Bachelor’s Degree in Business Management. While at JMU, Jessica spent her senior year volunteering in the Duke Club, assisting with fundraising and events for the athletic department. While in the CSL, Jessica will be continuing to work in athletic fundraising for the VCU Ram Athletic Fund. Upon completion of the CSL, Jessica looks forward to pursuing a career in athletic administration at either the collegiate or professional level.


Dani Raymond

Undergraduate institution: Hollins University
Graduate Assistantship: University of Richmond Academic Advising

A Fredericksburg, VA native, Dani Raymond graduated from Hollins University in 2018 with Bachelor's Degrees in English and Communication Studies and a Certificate in Leadership Studies. While at Hollins, Dani was a three-year captain of the swim team, a school relay record-holder, and a recipient of the Old Dominion Athletic Conference’s Bonnie Kestner Sportsmanship Award. She’s held other athletic-related positions in her campus community as the Student Government Association’s Athletic Chair and as Vice-Chair of the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee. Additionally, Dani interned with Hollins University’s Athletic Department, the Old Dominion Athletic Conference, the Virginia Commonwealth Games, and Virginia Tech’s Office of Student-Athlete Development. An awardee of the NCAA’s Women’s Enhancement Graduate Scholarship, Dani will be working with the University of Richmond Athletic Department as an Academic Advisor. After obtaining her degree, she aims to continue her work in collegiate athletic administration with the goal of creating more opportunities for athletes and enhancing the overall student-athlete experience.


Will Riley

Undergraduate institution: James Madison University
Graduate Assistantship: University of Richmond Recreation and Wellness

Will Riley was born and raised in Charlottesville, Virginia. Will graduated from James Madison University with a Bachelor of Science in Sport and Recreation Management with a minor in Business in 2018. During his time at James Madison, he served four years as a student manager for the Women’s Basketball Program. During his time with the JMU Women’s Basketball Team he experienced two conference championships (2015, 2016), as well as four trips to the postseason. Will has also completed multiple internships with the University of Virginia Athletic Department. Currently, Will is a Facility Supervisor working with the Director of Operations and Budget Coordinator at the University of Richmond Weinstein Center.


Isabell Rose

Undergraduate institution: Virginia Commonwealth University Graduate Assistantship: VCU Athletics Sports Psychology

Born and raised in Richmond, Virginia, Isabel graduated Virginia Commonwealth University in 2018 where she majored in English with a minor in Psychology. During undergrad, Isabel worked in Dr. Kliewer's Prevention Research Lab as an Undergraduate research assistant, helped organize and participated in the VCU Athletic Band Student Board, worked as a tutor for K-12, and interned with Commonwealth Counseling Associates. Isabel has had the opportunity to work with athletic administrations and became passionate about athletics and the many ways in which it can supplement a student's education. During her time in the CSL Program, Isabel will be assisting Dr. Blackmer (VCU's Sport's Psychologist) as well as working with University of Richmond's Academic Advising for Student Athletes. In the future, Isabel hopes to utilize her experiences to advocate for and support Student Athletes as they pursue success in their academic, athletic, and personal lives.


Vivian Segnini

Undergraduate institution: Winthrop University
Graduate Assistantship: VCU Women´s Tennis

Vivian Segnini was born in Sao Carlos, Brazil. In 2017 she graduated Magma Cum Laude from Winthrop University with a Bachelor´s Degree in Psychology and a minor in Coaching. During the 5 years that she spent at Winthrop she was also a student assistant coach for the Women´s Tennis Team and helped the Eagles win four Big South Conference titles and achieve the first NCAA first round win of the program history in 2018. Prior to Winthrop, she played professionally for 8 years and was ranked as high as 275 in singles and 244 in doubles in the WTA (Women´s Tennis Association) ranking. She was a member of the Brazilian team in the 2010 and 2012 Fed Cup and also represented her country in the 2011 Pan-American Games in Guadalajara, Mexico. Right now, she will be working with the VCU Women´s Tennis Team and her goal is to become a head tennis coach.


Erica Snow

Undergraduate institution: Montclair State University Graduate Assistantship: VCU Women’s Basketball

Born in Mt. Holly, New Jersey and raised in the small town of Shamong, Erica Snow graduated from Seneca High School in 2014. Erica then went on to attend Montclair State University where she graduated Magna Cum Laude with a Bachelor’s of Communication and Media Arts in only three years in 2017. While attending Montclair State she was a member of the women's basketball team which appeared in the NCAA Tournament and won the New Jersey Athletic Conference (NJAC) tournament title during each of her three seasons. It was during the 2014-2015 season in which her team reached the NCAA Tournament Division III Final Four. After graduating in 2017, Erica pursued coaching and was the women’s basketball assistant coach at Bethany College in West Virginia for one year. Erica is currently serving as the graduate assistant for the Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) Women’s Basketball team.


