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Elite Women in Sports to Discuss Title IX

Caldwell College invites the community to mark 40th anniversary of legislation which leveled playing field for women in sports.

A longtime West Essex High School field hockey coach and an All-American and All-State softball player while at James Caldwell High School are among the influential women in sports who will speak at Caldwell College Wednesday.

The college assembled the all-star panel as a way for the school and the community to mark the 40th anniversary of Title IX, the legislation credited with leveling the playing field for women in sports.

Linda Cimino, Associate Director of Athletics and the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee coordinator for Caldwell College, put together the panel, which will include Irma Garcia, Cheri Kempf, Gail Marquis, Tina Cervasio, Lisa White, Phyllis Mangina, Linda Alimi and Desi Giordano.

“The women on our panel faced and overcame many barriers to become successful in both athletics and many other areas,” Cimino stated in a release.

“Girls today have fewer obstacles in front of them, but there still is a long road ahead,” according to Cimino. “The panelists can pass the baton to the next generation of athletes by sharing the challenges they faced, as well as the victories they have achieved in sports and beyond.”

Title IX, part of the Education Amendments of 1972, made unlawful discrimination based on sex in education programs and activities which received federal financial assistance. 

Students from Mount Saint Dominic Academy, Caldwell and West Essex high schools are expected to attend the panel discussion in Caldwell College’s George R. Newman Center. The discussion starts at 7 p.m. and is free and open to the public. Before the discussion, at 6 p.m., attendees will have a chance to meet and greet panelists:

Irma Garcia
Named the Director of Athletics for St. Francis College in 2007, Garcia became the first Latina to lead a NCAA Division I athletics’ department and is one of only a few women to head a Division I program.

Cheri Kempf
Commissioner of the National Pro Fastpitch League (NPFL) and a color analyst for softball broadcasts on several networks. She has become a staple in ESPN’s coverage of the NCAA Softball Tournament and the Women’s College World Series.

Gail Marquis
Helped the United States win the silver medal in women’s basketball at the 1976 Olympics in Montreal. Since then, she has made a name for herself in the financial world while also maintaining a connection with basketball as a color analyst for WNBA broadcasts.

Tina Cervasio
A familiar face to New York sports fans as a host and reporter for MSG. She is a sideline and feature reporter for the New York Knicks, the pregame host and reporter for the New York Red Bulls and a contributor on New York Liberty broadcasts.

Lisa White
White has enjoyed a distinguished career as an athlete, medical provider, and educator. Her experience and training has prepared her fully for the next chapter of her career—founder of ADAPT (Athletic Development and Performance Training).

Phyllis Mangina
Head women’s basketball coach at Seton Hall University for 26 years after starring for the Pirates’ basketball and softball teams. The principle owner of Mangina Hoops, Inc., she also does sideline commentary on Northeast Conference basketball broadcasts and has worked with MSG on telecasts of girls’ and boys’ high school basketball games. Mangina currently serves as the director of girls’ basketball at House of Sports in New York.

Linda Alimi
The longtime head field hockey coach at West Essex High School, where she set the state and national records for field hockey victories. Alimi, who won over 400 games, is a charter member of both the West Essex and NJSIAA High School Halls of Fame.

Desi Giordano
A high school All-American and All-State softball player while at James Caldwell High School. After earning the Essex County Player of the Year honors, she continued her playing career in the Big Ten at Penn State University. Before suffering a career-ending injury her senior year, she started almost every game at third base. A dominant power hitter, Giordano finished her career ranked fourth all-time on Penn State’s career home run list. Giordano is currently involved in the West Caldwell softball recreation program and also gives pitching and hitting lessons to local girls. 

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