CENTERVILLE, Mass.-- The Eastern College Athletic Conference sat down with JJ Archibald, Asa S. Bushnell Intern for Leagues & Affiliates, in this week's installment of "ECAC Spotlight: Getting to Know our Neighbors."
The ECAC Spotlight is a Q&A format that examines the experiences and career paths of coaches, administrators, support staff and student-athletes within the ECAC footprint, and is published weekly. If you would like to highlight an individual from your institution, please email ECAC Director of Communications Patrick Stewart at firstname.lastname@example.org with your suggestions.
Five Questions with JJ Archibald, Asa S. Bushnell Intern for Leagues & Affiliates
1. Tell us about your background that led you to earning an internship with the ECAC.
I have always been interested in athletics since I was little. I played soccer and softball as a child and then more soccer and ran track while in high school. I knew that I wanted to play soccer at the collegiate level and decided to attend Mount Holyoke College. While at Mount Holyoke, I was given the opportunity to be a member of the Student Athlete Advisory Committee and serve as a two-year captain during my junior and senior years. Another notable experience that had a huge impact on me was being named the student chair of the 2009 NCAA Field Hockey Championship. Through this experience I learned how to manage a large event from start to finish and of the challenges that come with it. I feel that the skills I learned at Mount Holyoke allowed me to be prepared to take on a summer internship with the New England Revolution and later, my job here at the ECAC.
2. What were the best memories you had as a member of the women’s soccer team at Mount Holyoke? What was the worst and can you describe what you learned from that bad experience??
After being part of a team for four years, there are so many great memories that it can be difficult to choose! My best memory as a member of the Mount Holyoke soccer team was our trip to Japan in January 2010. Coach Kanae Haneishi, who was born in Japan, felt that it was important for women in the United States who have grown up playing soccer, meet and learn about the differences that occur for women in Japan who are playing. I learned so much from playing soccer there and the women that I met. It was wonderful to share the differences in our cultures, playing styles, and perspectives throughout the week. I loved everything about Japan and would love to go back.
I would have to say that my worst memory would be when I had to graduate and leave the team. There is truly something special about the bond that teammates share. There is not a day that goes by that I do not wish that I could be back at practice every day and be looking forward to a weekend game. Luckily, my alumnae game is this Saturday!
3. What have you learned so far about your ECAC Internship? Where do you see yourself in five years?? What attracted you to attend Mount Holyoke College???
I was attracted to Mount Holyoke College because of its academic prestige. Students there are some of the most dedicated and self-motivated individuals I have ever met. Additionally, I attended an overnight stay where I spent time with the current MHC soccer team and felt so comfortable with them and the philosophy of the team that I knew it was the right fit for me.
I have learned so much at the ECAC in my short time here. I have learned the ins and outs of conference management, which is different than dealing with just a single institution’s athletic department. I have been given the opportunity to plan championships from their beginnings, such as compiling research of records, opponents’ records and other information, to the completion of championships where I am the on-site representative for the ECAC. The ECAC has provided me with contacts in Division I, II, and III athletics that will be influential to the rest of my career.
In five years I hope to being working for an athletic department, specifically with game management or facilities management. I want to be able to make a difference in the lives of student-athletes, much like my mentors at Mount Holyoke were able to do for me. I hope to convince some of them that what they love about sports does not have to end when they graduate and can continue as a career.
4. What hobbies or special interests do you have?
I love taking pictures and have for quite some time. In high school I learned to take photos on a manual camera and learned to develop my own photos in the darkroom. Currently I own a Canon T1i, which is a beautiful camera. My specialty is nature shots with a macro lens, but I just love taking pictures in general. Someday I would love to put some of my pieces in a gallery.
5. This year is the 40th anniversary of Title IX. While you graduated from an all-female institution, do you believe that equality truly exists between men’s and women’s intercollegiate athletics?
In today’s world, most young girls have every opportunity to participate in athletics. For me as a child, it was not about if I could or could not play a sport, but more about what sports did I want to play. As the women of older generations know, this was not always the case. Athletics for women was not always a given right and Title IX was the beginning of that change. I feel that defining anything as truly equal depends greatly on perspective. Young girls today may consider themselves equal in the athletic sphere because they have never been told they were not allowed to do something simply because of their gender. Others who have participated in athletics in the past may be able to provide stories and experiences which highlight inequality. As a whole, I feel that men’s and women’s intercollegiate athletics have become more equal. However, I feel that it is critical that both men and women continue to grow and strive towards a greater equality.