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Niagara University's Derick Thornton selected for NCAA Leadership Institute


ThorntonNDIANAPOLIS, I.N. -- Derick Thornton, Assistant Athletic Director for Communications & Special Events, is one of 20 minority athletics administrators selected to participate in the 2018 NCAA Dr. Charles Whitcomb Leadership Institute.

The Leadership Institute provides programming to assist ethnic minorities in strategically mapping and planning their careers in athletics administration. Professional development programming is provided over the course of a calendar year, which includes two in-person week-long sessions at the beginning and end of that year.

The participants gathered July 14-22 in Phoenix, Ariz. for this year's first in-person session, which included activities and key learning focused on exploring their career aspirations and enhancing essential skills. Participants will take part in continuing education activities throughout the year, with access to an extensive alumni group.

After one year in the program, participants will reconvene with their Leadership Institute class and continue to explore their goals, values and behavioral style, gain feedback from their colleagues and continue to expand their knowledge of student-athlete health and welfare.

Thornton oversees Niagara's athletic communications department and serves as the direct contact for men's basketball, women's soccer and men's and women's tennis. He manages the Niagara Sports Network, a conglomeration of television, radio and internet broadcasts, and acts as the department's liaison to local, regional and national media outlets.

Thornton serves as the sport administrator for the women's soccer, and men's and women's tennis programs. He serves on the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC) Tennis Committee and served on the MAAC Softball Committee for two years (2016-17).

As the chair of the Niagara University Department of Athletics Hall of Fame, Thornton had a prominent role in the revitalization of the hall of fame, which has led to stellar induction classes. Thornton is on the Ray Kist Memorial Golf Classic committee, including serving as chair for four years and guided the annual fundraiser to numerous records during his tenure.

Thornton is also active in the Niagara University campus community. He is a member of the Diversity and Inclusion Committee and the Office of Equity & Inclusion team as a Title IX and Civil Rights Investigator.

Thornton has been at Niagara for 10 years and was promoted to Assistant Athletic Director in July 2011. He joined NU as an athletic communications assistant in 2008 and was the interim Director of Athletic Communications for the 2010-11 season.

NCAA leadership development, located in Indianapolis, coordinates and facilitates education and training for student-athletes, coaches and athletics administrators. The staff annually hosts programs, at little or no cost to members, using expert curriculum designed to enhance the well-being and personal development of college athletes. The staff also provides ongoing education and topical training to athletics professionals who identify and serve student-athlete needs.

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