CoSIDA Director of Professional Development & External Affairs
CoSIDA National Contact For:
• Integrated and strategic communications
• Overseeing year-round professional development/continuing education programs, including: annual convention programming; webinars; content management on all communications platforms; online resource libraries; on-demand materials
• Membership communications via all digital and social communications platforms
• Primary content manager and content creator for communications platforms
• Managing and developing CoSIDA's Academic All-America program publicity and outreach with the Academic All-America core program commitee
• CoSIDA awards programs: contest nominations and voting systems
• Coordinating Special Awards publicity, feature content and awards production
• Staff liaison for various committees, including Special Awards, New Media, Continuing Education
Barb Kowal, who had served as Director of External Affairs on the CoSIDA staff since 2009, moved into a newly-created position as Director of Professional Development and External Affairs in October of 2016. She is responsible for oversight of external communications and coordinates all CoSIDA social and digital communications platforms.
With professional development responsibilities, Kowal works closely with both the CoSIDA continuing education committee and the convention program committee in all aspects of year-round professional development programs and educational planning.
Kowal was inducted into the CoSIDA Hall of Fame in 2010 and received a CoSIDA 25-Year Service Award that same year. At the 2016 NCAA Division I Women's Basketball Final Four in Dallas, she was awarded the United States Basketball Writers Association's (USBWA) Mary Jo Haverbeck Award, given for outstanding service and commitment to the media.
Prior to her CoSIDA position, Kowal was Assistant Athletics Director of Media Relations at the University of Texas (1997-2009). During her tenure, the UT women's athletic communications efforts were honroed with over 100 CoSIDA publication and media guides "citations of excellence," including 35 "Best in the Nation" awards.
Kowal came to Texas from The University of Connecticut were she served as senior associate director of athletic media relations for 13 years and was the primary contact for UConn's nationally-recognized women's basketball and men's soccer programs. Under her direction, UConn women's basketball developed the nation's largest media following for any women's sports program.
Her prior CoSIDA service included a term on the Board of Directors (2002-05) and work on various CoSIDA committees, including computer (now New Media), membership and publications. She has presented on panels and continuing education sessions for CoSIDA, the Association for Women in Sports Media (AWSM), the USBWA, the Women's Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA) and at numerous campus sites.
Prior to her time at UConn, Kowal was the first full-time SID at Division III Manhattanville College (Purchase, NY) for three years after serving as sports information graduate assistant at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst for legendary CoSIDA Hall of Famer Howie Davis. She received her undergraduate degree from Smith College with a B.A. in English and psychology, and played four years of varsity basketball and softball for the Pioneers.
A native of Massachusetts, she was inducted into the Quabbin Regional (Barre, Mass.) High School's inaugural Athletic Hall of Fame class in October of 2006 after being a six-year starting varsity basketball and softball player from seventh grade on.
An avid golfer and a resident of Austin, Texas, Kowal also is an active volunteer with CASA of Travis County, serving as a court-appointed advocate for children in the foster care system who have been abused or neglected. An active fundraiser for numerous cancer and Alzheimer's non-profit associations, she also serves as a member of the University of Texas Women's Athletics Hall of Honor selection committee.