Daniel Stamper

Undergraduate institution: Virginia Commonwealth University
Graduate Assistantship: VCU Men’s Golf

Daniel Stamper was born and raised in Puyallup, WA where he graduated from Emerald Ridge High School in 2014. While in high school, Daniel was also in the running start program at Pierce College, where he graduated with an Associate of Arts degree. He then went on to play golf for Grays Harbor College in Aberdeen, Washington. While at Grays Harbor College, Daniel was 1st team All-Conference for the NWAC and named the athletic department’s Male Athlete of the Year. Daniel’s strong play at Grays Harbor College allowed him to accept a scholarship to play golf for Alcorn State University. After strong consideration, he then transferred to Virginia Commonwealth University, where he graduated in 2018 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology and was a member of the golf team. In addition to being a student in the Center for Sport Leadership, Daniel is working with the Men’s Golf team as a graduate assistant coach. After completion of the CSL program, Daniel aims to pursue a career as a Division 1 golf coach.


Wesley Stephens

Undergraduate institution: Howard University Graduate Assistantship: VCU Track & Field/ Cross Country

Wesley Stephens is from Alexandria, Virginia, where he attended West Potomac High School. He enrolled at La Salle University before transferring to Howard University in Washington, DC. Wesley graduated from Howard in 2014 with a Bachelors in Journalism and a minor in Spanish. While attending Howard, Wesley was a 3-year student-athlete as a member of the Men’s Cross Country and Track & Field team where he was a 5-time Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference qualifier and holds the school record in the Decathlon. Wesley has spent the last 4 years teaching high school and serving as a head cross country and track & field coach in Las Vegas, Nevada. During his tenure as head coach, Wesley has coached 6 individual state champions, 11 national qualifiers and led Desert Pines High School to their first ever state men’s championship in track & field in 2016. He currently works as a Graduate Assistant with VCU Cross Country and Track & Field with an emphasis on the middle distance and distance events. Wesley hopes to eventually become a Head Cross Country/Track and Field Coach at the collegiate level.


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.


Damali Thomas

Undergraduate institution: Huntingdon College
Graduate Assistantship: VCU Sport Operations

Damali Thomas was born and raised in Conyers, Georgia. She attended undergrad at Huntingdon College, where she was a member of the women’s basketball and cross-country team. She graduated Cum Laude in May 2018 with a degree in Sport Management and a minor in Business Administration. During her time at Huntingdon, she served as a Sports Information intern for the athletic department logging stats for multiple sports. In 2017, she worked for the Montgomery Biscuits as a Ticket Office Assistant. She also finished her senior year working a 5-month internship with Southern States Athletic Conference, playing a role in the operating of their men’s and women’s basketball, track and field, tennis, and golf conference tournaments. Damali is currently serving as the graduate assistant for VCU Sport Operations and upon graduation plans to continue pursuing a career in college sport operations.


Haden Thompson

Undergraduate institution: University of Mary Washington
Graduate Assistantship: University of Richmond Ticket Office

Born and raised in Richmond, Virginia, Haden graduated from the University of Mary Washington with a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration. While there, he played varsity men’s basketball and served as a team captain during the 2015-2016 season. As a senior, Haden was a marketing intern for the university’s athletic department. Since 2015, Haden has been the Director of Operations for JLT Fieldhouse Inc., a non-profit organization in Salisbury, North Carolina, where he helps to coordinate and run basketball camps, clinics, and individual workouts. In his current role as Ticket Office Assistant at the University of Richmond, Haden is responsible for fulfilling ticketing request for Football and Men’s & Women’s Basketball. He also trains and supervises student interns in gameday ticketing operations. After graduating from the CSL, Haden hopes to pursue a career in collegiate or professional sports, with interests in becoming a director of basketball operations.


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.


Becca Wenger

Undergraduate institution: Roanoke College
Graduate Assistantship: Sportable Development Associate

Becca Wenger was born and raised in Staunton, Virginia. She completed her undergrad at Roanoke College where she was a 4-year member of the softball team, receiving All-Academic Honors as well as serving as team captain her senior year. She graduated Magna Cum Laude in May 2018 with bachelor's degrees in both Sport Management and Business Administration. Becca is currently the Graduate Assistant in Development with Sportable, which is a non-profit organization that provides adaptive sport and recreation events for individuals with disabilities. Upon graduation from the Center for Sport Leadership, Becca hopes to pursue a career in college athletics.


R. Kirk Williams

Undergraduate institution: North Carolina State University
Graduate Assistantship: Richmond Raceway Operations

R. Kirk Williams grew up in the diverse civilian and military environment of Fayetteville, North Carolina. From there, he moved on to graduate Cum Laude from North Carolina State University in 2007. He received a Bachelor’s Degree in Communication with a Minor in Parks, Recreation, and Tourism Management. While he was an undergrad, he worked as a Student Athletic Trainer for the Football Team and was a proud member of the Power Sound of the South Athletic Band. After graduation, Kirk worked as a seasonal Guest Relations Representative for the Carolina Panthers and built a career in Sales and Customer Service. Additionally, he has spent 7+ years in Parks and Recreation serving various communities and municipalities in North Carolina. He is excited to be a student in the Center for Sport Leadership and is looking forward to reaching his dreams of becoming a College Athletic Director.

PhD Students


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 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 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.