BY JALEN STUBBS, MANAGING EDITOR
Mason track and field alumna, Nena Rogers was recently promoted as the new Interim Assistant Vice President and Director of Intercollegiate Athletics. Rogers explained how the process of being promoted from interim is a process. She explained how Mason wanted to position itself to do a national search.
“In order to maintain the support and services that we provide for our student-athletes every day, what we had to do was put an interim in place,” Rogers said. “The university took steps to speak with different constituents in our department…to identify someone to step into the interim role to ensure that our student-athletes who are our primary focus have the support they need until the university conducts a national search for an athletic director.”
Rogers was honored after being assigned that role to lead this athletic department being able to be a continued resource and support for the student-athletes at Mason. Being a former athlete for Mason, Rogers hopes to implement what she has learned since then to be outstanding serving as the interim.
“A lot of times, experiences in athletics are measured in wins and loses,” Rogers said. “But we know it’s really having an opportunity to participate in the sport that we enjoy participating in.”
Knowing not everyone has an opportunity to be a student-athlete, Rogers emphasizes that those who do have that opportunity are important to her in addition to having the educational opportunity. She hopes to maintain to continue to provide opportunities such as this.
“That’s my charge right now, student focus, student-facing, student supporting,” Rogers said.
Along the way, she hopes to work with the staff that works with the students and provide for that particular staff as well. Rogers explains that her job is to focus on the students first, following the support staff around the students to keep them moving in the right direction.
“My experience is to lead this department with those core values first and foremost. Educate, compete, and engage. That’s what we want to do for our student-athletes,” Rogers said.
Rogers explained that in order to be successful in this job, you make sure every student-athlete is completing their academic semesters. For her, knowing that student-athletes had a good education and a chance to win on the playing field was what success looks like in this area of expertise.
This is an exciting time for Mason athletics however the department has been facing challenges with changes in leadership which creates what Rogers describes as the unknown.
“I believe the university leadership has already established the notion that we will continue doing things in a professional positive way for our student-athletes.”
Nonetheless, this is a necessary adjustment for Mason and its representation in the athletic department.