The NCAA Division II Identity Workshop is a professional development opportunity that features leadership training, best practices for community engagement opportunities, and training in social media, fundraising, and risk management.

INDIANAPOLIS, IND. – University of Minnesota Crookston Head Volleyball Coach Sarah Rauen was one of three Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference (NSIC) coaches chosen to represent the conference at the 2019 NCAA Division II Identity Workshop, held at the NCAA Headquarters in Indianapolis, Ind., held June 26-28.

    “It was a phenomenal experience,” Rauen said. “I was able to attend with two other NSIC head coaches, and there were also representatives from all of the other NCAA Division II conferences. It was amazing to learn a lot about the NCAA and to get to work on ourselves as coaches. It was also great to meet other coaches in Division II from other sports and be able to exchange ideas and talk about the different challenges we all face and things that we have done that have worked well. It was an unbelievable honor. I am definitely happy that the Northern Sun reached out to me and asked if I wanted to go. I was able to take a lot away from the conference.”

    The NCAA Division II Identity Workshop is a professional development opportunity that features leadership training, best practices for community engagement opportunities, and training in social media, fundraising, and risk management. The 2019 workshop was the fourth year of the NCAA Division II Identity Workshop. Rauen was joined as a representative of the NSIC by University of Minnesota Duluth men’s basketball coach Justin Wieck, and Minnesota State University track and field coach Mike Turgeon.

    “It was nice to be able to talk to Justin (Wieck) and Mike (Turgeon),” Rauen said. “They are in different schools than we are, but we all have similar experiences and it is always great to hear from coaches in other sports that have been successful at the places they have been. It was really nice to talk to them and get some ideas on what they are doing and some things we can bring back to Minnesota Crookston.”

    The three day event was jam-packed with the coaches doing sessions with Justin Patton, an executive leadership coach. He worked with the coaches on leadership, and personal values.

    “He is a phenomenal speaker and a phenomenal guy,” Rauen said. “He had a lot of resources for us. We spent time with him working on ourselves.”

    In addition, the attendees were exposed to topics ranging from what the NCAA provides, marketing, fundraising, and more.

    Rauen had several big takeaways from the experience as she looks to bring the knowledge she gained to her team beginning with the 2019 season.

    “I think one of the biggest takeaways I will have is the personal value information we learned at the conference,” Rauen said. “I want to use the work we did with Justin (Patton) and bring it back to my team individually. We have previously talked about some similar ideas, but I am looking to bring some new and fresh ideas from Justin (Patton) that I will implement. In general, I want to utilize the resources that have been provided by the NCAA not only in the volleyball program, but across the Minnesota Crookston athletic department.”