Joan Taylor Among Ten Finalists For Prestigious Katherine Ley Award

April 21, 2005

Cape Cod, Massachusetts - ECAC Commissioner Phil Buttafuoco has announced the finalists for the Katherine Ley Award which includes Brown University interim athletic director Joan Taylor.

The Katherine Ley Award Committee, made up of college administrators in Divisions I, II and III, will make the selection. The announcement is expected on Monday, May 2, although the administrator will be formally honored on Sunday, September 25 at the Honors Dinner presented by Jostens during the ECAC Convention and Trade Show presented by Clark Companies, Clough Harbour Sports, Musco Lighting and Sportsfield Specialties.

Established in 1983 for the purpose of honoring an eastern woman athletics administrator who exemplifies the values and characteristics displayed by Katherine Ley, the award honors someone of demonstrated leadership ability, a proponent of women's issues and a role model for women coaches and administrators.

This year's nominees are Brown University's Joan Taylor, Fairleigh Dickinson University's Ann Gulino-Thompson, Dartmouth College's Jo Ann "Josie" Harper, Kean University's Kim Culligan, Janice Quinn of New York University, Cheryl Cole of Plattsburgh State University, Geri Knortz of Saint Michael's College, Paula Sullivan of Stonehill College, Kristen Foley of Temple University and United States Military Academy's Mady Salvani. Click here for the all-time Katherine Ley award recipients' list.

Brown University's Joan Taylor has served student-athletes for over thirty years. Last year, she took over as interim athletic director and navigated the athletic department through some uncertain times. A member of the Brown athletics staff since 1969 as a coach and administrator, she started as the women's tennis coach and quickly moved to assistant athletic director, associate athletic director and senior women's administrator. During her tenure, Brown's women's athletic programs grew to 20, the second most of any school in the nation. A proponent for women's sports and all sports, Taylor has worked on a number of national committees for women's sports, both regionally and nationally, including the National Association of Collegiate Women's Athletics Administrators.

Ann Gulino-Thompson, Fairleigh Dickinson University's Associate Director of Athletics since 1986, has twice served as the department's acting director during the 1997-and 2002-2003 academic years. As Senior Women's Administrator, Ann coordinated and guided the department and university through the 1997 and 2004 NCAA certification processes. In both cycles the Ann was cited for her part in developing the report as well as the positive and professional manner she used to coordinate the process on behalf of the University. She is involved in all aspects of team and student-athlete compliance with the University, NEC and NCAA. Ann serves as the liaison between the athletics department and the University's Financial Aid, Admissions, Residence Life, Enrollment Services and Food Services offices and is presently the Knights' representative and former committee chairperson on the Northeast Conference Senior Women's Administrator Committee.

Jo Ann "Josie" Harper, a prominent figure in collegiate athletics and a highly regarded coach, is Dartmouth College's director of athletics and recreation. She assumed the leadership role for Dartmouth athletics in 2002, becoming Dartmouth's first woman to hold the position both at Dartmouth and in the Ivy League. Harper joined the Dartmouth staff in 1981 as head coach of women's lacrosse. In 11 seasons as coach , she led her teams to a record of 88-69 overall, 37-28 in the Ivy League. As the Dartmouth coach, she took the women's lacrosse team to Ivy League championships in 1986 and 1987, the ECAC championship in 1988 and the NCAA tournament in 1983. In 1986, she coached the U.S. World Cup team, and she assisted with the 1982 United States team that won the World Championship in England. Harper relinquished her coaching duties to concentrate full-time on her growing administrative responsibilities. Named the National Association of Collegiate Women Athletic Administrators Division 1-AA administrator of the year, she has chaired the Dartmouth's Committee on Gender Equity, in addition to many national and regional committees.

Kim Culligan, Associate Athletic Director at Kean University, has been referred to as a true pioneer for women's athletics. In the midst of her athletic administrative career, Culligan took a diversion and enlisted in the United States Military where she served four years of active duty and 12 years as a reservist. While in the Army, she did not lose that inner athlete as she participated and coached a number of military club teams. Prior to her appointment at Kean, Culligan spent 10 years as the Associate Director for Athletics at St. Peter's College in Jersey City, N.J. Before that she was also a head coach and administrator at New Jersey City University, Upper Iowa University and at Minnesota State University-Mankato. At St. Peter's, Culligan was a member of the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC) Gender Equity and Diversity Committee and the MAAC Compliance and Enforcement Committee. She is also past president of the New Jersey Association of Intercollegiate Athletic for Women, and is currently the president of the Collegiate Administrators of New Jersey and the Knickerbocker Women's Lacrosse Conference.

Janice Quinn, a familiar face on the basketball court serving as the New York University head women's basketball coach since 1987, has also served as Assistant Director of Athletics and Associate Director. Leading her teams to an overall 394-104 record and the NCAA Division III Championship in 1997, Quinn's goal is to make each individual the best they can be. Many of her players have left NYU with bright professional futures as doctors, attorneys and engineers. Quinn's philosophy in coaching has been to set and achieve goals on and off the court. Quinn's track record as both a coach and as an administrator, confirms that what she does works. Not only does she display leadership ability with her student-athletes, but with the NYU Athletic Department staff, as well.

