MILWAUKEE – After nearly 14 years of service to Alverno College as an administrator, Director of Athletics Heather Parkinson has announced that she will step down from her position in mid-February.
Parkinson leaves a lasting impression on Alverno College, focusing on the student-athlete experience, attention to countless operational logistics and intentional campus-wide collaboration.
"I am incredibly proud of the work we've done here and will truly miss my interactions with the student-athletes and Alverno Community," commented Parkinson. "This was an extremely difficult decision for me, but the combination of young children at home and a significant daily commute has caused me to reexamine my priorities and put my family first."
A national search to find a successor will begin immediately.
"Heather has been with Alverno Inferno Athletics for most of its existence and we are grateful for her steadfast commitment to the College, to the coaching staff, and to the student-athletes," noted Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students, Wendy Powers, Ph.D.
Parkinson started at Alverno in 2005 following a coaching tenure at her alma mater, the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. In 2008 she assumed the role of Assistant Director of Athletics before being elevated into an Associate Athletic Director role in 2015. She became the fourth Director of Athletics in Alverno's history in February 2018.
One of Parkinson's primary roles within the department has been overseeing the compliance and eligibility of its student-athletes, which includes NCAA and academic eligibility. In the classroom, Alverno has seen 293 NACC Scholar-Athletes since inception in 2006-07, all coming under the guidance of Parkinson.
She has overseen the incremental growth of the department's athletic offerings, with the addition of tennis in 2009 and golf in 2013. Parkinson also played a role in the increase in student-athlete enrollment by more than 50% between the fall of 2008 and fall of 2016, including the enrollment of out-of-state student-athletes doubling under her watch.
Parkinson was responsible for new fundraising initiatives, while also having a large hand in launching the department's Hall of Fame, which has now seen 17 inductees over the five biennial inductions. Additionally, she oversaw all athletics special events on campus, including the annual athletics awards ceremony and Alverno College's hosting efforts as the site of the Northern Athletics Collegiate Conference Softball Championship from 2009 through 2018.