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Jun 10, 2024

Clemson Recognizes 2024 CUADvance Cohort Graduates

Third Cohort Graduates from Athletics Staff Developmental Program

CLEMSON, S.C.- Clemson Athletics celebrates the achievements and graduation of the 2023-24 CUADvance Staff Development cohort. 

2023-24 COHORT
Kevin Aje • Associate Director, Academic Services
Geoff Bell • Social Content Specialist, Creative Solutions, CAPCO
Kyle Chasse • Assistant Director, Business Operations
Jeuel Davis • Director of Life Skills & Community Service, P.A.W Journey, FB Player Relations
Liz Doherty • Director of Compliance Services
James Haynes • Assistant Director of Football Recruiting Operations
Jayse McQuaig • Assistant Director of Football Internal Creative & Technology
JT Mellendick • Associate Director, Academic Services
Nash Newberry • Assistant Director of Development and Member Services
Ashley Persson • Assistant Director for Student-Athlete Development
Meredith Priest • Associate Director of Premium Hospitality and Donor Stewardship, IPTAY
Jared Sweat • Associate Director, Creative Solutions
Amanda Taylor • Assistant Athletic Trainer, Lacrosse
Erika Troutman • Assistant Strength & Conditioning Coach, Lacrosse, Women’s Soccer
Shanelle Valentine • Assistant Director of On-Campus Recruiting, Football

CUADvance, sponsored by Director of Athletics Graham Neff, is a 10-month, one-of-a-kind program designed for early-career employees. Coordinated by Jordy Kirr and Henry Archuleta, it features a best-in-class core curriculum led by AMPLOS and other athletics-centric speakers, focusing on personal development, industry exposure, and networking opportunities. This innovative concept aims to enhance employee skills and create growth opportunities in collegiate athletics.

Program Description

Each monthly two-hour session rotates across various venues in the Athletic District, introducing the cohort to different departmental units. The first hour, led by Dr. Cory Shaffer, emphasizes personal development, encouraging employees to discover their strengths and weaknesses for effective leadership. The second hour, structured as a “lunch and learn,” features speakers from CUAD, the ACC, and peer institutions, integrating their insights with AMPLOS’s curriculum to provide a comprehensive learning experience.

This year also  marked the second year of a final project “A Leader Worth Following,” in which the cohort interviewed leaders from around the country, and presented on their findings.

Group 1- Geoff Bell, Jeuel Davis, Nash Newberry

  • Itoro Coleman, Associate Head Women’s Basketball Coach- Virginia Tech

Group 2- Kevin Aje, Liz Doherty, James Haynes, Meredith Priest

  • Jeff Davis, Assistant AD of Football Player Relations- Clemson Athletics & Founder of P.A.W. Journey
  • Maggie Bailey, Associate AD/Senior Woman Administrator/Deputy Title IX Coordinator- University of Arkansas at Little Rock
  • Beth Goetz, Director of Athletics- University of Iowa

Group 3- Kyle Chasse, Jayse McQuaig, Jared Sweat, Erika Troutman

  • Imry Halevi, Associate AD of Communications and Strategic Communications- Harvard

Group 4- JT Mellendick, Ashley Persson, Amanda Taylor, Shanelle’ Valentine

  • Dr. Eric Wood, Senior Deputy A.D./External Relations and Business Development- Ole Miss

Clemson Athletics will be launching the CUADvance application for the 2024-25 academic year in early July and will announce the new cohort early August.


August 2023

  • Hour 1: Lunch & Learn with Guest Speakers Graham Neff and Kevin White
  • Hour 2: Core Curriculum: Introduction – Why Personal & Professional Development Matters

September 2023

  • Hour 1: Lunch & Learn with Guest Speaker Coach Mike Noonan
    • The group met with Men’s Soccer Head Coach Mike Noonan, who emphasized the importance of a growth mindset. He discussed learning from mistakes, being authentic, asking for help, and pursuing self-improvement through reading, seeking advice, and self-evaluation. Coach Noonan highlighted the need to reset during tough times, be a good listener, and stay present. He recommended “Man’s Search for Meaning” by Viktor Frankl, which inspired him to focus on finding personal meaning rather than pleasure, embodying the essence of a growth mindset.
  • Hour 2: Core Curriculum: Mindset – The Foundation for Growth

October 2023

  • Hour 1: Lunch & Learn with Guest Speaker Jocelyn Fisher Gates
  • Hour 2: Core Curriculum: Core Values – Character Strengths & Exploring What’s Important to You

November 2023

  • Hour 1: Lunch & Learn (Cohort Discussion)
  • Hour 2: Core Curriculum: Purpose – Why and How You Do What You Do

December 2023

  • Hour 1: Lunch & Learn with Guest Speaker Coach Erik Bakich
    • Coach Bakich emphasized the philosophy of “Go for No,” highlighting that true growth occurs when pushing beyond comfort zones and aiming high. He stressed the importance of gratitude, attitude, and positive interactions, stating that success should stem from happiness, and consistent application of these principles builds an enduring organizational legacy, as seen with Chick-fil-A.
  • Hour 2: Core Curriculum: Vision and Legacy – Looking Ahead to What You Want to Leave

January 2024

  • Hour 1: Lunch & Learn with Guest Speaker Natalie Honnen
    • Natalie Honnen, Executive Senior Associate AD for Student-Athlete Services and Performance, shared insights on finding true happiness in one’s career, emphasizing that it comes from within and not from external comparisons or titles. She advised the group to prioritize self-care and be lifelong learners, highlighting the importance of being well-versed in multiple areas of the industry.
  • Hour 2: Core Curriculum: Success & Happiness – Choosing Your Path While Enjoying Your Journey

February 2024

  • Hour 1: Lunch & Learn with Guest Speaker Patti Phillips
    • The session began with guest speaker Patti Phillips, CEO of Women Leaders in Sports, who provided valuable professional advice on goals and habits. Speaking energetically from the NFL Combine, Patti emphasized the importance of managing one’s mindset, using positive language to reframe challenges, and maintaining grit and persistence. She highlighted that true leaders adapt, grow, and stay lifelong learners, inspiring others with energy and a smile.
  • Hour 2: Core Curriculum: Goals and Habits – Setting Yourself Up for Success

March 2024

  • Hours 1-2: Lunch & Learn with Coach Dabo Swinney
    • Coach Swinney emphasized the importance of mindset and belief in achieving success, highlighting that doing common things in uncommon ways and maintaining consistency are key. He encouraged the group to master their craft with energy and optimism, as this attracts like-minded leaders. Swinney concluded with Phil Knight’s words on Nike’s success: “We love what we do and who we do it with.”

April 2024

  • Hour 1: Lunch & Learn with Guest Speaker Jonathan Gantt and Mark Majewski
  • Hour 2: Core Curriculum: Leading Others with Authenticity

May 2024

  • Hours 1-2: “A Leader Worth Following” Group Presentations (4)
  • Final Group Project Presentations “A Leader Worth Following” – Groups presented on Wednesday, May 15, 2024