ETSU athletics presents second annual Spherion Pathmaker Award
Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Luncheon to celebrate individuals that have paved a path to equity for women


JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (April 21, 2009) - The ETSU Department of Intercollegiate Athletics and the Buccaneer Athletic Scholarship Association will present the second annual Spherion Pathmaker Award to former Director of Intercollegiate Athletics and longtime administrator Janice Shelton on April 23rd in the Grand Ballroom of the Millennium Centre. The luncheon event is scheduled for noon. 


The Spherion PathMaker Award is given annually to honor 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, a former ETSU women's basketball coach and athletic director, will be the recipient of the 2009 Spherion Pathmaker award, and the keynote speaker will be former ETSU and N.C. State men's basketball coach and athletic director Les Robinson. Shelton was the first female selected to the athletic director position at ETSU and was one of only six female athletic directors at the NCAA Division I level at the time of her hiring. Shelton was the 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. As a member of numerous boards and committees that support and advance women's athletics, Shelton symbolizes the values that the Spherion Pathmaker Award represents.


"Janice was a pioneer for women in the athletic administration role and is one of my heroes," said ETSU Associate Athletic Director Barbie Breedlove. "This award recognizes someone who has made great strides to allow success for young women and she has clearly paved a path for future generations of women."


Attendance to the hour-long luncheon is by invitation only. Questions about the event can be answered by contacting Michael White at 423-439-4220 or by e-mailing White at [email protected]


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