Emerson College’s only independent, student-run newspaper since 1947

The Berkeley Beacon

Emerson College’s only independent, student-run newspaper since 1947

The Berkeley Beacon

Emerson College’s only independent, student-run newspaper since 1947

The Berkeley Beacon

New athletic director looks to reach alumni

New athletic director looks to reach alumni

As Emerson’s new athletic director, Patricia Nicol said she’ll have to wait until she officially begins her duties May 19 to really have any concrete plans for changing the department. She did, however, emphasize the importance of alumni relations. 

“You need to develop a very strong alumni base to move any department forward, especially athletics, because that is one of your more visible entities on campus,” said Nicol. “It’s my intention to reach out and bring that base in.” 

Announced Tuesday as Emerson’s new athletic director, Nicol will have the chance to do just that. 

“Any time you walk into a new situation you really have to come in and listen very closely,” she said, “hear what people are saying, assess the situation, and make decisions based on the philosophy of the institution, the Division 3 philosophy, and stay in line with the core values of the institution.” 

The vacancy was created nearly two years ago, when then-athletic director Kristin Parnell resigned after complaints and demands from current student-athletes called for her to be stripped of her position. 

In the 668 days since Parnell left the college, the director position was filled on an interim basis by Stanford Nance, who will now become the senior associate athletic director, according to a release sent out by Dean of Students Ronald Ludman on Tuesday. 

“[Nicol] brings a very strong record of achievement as an athletic administrator that will serve the College well as we seek to strengthen our athletics and recreation programs, paying particular attention to our efforts to enhance the student-athlete experience,” wrote Ludman in a statement to the Beacon. Ludman oversees the athletic department and chaired the search committee charged with finding a new director. 

Nicol was one of four final candidates for the job, including Nance, who were all interviewed in February by the search committee. That selection group was composed of two current student-athletes, members of the athletic department, college administrators, and alumni. 

One of those on the committee was Tatiana Motavalli-Oliner, a senior softball player, who also is the annual giving assistant for the college. Motavalli-Oliner said Nicol was a great fit because she’s the parent of a former NEWMAC athlete, she has been an athletic administrator for a long period of time, and she herself is a former student-athlete. 

“None of our other candidates had that unique a perspective with that many angles,” she said. 

Nicol comes to Emerson after having been the AD at Southern Connecticut for 10 years and working as an administrator in its athletic department for 15 in total. During that time, she was a finalist for the Division 2 Athletic Director of the Year in 2010 and in 2013 was selected as a recipient of the distinguished alumnus award from the University of Rhode Island and the Rhode Island House of Representatives.

“My impression of her is that she’s a knowledgeable, experienced athletic director,” said Mike Brown, a faculty representative who served on the search committee. “To me, she was genuine, she knows what she’s doing, she’s an experienced athletic director, she understands [Division 3], and I think she’s a good fit.”

Leave a Comment
Donate to The Berkeley Beacon

Your donation will support the student journalists of Emerson College. Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment and cover our annual website hosting costs.

Donate to The Berkeley Beacon

Comments (0)

The Berkeley Beacon intends for this area to be used to foster healthy, thought-provoking discussion. We welcome strong opinions and criticism that are respectful and constructive. All users are expected to adhere to our comment section policy laid out below: (A) THE FOLLOWING IS NOT PERMITTED: 1- Name-calling, personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity, impersonations, SHOUTING and incoherence. 2- Personal attacks against our staff. 3- language that might be interpreted as libelous (defamatory). 4- Any form of personal and/or commercial promotion. (B) HOW WE MODERATE COMMENTS: Most comments will be posted if they are on-topic, article related and not abusive. Comment moderation decisions are subjective and completely at the discretion of the current website editor and Berkeley Beacon Staff. (C) USER VERIFICATION: All comments on our site must be approved by Berkeley Beacon staff to ensure that they meet the Comment Section Policies. The Berkeley Beacon also requires a valid email address from anyone who wishes to comment. Once you have submitted your comment for review you will immediately receive an automated email to confirm your email address (Comments will NOT be approved if you have not confirmed your email address). Your email address will not be displayed or available to the public and will only be used to confirm your comments. Comments will typically be reviewed within 24-48 hours.
All Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *