Past Guest Speakers
Susan O'Malley, the first female president of a professional sports franchise, spoke at Coastal Carolina University on March 5, 2013, in conjunction with the 2013 VisitMyrtleBeach.com Big South Basketball Championships and the 40th Anniversary of Title IX.
At age 29, O'Malley became the first female president of an NBA franchise as well as one of the first women in a major front-office position in major league sports. She is the former president of the NBA's Washington Bullets (now the Wizards) and Washington Sports and Entertainment. In her 20-year tenure with Washington Sports, she also ran the Verizon Center (formerly the MCI Center), the WNBA’s Washington Mystics, and Ticketmaster Washington-Baltimore.
O'Malley took an organization ranked last in almost every category and initiated policies and procedures that formed positive relationships with ticket holders, corporate sponsors and the media.
In her first season handling off-court activities, the team had the largest ticket revenue increase in the history of an NBA franchise to date. That same year, the club achieved its highest season ticket renewal rate, including the year following the 1977-1778 Championship season. By the 2005-2006 season, the Wizards attracted more than 17,000 fans per game, had 14 sellouts and earned their second consecutive trip to the NBA playoffs. By the time she retired in 2007, the Verizon Center had recorded more than 21.2 million patrons.
She has been described as a skilled motivator, who "created a spirited, results-oriented work environment that has been emulated throughout professional sports."
O'Malley earned a law degree from Georgetown University in 2007. She has taught sports business marketing at Georgetown University and currently is an assistant professor at St. Joseph's University in Philadelphia. She earned a bachelor’s degree in business and finance from Mount St. Mary's University in 1983.
The lecture has been made possible by Terri DeCenzo, CCU's first lady and the executive director of Women in Philanthropy and Leadership for Coastal Carolina University, and reflects the conference-wide commitment to leadership through athletics with particular emphasis on women’s leadership.
"I am very pleased that Terri DeCenzo and Women in Philanthropy and Leadership are bringing a renowned leader in the sports business world such as Susan O'Malley to speak to our student-athletes and members of the Coastal Carolina community," said CCU Director of Athletics Hunter Yurachek. "Our goal is to provide entertaining and enlightening programming for all parties involved for each of the three years we host the VisitMyrtleBeach.com Big South Basketball Championships. Also, Susan O’Malley's history as a trailblazer and pioneer in the world of sports reflects the kind of experiences we want to teach our student-athletes in developing Champions For Life."
"We are honored to have Susan O'Malley join us for our Women’s Leadership event at the VisitMyrtleBeach.com Big South Basketball Championships," said conference commissioner Kyle Kallander. "She is truly a pioneer in sport and I know our women’s basketball student-athletes will enjoy her message. We want to thank Coastal Carolina University and the Women in Philanthropy and Leadership for Coastal Carolina for their efforts in creating this opportunity. It is a great example of how the Big South Conference continues to Develop Leaders Through Athletics."
Coastal Carolina University has been selected to host the Big South Men's and Women's Basketball Championships in 2013, 2014 and 2015.
Linda Tarr-Whelan, an internationally-recognized advocate for women's leadership, is a distinguished senior fellow at the progressive think tank Demos. She was ambassador to the United Nations Commission on the Status for Women in the Clinton administration. She also served as deputy assistant for women's concerns to former President Jimmy Carter and was named one of the 50 most powerful women in Washington by Ladies Home Journal. She has had a varied career including serving as a nurse, management consultant, advocate, nonprofit leader, communicator and union negotiator, as well as a government official at the state, national and international levels. She is the author of "Women Lead the Way: Your Guide to Stepping Up to Leadership and Changing the World," which offers practical steps for women to make life better for themselves and society.
Together with Women in Philanthropy and Leadership (WIPL), Tarr-Whelan's lecture, titled "Women Lead the Way," and workshop were sponsored by the University’s Women's and Gender Studies Program, Office of the President, and South Carolina Women's Connection, an initiative of Clemson Institute for Economic and Community Development. Workshop attendees received a copy of Tarr-Whelan's book, provided by WIPL.
Tarr-Whelen, who now lives in Beaufort, earned a bachelor's degree in nursing from Johns Hopkins and a master's degree from the University of Maryland. She also holds honorary doctoral degrees from Chatham University and Plymouth State University.
Barbara Morgan, Distinguished Educator-in-Residence at Boise State University and former NASA astronaut, completed her first space flight in 2007 on the space shuttle Endeavor on which she was a mission specialist. As NASA's first Educator Astronaut, she has logged more than 305 hours in space. She began her training at the Johnson Space Center in 1998.
Morgan was selected as the backup candidate for the NASA Teacher in Space Program on July 19, 1985. From September 1985 to January 1986, Morgan trained with the late Christa McAuliffe and the Challenger crew at NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston. Following the Challenger accident, Morgan assumed the duties of Teacher in Space Designee. From March 1986 to July 1986, she worked with NASA, speaking to educational organizations throughout the country. In the fall of 1986, Morgan returned to Idaho to resume her teaching career.
Before her 10-year career with NASA, Morgan served as a public school teacher for 24 years. Now, at Boise State University, she leads the university's science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education program. Her duties include policy development, advocacy and university advancement. She directs the university's efforts to bring NASA education programs to area schools, and serves as a guest lecturer and student mentor.
Cheryl Ward, director for the Center for Archaeology and Anthropology and associate professor of history at Coastal Carolina University, is a maritime archaeologist who specializes in the history and construction of wooden ships. She is a co-principal investigator for maritime artifacts at the pharaonic port at Wadi Gawasis on the Red Sea in Egypt and last year completed the reconstruction and sailing of an ancient Egyptian seagoing ship. Her published works include "Sacred and Secular: Ancient Egyptian Ship Construction," "The Philosophy of Shipbuilding: Conceptual Approaches to the Study of Wooden Ships," and many articles in both scholarly and popular journals.
She earned her Ph.D. in anthropology from Texas A&M University, a master's degree in bioarchaeology from the Institute of Archaeology at the University of London, a master's degree in anthropology from Texas A&M University and a bachelor's degree in anthropology from Texas Tech University. Ward founded and co-directed the Institute of Nautical Archaeology in Egypt and has served as a national speaker for the Archaeological Institute of America.
To learn more, visit http://ww2.coastal.edu/cward/drward.php.
To read about her work, which was featured in January 2010 on the PBS program NOVA, the acclaimed science documentary series, visit http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/transcripts/3702_pharaoh.html.