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Q&A with Chelena Meadows ’23 (Sport Management)

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The Class of 2023 has officially graduated and is ready to use their UIndy education for service to their communities. Meet first-generation college graduate Chelena Meadows, who recently received her Master of Science in Sport Management!

Why did you choose to study Sport Management?

Growing up in a sports-orientated family, sports was something that brought us together. After playing softball in high school and seeing the difference between equality and equity in women’s and men’s sports, I knew I wanted to make a difference in the world of sports. Within my various roles in the sporting industry, I knew my passion for sports would never change, but I wanted to continue to create unity. Diversity, equity, and inclusion within the sports realm has always been a dream for me, and being in Indianapolis and attending UIndy has led me right where I needed to be!

Why did you choose to study at UIndy?

I chose UIndy because it felt like home. As a senior at Indiana University Bloomington, I knew I wanted to move back home to Indianapolis. I had applied and spoke to various people in the administration building and I remember saying, “You’ve got me!” I had done my research and knew that with a hybrid schedule and getting real life experience were my two biggest factors on determining where I’d get my Master’s from. UIndy had such a great program. There’s literally never a time where I am not telling others about my great experience and encouraging them to attend as well. 

Are you a part of any extracurriculars (either on or off campus)? If so, what are they and what is your role?

I am a member of the Chi Chi Omega Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated.

Are there any faculty or staff members who have significantly impacted your time at UIndy? If so, who are they and how did they influence you?

Dr. David Paitson came into our time together and just spoke life into my goals and aspirations. Any time I told him I was interested in a specific area of sports, he would send me job openings. He would then proceed to tell me he had already spoken good on my behalf and they were waiting to hear from me. Having someone added to my village who was this supportive from a faculty side was significant to my time here at UIndy. 

One thing Dr. Paitson has said to me and one thing that keeps me going is, “I can see a Senior Woman Administrator in a college athletics department in your 10-year plan. One of many options that you have in front of you. Best of luck!” Having someone who is genuinely invested and sees something you can’t always see within yourself is purposeful.

What are your plans after graduation? 

My plans after graduation is to finish my internship at the NCAA Office of Inclusion at the end of the summer. 

What advice would you give to incoming freshmen?

If you don’t have a seat at the table, you will become the meal. Whatever you believe in, advocate for yourself and others, even when you feel like no one is listening. Your voice, your story, your journey is meant to be heard and seen. You are meant to be here. You have purpose and don’t ever lose sight of it.