SUCCESS I N ATHLET IC S , AC ADEM IC S & LIFE
CONTENTS 3 Mission and Vision 6 Letter from the Directors 7 Program Overview 8
Pillar 1: Personal Enhancement
10 Pillar 2: Community Engagement 12 Pillar 3: SAAC 14 Pillar 4: Leadership Development 16 Pillar 5: Career Development 18 Pillar 6: Alumni Engagement 20 Varsity R 21 The Need
The Rutgers Athletics Office for Leadership Development and Strategic Partnerships (LDSP) is driven by a constant pursuit of excellence, innovation, engagement and collaboration. LDSP provides a programmatic and curricular vehicle that supports the holistic development of Rutgers Athletics varsity student-athletes, coaches and staff. In turn, LDSP is committed to the personal enhancement, community engagement, career and leadership development of all Scarlet Knight student-athletes during college and in life after sport via continual alumni engagement. The Rutgers Leadership Academy, SAAC and other programs internal to LDSP aim to collectively support a personal growth culture for all members of the Rutgers Athletics Department and Scarlet Knight family.
To collectively influence the lives of the student-athletes at Rutgers University in their relentless pursuit of career, academic and personal success during college and in life after sport.
TITLE IX/ CONDUCT
INTERNAL LEADERSHIP TEAM
A LETTER FROM THE ATHLETIC DIRECTOR & PROGRAM DIRECTOR The Rutgers Athletics Office for Leadership Development and Strategic Partnerships (LDSP) is driven by a constant pursuit of excellence, innovation, engagement and collaboration. These pursuits collectively enhance the educational experience of our student-athletes. The office seeks to develop student-athletes for long-term success in athletics, academics and life after sport. This is accomplished via intentional leadership training, campus engagement and personal development. We provide an environment that supports the mission of the University and a championship experience. LDSP embraces each element of our core vision, mission and strategic plan. As we forward a tradition of excellence, we are committed to the personal, social, career and leadership enhancement of our student-athletes, coaches and administrators. In addition, LDSP aims to support members of the Scarlet Knight family during their intercollegiate experience and in life after sport via continual alumni engagement. The information to follow outlines our multifaceted student-athlete engagement program. We look forward to providing a holistic best in class experience for our student-athletes.
Director of Intercollegiate Athletics
Kristina Navarro, Ph.D., CSCS
Sr. Associate AD for Leadership Development and Strategic Partnerships
Asst. Professor of Professional Practice, Graduate School of Education 6
PR O GR AM O V E R V IE W
rutgers PERSONAL ENHANCEMENT
Rutgers Athletics Office of LDSP is committed to the holistic development of all student-athletes, coaches and staff. For student-athletes, personal enhancement programs begin in the freshmen year as LDSP intentionally focuses on supporting student-athletes as they develop a sense of personal identity. This focus on authentic leadership and personal identity builds throughout their undergraduate experience as student-athletes focus on outreach, wellness and inclusion programs.
“In the first year, LDSP lays the foundation for freshmen as they learn to understand the complex identities of the contemporary student-athlete experience. Programs in the freshmen year focus on identity development to equip students with tools and strategies to enhance their personal college success.” - Dr. Kristina Navarro, Senior Associate Athletic Director for Leadership Development and Strategic Partnerships
“LDSP has helped me to shape my personal leadership identity and helped me to understand what it means to become a part of the Scarlet Knight Family. I am excited to be involved with the development of the freshman class that shapes the transition experience for student-athletes.” - Ryan Cassidy, Rutgers Football Student-Athlete 9
rutgers COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT
Rutgers Athletics Office of LDSP is committed to giving back to the community. The Knights Give Back program focuses on providing shared experiences to enhance servant leadership.
