DAPHNE, Ala. – Dr. China Jude said her education from the United States Sports Academy gave her the knowledge and confidence to excel in the world of collegiate sports, which led to her recent hiring to a senior athletics administration position at the University of Wyoming.
Jude recently made a long-sought jump to NCAA Division I upon being hired as the senior associate athletics director for administration and Senior Woman Administrator (SWA) at the University of Wyoming. She began her new position on 1 February 2018. She credits the Academy for inspiring her to be the best she can be in the sports management and administration field.
Jude earned her Master of Sports Science degree in sports management from the Academy in 1996. She was named the Academy’s 2011 Alumna of the Year for her work as the assistant vice president of athletics and athletics director at Queens College in New York City, where she oversaw the athletics department’s 19 NCAA Division II varsity sports for more than six years.
“I started the Academy as someone who worked in sports, but left the Academy as a sports professional,” Jude said. “My time learning at the Academy gave me the practical experience I needed to work in the field, and it gave me the knowledge to be able to articulate my views, core values and priorities.
“The Academy showed me a global perspective of sports and taught me how to look at the issues with a wider lens. If anyone ever asks me about graduate schools, I always recommend the Academy. It transformed my life for the better and I couldn’t be more proud to be an Academy graduate.”
Jude thanked Academy Founding President Dr. Thomas P. Rosandich and current President and CEO Dr. T.J. Rosandich for inspiring her to excel in the classroom and in her career.
“To this day, the Academy has always given me – and all of its students – extra attention,” Jude said. “When I was there, I felt like I was the only student there because the Rosandiches really made me feel like they cared about my performance.
“I started at the Academy in 1994 at age 27 and I knew I wanted to work in sports but I have to admit I was nervous, because I didn’t know if my undergraduate work would be good enough to be accepted into a prestigious master’s program like the Academy’s,” Jude said.
“But the Academy accepted me because Dr. Thomas P. Rosandich believed in me and what I could become. That acceptance inspired me to work harder than I ever had before to make sure I was successful, to prove the Academy was right to believe in me.”
At Wyoming, Jude will be involved in supervision of sports, provide leadership in the areas of student-athlete and staff development, and take a primary leadership role in the management of gender equity, diversity and inclusion initiatives.
As the school’s SWA, Jude will be the athletic department’s representative on a variety of university and Mountain West Conference committees. She will oversee the department’s compliance with Title IX, the landmark 1972 federal law that prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex in any federally funded education program or activity.
The SWA is the highest ranking female employee in each NCAA athletic department. In 1989, the NCAA legislated the SWA position at member athletic departments and conferences to promote the involvement of female administrators in meaningful ways in the intercollegiate athletics decision-making process.
“I believe gender issues have always been a huge deal, dating back before Title IX was created,” Jude said. “I think there may be more women using their platforms to speak about important issues today than there used to be, but women’s issues have always been important. Maybe women today have more courage and more outlets to use to speak and more advocates for them. I think that with more education about and exposure to these issues, we can continue to get a good national dialogue for women that will lead to positive action.”
Prior to her work at Queens College, Jude worked as the athletic director and department chair at Division II Cheyney University in Pennsylvania for four years. She is also a former college head volleyball coach at the University of North Carolina Wilmington and the University of the District of Columbia.
In 2015, Jude was named the National Association of Collegiate Women Athletics Administrators (NACWAA) Division II Administrator of the Year. She is also a member of the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics (NACDA) Executive Committee.
A native of Waukegan, Ill., Jude earned her Doctor of Education degree in athletic administration from Northcentral University in 2017. She holds a bachelor’s degree in broadcast journalism from Alabama State University, where she also played volleyball.
“I was told early on that if I wanted to be a successful administrator, it would help me to be a successful coach first,” Jude said. “When you are a good coach, you positively impact the lives of the players on your team. You have the opportunity to help them become the best players and people they can be. I wanted to do that, but with a larger population, and administration allows me to do that.”
The Academy is an independent, non-profit, accredited, special mission sports university created to serve the nation and world with programs in instruction, research and service. The role of the Academy is to prepare men and women for careers in the profession of sports.
The Academy is based in Daphne, Ala. For more information, call (251) 626-3303 or visit www.ussa.edu.