Fulfilling the Role

Jade Prickett '10

MCLA is known for its highly active and engaged students in both their classes and extracurricular activities thanks to a solid liberal arts education. It is not uncommon for MCLA alumni to decide on a career that stemmed from an experience outside of the classroom. While recent graduate Jade Prickett '10 may have majored in sociology with a concentration in early childhood education, she has found herself pursing her passion for sports. An alumna of both the women's basketball and soccer teams, Prickett has constructed a career for herself in sports administration, thanks to the assistance of MCLA staff and alumni.

With the help of athletic director Scott Nichols, Prickett was able to volunteer at the Wellesley College and Boston College athletic departments after graduating in 2010. "Scott opened my eyes to a profession that I never knew really existed," she said.

Prickett commented that as a student athlete, she never considered the administrative side of collegiate sports. Transportation for away contests, the function of the scoreboard, or a table for a team tailgate after the game; these things were not on her radar. However, after getting more involved as a student with Dot Houston and the Student Athlete Advisory Committee, and Jeff Puleri and the Sports Information Department, she learned all that was required for the behind the scenes work. After volunteering at both Wellesley and Boston College, she realized that she wanted to help student athletes the way her administrators and coaches helped her.

"My time spent volunteering at Wellesley and Boston College led me to realize that I wanted to pursue a career in athletic administration because of the impact that I could have on student athletes," she explained.

Scott Nichols and athletic alum Ciaran Cullen '06 of men's soccer advised Prickett to apply for a graduate fellowship in athletic administration at Springfield College. "I was fortunate enough to get the fellowship at Springfield where my education was paid for in return for getting daily hands on experience in their athletic department."

Upon earning her M.Ed. from Springfield College, Prickett moved on to become the assistant director of athletic stewardship and donor relations at Boston College. "One of my favorite things about working at a college and in an athletic department is that you are surrounded by people who eat, sleep, and breathe sports... so it is like I never left."

As a student, that is exactly what Prickett did. With her commitments to both basketball and soccer, she had to eat, sleep, and breathe sports... along with her academic workload.

"I could not have managed playing both without the help and support of both of my coaches Holly McGovern and Deb Raber, and my mentor and college professor Jerry Smosky," she stated. The coaches at MCLA set a structured schedule with classes, practices, games, and study halls to help student athletes excel in the classroom and on the field. Prickett took Concepts of Biology with Smosky during her sophomore year. Their relationship that had developed drastically changed her experience at MCLA. Similar to other staff and faculty at MCLA, Smosky is invested in the lives of his students and genuinely cares about their well-being. Smosky is a familiar face at all athletic events. "I call Smosky to discuss anything from major league baseball to significant life decisions. He is one of the most important people in my life," she commented.

Even though they no longer play together on a daily basis, Prickett's favorite time of year is getting together with former teammates for both basketball and soccer alumni weekends. "For four years, you spend every waking moment with your team and they become your family. After graduation, you look forward to seeing everyone together at alumni weekends and picking up where you left off to reminisce about championships or silly moments on the bus," she said.

In addition to playing sports, Prickett was an active member of the Student Government Association. As an underclassman, she looked up to Mark Richards '09 who served on SGA's Executive Board. Prickett's involvement in SGA started with assisting Richards as a worker in Student Activities. Under the guidance and leadership of Richards, Celia Norcross, and Annie Ruvolo, Prickett was encouraged to get more involved.

Prickett eventually became an elected member of the SGA Executive Board. She excelled during her term and decided that running for Student Trustee was the next logical step. It was in this position that she learned the importance of representing and giving back to a community.

"After I was elected, I felt like I needed to be a voice for all students on campus, not just the people who I surrounded myself with. I started an online forum for people to discuss issues on campus and it opened my eyes to a variety of people and concerns on campus," she said.

With her college experiences behind her, Prickett is focused on moving forward; but, she does not do so without acknowledging those who have supported and influenced her along the way.

"I am here today because of Holly McGovern, Deb Raber, Scott Nichols, Dot Houston, Jeff Puleri, and Adam Hildabrand. They started my foundation of knowledge in this field," she explained. "Without the personal and professional support of my college coaches and administrators, I would not be the person I am today."

Copyright 2015 Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts