Message from the Director: Hawks Got Talent!

Like many other Hawkeye sports fans, I was completely consumed with Iowa Women’s Basketball this season. I watched their amazing season culminate in an NCAA championship appearance in Dallas, TX, on April 2nd. The Hawkeye women made it to the Final Four 30 years ago, but they had never been to the championship game! We were experiencing history.

We can learn many lessons from the team’s journey, but the one I loved the most was watching Lisa Bluder, Jan Jensen, and the rest of the coaching staff develop players’ talent. The team undoubtedly had a generational player in Caitlin Clark, but the coaches also recognized that they couldn’t win basketball games relying on just one player. One of my favorite videos on the team’s Facebook page depicts Coach Bluder talking to the women in her famous pre-game circle about being stronger together. Whether it be in the classroom, in the lab, on the stage, or on the court, optimal youth development happens when we identify talents and provide spaces for those talents to develop. In those spaces, youth take risks, make mistakes, and work together to solve problems and reach goals.

Here at the Belin-Blank Center, we too are stronger together when we create a strategic plan consistent with our values and grounded in talent development. Our team seeks to be leaders in student programs, professional development, clinical services, research and assessment, and outreach for talented students across our state and nation. We are excited to see where our journey takes us and what doors we can open for youth in the years to come.

Here’s to a great summer and – Go Hawks!

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