“As a department we seek to intentionally support opportunities to engage with our community, campus and global partners. Through service opportunities, campus collaborations and international experiences, we provide a strong focus on enhancing cultural intelligence and interpersonal communication.” - Jackie Kelly, Director of Student-Athlete Wellness, Outreach and Inclusion
“LDSP has provided me with an abundance of community service opportunities, both locally and globally. It has helped me to prepare my resume, find interviews, and develop leadership skills. Above all else, LDSP has provided an opportunity for me to share my voice as a student-athlete, while helping me connect with peers and develop friendships for life.” - Joey Downes, Rutgers Men’s Basketball Student-Athlete
rutgers STUDENT-ATHLETE ADVISORY COMMITTEE
The Rutgers Athletics Student-Athlete Advisory Committee is the governance structure for the Varsity Athletics program. This leadership body represents our 24 Varsity sport programs and spirit squad. The primary function of the Scarlet Knights SAAC is to: • Provide a voice for student-athletes to the administration • Serve as a leadership body on campus and in the community • Promote an inclusive environment for all student-athletes “The Student-Athlete Advisory Committee sits at the hub of the Office of Leadership Development and Strategic Partnerships. This group serves as a pilot for programs and leadership voice across the department. This group of individuals is instrumental as a communication hub for our 700 plus student-athletes and serves as a liaison between the administration and student-athlete body.” - Mike Salm, Director for Leadership Development and Strategic Partnerships
“Through LDSP I have been able to enhance my career network through events like Knight of Networking where we have opportunities to intentionally connect with Rutgers Alumni and former letterwinners. Serving as President has provided me an opportunity to grow as a leader and represent the voice of student-athletes across the Big Ten.” - Dimitri Demos, Rutgers Men’s Track & Field Student-Athlete 13
rutgers CAREER DEVELOPMENT
Rutgers Athletics is committed to the constant career development of studentathletes during campus and in life after sport. Student-athletes will develop an understanding of career and professional development strategies to shape their personal career trajectory and major exploration.
“The Office of Leadership Development and Strategic Partnerships works to support student-athletes as they transition to life after sport. As an office we intentionally help student -athletes complete developmental and behavioral assessments to enhance intentional self-reflection. We support student-athletes as they learn how to successfully develop a robust professional network and targeted employer relations strategy.” - Dr. Carissa Conroy, Executive Director for the Varsity R Letterwinners Association
“Being involved with the Rutgers SAAC and working with LDSP has given me academic, career and life opportunities I would not have gotten elsewhere. It has given me the platform to make connections with people in my degree field as well as develop my own personal passions and interests.” - Karysa Swackenberg, Rutgers Volleyball Student-Athlete 15
rutgers LEADERSHIP DEVELOPMENT
Rutgers Athletics Office of LDSP is committed to the continual leadership development of all student-athletes, coaches and staff. The Rutgers Leadership Academy (RLA), a formal credit based partnership with the Rutgers University Graduate School of Education, intentionally focuses on developing an understanding of leadership theory to shape personal action. Student-athletes apply leadership theory to real world situations in an athletics context to lead and influence peers.
“The Rutgers Leadership Academy (RLA), in partnership with the Graduate School of Education, provides a credit based curriculum for student-athletes as they understand their own personal identity, develop as future professionals and become leaders in athletics and in life. Student-athletes draw on case studies to inform leadership action pertaining to emotional and cultural intelligence.” - Dr. Kristina Navarro, Senior Associate Athletic Director for Leadership Development and Strategic Partnerships/Assistant Professor of Practice,GSE
Credit Based Class
Credit Based Class
Credit Based Class
“The LDSP has benefited me with my transition to life after college sports by connecting me with Rutgers Alumni and growing my professional network. More importantly, the LDSP has helped me identify values and build character.” - Abby Brooks, Rutgers Women’s Lacrosse Student-Athlete 17
rutgers ALUMNI ENGAGEMENT
The Office of LDSP aims to support members of the Scarlet Knight family during their intercollegiate experience and in life after sport via continual alumni engagement.
