UW-Green Bay’s first female AD to share perspective for next ‘After Thoughts’

When UW-Green Bay’s Mary Ellen Gillespie was hired a year ago as the University’s director of intercollegiate athletics, she became one of just 28 female athletic directors (of 346 total) in Division I. On Thursday, Nov. 6, Gillespie will talk about her experience in this male-dominated field as part of the University’s After Thoughts series of programs.

Mary Ellen Gillespie

Mary Ellen Gillespie

Titled “Lean In: 28/346,” Gillespie’s presentation will focus on how she got to where she is today and what it has been like to serve in her current role. She also will explore the importance of Division I athletics to the University and greater community, and talk about forthcoming shifts that will change the face of DI moving forward.

“We don’t need to look very far in the media to see that the landscape of Division I athletics is about to change drastically — and sooner, rather than later,” Gillespie said. “In my talk, I will share an overview of the changes, who is involved and the timeline for when they will take effect.”

The Nov. 6 After Thoughts event will begin with a 5 p.m. reception, followed by Gillespie’s talk at 5:45, in the Grand Foyer of the Weidner Center for the Performing Arts on campus, 2420 Nicolet Drive. All attendees will receive a ticket to that evening’s women’s basketball game against UW-Oshkosh. They also can enter to win one of two door prizes — two tickets to the women’s basketball regular season home opener Nov. 22 (versus Duquesne) and two tickets to the men’s basketball regular season home opener Nov. 15 (versus Illinois-Springfield).

Gillespie was named UW-Green Bay athletic director on Oct. 17, 2013 and officially began her duties on Dec. 2, 2013. Prior to coming to Green Bay, she was associate athletics director for external relations at Bowling Green State University in Bowling Green, Ohio. Other previous positions include director of development for Purdue University’s schools of Nursing and Health Sciences (2005-06); vice president of advancement for the North American Intrafraternity Conference (2000-05); assistant director of student life at the University of Iowa (1998-2000); and coordinator in the office of the Dean of Students at Plattsburgh State University of New York.

Now in its fourth full season, After Thoughts seeks to connect women in the community with UW-Green Bay. The gatherings showcase University faculty, staff and guests, and convene women — and often “a few good men” — after their workdays for learning, enrichment and fun. The sessions are so named because they provide “After Thoughts” for participants to take with them when they leave.

Each After Thoughts event takes place from 5-7 p.m. in the Grand Foyer of the Weidner Center for the Performing Arts at UW-Green Bay, 2420 Nicolet Drive. The events begin with time to network, mingle and enjoy hors d’oeuvres before the featured guest speaker begins.

Seating for After Thoughts is limited, so advanced registration is recommended. The cost of each program is $14. To reserve your spot, send a check (payable to UW-Green Bay Foundation) to: UW-Green Bay Foundation, CL 805, 2420 Nicolet Drive, Green Bay, WI 54311; or register online at https://secure.qgiv.com/for/afterthoughts. Walk-up registration also is an option. Call (920) 465-2074 for more information. You can find After Thoughts on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/afterthoughts.uwgb. Visit www.uwgb.edu/afterthoughts/ for more information about the series.


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