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‘More Than A Game’ Symposium April 21 Promotes Student-Athlete Mental Health Awareness
The Falk College’s Sport Venue and Event Management (SVEM) master’s program will host “More Than A Game,” a virtual symposium dedicated to promoting athlete mental health awareness, on April 21. Speakers include Syracuse University student-athletes and industry professionals.
Brittney Sykes ’17 (current WNBA player for the LA Sparks), Cam Lynch ’15 (former NFL linebacker), Morgan Alexander ’21 (women’s lacrosse) and Quincy Guerrier ’23 (men’s basketball) will serve as panelists.
Additional keynote speakers include Valorie Kondos Fields (PAC 12 Conference Women’s Gymnastics Coach of the Century); Dr. Jessica Bartley (director of mental health for the United States Olympic and Paralympic Committees); Breyah Richardson (former Loyola New Orleans women’s basketball player and founder of B.R.E.A.T.H.E, an organization designed to bring mental health resources to the Black community); Matt Davidson (founder and president of the Excellence with Integrity Institute); Resa Lovelace (founder of RBL Theory, an organization dedicated to promoting workplace diversity and inclusivity); and Dona Rodgers (founder of Morgan’s Message, which strives to eliminate the stigma surrounding mental health within the student-athlete community and equalize the treatment of physical and mental health in athletics).
The topic of mental health was selected for its relevance in society, particularly sporting communities where, regardless of age, race, gender and/or sexuality, nearly 35% of professional athletes cite that they are coping with some form of a mental health issue. The Syracuse University SVEM program aims to bring awareness to mental health issues affecting athletes and to provide a safe space for sharing information and encouraging discussion.
A core component of Falk’s SVEM graduate program is a semester-long assignment for each cohort to collectively organize and host an event during the spring semester.
“This event provides students the opportunity to gain first-hand experience in event planning from start to finish,” says Sport Management Associate Professor Gina Pauline, who has taught the Advanced Sport Event Management course for the past six years. “They have learned how to work on marketing, sponsorship, operations and more through the executing of this virtual symposium. In what is a very different academic year for everyone, the students found an opportunity to develop their skills while focusing on such a meaningful topic.”
This year’s symposium, “More Than a Game,” is a first of its kind within the program’s history as a completely online event.
For more information and to register for this free event, please visit morethanagamesu.com and follow on Instagram and Twitter at @morethanagameSU.
Story by SVEM graduate students Kamille Cooper and Michael Okin.