12 Oct ATH: Hofstra Announces 2021-22 Pride Leadership Academy Class
Hempstead, NY – The Hofstra University Department of Athletics has announced the second class of the Colonel E. David Woycik, Jr. (Ret) Esq. Pride Leadership Academy, an initiative designed to cultivate an environment where student-athletes have the opportunity to evolve into leaders of impact.
“The Woycik Pride Leadership Academy is a tremendous resource for our student-athletes,” said Hofstra Vice President and Director of Athletics Rick Cole Jr. “Our goal is to produce champions in the classroom, in competition, in the community, and in life and this leadership academy will go a long way in helping us achieve those goals. We had a great first year with the leadership academy and look for even bigger things as the program evolves and grows.”
Selected to the Pride Leadership Academy for the 2021-22 academic year are:
Maddie Appleton (volleyball)
Griffin Barrouk (men’s basketball)
JaKayla Brown (women’s basketball)
Simran Desai (women’s tennis)
Alex Dudley (men’s soccer)
Gabriela Espinoza (field hockey)
Mark Faello (baseball)
Marlene Fries (women’s soccer)
Jake Giannone (men’s lacrosse)
Meghan Giordano (softball)
Karissa Hough (field hockey)
Sorelle Ineza (women’s basketball)
Pierce Infuso (men’s soccer)
Will Kennedy (baseball)
Sam Lutfi (men’s lacrosse)
Holger Maaloe (men’s soccer)
Sheryl Mathew (volleyball)
Margo McCormack (women’s lacrosse)
Sarah Pierre (volleyball)
Trey Rogers (wrestling)
Jess Smith (women’s lacrosse)
Wessel Speel (men’s soccer)
Anja Suttner (women’s soccer)
Isabella Tonuzi (women’s tennis)
Mandisa Walle (women’s tennis)
Aiden Willey (men’s cross country/track)
Kayla Wilson (softball)
Cynthia Zhao (women’s golf)
This class of the Pride Leadership Academy features 28 student-athletes, chosen following a rigorous selection process that included an application, academic requirement, multiple rounds of interviews, and letters of recommendation.
The Woycik Pride Leadership Academy is administered by Assistant Director of Athletics for Student-Athlete Services and Life Skills Development Rachelle Fabre and Assistant Strength and Conditioning Coach Justin Bentivegna. The Leadership Academy Committee, which oversees the selection process, consisted of Vice President and Director of Athletics Rick Cole Jr., Deputy Director of Athletics and Chief Revenue Officer Bryan Graff, Senior Associate Director of Athletics for Student-Athlete Success Rachel Peel-Macandrew, Senior Associate Director of Athletics for Compliance, Diversity, and Inclusion Alyssa Morales Kelly, Fabre, and Bentivegna.
Student-athletes participating in the Pride Leadership Academy receive additional training and development in critical leadership areas such as personal leadership styles, strategies, and tactics. Members will also participate in a mentorship program, learn foundational principals of etiquette, organize and complete a community service project, take part in a networking luncheon with prominent Hofstra alumni, receive feedback from the Pride Leadership Academy Committee, and celebrate their transition to leaders of impact with an end of the year pinning ceremony.
The Pride Leadership Academy would not be possible without the generosity of Colonel Woycik and his wife, Carolyn Sanchez. Both are long-time supporters of Hofstra University and the athletics program. Woycik is a past Hofstra Athletics Pride Club president, a 1977 graduate of the University and a 1980 Maurice A. Deane School of Law graduate. He was a member of the lacrosse team for two years after transferring from the United States Naval Academy and in addition to his undergraduate and law degrees, he earned a commission as a second lieutenant after participating in the Hofstra ROTC program. Woycik was also a member of the Crown & Lance Fraternity at Hofstra. Sanchez did not attend Hofstra, but has been actively involved in many initiatives on campus.
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