For a better experience, click the Compatibility Mode icon above to turn off Compatibility Mode, which is only for viewing older websites.


Drexel Sport Management Student Union Hosts Sport for Social Change Conference

October 22, 2013

Dr. Eric Zillmer
Dr. Eric Zillmer, Drexel's director of athletics, will speak at the Sport for Social Change Conference on October 25

Drexel University’s Sport Management Student Union (SMTSU) will host its First Annual Sport for Social Change Conference on Friday, Oct. 25 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Special guests will present on topics including the responsibilities of athletes to give back to the community and be role models; the role of sports in youth development; lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) issues in sport; access to sport for disabled athletes; and safety issues in sport.

Presenters will include Dr. Eric Zillmer, director of athletics at Drexel University, at 11 a.m.; a panel from the Ed Snider Youth Hockey Foundation, including Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Jim Britt, at Noon; a panel of representatives from Go! Athletes, including Executive Director Anna Aagenes and Georgetown University student-athlete Craig Cassey, Jr., at 2 p.m.; Eli Wolff, program director of the Sport and Development Project at Brown University at 3 p.m.; and Patrick Hruby, journalist at Sports on Earth at 4 p.m.

The conference is free and open to the public, and will take place in the multipurpose room of Drexel’s James E. Marks Intercultural Center (30 S. 33rd St.). A light breakfast and a buffet-style lunch will be served free of charge for attendees. For more information, visit or follow along on Twitter using #S4SC.

The Drexel SMTSU was established in 2010 by Drexel Sport Management student Kevin Giordano. The organization supplements sport management studies with a four pillar mission that touches on sports industry education, professional development, networking and personal development. Currently overseeing the Drexel SMTSU are five elected officers and a four-person advisory board including faculty adviser Dr. Ellen Staurowsky, a professor of sport management in Drexel’s new Center for Hospitality and Sport Management.

Craig Cassey, Georgetown University student and queer sports activist, works to emphasize the importance of safe spaces, inclusive language and sport as a health intervention model. Cassey's efforts as an advocate include nationally televised interviews on the importance of queer athlete inclusion, as well as the promotion of equal-treatment policy changes in athletics departments, which protect students regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity. Blogging about his struggles and his triumphs battling homophobia as a state and national-level high school track and field athlete, Cassey previously focused his efforts on empowering others to transform their sports teams into safe spaces. After an injury prevented Cassey from completing his freshman year on the track team at Georgetown, he ran for local office and now gives official voice to the students of Georgetown serving as one of the nation's youngest LGBTQ elected officials.

Patrick Hruby writes for Sports on Earth and is a contributor to Washingtonian magazine, The Atlantic online,, ESPN the Magazine and other outlets. Hruby has a master’s degree in journalism from Northwestern University and bachelor’s degrees in English and government from Georgetown University. Hruby’s work has been featured in The Best American Sports Writing collections and has won various awards in long-form, magazine and newspaper writing.

Eli Wolff is the program director of the Sport and Development Project at Brown University. Wolff also serves as the program director for the Inclusive Sports Initiative at the Institute for Human Centered Design, program director for the Disability Sport Education Program at the University of Illinois, co-founder of the Olympism Project and coordinator for the Power of Sport Forum and the International Sport for Development and Peace Association. His work focuses on the intersection of research, policy and practice to advance sport and human rights, development and social change.

Dr. Eric Zillmer is the director of athletics and Carl R. Pacifico Professor of Neuropsychology at Drexel University. Now in his 16th year as director of athletics, Zillmer oversees all components of the athletics department, which provides recreational opportunities and programming for more than 25,000 students and 6,000 faculty and professional staff. During his tenure, Zillmer was instrumental in the creation of the Drexel athletics logo, extensive renovations at the Vidas Athletic Complex, the creation of a new 84,000 square-foot Recreation Center and securing the winning bids for the 2012 NCAA Men's Lacrosse Quarterfinals at PPL Park and the 2013 NCAA Men's Lacrosse Championship at Lincoln Financial Field.

With a mission of teaching our country’s youth the value of academics, hard work and teamwork through hockey, the Ed Snider Youth Hockey Foundation serves more than 3,000 children  in the Philadelphia area. The ESYHF was founded by the chairman of Comcast-Spectacor, Ed Snider, in 2005. Comcast-Spectacor owns the Philadelphia Flyers, the Wells Fargo Center, Global Spectrum, Ovations, Paciolan, Front Row Marketing, Flyer's Skate Zone, among other properties.

Go! Athletes is a non-profit organization founded in 2008 that has created a national network of current and former LGBTQ student-athletes serving to educate and empower, create a unified voice and encourage schools to create safer spaces.

Media Contact:

Alex McKechnie