COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (March 15, 2013) – Several USA Volleyball athletes and staff have accepted recent opportunities to further their education with help from the U.S. Olympic Committee.
On the athlete side, U.S. Men’s National Team members Andy Hein (Carol Stream, Ill.), Sean Rooney (Wheaton, Ill.) and Jonathan Winder (Irvine, Calif.) along with U.S. Women’s National Team member Cynthia Barboza (Long Beach, Calif.) have been awarded full scholarships to DeVry University’s Keller Graduate School of Management through its program with the USOC.
Winder, a setter who graduated from Pepperdine with a degree in advertising, is working on his masters of business administration via an online course.
“It was a good option as I think about the future,” Winder said. “I thought it would be really helpful to have an MBA, which seems to be extremely critical for future business endeavors.”
Winder, who graduated in 2008, admitted it has been a challenge getting back in the swing of classes.
“The first class was challenging – leadership and organizational behavior,” Winder said. “I haven’t been in class for four years. Getting back in the flow of writing papers and taking tests; it was a good transition.”
From the USA Volleyball staff, Stacie Kearns, senior director of finance, and Dave Williams, managing director of beach volleyball programs, were chosen to participate in the USOC’s Olympic Sport Leadership Certificate Program III (OSLCP). U.S. Olympian Gabe Gardner (San Clemente, Calif.) is also participating in the OSLCP as he is part of the leadership team for the USOC’s Athletes Advisory Council (AAC).
The OSLCP is the flagship leadership development program offered by the USOC for its leaders along with those from sport national governing bodies and the AAC. The program is held in conjunction with the Kellogg Center for Nonprofit Management at Northwestern University.
When presented with the opportunity to participate in the OSLCP program, I was excited by the opportunity to learn from some of the best educators in the country at the Kellogg Center for Nonprofit Management at Northwestern University and do it with a class of mission driven leaders within the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic movements,” Kearns said. “The prospect of learning not only from the presenter, but gaining knowledge from other leaders within the group was a very motivational factor.”
Kearns said she has already benefitted from the program after one session held at the end of February.
“During the first session of the course, we each had to write our own “Success Equation,” which included a goal for what you want to accomplish through the OSLCP and the priority outcomes to arrive at that goal,” she said. “Although accomplishing this specific goal would be great and would have a direct positive impact on USAV, I have gained far beyond my initial Success Equation vision.