Kinesiology-Lab

ALUMNI SPOTLIGHTS

Jasmine Dunston – Class of 2015 Sport Administration Graduate

JASMINE DUNSTON TAKING OVER AS WHITE SOX DIRECTOR OF MINOR LEAGUE OPERATIONS

The White Sox have made an addition to their front office, and the name might sound a little familiar.

Jasmine Dunston, the daughter of longtime MLB player Shawon Dunston, is taking over as the new White Sox director of minor league operations. She was named to the position back in December and will be reporting directly to Chris Getz, the Assistant General Manager of Player Development

Jasmine, 31, comes to the South Side after spending just the past year as a specialist in the Cincinnati Reds’ player development department. She boasts an impressive resume, interning for the NFL Branch of All Pro Sports & Entertainment, working for the Las Vegas Raiders as a clerical assistant, and then as a certified law clerk at John F. Kennedy University. She also played softball at Tennessee State before going on to Valparaiso University for her Masters in Sports Administration and then John F. Kennedy University for her Juris Doctorate in Sports Law.

By bringing in Dunston, the move allows for the long-tenured Grace Guerrero Zwit to ease into retirement after 40 years with the club. Zwit was originally hired by general manager Roland Hemond and assistant general manager Dave Dombrowski in 1982. As Senior Director of Minor League Operations, Zwit became the first woman to work in the team’s baseball operations department and has become highly respected – thus making this transition to Dunston that much more significant.

For those who might recall, Shawon Dunston was the first overall pick by the Cubs in the 1982 MLB draft. He would go on to play 12 of his 18 major league seasons on the North Side, two of which were All-Star caliber (1988, 1990). He finished his career hitting .269/.296/.416 with 150 home runs, 668 RBI, .712 OPS, and 11.5 WAR. His son, Shawon, Jr., was also drafted by the North Siders and played minor league baseball through 2017.

While landing a job of this standing after a year in the industry is nothing short of impressive, it also speaks volumes to Jasmine’s character and work ethic. On behalf of our Sox On 35th crew, we would like to wish her all the best in her new position!

Alex Ng – Class of 2019

CURRENT EMPLOYER/JOB TITLE:

Assistant Women’s Soccer Coach at University of Richmond. Also the Executive Chair of the NSCA Soccer Special Interest Group

CURRENT HOBBIES/INTERESTS:

While my full time coaching job and my volunteer work for the NSCA take up most of my time, I always enjoy watching Valpo Football and Women’s Soccer. I also love to go fishing and the outdoors. 

BEST MEMORY ABOUT THE DEPARTMENT:

It has to be my Spring Semester of Sophomore year taking the course “Teaching Team Sports” course with Alec Peters (Arguably the best Basketball player in Valpo History) and watching one of the other students in the class have to go through Basketball coaching curriculum and teach Alec the basics of basketball. Alec was as humble and nice as they come so it went smoothly but to say that student was nervous was an understatement! 

HOW DID VALPO PREPARE YOU FOR YOUR CURRENT CAREER?

Valpo provided me the ideal environment have a fulfilling college experience and provide me the formal education and foundation to continue learning for the rest of my life. I was able to play Division One College Football, while working as a Student Assistant for the Women’s Soccer Team, play intramural sports and participate in multiple research projects through the KIN Department. I don’t think there’s another University that I would have had the flexibility and schedule to be able to participate all those things that directly impacted my development as an athlete, coach, learner and leader.

WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU NOW GIVE YOUR FRESHMAN SELF?

I would tell my freshman self to allow yourself to enjoy learning. I didn’t figure this out until late into my junior year. Yes, grades are important. But don’t sacrifice the love of learning (and also learning HOW to learn) just to get a grade. Dr. Helm and the department work very hard to make the curriculum as practical as possible so that you are prepared for whatever career track you want after graduation. They are also constantly updating it to keep up with the ever changing nature of our professions. Trust the process and love to learn.

Spencer Anderson – Class of 2019

CURRENT EMPLOYER/JOB TITLE:

Indiana Pacers – Season Ticket Experience Manager: Manage a book of business consisting of Season Ticket Holders and basketball investors! Main task is providing the best experiences for everyday consumers or clients, prospects, employees for local Indianapolis Businesses. The main objective is to retain their business each year & grow my book of business to its highest potential!

CURRENT HOBBIES/INTERESTS:

Living downtown Indianapolis, I enjoy spending time with my friends on Mass Avenue. I also work a second job with Handlebar Indy that provides a pedal bike experience for customers to enjoy a variety of places around the city! If I am not there, you will find me at any local golf course.

BEST MEMORY ABOUT THE DEPARTMENT:

My favorite memory has to be Exercise is Medicine on Campus week. Playing kickball with local celebrity Chuck from VUPD, & just seeing everyone be united on campus for a great cause. It is tough times with COVID, but if we all strived to be healthier and care for our bodies – it would truly make a difference!

HOW DID VALPO PREPARE YOU FOR YOUR CURRENT CAREER?

Valpo taught me how to have a voice & its exclusive setting gave me the tools necessary to be a leader. The University forces you to step out of your comfort zone and take action. I came to the college a reserved kid with limited social skills, but the intimate environment helped me gain courage to broaden my perspective and put myself out there. Now, I am able to converse with high level executives daily, explaining the benefit of our product. In some cases, selling them on multi-hundred thousand dollar packages. Sports are what unites Valpo, which also aided in my passion to sell the Pacers product – a great sporting event experience. I definitely could not have taken on the profession, let alone excel at it without Valpo’s preparation.

WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU NOW GIVE YOUR FRESHMAN SELF?

Do not be afraid to put yourself out there. Trust yourself. New challenges can be intimidating, but you have a great mind & productive thoughts, speak them.