By Elisabeth Costanzo Stewart

Meet Colleen Cashman – Director of Athletics

Photo Credit: Matt Ebbers

What drives you professionally and personally? “I’m driven to succeed. But for me, it’s not a drive for personal success but for the success of SUNY Broome’s Athletic Division and our student-athletes. I’ve been Director of Athletics for three years, and we have made some impressive strides like creating a track and field program that won an individual national championship in its first season, without a track and field. But we still have a lot to accomplish. Success to me means continuing to advocate for athletics and to champion our visibility on campus. Our student-athletes put in hours and hours of work in the classroom and in their respective sports, and I am driven by their commitment to represent the College. 

Personally, I’m driven by my amazing family. I’ve evolved so much as a person. Now, I don’t hesitate to discuss my personal life with my colleagues or student-athletes. I love to introduce my wife and our girls to people on campus. I’m very proud to be out and open with my life because many years ago, I was not. I am so open now because I have such a great family. Part of it also has to do with our campus environment, which is so welcoming and supportive.” 

What can we do to encourage and support fellow women as they pursue their education and careers?I think that representation is critical. We also need to take representation a step further by sharing our professional experiences to encourage more women to enter our fields. 

I am one of only four female athletic directors in our region. When I was interviewing for this position, I was asked a version of the question, “Why should you get this position?” I explained that there are so few women in leadership positions within athletics and that there needs to be more.

Whenever I speak with a female student-athlete about career goals, I always try to remind her that there are careers within athletics. Often, students don’t realize that even though they have been athletes all their lives, they can continue to the professional/administrative side of athletics. I didn’t even know that that was an option as a young person. Now, it’s my responsibility to open the door for more women in athletics.

Women often lack confidence. I see it with my student-athletes all of the time. That’s why our office works so hard to nominate students for awards and recognition. We want our students to be built up, to celebrate their incredible accomplishments, and to highlight their value to our campus community.” 

Who is a public figure (either historical or present day) that has inspired you? What were/are her contributions and achievements? “My mom – Joyce Cashman. My mom was my first coach. She coached my softball team, and while she may not have known the in’s and out’s of the sport, she was the most positive influence on all of us. She reinforced the “you can do it” mentality and always celebrated us with ice cream after our games. She came to every game throughout my athletic career, including all my matches when I played for SUNY Broome. If I missed a serve, you’d hear her! But that didn’t bother me. I was just so happy to have her in the crowd. She loved me unconditionally. I didn’t realize until I became an adult that not every child gets a mother who loves them the way that she loved me. She was my rock and my best friend. She taught me how to be who I am. 

Now that I am a mother, I try to mirror her patience, her empathy, and her unconditional love.”

What does it mean to you to be celebrated as a remarkable woman? “I have always had a hard time accepting awards or praise because I come from a team sports world and want to ensure that others are getting the same positive recognition. That being said, I really appreciate being included in the #RemarkablewomenofSUNYBroome as someone making a difference. I didn’t come to SUNY Broome just to have a job. I came to make an impact. Thank you for the support!” 

Name another remarkable woman of SUNY Broome who inspires you? “Heather Sutliff! Heather does so much for this campus and for our community. She’s such a doer when it comes to helping others. I really admire her!” 


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