The 2012-13 Drake women's basketball team led by first-year head coach Jennie Baranczyk held a special One-on-One meet and greet reception with female Drake faculty members and the public Thursday evening at the Knapp Center.
The event also marked 40 years of the equality legislation, commonly known as Title IX, allowing females the same collegiate athletic opportunities as males. The night featured comments from Baranczyk, Director of Athletics Sandy Hatfield Clubb and new Drake Provost Dr. Deneese L. Jones.
"While breaking down barriers to women in sports, Title IX opened the doors to math & science, education, and even protection of women from bullying and sexual harassment," Provost Jones said in her comments.
The event was also a chance for the Drake faculty members and the student-athletes to start a unique mentorship. Each student-athlete has been paired with a faculty mentor and tonight they were introduced to each other at a dinner prior to the event. The dinner gave each pair a chance to share information and stories about each other before they introduced each other at a short program for the public on the floor of the Knapp Center.
Some introductions included an American Idol like singing audition by freshman Dilonna Johnson and a runway catwalk by senior Stephanie Running. Many of the faculty members played basketball in high school.
Hatfield Clubb was honored, but not surprised that the faculty spent their evening mentoring the Bulldog student-athletes.
"When you ask people what's special about Drake University, they say it's the relationships the faculty makes with the students," Hatfield Clubb said. "These student-athletes are game changers for our entire athletic department. We will start adding to the banners we have with the individuals we have here now."
Baranczyk ended the evening sharing her excitement and passion for Drake and the women's basketball program.
"I hope you were able to see that all these women are not only passionate about basketball but about life," Baranczyk said.
It was Baranczyk's idea to encourage athletic department staff to start wearing blue on Fridays to show their appreciation for Drake.
"It is time for people to see what Drake University stands for and that we are a unique, special and passionate university," she said.
Drake Faculty Member - Drake Student-Athlete
1. Dr. Janet McMahill - School of Education Dean - Alyssa Marschner.
2. Renae Chesnut - Associate Dean for Academic & Student Affairs, Professor of Clinical Sciences, and Faculty Athletic Representative - Dilonna Johnson
3. Dorothy Pisarki - Associate Professor of Journalism - Liza Heap
4. Melissa Sturm-Smith - Associate Provost for Academic Excellence and Student Success - Ashley Bartow
5. Dede Small - Associate Professor, Teaching and Learning Department, School of Education - Symone Daniels
6. LouAnn Simpson - Professor Business Law - Mary Pat Specht
7. Raylene M. Rospond - Dean, College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences and Vice Provost for Operations - Morgan Reid
8. Renee Ann Cramer - Associate Professor and Director, Program in Law, Politics, and Society - Alexis Eckles
9. Kathleen Richardson - Director and Associate Professor, School of Journalism and Mass Communication - Carly Grenfell
10. Natalie Ross Adkins, Ph. D. - Associate Professor of Marketing - Emma Donahue
11. Beth Younger - Associate Professor of English, Directors of Women's Studies - Cara Lutes
12. Lori Blachford - Peggy Fisher and Larry Stelter Chair of Magazine Journalism - Kyndal Clark
13. Kayla Kash - Assistant Professor, Head of Musical Theatre - Stephanie Running