Conferences & Training
Speakers - Fundraising in Athletics

Workshop Chair

Stevie Baker-Watson

Stevie Baker-Watson
Associate Vice President for Campus Wellness & Theodore Katula Director of Athletics and Recreational Sports
DePauw University

Stevie Baker-Watson is DePauw University's Theodore Katula Director of Athletics and Recreational Sports. She supervises a staff of more than 60 in a comprehensive NCAA Division III athletics program, supporting 600 student-athletes and 23 sports. In June 2015, Baker-Watson also assumed the role of associate vice president for campus wellness managing DePauw Health, a collaborative relationship between DePauw University and Hendricks Regional Health to provide health and wellness services to all students.

Since arriving at DePauw in 2012, Baker-Watson has played a significant role in the development of the Athletics and Recreation Facilities Master Plan and in 2014, DePauw completed Phase I of the plan, totaling close to $30 million in improvements to the Lilly Center and the Athletics Campus. She has also overseen the transition of men's and women's lacrosse to NCAA varsity status and established a new logo system for athletics.

Prior to DePauw University, she served as the assistant athletics director/SWA at North Central College for four years where she directed the department's compliance and eligibility activities as well as all aspects of its student-athlete leadership development programming. Through her work with the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee, Student-Athlete Mentors and Cardinal Marketing and Promotions, she provided student-athletes leadership awareness training and leadership development opportunities. Additionally, she supervised undergraduates and post-graduate interns in areas of athletics administration, academic services and athletics marketing and promotions and previously served as the manager for all of North Central's indoor and outdoor athletics facilities. Prior to coming to North Central, Baker-Watson spent eight years at Aurora University where she was the head athletic trainer, senior woman administrator and instructor of physical education. As part of the athletics management team, she oversaw all aspects of game operations, directed student-athlete education as CHAMPS/Life Skills Coordinator, helped develop marketing and promotions initiatives and served as advisor for the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee.

She is currently a member of the NCAA Division III Management Council, Committee on Competitive Safeguards and Medical Aspects, and NADiiiAA Executive Board. She has also served on the NCAA Division III Membership Committee and the NCAA Ethnic Minority and Women's Internship Grant selection committee. She holds memberships in NACDA, MOAA, NADiiiAA, and NACWAA, and has been a member of the local organizing committee for the Women's Leadership Symposium.

A graduate of Ohio University with a degree in athletic training, Baker-Watson earned a master's degree in exercise science and cardiac rehabilitation from Northeastern Illinois University.


Nikki Fennern

Nikki Fennern
Vice President for Public Affairs & Strategic Initiatives
Smith College

Nikki Fennern is the director of athletics at Saint Mary's University of Minnesota. She oversees the administration of 21 varsity teams, the athletic booster club, department support services, and physical education courses. She was named the Women Leaders in College Sports (formerly NACWAA) Administrator of the Year in 2016 and received the Breaking Barriers Award from the Minnesota Coalition of Women in Athletic Leadership in 2018.

During her tenure, the Cardinals have achieved major increases in competitive success, the highest student-athlete recruitment in university history, and record amounts in fundraising for operating budgets and capital facilities projects. She has also been involved in several major athletic facility improvements—ncluding the construction of a new track and field/soccer complex. Most recently, the university announced a major gift to construct a baseball clubhouse. The athletic department and Saint Mary's student-athletes have also won numerous national and regional community service recognition awards during this time.

Fennern has served at the national, regional, and local level, including service on the NCAA Division III National Softball Committee (chair), several Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic committees, including chairing the MIAC Athletic Director Committee, and involvement in the MIAC Mentoring Program for Aspiring Female Administrators.

Formerly, she spent six years as the fastpitch softball coach at Saint Mary's University. She posted a 167-74-1 record, had three nationally ranked teams, placed fourth in the NCAA Division III National Tournament, and coached in two Midwest Regional tournaments.