Mr. Keleta is 1 of 20 S.I.D.'s in the country selected as a CoSIDA convention attendance grant recipient.
Mr. Keleta is 1 of 20 S.I.D.'s in the country selected as a CoSIDA convention attendance grant recipient.
Dillard - Wed, Jun. 7, 2017

(Greenwood, Ind.) Twenty College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA) members from diverse professional backgrounds will be attending the association's June convention as a result of their selection as convention attendance grant recipients, including Dillard University Sports Information Director Habtom Keleta. For nine of the recipients, it will be their first CoSIDA convention.

"He is a young professional who is bright and compassionate and works hard," said Dillard University Athletic Director Dr. Kiki Baker Barnes.

The Convention Grant Attendance Program began in 2014 when 10 recipients were selected. The program doubled in size for 2015 and remains at 20 grants worth $800 apiece. Each grant includes a complimentary convention registration, allowing the grant funds to go towards hotel nights and transportation. The 2017 convention will be held June 11-14 at the Orlando World Center Marriott.

"I'm grateful to the members of the CoSIDA Convention Attendance Grant committee for selecting me as one of the 20 S.I.D's for the grant," said Keleta. "I'm also thankful for being at a fine institution such as Dillard University and for having a great boss in Dr. Kiki Barnes who truly understands the daily challenges in the S.I.D. world and allows me to grow in my professional career while serving the athletics department as the Sports Information Director. I also can't forget all the student-athletes that I have covered at the University because without them, we would have nothing to cover as S.I.D.'s."

Athletics communicators from Division 1 (six), Division II (three), Division III (two) NAIA (six), two-year colleges (two) and Canada's USports (one) are represented. Regional, gender and ethnic diversity is represented as well. Of the 20 winners, 12 have been CoSIDA members for five years or less, while three have been CoSIDA members for 15 years or more.

This year saw a record 88 applicants submit a personal letter indicating their interest in attending and what they hope to learn at the convention, as well as a letter from their supervisor or business manager detailing the school's inability to fund related expenses. The selection committee is comprised of CoSIDA officers, staff and members of special interest groups within the association.

"I was pretty confident in my letter to the committee so I knew I had a reasonable shot at being picked for the grant, but I was still a bit surprised when I saw my name selected as one of the 20 convention attendance grant recipients. I am thrilled and excited to represent Dillard University in Orlando," said Keleta.

As a part of receiving a grant, each winner will be recognized at one of the convention awards luncheons and will help CoSIDA's Convention Operations Committee with on-site duties. In addition, recipients will provide written reviews of their experience following the convention.

 

2017 CoSIDA Convention Attendance Grant Recipients

 

Damian Alexander

Sports Info. Director

Fla. Memorial Univ.

NAIA

David Alexander

Asst. Athletics Dir.

College of Saint Rose

NCAA Division II

Brie Campbell

Dir. of Sports Info.

William Jessop Univ.

NAIA

Natalie Davis

Dir. of Public Info.

Copiah-Lincoln CC

2-Year College

Maggie Hayon

Asst. Sports Info. Dir.

Univ. of Deleware

NCAA Division I

Jen Heisel

Asst. Media Director

San Diego State Univ.

NCAA Division I

Habtom Keleta

Sports Info. Director

Dillard University

NAIA

Sarah Kirkpatrick

Coord. of Athl. Comm.

Amer. International

NCAA Division II

Brian Larson

Sports Info. Director

University of Mary

NCAA Division II

Akilah Laster

Asst. Dir. Athl. Comm.

Univ. of California

NCAA Division I

Brian Lentz

Asst. Sports Info. Dir.

NW Mississippi CC

2-Year College

Emily Machado

Director of Sports Info.

Lasell College

NCAA Division III

John Martin

Asst. Comm. Director

Colorado State Univ.

NCAA Division I

Shawn Medeiros

Sports Info. Director

Endicott College

NCAA Division III

Jon Oglesby

Comm. & External Op.

Big Sky Conference

NCAA Division I

Wendy Reid

Sports Info. Director

Olivet Nazarene Univ.

NAIA

Kenisha Rhone

Dir. of Digital Media

Belmont University

NCAA Division I

Nikki Roeder

Sports Info. Director

Graceland University

NAIA

Marty Rourke

Sports Info. Coord.

Bishop's University

USports

Ryan Wronkowicz

Sports Info. Director

Lourdes University

NAIA