ST. BONAVENTURE, N.Y. – A pair of St. Bonaventure student-athletes have been selected as "emerging leaders" by the NCAA.
Donovan Moffat from Bonnies baseball and Destinee Johnson of women's lacrosse were each selected to participate in the 2021 NCAA Emerging Leaders Seminar earlier this month. Both are redshirt seniors currently serving as graduate assistants in the Athletics Department, Moffat with academic support and Johnson with compliance.
"I was able to connect with many other individuals who are just starting their career and in similar positions as I am," Johnson said. "We talked a lot about how to not only better yourself, but your program as well while continuing to move forward in your career."
The program works to educate, develop and connect young professionals with the skills necessary to accelerate their career progression in college sports.
"My favorite quote from the seminar was from Mark Trumbo, assistant athletics director at Syracuse," Johnson said. "He said, 'You must be a champion before you can win a championship.' You have to believe in yourself, your team and your program full-heartedly that you can and will win. You have to put in the work on and off the field at all times in order to reach the next level."
Approximately 300 graduate assistants and interns from NCAA member institutions gathered electronically to receive education programming to advance their careers in college athletics. The seminar typically takes place in Indianapolis at the NCAA headquarters, but was held virtually this year. It is the first year that multiple representatives from Bonaventure were selected by the NCAA to take part.
"This seminar really opened my eyes to how vast the sports industry is," Moffat said. "People come from all backgrounds, different majors, and they all have different ideas and points of view that must always be taken into account. This can relate to my season ahead and being a captain because I always want to push my team to be better and I want them to know they always have an outlet to reach out to with whatever problems they may have."
Seminar sessions included identifying purpose and pursuit of passion in the workplace; building skills of crucial conversations and emotional intelligence; leadership; and navigating a job search in college sports. Seminar speakers included directors of athletics, conference commissioners, NCAA staff members, head coaches and experienced administrators from a diverse representation of campus membership.
"We learned that being flexible and understanding all parts of college athletics is key," Moffat added. "Even though you may be working for one department, all departments are intertwined and work together. Having an understanding of every department is key to the success of your school."