The Seton Hall athletic department launched the “SHE Can” Initiative on Nov. 9 to allow female athletes to see themselves in a professional realm through networking events and mentorship opportunities.
“Athletics really is a vehicle to learn those life skills, so I think it’s really important that they see themselves in that life after college mode and the more we can do to provide that, the better we’re going to be as a department,” Senior Associate Athletics Director Tatum Colitz said.
Colitz said female athletes have expressed an interest in a wide variety of careers such as business, journalism, health sciences and many more. Through this initiative, Seton Hall will be able to pair female student-athletes with alumnae within the fields of their studies. This opportunity will help them grow their professional network and develop their professional skills, she said.
“I hear time and time again from professionals that have gotten to meet our student athletes how impressed they are with their poise, maturity, and their ability to problem solve,” Colitz said.
While many upperclassmen have benefitted from this opportunity, Colitz said the goal of ‘SHE Can’ is to make it accessible for all class years because career development is something from which the freshmen can benefit as well.
“Community and Inclusion” is one of the five pillars that this initiative stands on. The other four that the athletic department has established for it are leadership, professionalism, vision and empowerment.
“All of these are intertwined, and they all add such value so when you improve one, the others are impacted too,” Colitz added.
Though this initiative is geared strictly toward females, the athletics department has hosted several networking events and panels to advance the entire student-athlete body.
“While our male student athletes are definitely a group we are looking to support, I think this program is more focused on an area that we noticed a need,” Colitz said.
There may be other versions of “SHE Can” that exist in other universities, but the Seton Hall community and alumni network is what sets this one apart.
Although most networking events and one on one mentorship meetings were held online given the circumstances, athletics has still found ways to make them unique.
Said Colitz, “COVID-19 has really forced us to be creative and think on our feet, and the longer it’s been present the more we’ve been able to hone how effective and engaging our programs are.”
Ashley Howard cna be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.