Moderator Michael Gentile, J.D., is pictured with Athletic Director Roundtable participants, from left, Allen Greene (University at Buffalo), Simon Gray (Niagara University), Peter Bothner (Nazareth College), Bridget Niland (Daemen College), and Robert McKeown (Niagara County Community College).

Niagara University’s College of Hospitality and Tourism Management, in conjunction with its Sport Management Association, hosted an Athletic Director Roundtable Nov. 10. The special event allowed students of all majors to listen in on some of the area’s highest-profile leaders in collegiate athletics as they discussed their duties and roles in the industry.

“I really applaud the university for putting this event together,” said Simon Gray, Niagara University’s director of athletics. “I know there are professors who deserve a lot of credit for getting this together, but I also know there were students who worked very hard to get this done. I think it was fabulous and I think a lot of credit also goes to the athletic directors that traveled to campus to be here today.”

Participating athletic directors included Gray, Allen Greene (University at Buffalo), Bridget Niland (Daemen College), Peter Bothner (Nazareth College), and Robert McKeown (Niagara County Community College).

“The athletic directors were very insightful and had great information to share with everyone, even if you weren’t looking to work in collegiate sports,” said Josh Dumbleton, an NU junior majoring in sport management.

Among the topics discussed throughout the evening were the present state of collegiate athletics, facility management, hiring practices and the challenges that come with structuring life between work and time outside the office.

“I was really interested about their thoughts on being a great teammate and having motivation to succeed,” said Dumbleton. “You have to find your way to get your foot in the door and know the right people so that you can move up and, eventually, find yourself in your dream job.”

As for Gray, he hoped students understood the importance of working hard and doing all that you can to help yourself succeed in the field.

“It’s important to understand that you have to impress everyone you meet in this industry and, when asked to do something, do it right away and do it to the absolute best of your abilities,” said Gray. “I think that’s very important as you think about getting into the industry.”

For more information on Niagara University’s College of College of Hospitality and Tourism Management, please call 716.286.8279 or visit

Article by Greg Jubert, a Niagara University sophomore studying sport management and communication studies. He is also a member of the Public Relations Student Society of Niagara.

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