A year ago, Jacqui Schuman was torn about what her next career move should be. With two decades of building high-performing, student-focused athletics programs under her belt, the natural next step seemed to be a position as an athletics director. But the choice wasn’t that clear to her.
Giving her pause was her headstrong advocacy for social justice. It was not that she would be unable to lead the charge against inequality as an athletics director, but her passion for diversity and inclusion might go further if she pursued a career path centered on equality.
“A lot of people wanted me to go after the athletics director positions that were out there,”舒曼说, reflecting on her career process. 但与此同时, I knew that there just are not enough people doing this DEI [diversity, 股本, 和包容)工作, and suddenly everyone has realized what a few of us have known for a while—that it’s work we all need to be doing.”
Then she came across the Beacons. In a city known for champions, the teams were built to win, and they played for one of the most diverse universities in the country. 在哥伦比亚点, Schuman saw a place where her passions for athletics and social justice could be maximized equally and authentically.
“I knew there was something here,” she said. “I really felt like this was a place where I could take all of my skill sets and make an influence that matters—one that can shape this university, 波士顿市, and the lives of our student-athletes, 一切都好. . . . 真的很合身.”
现在, five months into overseeing 马塞诸斯州大学波士顿’s 18 varsity athletic teams and expansive recreation program, Schuman has settled in and taken stock of the athletics and recreation framework. “This university has had great success in athletics,” she said. “From where I’m sitting right now, I can see this really strong foundation that’s been built. We have coaches who’ve built their teams from scratch, and many of them have competed for national championships. All of our coaches compete with consistent success and drive for excellence.”
Applying her expertise to that foundation, she is ready to chart a path forward for the division, and for her it begins with a simple philosophy.
“student-centric, 诚信地运作, and strive for excellence in everything we do as one team,”她说.
在球场上, that begins with taking an approach toward a collaborative performance model that supports student-athletes’ holistic well-being, including both physical and psychological training and data-informed decision making. This model leads to care for the student-athlete that builds strength, 耐力, and health so that they are ready for competition and thriving in their day-to-day lives.
“A holistic performance model will make our student-athletes healthier, and they will be more successful,”她说, having been responsible for successful models at prior institutions. “Their performance can skyrocket from here because they know that they will be taken care of by our program.”
Her mission also applies to what happens off the field. Having received her EdD from Vanderbilt University earlier this year, Schuman understands more than most that truly successful student-athletes have just as many academic and career resources at their disposal as they do athletic resources.
“We have resources within this institution that we have yet to capitalize on and maximize,”舒曼说. “If we’re able to partner, collaborate, and leverage them, I honestly think the sky’s the limit.”
At the top of that list is the Sport Leadership and Administration Program, which was established in 2019 and has deep connections to the Boston sports world. In Schuman’s words, it’s a “massive opportunity.”
“That partnership can help yield resources that will help grow what we’re able to do for our student-athletes, 澳门威尼斯赌场的教练, 对于社区来说. We can leverage that to build and structure an internship program and resources that can help further the things we’re trying to do to create efficiencies and help us be more effective.”
The dual potential of the Beacons’ athletics program and the soon-to-be-tapped resources within the university’s academic programs are eye catching and exciting, but it only takes a brief conversation with Schuman to remember why she came to 马塞诸斯州大学波士顿 in the first place: to help showcase the strengths of diversity and be an advocate for social justice.