MELBOURNE, Fla. -
The Sunshine State Conference hosted its fourth "Professional Women in College Sports" forum on Monday, February 6. Female student-athletes representing SSC member institutions and provisional members gathered at the conference office for the event.
"We are so fortunate some of our student-athletes and Graduate Assistants were able to attend the SSC Professional Women in College Sport event," explained Kelley Kish
, Associate Athletic Director/SWA. "It was a day full of learning and networking for our group. Each attendee had the opportunity to hear from role models, including our own NSU Women's Basketball Alum Jasmine Wilkins
. I know that everyone left Melbourne with action items and a vision to achieve their future professional goals, thanks to the SSC and this event."
More than seventy student-athletes joined in attendance for Monday's event, including seven current and former Nova Southeastern student-athletes. The program began with a four-person panel and moved into a working lunch involving roundtable discussions with conference administrators. Guest speakers Megan Perry and Cathy Wood followed lunch with SSC Assistant Commissioner Maryanne Simkulak closing the 2017 event.
"I learned that your success is defined by all of the obstacles and challenges you are able to overcome throughout life," said current women's soccer player Myriah Troutman
Recent NSU volleyball alum Jessica Ronyak
explained the day as, "an informative and engaging event led by respectable, enthusiastic, and passionate women with inspirational stories and guidance of the various paths available to become powerful women in the field."
The panel discussion included advice about joining organizations such as NACWAA, finding a mentor, and willingness to volunteer. Jill Stephens of Florida Southern College brought three tiers of experience to the panel. Stephens, a former volleyball student-athlete and All-American, is currently the head volleyball coach, Assistant Athletic Director, and Senior Woman Administrator at FSC. Goeun Lee also brought experience from the administrative and student-athlete perspectives. Lee serves as the Assistant Athletic Director for Compliance at Palm Beach Atlantic University and played golf at Saint Leo University.
Rounding out this year's panel, moderated by PBA's Senior Associate Athletic Director Courtney Lovely, were Wilkins and Deanna Jackson. Wilkins, the Assistant Business Manager at Florida Gulf Coast University, is the 2015 SSC Women's Basketball Player of the Year from Nova Southeastern University. Jackson officiates women's basketball in the Sunshine State Conference as well as other leagues at the NCAA Division I, Division II, and NAIA levels.