“We are extremely excited to bring the Varsity R Letterwinners Association internal to the Office of Leadership Development and Strategic Partnerships (LDSP). As we work to engage our current student-athletes and former student-athletes the Varsity R Letterwinners Association and LDSP share a common goal of enhancing professional networks and mentorship opportunities across many generations of Scarlet Knights.” - Dr. Carissa Conroy, Executive Director for the Varsity R Letterwinners Association
“As a Scarlet Knight we have the opportunity to connect with a huge alumni base across the country in varied career and professional areas. This is an invaluable mentorship opportunity as we graduate and transition to life after sport in our professional lives.” - Jenna Sobieski, Rutgers Women’s Track & Field Student-Athlete
LAUNCH OF VARSITY R LETTERWINNERS ASSOCIATION
INTENTIONAL ENGAGEMENT OF LETTERWINNERS THROUGH SPORTS SPECIFIC EVENTS
LAUNCH OF VARSITY R BENEFITS STRUCTURE
INTENTIONAL ALIGNMENT WITH THE RUTGERS LEADERSHIP ACADEMY TO ENHANCE ENGAGEMENT BETWEEN CURRENT AND FORMER STUDENT-ATHLETES
INTENTIONAL ALIGNMENT WITH THE RUTGERS LEADERREORGANIZATION OF VARSITY R UNDER THE OFFICE OF SHIP TO ENHANCE ENGAGEMENTTHROUGH BETWEEN LDSPACADEMY TO ENHANCE ALUMNI ENGAGEMENT CURRENT ANDAND FORMER STUDENT-ATHLETES MENTORSHIP CAREER DEVELOPMENT
As Rutgers letterwinners, you are forever a member of the Scarlet Knights family. Together Varsity R and LDSP are committed to the personal, social, career and leadership development of our student-athletes, positioning them for long-term success in athletics, academics and life after sport. Continued support from letterwinners is essential to the success of Rutgers Athletics as a whole. As a letterwinner you also have the opportunity to directly support teams and give back via the R Fund. We look forward to supporting our current studentathletes and connecting them intentionally with our Varsity R Letterwinners. Dr. Carissa Conroy Executive Director of the Varsity R Letterwinners Association Director of Student-Athlete Engagement
rutgers THE NEED
Rutgers Athletics Office for LDSP continues to expand in programming to support a best in class experience for Rutgers student-athletes. Historically the majority of funds raised in support of LDSP by the R Fund have been private donations made by a relatively small group of individuals and their companies. While this group of donors has been a foundational source of wealth, wisdom and work over the past decade, it has become a necessity for LDSP and Rutgers Athletics to pursue additional philanthropic and corporate support for programmatic expansion in partnership with the R Fund.
CURRENT SUPPORT 80% ATHLETICS
Scarlet Knight student-athletes represent a unique and diverse pool of future professionals that can help to support the talent acquisition needs of professional organizations.
Intentionally impact 700 student-athletes on an annual basis
BE A PART OF THE GROWTH MINDSET
The Rutgers Leadership Academy, SAAC and other programs internal to LDSP aim to collectively support a personal growth culture for all members of the Rutgers Athletics Department and Scarlet Knight family.
MULTIFACETED PROGRAM INVOLVEMENT OPPORTUNITIES Alumni and Career Development Event Involvement • Knight of Networking Invitation - Our largest signature event involving 200 student-athletes across diverse majors in a roundtable networking environment • Site visits to employment sites supported by LDSP-opportunity for groups to tour and visit with members of your organization one-on-one or in a small group • R Awards Student-Athlete Success Invitation Personal and Leadership Development for Student-Athletes • Opportunity to speak to student-athletes within the context of the Rutgers Leadership Academy credit based program • Affiliation with key levels of the Academy (i.e., SAAC, Rising Knights, Emerging Leaders, Veteran Knights programs) Community Service and Corporate Social Responsibility Support • Opportunity to engage and/or associate with 700 student-athletes annually who serve over 100 organizations in the Greater New Brunswick Campus and New Jersey Community in the Knights Give Back Program • Provide foundational support for student-athletes’ professional, personal, and leadership development through philanthropic involvement 22
KRISTINA NAVARRO Ph.D. Senior Associate AD for Leadership Development and Strategic Partnerships Assistant Professor of Professional Practice, Graduate School of Education email@example.com @RULeadDev 1