Mount Aloysius College senior woman administrator and lacrosse coach Danielle O'Leary has been trained to lead the NCAA Division III LGBTQ OneTeam program.
O'Leary is one of just fifty coaches and administrators chosen for the inaugural education effort.
The NCAA Office of Inclusion hosted the facilitator training for the new initiative. The goal of the two-day session was to develop facilitation and presentation skills in the peer-driven LGBTQ educational programming. The OneTeam program is designed to be delivered to key players in the athletic department (administrators, coaches, and support staff), as well as faculty and staff involved in the campus community.
OneTeam is the brainchild of the Division III LGBTQ Working Group, that was established in 2017. AMCC Commissioner Donna Ledwin serves on the working group, and encouraged O'Leary to apply.
"One of the main points of the OneTeam program is to recognize the multiple identities that student-athletes have, and how their identity can affect their college experience," explained O'Leary.
Through the programming, participants will be able to recognize the importance of LGBTQ inclusion in college athletics. They will learn definitions, LGBTQ common terms, and concepts. By the end of the two-hour program, athletic departments should be able to identify strategies and best practices to create a climate of respect and inclusion, regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression.
O'Leary found the training to be extremely useful.
"After the facilitator training and going through real life case studies, I see the role that athletics can play in changing the culture of a campus," she commented. "It was great to see so many administrators, coaches, and staff that are passionate about LGBTQ Inclusion!
"Moving forward I’m excited to provide this program to Mount Aloysius and all AMCC member institutions. I think it’s important for all of us to be knowledgeable about LGBTQ Inclusion, and begin talking about how we can create a more inclusive and respectful environment for all of our student-athletes."
Ledwin expects O'Leary to be an effective ambassador for diversity and inclusion in the conference.
"It's been very encouraging to see the OneTeam signage hanging in our member institutions' athletic facilities," said Ledwin. "It sends a powerful, positive message of support to our LGBTQ student-athletes, staff and supporters. The OneTeam program will help put the words and signs into action: We are here for everyone."