Holy Cross Leadership Academy


2012-2013 Holy Cross Leadership Academy Members (PDF)
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2011-2012 Holy Cross Leadership Academy Members (PDF)

About the Holy Cross Leadership Academy

Begun in the fall of 2011, the mission of the Holy Cross Leadership Academy is to support Crusader student-athletes in their quest to become world-class leaders in athletics, academics and life.   Holy Cross is partnering with the Janssen Sports Leadership Center to create the curriculum for the Academy.

‘We are very excited to have what we see as one of the nation’s premier leadership programs in collegiate athletics,” said Athletic Director Richard M. Regan, Jr. “We hope that not only will all our teams benefit greatly from the program, but that each participant will learn skills that will help them well beyond their time at Holy Cross.”

The Holy Cross Leadership Academy is focused upon leadership development programming for student-athletes which targets three specific groups based upon their classification as well as their readiness to assume leadership roles:

Emerging Leaders

Designed for a select group of “high potential” sophomore and junior student-athletes, the Emerging Leaders program provides prospective leaders with the insights, strategies, and skills necessary to become effective leaders on their team, on campus, and in the community. Through twice-semester workshops, interactive exercises, action learning experiences and readings, the Emerging Leaders program provides a strong foundation for student-athletes to develop into effective team leaders. The emphasis of the program at this level is creating effective Leaders by Example while setting the stage for Vocal Leadership.

Program Objectives:
• Identify and develop high potential leaders in their sophomore or junior years
• Create solid Leaders by Example and set the stage for developing Vocal Leaders
• Build a strong network of peer leaders
• Develop leaders who support and learn from current team captains/leaders (succession planning)
• Teach prospective leaders how to gain respect and develop leadership skills with their peer group


Veteran Leaders

Designed for team captains and veteran student-athlete leaders from all teams, the Veteran Leaders program provides established team leaders with advanced leadership training and support.  The program teaches student-athletes the critical team leadership skills and insights necessary to be effective Vocal Leaders as they manage and conquer the day-to-day responsibilities and challenges of leadership.

In addition to the education, the Veteran Leaders program also provides student-athlete leaders with a strong peer network to lean on and learn from throughout the school year.  Student-athletes meet twice each semester to learn and reinforce leadership principles and share successes, frustrations, and lessons.

Program Objectives:
• Encourage established leaders to step up and be Vocal Leaders on their teams
• Provide established leaders with ongoing support as they tackle the tough issues of team leadership
• Provide established leaders with a solid peer network for guidance and support
• Review and extend the insights and skills necessary to be a responsible and respected leader
• Establish a solid, cooperative and ongoing partnership with the coaching staff

Leadership 360

Designed for senior leaders who have successfully completed both the Emerging and Veteran Leaders programs, Leadership 360 focuses on applying leadership skills to positively impact the team, athletic department, campus, and community at large.

A significant component of the Leadership 360 program is for each leader to undergo a 360 degree evaluation of their leadership skills.  The 360 evaluation involves teammates and coaches anonymously rating their leaders using the Team Leadership Evaluation.  Based on averaging the ratings of their teammates and coaches and comparing them to their self-ratings, the leaders are able to clearly see their leadership strengths and areas for improvement.  The leaders then create a comprehensive and customized Leadership Development Plan to build upon their strengths and target their areas to improve.

Program Objectives:
• Help leaders clearly see their strengths and areas to improve by undergoing a 360 Evaluation
• Develop a comprehensive and customized Leadership Development Plan to maximize strengths and minimize blindspots
• Provide leaders with the skills and support to effectively troubleshoot the challenges they face throughout the school year
• Encourage leaders to apply their leadership skills to impact the campus and community
• Provide leaders with high level leadership training and experiences that make them highly attractive to interested employers

Academy Instructor

Rebecca Ahlgren-Bedics
Janssen Sports Leadership Center
Director of Leadership Development, Collegiate Division

Rebecca Ahlgren-Bedics serves as the Director of Leadership Development at the Janssen Sports Leadership Center, partnering with collegiate student-athletes, coaches and athletic administrators. Prior to her time at Janssen, she spent nine years in the Educational Affairs Department at the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA). As associate director of educational affairs, she developed the Educational Programming initiative and staff, partnered with associated organizations within higher education, as well as was the primary liaison to the Committee on Sportsmanship and Ethical Conduct. She also oversaw the development and continuing education for the CHAMPS/Life Skills Program at the NCAA for more than eight years and was a staff liaison to the Division II National Student-Athlete Advisory Committee for more than seven years.

Ahlgren-Bedics earned her B.A. in psychology from Dayton, her M.S. in social psychology of sport from Southern Illinois University at Carbondale and her Ed.D. in sport and exercise psychology from West Virginia University. She has worked with several teams and individual collegiate student-athletes on performance enhancement and life skills issues.

 For More Information, Contact:

Frank Mastrandrea
Assistant Athletic Director
One College Street
Worcester, MA 01610
(508) 793-3427