The NCAA Minority Opportunities and Interests Committee and NCAA Office of Inclusion have named three individuals as 2023 Champions of Diversity and Inclusion for their campus and community work in supporting ethnic minorities and other underrepresented populations in intercollegiate athletics.
The recognition was created in 2015 by the MOIC to honor individuals at NCAA colleges, universities and athletic conferences who have shown a commitment to promoting diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging; advocating for ethnic minorities; and advancing others within the college athletics space that goes beyond their profession. Individuals are nominated and selected for the honor twice a year.
The MOIC, which is an NCAA Association-wide committee that champions causes and topics that involve ethnic minorities in the membership, reviews and selects the honorees.
The three honorees are:
- Stefanie "Stevie" Baker-Watson, associate vice president for student wellness and Theodore Katula Director of Athletics and Recreational Sports, DePauw.
- Charvi Greer, deputy athletics director, student services/senior woman administrator, Tulane.
- Ashley Stone, associate athletics directors for student-athlete experience/senior woman administrator, Oakland.
"These amazing people do the work, not to be honored, but because they believe in the incredible impact of diversity, equity and inclusion," said Felicia Martin, NCAA senior vice president for inclusion, education and community engagement. "Their daily efforts help to build healthy inclusive cultures on their campuses and ensure that each student-athlete, each coach and each administrator is seen and valued for who they are. Congratulations to all of the Champions of Diversity and Inclusion."
Stefanie "Stevie" Baker-Watson
Baker-Watson has been a champion of diversity, equity and inclusion for underrepresented groups, as witnessed through her hiring practices at DePauw, her mentoring of individuals and her recommendations that have advanced young professionals of color to numerous areas within college athletics. She also has shown a commitment to improving athletics' academic and cultural climates and has empowered student-athletes and staff to be productive professional citizens.
Baker-Watson oversees 23 varsity sports that compete in Division III. She also oversees student wellness at DePauw, which includes the DePauw Health Wellness Center, counseling services, prevention and education programs, and intramurals. In 2018, her achievements earned her the NCAA Division III Administrator of the Year award given by Women Leaders in College Sports. In 2022, she was named one of four Cushman & Wakefield Division III Athletics Director of the Year by the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics.
Baker-Watson holds several membership and leadership positions in college athletics and has been involved with numerous NCAA programs and initiatives that link to diversity and inclusion. She has been a member of the Minority Opportunities Athletic Association board of directors and is moving to the group's executive committee, where she will serve through 2025. She also serves as an advisory member for the Diversity, Inclusion and Equity Council of Excellence.
Greer has committed her career to implementing and creating equitable policies, procedures and programs for student-athletes and staff. Student-athletes have credited her as someone who made their collegiate experience meaningful and who provided safe and welcoming spaces.
Greer is the liaison to the Title IX office, where she supports the management of gender equity planning. Her accomplishments at Tulane also include assisting in the creation of Green Wave Justice for All and with the athletics department's action and accountability plan for social justice and diversity, equity and inclusion. She has also assumed leadership roles within the department's diversity council and took the lead in developing its five-year DEI strategic plan. She has coordinated DEI workshops and has led coach and staff hiring searches that have led to diverse candidate appointments.
Greer also teaches several classes and partakes in continuing education herself to ensure she is best equipped to support students and student-athletes. Many also cite her as a mentor due to her outstanding leadership.
Stone has created and implemented several new initiatives that have promoted diversity and inclusion at Oakland. She also has supported underrepresented populations through her work and has fostered a more diverse, inclusive culture within the athletics department.
She created the OU Athletics Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Council, which hosts events for student-athletes, coaches and others to provide education and open discussions around diversity and inclusion topics. She also created and implemented the OU Athletics DEI Impact Summit for student-athletes and athletics staff, and she has worked with external organizations and individuals on DEI programming and guest speaker appearances on campus.
Understanding that each team plays an important role in supporting DEI and that having a more diverse, inclusive and equitable culture enhances the athletics experience for student-athletes, Stone implemented athletic team workshops to generate more dialogue around topics such as civic engagement, voting, checking your privilege, disability awareness, Women's History Month and Black History Month. In working with the teams, she allows them to select workshops according to their DEI interests and learning objectives.