Nnenna Akotaobi will begin her tenure as the College's new associate athletics director on August 20. Akotaobi comes to Swarthmore from Grinnell College, where she served as both the coordinator for diversity and achievement in athletics and assistant coordinator for athletic facilities and event management since 2010.
"Nnenna stood out among an extremely large and talented group of candidates. Her extensive and varied experience at Grinnell, running the spectrum from diversity and inclusion, to facilities, to NCAA championships, has prepared her well for a successful transition to Swarthmore," says Adam Hertz, Marian Ware Director of Physical Education and Athletics. "We are excited that she has chosen to continue her career with us."
As the coordinator for diversity and achievement in athletics at Grinnell, Akotaobi worked to promote diversity within the athletics department and was responsible for the retention and recruitment of student-athletes from underrepresented backgrounds. She was instrumental in diversity education among the department, co-authoring policy on the inclusion and participation of transgender student-athletes, implementing a diversity education program entitled "Diversity Dialogues," and using extensive analysis to develop diversity values for the department's strategic plan and mission statement. She also collaborated closely with coaches to develop recruiting plans that helped increase and diversify the pool of underrepresented prospective student-athletes at Grinnell.
As the assistant coordinator for athletic facilities and event management, Akotaobi helped manage Grinnell's newly-completed Charles Benson Bear '39 Recreation and Athletic Center. Akotaobi was responsible for contracts and scheduling of facility use among the athletics department and external users such as club sports, intramural sports, and community organizations. She also had direct oversight of over 100 workers and served as the gameday manager for Grinnell athletic events. Akotaobi played a vital administrative role when Grinnell hosted the 2012 NCAA DIII Indoor Track and Field Championships in March, serving as marketing and event management coordinator.
"It is an honor to join Adam Hertz and the rest of the athletics staff at Swarthmore," Akotaobi says. "This is an incredible institution in terms of academic excellence and athletic success. I look forward to building on the great tradition that Swarthmore College Athletics represents."