By Collin Atwood
The Springfield College Athletic Administration Graduate Program hosted its annual leadership series last Friday, October 4.
Joel Dearing, the Associate Professor of Physical Education, Athletic Administration Graduate Program Director and former Springfield College men’s and women’s volleyball coach, started this leadership series when he switched from coach to teacher in 2011.
This event is an opportunity for people, mostly undergraduates, to network with alumni who have had success in the field. Attendees had the chance to hear from former Athletic Administration graduates in small group discussion who now have full time positions in the field and have jobs that they may be interested in.
The presenters at the event varied in occupation and worked in different levels of education. The audience heard from Mike Morris, who is the Director of Football Operations at Harvard University, Sam Cloutier, the Assistant Director of Athletics at South Portland High School, and many more with different success stories.
This symposium was a valuable opportunity for undergraduates interested in the Athletic Administration Graduate Program to meet people and make connections in their desired field of work. In fact, it was the main purpose. Relationships were emphasized as the most important factor in the athletics business. “It’s about the relationships, so I think that’s number one,” said Dearing.
Dr. Craig Poisson, the Executive Director of Athletics at Springfield College, shared why he thinks athletics is a people business. “The relationship between and among coaches and student-athletes matter,” Poisson stated.
Poisson is a firm believer in building relationships and connections, not just among coaches and student-athletes, but among people. He believes there are four important pillars that go into building a strong and healthy relationship: trust, understanding, respect and confidence.
It was very important for the undergraduates to hear what Poisson had to say about connections, Because they are the future of the Athletic Administration Graduate Program and they should know how to develop professional contacts. Poisson made sure to get that message across to the crowd.
Jack Pinho, a student currently in the Athletic Administration Graduate Program, was also affected by Poisson when he was a Springfield College undergraduate student. When talking about Poisson, Pinho said, “He left a lasting impression on me.”
That seemed to be true, as Pinho agrees that making professional connections and relationships is extremely valuable, especially as an undergraduate. He said, “I really think the networking is huge…just a hand shake and introducing yourself, you never know where your next job is going to come from.”
Pinho added, “I encourage them to go to events like this, because as an undergrad, I never really reached out to as many programs as I wanted to.”
With people like Dearing, Poisson and Pinho helping push the Athletic Administration Graduate Program further, there is no doubt that the importance of connections and relationships being built will be focused on significantly.
The Athletic Administration Graduate Program Leadership Series happens once every semester. The next one will be coming in the Spring semester of 2020.
Photo Courtesy Springfield College Marketing & Communications