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CSM to host inaugural Lead Like a Girl Luncheon

Thursday, Jan. 31, 2019

Updated 2/6/19 - 

Congratulations to our 2019 Lead Like a Girl Award Winners!


Coach of Character Award – This award is given to a head coach of an Omaha high school who has been outstanding in embracing the five core values of the Champions of Character initiative by deliberately teaching character to his/her student-athletes through sport. Winner: Shannon Walker – Omaha Northwest High School – Volleyball Coach

Trailblazer Award – This award is given to a female student-athlete at an Omaha High School who has demonstrated excellence focused on the value of Leadership within her team and community. Winner: Quinesha Lockett – Omaha Benson High School – Volleyball, Basketball and Track Athlete

Spark Award – This award is given to a female student-athlete at an Omaha High School who has a continuous positive impact on her team within competition and other team oriented activities. This athlete may be the “spark” subbing in off the bench, the “spark” of energy cheering for her team or impact her team in another positive way. Winner: Ma’Lisa Smith – Omaha Northwest High School – Volleyball, Basketball and Soccer Athlete

Integrity Award – This award is given to a female student-athlete at an Omaha High School who has demonstrated excellence focused on the value of Integrity as defined by the NAIA Champions of Character Five Core Values. Winner: Lilia Alvarez – Omaha South High School – Cross Country, Basketball and Track Athlete

Announcement Release:

OMAHA, NEB. – College of Saint Mary Athletics is inviting several area high school students to campus on Wednesday, Feb. 6th, for its inaugural Lead Like a Girl Luncheon. Taking place on National Girls & Women in Sports Day, the event will recognize Omaha public and Catholic high school student-athletes who have been nominated in the areas of leadership, character and teamwork. Final winners for each of four awards will be chosen from this exceptional group of young women.

“The inaugural Lead Like A Girl luncheon will be a celebration of the values that have an impact within girls high school athletics,” says Peter Haze Haring, director of athletics at CSM. “We want to recognize the intangible positive qualities that define a high school student athlete in the city of Omaha with the overall purpose of heightening the importance of leadership and character in sports. Connecting with our area high schools is a significant component of our Lead Like A Girl community outreach.”

Jamie Adams, CSM assistant athletic director, hand-delivered the award nominations to the high school students in January. Four winners will be chosen from 37 nominees.

The awards are the Integrity Award, the Spark Award, the Trailblazer Award and the Coach of Character Award. Each nominee must exhibit the NAIA Champions of Character Five Core Values—integrity, respect, responsibility, sportsmanship, and servant leadership—both on her team and in her school community. Selection for the awards is not based on athletic performance; rather, it focuses on making a positive impact and demonstrating leadership and integrity.

Terri Wachtler Campbell ‘93, CSM vice president for alumnae and donor relations and former CSM softball player, will be the event’s keynote speaker. “Research has shown that women in leadership roles and in fields traditionally dominated by men often share another characteristic: athletic participation,” says Campbell. “We’re excited to create partnerships like this one with a goal of empowering women through athletics and hopefully unlocking their true potential.”

This luncheon will tie hand in hand with the inaugural Lead Like a Girl awards program that CSM held in January. At this event 22 middle-school student-athletes were recognized for their outstanding character.

Adams spoke of the importance of this event in regards to the mission of the college. “One of our major goals is community engagement. As an athletic department, we have a unique connection to the athletes in the community. We wanted to engage all the high schools at once and to do more than simply recognizing student-athletes for their stats. All of these awards are character-based.”