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Sept. 17, 2020KANSAS CITY, Mo.
The MIAA announced the start of a new task force that will strive to create an equal playing field for all.
The MIAA Community Culture Task Force will make efforts to enhance diversity and inclusion and focus on the conference's strategic plan. Assistant AD Kiersten Orton will represent Northwest Missouri State University on the task force.
Orton's spent 10 years in the conference – split between time as a basketball player at the University of Central Missouri, then a graduate assistant and now administrator at Northwest. Her goal on the task force is to continue improving the experience for all.
"Sport really offers a great opportunity for that," Orton said. "We had a locker room that was full of all different walks of life, and just being able to have those opportunities to learn from one another, to grow, and continue make change is very important in the climate we're in today."
Orton's also watched as Northwest Deputy AD Lori Hopkins took the reins as the chair of the league's COVID-19 task force, and hopes to make an impact in the same way as her mentor.
"She's definitely motivated me to want to be part of those, and continue to learn, and want to make our conference and our school a better place to be."
The task force is a 13-person committee ranging from student-athletes to administrators.
MIAA Community Culture Task Force Members
Britt Lauritsen, Washburn, Assistant Athletics Director/SWA (Chairperson)
Kristy Bayer, Emporia State, Deputy Director of Athletics/SWA
Kurtis Brondyke, Central Missouri, Assistant Track & Field Coach
Karesa Burr, Missouri Southern, Director of Internal Operations/SWA
Trinity Conley, Newman Women's Volleyball Student-Athlete
Abigail Fern, Pittsburg State, Chief Marketing and Communication Officers
Dr. Yelando Johnson, Newman, BSW Program Director
Keena Lynch, Lincoln, Assistant Athletics Director for Creative Content
Amel Muhamedagic, Central Oklahoma, Assistant Women's Soccer Coach
Kiersten Orton, Northwest Missouri, Assistant Athletics Director
Mackenzie Puckett, Nebraska-Kearney, Track & Field Student-Athlete
Bria Salazar, Rogers State, Women's Soccer Student-Athlete
Alejandro Ultreras, Newman, Cross Country Student-Athlete