Every weekday for 45 days, the organization Women Leaders in College Sports will be featuring a Women Leaders member who, because of Title IX, has benefited personally and professionally. The feature includes a Q&A profile in which each woman explains how the academic and athletic opportunities afforded to her because of Title IX have impacted her life, how other women have influenced her throughout her career, and how she's paying that forward by championing other women and girls in sports. Today's Women Leaders In College Sports feature was with St. Louis Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Commissioner Angie Morenz.
Finish this sentence: "Because of Title IX..."
I've had access to sport in all stages of my life.
How have the athletic and academic opportunities afforded to you because of Title IX impacted your life? Can you imagine your life without them?
From an early age, I knew I wanted to be involved in sports, which translated to playing three sports from 7th grade through my senior year in college and choosing a career in sports. Title IX provided me access to teams; the very first time my junior high offered girls' basketball was the year I entered the 7th grade. Title IX afforded me the opportunity to learn and grow through collegiate sports, and when I entered college I met a mentor and educator, Gerry Albins. She challenged my thought process about equity. I had grown up with access, and she made me better understand that just because I had it, didn't mean everyone did or does.
Tell us about a woman who championed you in pursuing your goals. How did her influence inspire or affect you and your career?
Having sport in my life has grown my circle of personal and professional friends, gave me life-long activity, and an outlet for my competitive passion.
How are you continuing to champion the next generation of women and girls in sports, and raise awareness on the importance Title IX?
Currently, I'm working on championing young student-athletes and staff members through mentoring programs, internship programs, and developing a young SWA group for women I work with. Each time I have the opportunity to speak with young women on one of my campuses, I remind them that there is still much work to do under Title IX. Just because the world of sports looks equitable on the surface, it isn't always as it seems. Being a student-athlete today means carrying on the work of the women and advocates that came before—they are the reason why women have access to sport, coaches, and opportunities. The history of Title IX is young—the time between the law being signed until now is a very short period of time, so knowing the history of women's collegiate sport is important. We are not that far removed from our history, we need to know where we were, where we are headed, and what steps we need to take to move the needle.
If you could send an empowering tweet to every woman and girl across the country, what would you send?
"Look up, reach back, dream big, and tap into your own power. You are amazing."