by Ann King, The Sage Colleges Sports Information Director/CoSIDA Special Awards Committee
In the world of intercollegiate athletics we are fortunate to work with, and alongside, many talented young people. Athletic communications allows us the opportunity to meet and learn from our colleagues, not in a competitive nature, but from one filled with energy and enthusiasm for what we do and how we do it. In 2009, I was blessed to have an opportunity to meet Amie Canfield of Mount Holyoke College, this year's recipient of the CoSIDA Rising Star Award (for the College Division).
The award is presented to a College Division member whose work at their institution and service, dedication, energy and enthusiasm to the profession make that individual a "rising star" in athletic communications. When you read this description, you know instantly that Amie is "a rising star."
When I moved to Upstate New York, Amie was the person with all the answers when I needed help as the newbie here in Troy. As the assistant sports information director at nearly Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI), Canfield was never too busy and was always willing to assist with every possible challenge I seemed to have. During my first year in Troy there were many challenges and Amie was that calming and steady voice. She taught me stat crew for lacrosse, gave me media contacts and tips! She was the veteran and a talent for this SID. Early on I knew Amie was special and had a passion for this profession. Amie's star was bright and I knew it would not be long before she would depart the Collar City.
That time came in the summer of 2012 when I received a call for a reference check from Lori Hendricks, Director of Athletics and Chair of Physical Education at Mount Holyoke College. It was easy to go on and on about how talented Amie was and what an amazing asset she would be for them. For as easy as it was to honestly say that Amie would be a great person for them, I knew it meant she would be leaving taking with her that spontaneous laugh and dry sense of humor that made me so fond of her in the first place.
Subsequently, Canfield was named the Sports Information Director and Scheduling Coordinator for Mount Holyoke, an NCAA Division III college in western Massachusetts, in August of 2012.
Since taking over, Canfield has helped further develop the Lyons' athletic media relations office, adding online broadcasts of home athletic events and establishing the department's YouTube and Instagram pages. Additionally, she also oversees various areas of game management, all departmental publications, and also serves as part of the department administrative team.
Canfield is also a member of Mount Holyoke's Hall of Fame Committee and played a significant role in the design and development of the department's Hall of Fame Wall, located in the Kendall Sports and Dance Complex.
In addition to the above mentioned roles, Canfield is also the staff liaison for Mount Holyoke's six club sport teams, including dressage, fencing, ice hockey, rugby, ultimate frisbee and western riding.
A member of a number of committees across the Mount Holyoke campus, including the Administrative Technology Steering Committee and the Campus Communicators' Group, Canfield also serves the NEWMAC Conference in several areas. She is a part of the SID Committee and is also a member of the Athletic Administrators' Group (AAG), one of just two SID's in the 11-team conference to serve in that role.
Andy Whitcomb, MHC's head field hockey coach, notes that "Amie is such a worthy recipient of this Rising Star Award. When she stepped foot on campus she was an instant boost to our athletic department. Amie's energy level and enthusiasm are contagious. She can make a stinging loss sound upbeat and optimistic but more noteworthy, are her write-ups after a resounding and exciting defeat of a rival. She loves sports, she loves competition, and, most importantly, she loves to tell the story of a student-athlete's hard work and resolve paying off. I am proud to have her as a colleague."
Prior to joining the Mount Holyoke staff, Canfield served for seven years as the sports information assistant at (RPI) in Troy, New York. Her responsibilities included assisting the director in the handling of all the publicity and public relations for Rensselaer's 21 Division III varsity sports, as well as the two Division I hockey teams.
In addition to serving as the primary contact for women's ice hockey, she assisted in editing and designing of department publications, statistical compilation, game-day obligations, press box management, student worker oversight and media coordination.
Kevin Beattie Associate AD for Communications & Compliance at RPI noted, "Amie is the perfect choice for the Rising Star Award. She is genuinely passionate about athletic communications and it is exhibited on a daily basis. She is selfless in all she does, especially when it comes to providing for Mount Holyoke and its student-athletes, coaches, staff and fans as well as her colleagues in the industry. Her friends at RPI are thrilled for Amie because we know how hard she works and that this is richly deserved."
Prior to her time at Rensselaer, Canfield served as a part-time assistant for three years at the University of Vermont athletic communications office, working primarily with the men's and women's ice hockey program. In addition, she worked as a member of the statistical crew for both the men's and women's basketball and men's and women's lacrosse programs.
When contacted about Canfield's Rising Star honor, Lisa Champagne, Vermont Director of Athletic Communications stated "I am thrilled that Amie Canfield is being recognized by CoSIDA with this honor. She is truly a rising star in the field. Amie has a tremendous work ethic, does whatever is needed to get the job done and is quick to offer a helping hand. I have seen her grow from a student assistant at Vermont to a director at Mount Holyoke and I am not surprised she has moved up the ladder of success in the profession. She is worthy of this prestigious award."
Adele Burke Director of Media Relations at the NESCAC added, "Amie is a great ambassador for the profession, having served in a variety of capacities on numerous campus, conference and national committees. Her work ethic and professionalism are second to none, which is evident in her high-quality work."
A native of St. Johnsbury, Vermont, Canfield is a 2003 graduate of Vermont with a bachelor's degree in English. In addition to all team responsibilities and duties she has embraced, Amie also served as a volunteer at numerous tournaments and championships, including the 2009, 2007 & 2014 NCAA Women's Ice Hockey Frozen Four and the 2012 IIHF Women's World Hockey Championships. Currently, she is one of the East Region representatives for the inaugural United States Basketball Writers Association (USBWA) Division III National Player of the Week.
As an active member of CoSIDA, Amie also finds time to serve as a district coordinator on the organization's Academic All-America® Committee. In the summer of 2014, Canfield was named to the NCAA Division III CoSIDA convention planning committee, where she is actively involved with the planning for the 2015 Division III Day at the convention in June.
A longstanding member of the Eastern College Athletic Conference Sports Information Directors Association (ECAC-SIDA), she served for three years on ECAC-SIDA's Bill Esposito Award committee and has been a part of establishing the ECAC-SIDA's presence on Facebook.
Mount Holyoke's AD sums up Canfield's importance to the campus community.
"Amie is an extraordinary ambassador of student-athletes and Mount Holyoke College athletics," said Hendricks. "She came to MHC primed with experiences that positioned her as an effective leader across campus and within our conference. We are thrilled that she is being recognized as a star within the profession. It is most deserved."
Canfield will receive her award at the Special Awards luncheon on June 17th at the 2015 CoSIDA Convention in Orlando, Fla.