“Back to First” for the Department of Sports Administration

Dr. Darlene Kluka speaks to students about the importance of professionalism in sports. Raven LeDay/The Gramblinite

Tiffany Tucker emphasizes growth throughout your careeer. Raven LeDay/The Gramblinite

Department of Sport Administration held its first Sport Leadership Symposium on Tuesday, March 19 and Wednesday, 20 in the Frederick C. Hobdy Assembly Center.
Dr. Aaron Livingston, GSU Sports Administration Graduate Coordinator, said the symposium’s goal was to educate GSU students about careers in sport as well as introduce them to leadership practices and international internship opportunities in the sports field.
In addition to the intellectual reward, Livingston said students gained valuable information and concerning career, educational and study abroad opportunities.
The theme for the event ‘Back to First’ was selected to emphasize where the department once was.
“At one point, the sports administration program was the best in the state,” Alexis Anderson, sports administration graduate student and assistant coordinator, said. “The program was the first Master of Science in Sports Administration in the nation at an HBCU.”
The Department of Sports Administration has become a pivotal component of education for graduate students. Many students have gone on to exceed their goals following completion of the program. Thousands of students get their first introduction to sports through Grambling’s undergraduate courses and master’s program.
Current and former Grambling faculty and esteemed colleagues congregated at assembly center to celebrate the new beginnings.
GSU Athletics discussed gender equity with other sports administrators and professionals from multiple organizations. Livingston opened the symposium and those in attendance were treated to remarks from Vincent Pierson, Manager of Diversity and Inclusion for the Minor League Baseball, in a keynote address.
Dr. Darlene Kluka was a keynote speaker for the symposium. Kluka worked within the program at Grambling State University for more than fourteen years dedicating her work to the field of women and sports. Kluka is also an inductee into the American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) Hall of Fame.  Kluka has been President of the International Association of Physical Education and Sport for Girls and Women (IAPESGW) and is a founding member of the USA Volleyball Sports Medicine and Performance Commission. Additionally, she was Vice President of USA Volleyball and served as a member of the United States Olympic Committee.
Other speakers included Tiffany Tucker, Athletic Administrator at UNC- Wilmington; Nikeil Winston, CEO of Healthy Life Global; Rob Wright, an instructor at Mississippi Valley State University; and Dr. David “Rusty” Ponton, Athletic Director of GSU athletics.