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UMHB graduate assistant selected to participate in NCAA Emerging Leaders Seminar

University of Mary Hardin-Baylor soccer graduate assistant coach Ben Hammonds has been selected to attend the 2017 NCAA Emerging Leaders Seminar. The seminar will take place Friday, January 27th, in Indianapolis, Indiana.

Hammonds, a native of Flower Mound, just completed his first season as a graduate assistant for the Cru women’s soccer program and is working on his Masters of Business Administration at his alma mater. The UMHB women finished the season with a 13-4-2 record and advanced to the Semifinals of the American Southwest Conference Championship Tournament. Hammonds was also a four-year letterman for the Cru men’s soccer program and earned ASC All-Conference honors in three of those four seasons. He was a three-time Academic All-Conference selection, an Academic All-District pick and won the ASC Male Scholar-Athlete Medal of Honor as a senior.

A NCAA committee comprised of members from the Association – a group that includes current administrators and past seminar participants across all NCAA divisions – selected the 222 participants in this year’s seminar. Besides national office interns, 30 conferences and affiliates and 196 schools are represented in the program this year. 

The Emerging Leaders Seminar provides educational and transitional programming for NCAA graduate assistants and interns who have shown a profound interest in pursuing a career in college sports. After attending, participants bring back to their schools industry knowledge, leadership awareness and a broadened perspective of intercollegiate athletics. Participants gain valuable insight that helps them structure the next steps for their careers.

“The Emerging Leaders Seminar is a wonderful opportunity for young professionals working in athletics to come to the national office, form a network of like-minded peers and develop knowledge of the college sports industry at all levels,” said Bernard Franklin, NCAA executive vice president of education and community engagement and chief inclusion officer. 

Over the nine years of the program’s existence, the Emerging Leaders Seminar has welcomed more than 1,000 athletics professionals to the NCAA national office for this engaging education and networking opportunity.

During the 2017 seminar, participants will hear from industry leaders and experts, including: Oliver Luck, NCAA executive vice president of regulatory affairs; Meg Stevens, director of athletics, Averett University; Devin Crosby, director of athletics, Lynn University; Erin McDermott, director of athletics, University of Chicago; Felicia Martin, senior associate athletics director for academics and student services, Texas Tech University and future vice president of the NCAA Eligibility Center; and Scott Wiegandt, director of athletics, Bellarmine University. The participants also explore the role of NCAA governance, including the differences among the divisions and the role of conference offices. Additionally, participants will split into small groups and work together to create an operations plan that simulates the application of group dynamics and understanding the holistic operations of an athletics department. 

Other scheduled speakers include: Rob Carrolla, director of communications, Big 12 Conference; LaMar Campbell, assistant athletics director for student-athlete engagement, University of Wisconsin, Madison; Tom Mitchell, associate athletics director for compliance, Purdue University; Dawn Ellerbe Crawford, associate athletics director for branding and fan development, California State University Northridge; Karen Stromme, associate athletics director for internal operations and senior woman administrator at the University of Minnesota Duluth; and Yulander Wells, senior associate athletics director for finance and chief financial officer, University of South Florida. 

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