Athletics News
SWA Professional Growth and Development Grant for Women and Ethnic Minorities Announced

PROVIDENCE, R.I. - The BIG EAST Conference recently distributed full or partial grants as part of the BIG EAST Professional Development Grant for Women and Ethnic Minorities program, which provides funds for professional development to the league's coaches and administrators. The program is in its fifth year of existence, and provided three coaches and five administrators with a total of $11,850 in aid.

The purpose of this grant program, which was developed by the BIG EAST's Senior Woman Administrators (SWAs) in conjunction with league officials, is to provide financial support for the various professional development opportunities for women and ethnic minority coaches and administrators who work at a BIG EAST Conference member institution. The BIG EAST will continue to allocate and distribute money for this program on an annual basis.

"This unique initiative continues to underscore and illustrate the BIG EAST Conference's commitment to diversity -- a point our 16 senior woman administrators feel is important to emphasize in a tangible way," said Associate Commissioner Donna DeMarco, who works directly with the league's SWAs. "Now that this has become an annual occurrence, we are able to provide rewarding professional development opportunities within all levels of our member institution athletic departments.

The winning coaches are Katie Brophy (Georgetown),  Catherine Proto (Seton Hall), and Katie Potts (Marquette).  Administrators receiving grants include Kara Killion (Notre Dame), Tasha Harris (Georgetown), Charles Small (Pittsburgh), Katharine Moore (Providence) and Shelley McDuff (USF).The total amount awarded was $11,850 (out of $12,000).

The SWA Professional Growth and Development Subcommittee members are Kathryn Statz of DePaul, Sarah Bobert of Marquette, Jill LaPoint of Providence, Lynn Tighe of Villanova and Terri Howes of  West Virginia. The BIG EAST staff liaison is Director of Sport Administration Kristen Brown. 

Among the seminars, programs, conferences and workshops that this year's recipients will be attending include the NCAA Women's Coaching Academy, NSCAA Permier National Coaching Course, Athletic Business Conference & Expo, Association of Luxury Suite Directors Convention, NACWAA HERS Convention, Collegiate Strength and Conditioning Coaches Association, NACWAA Leadership Enhancement Institute and the Black Coaches Association Convention & Expo.

The BIG EAST's grant program drew attention from Diverse magazine two years ago. The magazine focuses exclusively on matters of access and opportunity for all in higher education. Click here to read more.


  2011-12 Grant Award Winners




Katie Brophy - Georgetown            
2012 5th International Olympic Committee World Conference on Women and Sport   ($1,750)


Tasha Harris - Georgetown
NACWAA Institute for Administrative Advancement ($2,000)


Katie Potts - Marquette
NACWAA Institute for Administrative Advancement ($900)

Kara Killion - Notre Dame
NACWAA Institute for Administrative Advancement ($1,750)



Catherine Proto - Seton Hall
A Step Up (Athletic Symposium) ($1,100)

Charles Small - Pittsburgh
NCAA Leadership Institute ($1,750)




Katharine Moore - Providence
NACWAA Institute for Administrative Advancement ($1,800)




Shelley McDuff - USF
NACWAA Institute for Administrative Advancement ($800)