Jean Lenti Ponsetto Wins NACWAA Trailblazer Contest
Kansas City, Mo. ─ A DePaul University video tribute featuring Director of Athletics Jean Lenti Ponsetto garnered more than 180,000 views in just two weeks to win the National Association of Collegiate Women Athletics Administrators (NACWAA) Title IX Trailblazer Tribute contest and $9,000 gift.
In commemoration of the 40th anniversary year of Title IX, NACWAA invited athletics departments, conference offices and organizations across the nation to nominate and celebrate a trailblazer who has made significant contributions in the area of gender equity. Twenty-five tribute videos were submitted and posted on the NACWAA YouTube channel for a designated two-week viewing period.
DePaul called upon its more than 120,000 alumni, faculty, staff and Blue Crew student support group to view and share Ponsetto’s tribute. The Blue Demons also credit their video going viral to a strong network of athletics alumni who have forged relationships with Ponsetto over the last 35 years, including NBA players Bobby Simmons and Quentin Richardson, who Tweeted the video contest to their many followers.
"I am very grateful to NACWAA for organizing such an innovative contest,” Ponsetto said. “I was humbled, given the commitment and life's work of all the other nominees. As well, I was shocked by the viral nature of the video, which is a real credit to our DePaul community as well as the creativity of its producer, Andrew Wenum of our media relations department. For my part, I share this honor with all the coaches and staff both at DePaul and around the country who have worked in support of student-athletes and equity.
"I am also grateful to the lawmakers during the civil rights movement who worked tirelessly to enact Title IX through the legislative process,” she added. “The American environment for women was forever changed on that day in ways that have been progressive and meaningful; however, what I am most excited about is the great potential for future generations of American women to advance in our society thanks to this law rooted in equity and inclusiveness."
DePaul will receive a $9,000 gift from the NACWAA Foundation Fund in support of its women’s athletics programs and/or female staff professional development.
The Lone Star Conference tribute of Angelo State University Athletics Director Kathleen Brasfield came in second, receiving 30,938 views. The DePaul and Lone Star Conference videos will also be shown at the 2012 NACWAA National Convention, October 7-9 in Kansas City, where institution representatives and their trailblazers will also be invited to attend and be recognized at a special commemoration event.
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