PGM Professor Impacts Young Women Worldwide

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    PGM Professor Impacts Young Women Worldwide

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    Posted on February 10, 2015

    As an assistant professor and internship coordinator for Cal U’s Professional Golf Management (PGM) program, Dr. Vanessa MacKinnon helps teach valuable life skills to girls through various free clinics and programs.

    However, her work with young people is hardly confined to Cal U’s indoor golf facility inside Gallagher Hall.

    MacKinnon is a mentor with Women Win, an international nonprofit organization that supports grassroots initiatives around the world that pertain to women in sport, particularly programs that use sport to improve the health, education and life skills of girls and young women.

    MacKinnon works with a child during a Cal U Women's golf clinic.

    Recently MacKinnon was one of 15 mentors selected through a competitive application process to give a presentation in Amsterdam at Women Win’s Young Women in Sport Leadership Camp. The selected mentors are all professional women from North America or Europe who have been actively involved with women and sport in some capacity. Each mentor provides advice, counsel and support for a young woman from the developing world who is involved with a program supported by Women Win. 

    This year, mentors were paired with young women from Uganda, Zambia, Kenya, India and Nepal.

    “Many of the young women selected have overcome great barriers in their lives through the assistance of these programs,” said MacKinnon. 

    “Now they are heavily involved with these programs as volunteers or employees, teaching girls the skills that they themselves learned coming up through the programs.”

    MacKinnon’s mentee is from Delhi, India. The young woman, a Muslim, works with the NAZ Foundation and its GOAL program, which introduces girls and young women from the slums to life skills and basic financial literacy in conjunction with the sport of netball.

    “Her role is to reach out to and recruit for the program young women from the minority Muslim population who live in the predominantly Muslim slum in Delhi.”

    MacKinnon helped her mentee to develop a business plan, marketing strategies and an “elevator pitch” for her program. They also discussed time management.

    Her mentee is pursuing a college education online, MacKinnon said. 

    “As English is not her first language, I will be assisting her remotely during the upcoming year with her academic assignments as she works to improve her writing and English skills.”

    MacKinnon called the trip to Amsterdam “an amazing opportunity” to increase awareness of Cal U’s program offerings in exercise science, sport studies and PGM as the University seeks to attract an increasingly global student population. 

    “I am also hopeful that my involvement will show my students here at Cal U firsthand that participating in volunteer and community outreach programs can be a fantastic, enriching and enlightening experience,” MacKinnon said.

    Although Cal U’s PGM program is not involved directly with Women Win, its resources and facilities are used to support outreach programs sponsored by the Women’s Sports Foundation and the LPGA Foundation that have introduced many girls from the local community to the sport of golf.