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Women in Leadership Spotlight Dinner

Women in Leadership Spotlight Dinner

by Sjaan Scully

On Thursday, December 3, 2015, Dalhousie athletes, students, faculty, alumni, family, and friends joined each other for the sixth annual women in leadership spotlight dinner located in the McInnis room of the Dalhousie Student Union Building. The evening included several presentations from guests including guest speaker Kathie Sanderson, TD district vice president Georgette Moffatt, as well as several student-athletes and coaches.

Since the dinner’s inception in 2010, this year’s event had the most attendance to date. The student-athletes from the women’s volleyball and basketball teams hosted the event with over 350 people in attendance.

This year’s event was presented by TD Bank Group. TD’s district vice president, Georgette Moffatt, spoke of the value the event held by way of sparking discussions. She expressed how this event demonstrated the great leadership that is developed in athletics and that TD wants to work alongside those leaders.

Director of Varsity Athletics, Tim Maloney, launched the evening with several accolades to the women’s volleyball and basketball teams. When discussing these women’s many accomplishments, he stated that the "Tigers strive for excellence in academics, athletics, and in the community." This fact is proven from the great deal of volunteering the team members are involved with, totalling over one hundred hours all together. Their academic performance is not to go unnoticed. As well as offering their time to help others, over half of the players from last year’s teams earned the academic all-Canadian status for their hard work in school.

Head coach of the women’s basketball team, Anna Stammberger, credited her team as being "strong academic leaders who take their responsibilities on and off the court very seriously." The players are not only devoted to their team, but also to making a change in the community.

Student-athletes Ainsley MacIntyre and Emma Ciprik are members of the Student Athletes Mental Health Initiative (SAMHI). SAMHI aims to inform people more about mental illness and to break the stigma surrounding the topic. A fourth-year neuroscience student from women’s basketball, MacIntyre, expressed that "as student-athletes and leaders in our community, it gives us a platform to create change."

MacIntyre and Ciprik, as well as other Dalhousie student-athletes, are starting a fundraiser with the goal of breaking the stigma surrounding mental health. In the winter, Dalhousie student-athletes will be giving people the chance to either make a ten dollar donation or make ten snow angels to encourage conversation about mental health in the community.

Guest speaker Kathie Sanderson Morgan shared many stories about her three loves in life - her family, her athletics, and her career. Kathie was raised in York Point, PE and played for the Dalhousie basketball team starting in 1993. She credits many of her accomplishments to those around her for supporting her in everything that she did because she knew that she could do anything if she worked hard for it and was surrounded by those who supported her.

Sanderson was part of the basketball team when they won the AUAA (now AUS) championship in her third year of school - which she also said was her best experience as a Dalhousie Tiger. However, the skills she gained, such as leadership and teamwork, are what she credits for bringing her success in her career today.

Kathie works as an aircraft pilot in the Caribbean on a six-person crew that performs search and rescue missions and monitors trafficking of drugs, people, etc. among other duties. She states that "the importance of the mission is how well we work together." Since the teams must use headsets in the aircraft, the use of verbal communication is vital. She credits much of her ability to lead her team and communicate with them so effectively to her experience playing, leading, and communicating with her basketball teams.

When asked by the athletes what her best piece of advice for student-athletes would be she responded by saying "Don’t underestimate what you’re learning and what you’re doing here at Dalhousie because it will contribute to who you are in the future."

The Tigers would like to thank all of those who attended and to everyone who helped make the sixth annual event a great success.

Women in Leadership Student-Athlete Profiles