February 3, 2012

Thomson, Warrenfeltz participate in Symposium

Over the weekend of Jan. 27-29, two McDaniel female student-athletes joined the ranks of graduates of the Snell-Shillingford Symposium. Field hockey senior Steph Thomson and softball senior Erinne Warrenfeltz spent the weekend at Haverford College at a prestigious Centennial Conference (CC) event.

The Symposium, in its 13th year, invites female student athletes from the conference schools to attend a mini-convention dedicated to women involved in sport.

This year's symposium introduced student representatives from 10 of the 11 CC members to learn and network with a large number of presenters and mentors from those same institutions as well as the conference office. Attendees of the conference took part in a wide variety of sessions that included topics from "Winning the Interview" to "Planning a Practice" conducted by current coaches.

"The presentations were amazing to listen and covered pretty much everything female athletes and coaches need to know and be aware of in order to become a successful leader in the sports world.  We were given the tools and knowledge how to network, promote our programs, and ourselves and become mentors for future student-athletes to look up to" commented Thomson.

Other sessions that were integral to the convention included "History of Women in Sport" provided by Charlotte West, who has been recognized numerous times for her work in women's athletics; specifically as the first woman member of the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics (NACDA) among many other accolades.

Other keynote speakers included Jen Shillingford and Amy Wilson. Shillingford, for whom the symposium is named spoke on behalf of all of the women who have come before and introduced the new students to the program. Her accomplishments as an athlete, coach, umpire, administrator and professor continue to prosper as these conferences spread.

Wilson, a current professor at Illinois College, researches women in sport as one of her major focuses. She has worked closely with Christine Grant (another big name in women's athletics and Title IX proponent) in collecting data and supporting Title IX and what it protects. She conducted sessions that were centered around Title IX and compliance across the NCAA, which gave many of the students a better understanding of the arduous process.

Warrenfeltz noted, "I learned in detail the evolution of women's participation in athletics and the struggles we as women have faced and persevered to get us were we are today."

Thomson added, "Charlotte gave us four challenges to take with us from the symposium: create as many opportunities for girls and women as possible, seek equity in available opportunities, for forever vigilant in preserving Title IX, and have fun! If we can stick together and meet Charlotte's challenges, there is no doubt that women can and will continue to grow and be successful in athletics."

The students who attended the symposium have become a part of the history of women in sport and were charged upon graduation from the program to seek out and support any and all opportunities to advance the position of women in athletics in any level.

Warrenfeltz attested, "From the Snell-Shillingford Symposium I can honestly say I have a different outlook and respect for women in sport and am proud to call myself a woman athlete."

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