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Shelton joins Beth Bass, former ETSU women's basketball player and current Chief Executive Officer of the Women's Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA), as the only recipients of the award in its two years of existence.
"I'm very appreciative of this honor and it ranks right up there with being inducted into the ETSU Athletics Hall of Fame," said Shelton, before a packed house of ETSU fans, supporters, student-athletes, coaches and administrators. "When I was hired here over 40 years ago, I never thought I would leave coaching, but I saw there was a lack of opportunity for women and that I could make a difference through this path as an administrator. The opportunity to be a part of so many firsts at ETSU was both special and humbling."
The Spherion PathMaker Award is given annually to an individual who has contributed significantly to the development and success of young women, and to the advancement of opportunities for all women in their chosen field of endeavor. The award specifically celebrates the importance that participation in sports has in developing character, confidence and self esteem for today's young women. Recognizing that the stereotype of the female has changed dramatically since the inception of Title IX legislation, we now have an entire generation of parents who overwhelmingly encourage their daughters as they participate in sports.
Shelton, who began her career at ETSU in 1968 as the school's women's basketball coach and director of women's intramurals, would ultimately rise to the position of athletics director in 1990, becoming the first female to hold that position at ETSU. At the time, she was one of only six women in NCAA Division I to hold that job.
Former ETSU athletic director and men's basketball coach Les Robinson was on hand to introduce Shelton and speak of their time together at ETSU. Shelton served as Robinson's assistant athletic director in the late 1980s.
"I may have had the title of athletic director, but the real AD was Janice Shelton," Robinson said. "It's an honor to be here today to speak on behalf of Janice. She has done so much to provide opportunities for women, and is obviously deserving of this honor."
The event was sponsored by Spherion, a job placement and recruiting company with local offices in the Johnson City area. Spherion recognizes the need for stronger work force development and the benefits of being associated with programs that ensure the success of both female and male workers. Because there is a great deal of research showing that participation in athletic programs has a positive impact on educational achievement and can lead to higher wages later in life, Spherion is a proud supporter of the ETSU Department of Intercollegiate Athletics.
Spherion recognizes the need for stronger work force development and the benefits of being associated with programs that ensure the success of both female and male workers. Because there is a great deal of research showing that participation in athletic programs has a positive impact on educational achievement and can lead to higher wages later in life, Spherion is a proud supporter of the ETSU Department of Intercollegiate Athletics.
The Buccaneer Athletic Scholarship Association's mission is to fund athletic scholarships at ETSU, and BASA holds as its core value that no goal exceeds the mandate to educate and graduate the student-athlete. The expanding role of women in our society makes scholarship support of the female student-athlete a high priority, and equally as important to the continued support of scholarship funding for male student athletes.
Dr. Janice C. Shelton
Athletics has always been a passion of Dr. Janice Shelton. From her early years, a love of sports has taken her from being part of a team to coaching or directing some of the biggest sporting events in the Southeast. Shelton received a B.S. in physical education and biology in 1966 from Georgetown College, Kentucky. Following graduation she was named women's basketball and volleyball coach at Georgetown College. Shelton then graduated from the University of Kentucky in 1968 where she received a Master of Arts in physical education and sports administration. She went on to earn a doctorate in education from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro in 1980. Her doctoral areas were sport psychology.
Shelton arrived at East Tennessee State University in 1968, hired to be the Women's Basketball Coach, Instructor and Director of Women's Intramurals. In 1973, she became an assistant professor and Coordinator of Women's Sports, then Assistant Athletics Director in 1974 when the women's sports programs were moved from the Physical Education Department to full status under the direction of the Athletics Department.
By 1980 she was named Associate Athletics Director for all men's and women's sports and in 1990, Dr. Shelton was named Athletics Director at ETSU until her retirement in 1995. Shelton was the first female selected to the position at the school. At her hiring, she was one of only six female ADs at NCAA Division I institutions in the country.
After leaving ETSU, Shelton worked on the Atlanta Committee on Olympic Games in 1995-96, specifically working in the volleyball secretariate. Following the ACOG games, Shelton served as the Director of the Secretariat for Paralympic Volleyball. Later that same year, she returned to ETSU and served as Associate Dean for the College of Education. In 2003, Shelton served as Chair of the Board of Trustees at Georgetown College for three years.
Throughout her career, Shelton has held numerous leadership roles and has served on several boards and committees to support and advance women's athletics. From 1968 until 1990, Shelton directed five TCWSF State Tournaments, four Association of Intercollegiate Athletics for Women (AIAW) Regional Tournaments, which included basketball, gymnastics, tennis and volleyball tournaments. Shelton was also Chair of the Tennessee Association of Girl's and Women's Sports, the Tennessee College Women's Sports Federation Ethics and Eligibility Chair, and the AIAW Southern Region Ethics and Eligibility Chair. She has also served on the AIAW President's Committee on Ethics and Eligibility legislation. In the 90's, Shelton Chaired the NCAA Women's Basketball Rules Committee, the Senior Women Administrators and numerous sports and administration committees of the Southern Conference.
Shelton has received several honors throughout her life, including:
- 2007 - ETSU Honorary Alumna
- 2003 - Nike NACWAA Life-Time Achievement Award
- 2002 - ETSU Athletics Hall of Fame
- 2001 - Georgetown Athletics Hall of Fame
- 1997 - ETSU Distinguished Staff Award
- 1991 - NCAA/NACWAA District III Administrator of the Year
- 1991 - Altrusa Honorarium Award for Women in Business and Industry