Cheryl Cole, the senior women's administrator at Plattsburgh State University, has also been nominated for the 2005 Katherine Ley Award. Cole, the Cardinals' women's basketball coach, has worked tirelessly to advance the issues that face the female athletes at Plattsburgh State. She has led the fight for more equity in funding, scheduling and opportunities for all female athletes at the school. Her basketball team was awarded the community service award for the entire Plattsburgh area last year. She and her players are a regular fixture at almost all community service events. The basketball team has coordinated the Kid's Night Out program that has become extremely popular in the area. Cole's sense of humor is evident among her fellow coaches and administrators as well as her players and assistant coaches.

Geri Knortz, Saint Michael's first female Athletic Director, has guided the successful transition of the women's ice hockey program to varsity status and has lifted the number of varsity athletic programs at the College to 21, 11 of which are female. Knortz, a former softball and volleyball coach before her arrival in Vermont, has expanded the SMC athletic department and can be seen at most home contests, actively cheering for the Purple Knights, and has gone so far as to take action pictures of various contests and keep the clock at games. Female sports have also shined at Saint Michael's during her tenure, including the field hockey team's semifinal finish at the 2000 and 2001 NCAA Championship, the first national tournament appearances by a female sport at the College. A member of the NCAA Committee on Women's Athletics, she is past chair of the NCAA Division II Nominating Committee and the NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship Committee for the Northeast District, and is active with the National Association of Collegiate Women Athletic Administrators.

Paula Sullivan has served Stonehill athletics as Head Women's Basketball Coach and in her current role as Director of Athletics over a span of three decades. On the basketball court, Sullivan coached the women from 1971 through 1996, posting an overall mark of 478-159 (.750) over 25 years, as her win total was the highest in New England Division II circles upon her retirement in 1996. She guided her team to six Northeast-10 Conference championships and 10 berths in the NCAA tournament, including back-to-back trips to the NCAA Division II "Elite Eight." Upon taking the role as Director of Athletics in April of 1996, Sullivan has overseen the expansion of the department from three full-time employees to nearly 30 and added the sports of women's field hockey and women's lacrosse. The addition resulted in nearly 61 percent of Stonehill's total population of student-athletes being women. Under her watch, both the women's lacrosse and women's equestrian teams captured national championships in 2003.

Kristen Foley, a long-time supporter and coach of women's basketball, also oversees the administration of 12 men's and women's sports at Temple University and was appointed to the position of senior women's administrator in 2000. While her administrative duties include budget construction, scheduling contests, student-athlete crisis intervention, and evaluation and review of coaches, she additionally supervises the Academic Support and Compliance Units for student-athletes and is on the NCAA Women's Basketball Committee. Foley was head coach of the women's basketball squad from 1995-2000 and revived the Drexel women's basketball team prior to her arrival with the Owls. Foley also had an impact on the Scarlet Knights of Rutgers University, where she served as an assistant coach for three seasons. As a student-athlete, Foley suited up for RU, where she appeared in consecutive NCAA elite eight appearances, earning a spot on the NCAA East Regional all-tournament team in 1986.

For nearly 40 years, Mady Salvani has personally witnessed a renaissance in women's athletics at the United States Military Academy. Salvani had already worked in the sports information office at West Point for almost a decade before former President Gerald Ford signed legislation that permitted women to seek nominations to attend the Military Academy in 1975. Courtside for the very first intercollegiate women's varsity basketball game in 1978, Salvani has been instrumental in the media relations efforts for each of Army's 10 women's varsity intercollegiate teams. She has produced award-winning media guides and wrote countless press releases to spread the word on a local, regional and national level about the success of Army women's athletics. In each of Army's media guides for women's sports, she compiled and designed a page called "Women at West Point", detailing dozens of milestones achieved by female athletes. She was recently selected for the ECAC-SIDA Irving T. Marsh Award for excellence in athletic media relations.

In 1966, Ley was one of the founders of the Commission on Intercollegiate Athletics for Women, the forerunner of the Association of Intercollegiate Athletics for Women. After serving a12-year tenure at the State University College at Cortland as chair of Physical Education and Athletics for Women, Ley became athletics director at Capital University in Ohio. At the time, she was one of only two women athletics administrators heading both men's and women's athletics.

The ECAC's membership includes 323 Divisions I, II, and III colleges and universities from Maine to North Carolina. The conference provides services to its constituents that include: administration of 111 championships and events in 35 men's and women's sports; assigning officials in 15 sports; coordinating awards; administration of affiliate organizations, conventions, meetings, marketing, officiating, playing leagues, public relations and special events. The ECAC serves as the primary conference for selected members in the sports of men's and women's ice hockey, men's lacrosse, men's gymnastics, wrestling, fencing and rowing.