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MOAA Announces 2017-18 Founders' Grant Recipients

Jan. 11, 2018

CLEVELAND -- The Minority Opportunities Athletic Association (MOAA) is pleased to announce the 2017-18 recipients of its Founders' Grant. For the first time, MOAA is providing three grants. The recipients of this year’s grants are Mar Bactol, director of athletics facilities and event management at the University of Puget Sound, Gail Barksdale, deputy AD and SWA at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis and Darnell Smith, assistant AD for compliance at the University of Central Oklahoma.

The Founders' Grant was introduced to assist MOAA members with their attendance for professional development opportunities, including but not limited to the NACDA & Affiliates Convention Week. In an effort to support the development of its members in accordance with the mission and objectives of the Association and, for the first time, MOAA is providing three grants to deserving individuals, in the amount of $1,000 each.

Bactol is in his first year at the University of Puget Sound, currently serving as the director of athletics facilities and event management. He is responsible for the management and oversight of athletics facilities, as well as the organization of event operations across sport programs for home events and special activities. Prior to Puget Sound, Bactol spent two seasons as a graduate assistant for the University of Washington (UW) football program under Head Coach Chris Petersen. He assisted with player personnel duties such as identifying and evaluating prospective recruits, scouting, hosting recruits on official and unofficial visits, requesting transcripts, and managing the recruiting budget. During his two seasons at UW, he helped the football program land back-to-back top-25 recruiting classes, their first Pac-12 Championship since 2000, and a College Football Playoff appearance. From 2014-2017, he also spent time working with the Seattle Seahawks and Seattle Mariners supporting game-day festivities, promotions, and halftime shows. Bactol played football at the University of San Diego, where he earned a bachelor’s degree both finance and marketing. He also holds a master’s degree Seattle University.

Barksdale is in her sixth year at IUPUI, currently serving as the deputy director of athletics and senior woman administrator. Barksdale oversees the department’s internal operations, including several administrative units and athletic teams. Barksdale serves on several national, conference and campus committees and is a graduate of the NACDA Mentoring Institute and Women Leaders in College Sports Leadership Enhancement Institute. Barksdale holds memberships in the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics (NACDA), Division I AAA Athletic Directors Association (DI-AAA ADA), MOAA (former Board member), Women Leaders in College Sports, and Alliance of Women Coaches. Prior to joining the IUPUI Athletics staff, Barksdale spent three years at Georgia State University, during which time the university added football and expanded its student-athlete population to 375. Before Georgia State, Barksdale spent time at the Northeast Conference (NEC), Indiana State University and the College of Staten Island. Barksdale earned her bachelor’s degree from the University of Cincinnati and her master’s degree from Indiana University.

Smith is in his seventh year at the University of Central Oklahoma (UCO), currently serving as the assistant athletics director for compliance. Smith manages the areas of NCAA compliance, student-athlete services and the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) while also directing the student-athlete welfare programming and serving as Deputy Title IX Coordinator for athletics. Smith is a member of the National Association of Athletics Compliance (NAAC), National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics (NACDA), National Association of Academic and Student-Athlete Development Professionals (N4A), NCAA Division II Ethnic Minority and Women's Internship Grant  Selection Committee, and the Minority Opportunities Athletic Association (MOAA). In addition, he was selected as a member of the prestigious NCAA Pathway Program (2017), NCAA Leadership Institute (2015), and the NCAA & D2 ADA Mentoring Program for Women & Minorities (2015). Furthermore, in the fall 2017, Smith served as a facilitator at the NCAA Student-Athlete Leadership Forum. Smith was a four-year member (two-year starter) of the Oklahoma State (OSU) football team from 2002-06 at defensive end.  A standout student-athlete, he was a three-time recipient of the Arthur Ashe Scholar award, earned second-team honors on the ESPN the Magazine Academic All-America Team, was selected as an ARA Sportsmanship Award finalists, and Big XII Community of Champions Award winner. Additionally, Smith was a recipient of the Dr. Prentice Gautt Big XII Postgraduate Scholarship and the John Mclendon Minority Postgraduate Scholarship Award among other accolades. Smith earned both his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Oklahoma State and is currently pursuing a Ph.D. at the University of Oklahoma.

The 2018 MOAA Symposium is scheduled for June 27-28 at the Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center in Washington D.C.

About MOAA: MOAA promotes equitable employment opportunities for minorities in the athletics industry through the exchange of ideas, the creation of networking opportunities and the advocation of an increase in employment for minorities in athletics administration positions at all levels of the sports industry. The Association also promotes cultivating a sports environment that supports the values necessary to accept aspiring professionals from all walks of life. For more information on MOAA, please visit www.moaaweb.com.  MOAA is partnered with the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics (NACDA), which is in its 53rd year. For more information on NACDA and the 17 professional associations that fall under its umbrella, please visit www.nacda.com.