Excellence in Athletics: From Fierce Competitors to Female Trailblazers

Actions Panel

Excellence in Athletics: From Fierce Competitors to Female Trailblazers

ONLINE TICKET SALES HAVE CLOSED: Please direct any questions to Megan Poli at megan.poli@marquette.edu.

When and where

Date and time


The Wisconsin Club City Club, Ballroom 900 West Wisconsin Avenue Milwaukee, WI 53233

Map and directions

How to get there

Refund Policy

Contact the organizer to request a refund.
Eventbrite's fee is nonrefundable.

About this event

ONLINE TICKET SALES HAVE CLOSED: Please direct any questions to Megan Poli at megan.poli@marquette.edu.

Join Marquette alumni, parents, and friends to celebrate and become energized by the 50th Anniversary of Title IX and the storied tradition of female excellence within Marquette Athletics. BIG EAST Commissioner Val Ackerman will provide a keynote alongside three prominent alumnae panelists, discussing the challenges faced, lessons learned and keys to success that have led to their roles as female leaders in their industries.


7:30 a.m. Registration, breakfast and networking

8:00 a.m. Program and panel

9:00 a.m. Event concludes

The Wisconsin Club | City Club, Ballroom

900 W. Wisconsin Ave. | Milwaukee, WI

$30 per individual - includes breakfast, coffee and juice, and a non-refundable, tax deductible gift to a women's excellence fund of choice benefiting the growth of female sports through Marquette’s Time to Rise: Elevating Excellence in Women’s Athletics initiative.

Valet parking will be available.

Direct any questions or special needs to Megan Poli, at megan.poli@marquette.edu or (414) 288-8439.


Val Ackerman, BIG EAST Commissioner: Named commissioner of the BIG EAST Conference in 2013, Val Ackerman has had a long and accomplished career in the sports industry as one of the few executives who has held leadership positions in both men’s and women’s sports at the collegiate, professional, national team and international levels. Val is an alumna of the University of Virginia where she was one of the school's first female student-athlete scholarship recipients. Val's accomplishments have earned her numerous accolades, some of which include, the Women’s Sports Foundation/ESPNW 40 for 40 Honoree, Women in Sports and Events (WISE) 20th Anniversary Women of Distinction Award, Women Leaders in College Sports Conference Administrator of the Year Award, and the prestigious Women’s Sports Foundation’s Billie Jean King Contribution Award for significant contributions to the development and advancement of women’s sports.

Patty Baker, Bus Ad '88, Law '91: Patty Baker is a proud Marquette alumna and former women's basketball player currently serving as The Milwaukee County Judicial Court Commissioner in the Probate Division. Patty continues to serve the Marquette community by mentoring current student-athletes who are interested in pursuing careers in law and criminal justice. As one of the all-time MU letter-winners, Patty gained valuable time management skills balancing basketball while earning her degree. She credits Marquette with teaching her that the importance of making meaningful connections and treating others equally is just important - if not more - as monetary or professional success.

Joanna Bauza, Bus Ad '97: Elected to the Marquette Board of Trustees in 2016, Joanna Bauza is a former women's tennis student-athlete. Joanna is president of The Cervantes Group, a multi million dollar company previously recognized a one of the “Top Hispanic or Latino-run Companies on the Inc. 5000" in 2011. Joanna is a leader in the technology industry with experience in nonprofits and multi-billion-dollar corporations. A native of Guaynabo, Puerto Rico, Joanna was the No. 1 ranked Puerto Rican women’s tennis player for more than five years, was a three-time MVP of Marquette University’s women’s tennis team, and and represented Puerto Rico in the first Federation Cup tennis team in Puerto Rico’s history in 1992.

Anna Strong, Arts '17: During her time at Marquette, Anna Strong was a member of the McNair Scholars program for post-baccalaureate achievement, a participant in the Marquette Mentors program, and a former track and field student-athlete. Throughout competition, Anna was an integral part of the women’s team that won four BIG EAST Conference Championships for both indoor and outdoor in 2016 and 2017. Anna recently graduated from the University of Illinois Chicago School of Law and will begin her career as a litigator for Coplan and Crane, Ltd. in Oak Park, IL, as she strives toward her dream of assisting entrepreneurs and small business owners in creating contracts to aid in unfair contract negotiations.