School of Comm co-hosts sports diversity event

May 7, 2018
Sports Panel

On March 28, the School of Communication, the Black Advertising and Strategic Communication Association and Sports and Society initiative collaborated to host a Sports Diversity event at Fisher College of Business. Eric Troy, Nicole Kraft and Osei Appiah came together to make this program happen with the common goal of starting a dialog about the opportunities women have within sports and leadership, as well as the hardships they face and how to overcome them.

The event featured a panel of prominent female leaders within sports which included:

  • Dru Hancock, former chair, NCAA Division I Women’s Basketball Committee and senior associate commissioner of the Big 12 Conference;
  • Ericka Haney, special assistant to head coach, Ohio State Women’s Basketball;
  • Alyssia Graves, assistant sports director, Lantern TV;
  • Karen Dennis, director, Ohio State Track & Field and Cross Country;
  • Roxanne Price, director of compliance and sporting behavior, Ohio High School Athletic Association.

This panel of powerful female leaders allowed students to have a connection with professionals who can speak to not just relevant events in today’s world, but specific events in their careers and how they overcame struggles.

Osei Appiah, current BASCA advisor, said “this event reminds us of the powerful place that women play in sports, as leaders and as mentors.”

Since the women’s NBA Final Four tournament was held in Columbus, the planning organizations felt it was a good opportunity to talk about women’s sports issues related to diversity and leadership.

“We are partnered with athletics and we work really well and closely with them, but what we really want people to see is that there is so much more to the athletic environment, landscape and world than simply what goes on on a field or court,” said Nicole Kraft, assistant professor-clinical, School of Communication.  

The event drew more than 90 people, including students, athletes, the athletic department and administrators from across the university.

“This event demonstrated the university’s commitment and interest in 1) issues of diversity; 2)  women’s sports; and 3) an effort to remedy many of the gender inequities that are associated with issues in sports and in the workplace,” said Appiah. “Given that Ohio State has the largest athletic program in the country, we should be the kind of model for other universities in the country when it comes down to discussions of sports, particularly at the collegiate level.”

Article written by student Bailey Socha