Story by Christina Cracolici, USM Assistant Director of Athletic Communications
GORHAM, Maine – One of 230 current and former student-athletes selected to participate in the NCAA Career in Sports Forum, University of Southern Maine junior Brooke Cross (Saco, Maine/Thornton Academy), a member of the Huskies' softball team, spent the last weekend of May in Indianapolis at the NCAA Hall of Champions networking, polishing her career skills and exploring various professional tracks in collegiate athletics.
In its ninth year, the NCAA Career in Sports Forum is a four-day event that welcomes student-athletes from across the NCAA Divisions and is designed with the primary focus of aiding student-athletes in their career pursuits after exhausting their athletic eligibility and earning their undergraduate degrees. Emphasizing careers in collegiate sports, professionals from a variety of careers in the field of athletics will be at the forum for networking opportunities.
Industry experts led discussions and panels in current topics including: how personal values intersect with career opportunities; how behavioral styles impact individual effectiveness; the key professional and career development information to assist with the transition from a student-athlete to a professional; and the role of the college coach or athletics administrator. Participants will also be provided with an opportunity to network with peers as well as campus leaders and decision makers at the campus, conference and national level.
"I'm very excited and grateful to have had this opportunity," said Cross. "I want to thank the NCAA for its work on behalf of student-athletes, and the administration and staff at the University of Southern Maine Department of Athletics for nominating me. This was a tremendous experience, and I gained a great deal of insight, made connections with peers from all over the country, and I am eager to put into practice what I learned over the four days."
A student-employee in the Athletic Department's Media Relations office, Cross is a three-year member of the Huskies' softball team. An All-Little East Conference performer and team captain, Cross is also a William B. Wise Scholar Athlete and is pursuing her degree in communications.
"Brooke has been a great asset as a student-employee," said Assistant Director of Athletic Media Relations Christina Cracolici. "She has an eagerness to learn, carries herself in a professional matter, and possesses an outstanding work ethic and maturity. She has a great deal of potential and will excel in whichever career path she chooses."
Cross recently completed her junior season at Southern Maine. The Huskies' center fielder, Cross was second on the team in batting average (.351) and led her team with 32 RBI, five home runs and 12 doubles.