Before she came to the United States Sports Academy and earned her master’s degree in Sports Management, China Jude said she never dreamed of overseeing a university’s athletic department.
A stand-out volleyball player at Alabama State University, her work experience had been entirely in parks and recreation before she joined the Academy. Jude earned her master’s in 1996 and has been in sports administration ever since at the college level.
Currently, she is assistant vice president of athletics at Queens College of The City University of New York where she oversees the athletics department’s 19 NCAA Division II varsity sports, as well as student and community recreational programs.
For her proven ability to build and strengthen college sports programs, Jude is the United States Sports Academy’s 2011 Alumna of the Year.
“I was coming from a parks and recreation background,” Jude said. “I had no collegiate experience. I was very fortunate that by the time I completed the Academy and my mentorship with the Senior Bowl, I really had the ability to look at sports as a business. The Academy really prepared me and gave me confidence and the faculty supported and nurtured me. So when I graduated and started working in 1996, I was off and running. I would definitely recommend the Academy to anyone who really wants to work in sports management whether it’s in the college or the corporate world.”
Jude recently took over at Queens College after four years as the Director of Athletics at Cheyney University of Pennsylvania—the smallest program in the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC).
At Cheyney, Jude is credited with helping move the school past a three-year NCAA probationary period, restoring the athletics program to a competitive state and strengthening the booster club through successful fundraising. Under her leadership, she had two PSAC Basketball Coaches of the Year, 30 All-PSAC athletes, eight individual PSAC Championships, two Academic All-Americans, and other regional and national honors. The department also earned a 2010 NCAA Division II Game Environment Award.
She currently is in charge of sports, intramural and recreation programs at Queens College. Its Division II sports include nationally ranked men’s and women’s tennis teams, as well as a fencing team. In addition, she oversees Queens’ successful community recreation programs for youth and adults, which include fitness training, tennis and swimming programs, youth summer camps and a Saturday education and recreation program.
Jude, who recently completed the Management Leadership Education Program at Harvard University, said providing student-athletes positive college academic and athletic experiences are her No. 1 concern.
“Queens College is such a strong academic institution and it has wonderful athletes,” Jude said. “Its athletic programs have great potential. The leaders here have great vision and everyone is very excited to grow. I’m ready to throw myself into all the many, new challenges and work with everyone to help Queens advance to the next level.”