StFX Athletics Leadership Academy honors student-athlete leaders

Leaders of Distinction with Dr. Angie Kolen and Mr. Leo MacPherson, from L to R: Daley Oddy, Tivon Cook, Justin Holland, Hayley Wilson, Scott Donald. Claire Gibbons, Eric Locke, Nicole Corcoran. Missing from photo: Kay Okafor
Leaders of Distinction with Dr. Angie Kolen and Mr. Leo MacPherson, from L to R: Daley Oddy, Tivon Cook, Justin Holland, Hayley Wilson, Scott Donald. Claire Gibbons, Eric Locke, Nicole Corcoran. Missing from photo: Kay Okafor

ANTIGONISH, NS - The StFX Athletics Leadership Academy recently wrapped its fifth year, culminating in a year-end celebratory breakfast banquet where close to 80 participants received leadership certificates for their work completed over the 2016-17 academic year. Nine student-athletes also received Leader of Distinction awards.

A comprehensive leadership training and development for StFX student-athletes, the StFX Athletics Leadership Academy is affiliated with the Janssen Sports Leadership Center and provides comprehensive leadership development programs for student-athletes.

StFX Director of Athletics & Recreation and director of the Leadership Academy Leo MacPherson comments, "We are very proud and inspired by the commitment of our student-athlete leaders and our coaches, to create such a strong leadership culture within StFX Athletics. They have exceeded expectations as their leadership helped drive our success athletically and academically, as well as our engagement with the StFX community." 

MacPherson established the StFX Athletics Leadership Academy in 2012 with the mission to create an elite leadership development program that will have a profound impact on StFX student-athletes both as individuals and as team leaders. The Leadership Academy strives to challenge, develop and support StFX student-athletes in their quest to become world-class leaders in athletics, academics, and life.

Co-facilitator of StFX Leadership Academy Dr. Angie Kolen, a professor in the Human Kinetics department, states, "It was very meaningful to take time to acknowledge the student-athletes in their quest to become leaders in athletics, academics and life."

MacPherson and Kolen have guided the leadership development programming of numerous student-athletes in three primary areas of focus based on student-athletes' classification, along with their readiness to assume leadership roles. The groups include the following:

Emerging Leaders:  designed for a select group of high potential second and third year student-athletes (and select first year student-athletes). Through a number of ongoing workshops and interactive exercises, the Emerging Leaders program provides a strong leadership by example foundation for student-athletes to develop into effective leaders.

Veteran Leaders:  designed for team captains and veteran student-athletes appointed by their head coaches in consultation with the Director of Athletics & Recreation. The program assists student-athletes in developing the skills and knowledge essential to be an effective and vocal leader as they navigate the ongoing challenges and responsibilities of team leadership. The program also provides a connection with a strong group of varsity leaders providing a network to lean on and learn from.      

Leadership 360:  designed for senior leaders who have successfully completed both Emerging and Veteran Leaders programs. Leadership 360 focuses on applying leadership skills to positively impact the team, athletic department, campus and community at large. A significant component of the Leadership 360 program is for each leader to undergo a 360 degree evaluation of their leadership skills.  Leaders compare their self-ratings with anonymous evaluations from teammates and coaches to clearly see their leadership strengths and areas for improvement. The leaders then create a comprehensive and customized Leadership Development Plan to build upon their strengths and target their areas for improvement.

This year there were nine student-athletes who received Leader of Distinction Awards, the highest honour bestowed by the StFX Leadership Academy following a rigorous evaluation process. These student-athletes have earned the utmost respect from their teammates, coaches and themselves. The 2016-17 recipients of the Leader of Distinction Awards were:  Tivon Cook (X-Men football), Nicole Corcoran (X-Women hockey), Scott Donald (X-Men cross country), Claire Gibbons (X-Women soccer), Justin Holland (X-Men football), Eric Locke (X-Men hockey), Daley Oddy (X-Women hockey), Kay Okafor (X-Men football) and Hayley Wilson (X-Women track & field).

The 2016-17 Leadership 360 participants are as follows:

Julius Antoine, X-Men basketball
Chloe Brennan, X-Women soccer
Elise Brennan, X-Women soccer
Ellen Burnett, X-Women cross country
Tivon Cook, X-Men football
Nicole Corcoran, X-Women hockey
Calvin DeWolfe, X-Men cross country
Jagger Dirk, X-Men hockey
Craig Duininck, X-Men hockey
Liam Elbourne, X-Men soccer
Claire Gibbons, X-Women soccer
Leah Gouthro, X-Women cross country
Justin Holland, X-Men football
Eric Locke, X-Men hockey
Alex Neuffer, X-Men cross country
Brooke Newsome, X-Women rugby
Daley Oddy, X-Women hockey
Kay Okafor, X-Men football
Heather Tillsley, X-Women hockey
Cameron Walker, X-Men basketball
Ryan Washburn, X-Men track & field
Hayley Wilson, X-Women track & field

The 2016-17 Veteran Leaders participants are as follows:

Joanna Alphonso, X-Women rugby
June Beals, X-Women rugby
Dylan Bell, X-Men football
Dustin Benetti, X-Men soccer
Akil Charles, X-Men basketball
Michael Clarke, X-Men hockey
Holden Cook, X-Men hockey
Tyler Cordeiro, X-Men football
Olivia Czipf, X-Women soccer
Lisa Downey, X-Women hockey
Allie Flower, X-Women track & field
Sam Gan, X-Men football
Nicole Halladay, X-Women hockey
Jason Hatch, X-Men basketball
Zoe Johnston, X-Women cross country
Steven Keefe, X-Men track & field
Kristoff Kontos, X-Men hockey
Adam Kuntz, X-Men football
Beth Lawrence, X-Women track & field
Hana Marmura, X-Women cross country
Jaelei Meyer, X-Women rugby
Nathan Pancel, X-Men hockey
Brittany Parks, X-Women soccer
Thomas Pieroway, X-Men soccer
Angus Rawling, X-Men cross country
Tristen Ross, X-Men basketball
Olivia Wilkie, X-Women soccer
Carolyn Williams, X-Women rugby

The 2016-17 Emerging Leaders participants are as follows:

Albert Banahene, X-Men football
Tim Brennan, X-Men track & field
Bryson Cianfrone, X-Men hockey
Jillian Clarke, X-Women soccer
Anthony DiFruscia, X-Men hockey
Joe Edgerton, X-Men soccer
Mark Fernandes, X-Men basketball
Jade Fulton, X-Women rugby
Dan Hayfield, X-Men soccer
Riley Jennings, X-Men football
Kaion Julien-Grant, X-Men football
Adrian Kinney, X-Men track & field
Sam Lake, X-Women rugby
Keeley MacCuish, X-Women rugby
Olivia MacDonald, X-Women cross country
Paul MacLellan, X-Men cross country
Jamie McCarron, X-Women basketball
Matt Needham, X-Men hockey
Daniel Passley, X-Men basketball
Emily Power, X-Women hockey
Chelsea Provo, X-Women basketball
Josh Read, X-Men soccer
Amy Rowe, X-Women soccer
Lydia Schurman, X-Women hockey
Sam Studnicka, X-Men hockey
Catherine Thompson, X-Women cross country
Mark Tremaine, X-Men hockey
Ben Von Muehldorfer, X-Men football