Student drives event focused on women in sports

The Center for Innovation and Growth was the host site for an Speed Mentoring Event collaborated with the Cleveland organization, Women in Sports and Events (WISE), to discuss the success stories of women throughout the sports industry.

Associate professor Dale Sheptak said the event was the last installment of BW Conversations in Sports series. However, the event held on Feb. 13 was not orchestrated by faculty or staff of Baldwin Wallace.

Sheptak gave all the credit to sophomore Sports Management major Ashley Ackerman, who took it upon herself to organize the event.

“This was 100% Ashley,” he said. “She was a student working at a graduate student level. She coordinated it with the Brain Center and reached out to all the panel. It was her event.”

Ackerman said the event began through Baldwin Wallace’s Brain Fellowship Program where the members had to create a “social change project.” She said her passion about women in sports led her to contact WISE to create the speed mentoring event.

“The Brain Fellowship Program is what I was a part of and that’s what started the whole project. I partnered with WISE, which brought it to life, and Dr. Sheptak helped me figure everything out,” said Ackerman.

Ackerman said she wanted to show the achievement and challenges of the panelists of Baldwin Wallace alumni throughout the sporting industry.

“The purpose for me was to bring awareness and showcase what people from BW have accomplished and that it is possible for others to do the same,” said Ackerman.

Ackerman said students were able to benefit from hearing the success stories of the panelists.

“The conversations were great,” she said. “From a student standpoint, [they] benefited just to hear how the panelists got where they are, what they do with their life and what motivated them.”

The event “had about 40 people: 20 students and about 20 WISE members,” said Ackerman.

After the event, “people stuck around to get business cards and network,” which benefited students by being able to communicate directly with WISE members, said Ackerman.

Sheptak said having WISE members stick around after created opportunities for students to create connections and receive “immediate confirmation.”

“[A few] students made good roads to internships and hopefully that will lead to jobs,” said Sheptak.

Though the event focused on members from WISE, Sheptak said “it wasn’t just women” who attended the event. The event is being considered an annual event, said Ackerman.