June 15, 2015
CLEVELAND - The Minority Opportunities Athletic Association (MOAA) is pleased to announce Natasha Oakes, associate director of athletics for compliance/senior woman administrator at Missouri Western State University, as the 2015 Rudy Keeling Scholarship recipient. Oakes will receive a $2,500 postgraduate scholarship towards an advanced degree with the intention of furthering her administrative pursuits within the intercollegiate athletics industry. Oakes has been accepted into the postgraduate program at MWSU.
Oakes joined the Missouri Western State athletics department on Aug. 4, 2014. In her current role, she is responsible for all NCAA rules education, eligibility and monitoring of student-athletes. Oakes came to MWSU from the NCAA office in Indianapolis, Ind., where she served as the assistant director of academic and membership affairs for four years. In her role at the NCAA, she served as a member of the Division II team and was responsible for providing interpretations of the legislation, conducting rules education for the Division II membership, overseeing the legislative relief waiver process and working with the Division II membership process.
Prior to the NCAA, Oakes worked at the Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics Association office as the assistant commissioner for compliance and internal operations from 2005-10.
As the Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) Commissioner, Rudy Keeling was the first African-American ever to head a major sports conference, a position he held from 2007 until his retirement in January 2013. He was also a former member of the MOAA Board of Directors. Candidates for the scholarship were reviewed by the MOAA leadership and members of the Keeling Family.
"Rudy Keeling was a true servant leader striving to help, mentor and empower others. This Postgraduate Scholarship honors exactly what he stood for and we are excited to give the inaugural award to Andrea," said MOAA President Dr. Sharon Beverly, assistant vice president & executive director of athletics & recreation at The College of New Jersey.
To be considered for the Rudy Keeling Scholarship, a candidate must:
- Meet the federal guidelines for definition as a minority. These are as follows:
- Black (Not of Hispanic origin) - All persons having origins in any of the Black racial groups of Africa.
- Hispanic - All persons of Mexican, Puerto Rican, Cuban, Central or South American, or other Spanish culture of origin, regardless of race.
- Asian or Pacific Islander - All persons having origins in any of the original peoples of the Far East, Southeast Asia, the Indian subcontinent or the Pacific Islands. This area includes, for example, China, India, Japan, Korea, the Philippine Islands and Samoa.
- American Indian or Alaskan Native - All persons having origins in any of the original peoples of North America, and who maintain cultural identification through tribal affiliation or community recognition.
- Be pursuing opportunities in an advanced degree program, and have a minimum of two years of full-time professional experience in athletics.
- Be planning to pursue a postgraduate course of study within 12-18 months of receipt of the scholarship.
- Have demonstrated leadership qualities on a college/university or community level.
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 administered by the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics (NACDA), which is in its 50th year. For more information on NACDA and the 15 professional associations that fall under its umbrella, please visit www.nacda.com.