Q&A with Jessie Rosa, AUM’s First Female Sports Director

Sports are embedded in American Culture. In a historically male dominated industry, women are making incredible strides in having successful careers in the sports industry. One very talented woman on AUM’s campus is Athletic Director, Jessie Rosa. Jessie is AUM’s first female athletic director. Recently, I had the opportunity to talk with Jessie and ask her about her success in athletics.

Q: What has attributed to getting you to this position and what has helped with your success in athletics?

A: Obviously the willingness for people to give me the opportunity to grow within athletics. I owe a lot of where I am today to my previous boss Steve Krotz who was our athletic director for over a decade and he was also our women’s basketball coach for quite a while. He was the one who gave me the first opportunity to be in college administration. I owe a lot to him. To be honest I am a very ambitious person, I got into the field and I liked it and my first job was an administrative assistant answering phone calls and filing stuff away. I just made sure I always did more than what the job required me to do, so that people could see that I was ready for the next step.

Jessie stands second from the left on the top row, during the Bruce Pearl Business Breakfast. Photo by Frank Williams.

Q: You are our first female athletic director that we have ever had, do think that you as a woman have faced any stereotypes? For other women who are trying to get into the athletic industry what would you say for them to combat this issue?

A: I don’t know if I have necessarily been not looked at, as not the same. I think once people see that I have a very assertive personality and I am pretty confident, despite the fact they might think a female has weaknesses in an industry dominated by men. Once they get to know me they see that it’s not going to be a weakness at all. I’ve been at least given the opportunity to say “Hey, here I am” and they see that’s it’s a good fit. I have had questions before for sure, you know “how do you think males that are older than you are going to respond you having to be their boss?” I would say more so my age, I am only 34 years old and to be a Division II athletic director at 34 is not something you see really often… My advice for females that want to be in the professional industry is just that, men will ask for anything and everything. They don’t have a problem with asking for the world, women are a little bit more reserved in what they want to ask for and push for their programs and that assertiveness. My thing would be just be confident about who you are and you’re just as capable as any other guy.”

Women of the AUM volleyball team. Photo by Frank Williams.

Q: So Jessie any last words of advice for our Warhawks?

A: “We need you, I mean we absolutely need this campus, the student body, faculty and staff members to support our student athletes. It’s innate in me to be passionate about this place since I am two time graduate and I was a former student athlete as well. I have love for AUM and I want other people to experience that passion and that love and to have the memories of being at the basketball, baseball, soccer, and softball games, tennis matches whatever it may be because those are the things I remember now, watching those rivalries and being a part of the athletic program…..so come out and support us. It is always free for students, faculty and staff, and (ending with a laugh) and all we need is some rowdy voices, but not too rowdy.”

Curtiss supporting the women’s volleyball team. Photo by Frank Williams.

Thank you Jessie for being an inspiration to our Warhawks!

By Darya Farsinejad