Words of WISdom from Terri Steeb Gronau (MSA ‘00)
Wednesday, January 3 2018 12:00am
This week, OHIO Women in Sports Committee interviewed Terri Steeb Gronau (MSA '00), vice president of NCAA Division II. Here are her words of WISdom!
Terri Steeb Gronau (MSA '00)
Vice President of NCAA Division II
What do you find most challenging and most rewarding about your job?
The most rewarding part of the job is having an impact at both the national and individual level. I help the DII governance structure implement initiatives that not only make DII better overall, but the initiatives also benefit individual student-athletes, coaches and administrators.
The challenging part is ensuring that everyone has a voice and that their voice is heard. When making changes, it is important to seek broad feedback and there are so many constituent groups that need to be a part of the conversation including athletics administrators, coaches, faculty, student-athletes, and presidents and chancellors. Communication, collaboration and coordination are several key factors that need to be present to ensure all voices are heard.
Why did you decide to pursue a career in sports?
I am a former student-athlete and enjoyed the opportunities I had to not only play my sport at the collegiate level, but learn skills such as teamwork, perseverance, time management, disappointment and leadership. I want to ensure student-athletes continue to have an experience that they will always remember and cherish like I do, and I want to be a part of helping to grow and nurture our future leaders.
What has been the highlight of your professional career?
I have been recognized for my leadership and contributions by several membership organizations, including Women Leaders in College Sports, the Division II Conference Commissioners Association and FARA (Faculty Athletics Representatives Association). Knowing that I'm making an impact for the better is rewarding.
What advice would you give someone aspiring to work in college athletics?
Working in college athletics is not only about who you know but what you know. College athletics is about one degree of separation. Take time to build authentic relationships with individuals, so they get to know who you are as a person. It is also important to perfect your skills and gain knowledge. You have to be willing to execute a great work product, be willing to do any task and learn from everything that you do to be better.
What lesson or skill that you learned at Ohio has been most valuable during your career?
The Ohio University alumni network is one (of many) parts that make the sports administration program unique and special. I learned the importance of building a network of friends and professionals in the business, which is certainly a skill that I have learned to continue to develop over the years.