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A message from Dr. Nicki Moore

Friday, February 3, 2023, Ithaca, NY … Dr. Nicki Moore, Meakem Smith Director of Athletic and Physical Education

Hello Big Red Family,
Thank you for the warm welcome my family and I have enjoyed as I begin my time as the Meakem Smith Director of Athletics and Physical Education. I’m deeply honored to serve Cornell’s student-athletes, coaches, staff, and greater Cornell Community. We already feel like part of the family. As I transition into this new role, I have been reflecting on what has brought me here today. The people, the experiences, the challenges, and the triumphs.

As a kid growing up in Northeast Missouri, competing in three sports year-round (and competing with my sister in everything 😉) – sports were foundational to my life and educational experiences, which have guided me on this path. My passion for competing and my love of being a part of a team took me to the Mizzou cross-country and track and field team as a middle-distance and relay runner. As a student-athlete, I had a penchant for solving problems and leading. Coupled with my interest in education, a Ph.D. in counseling and sport psychology, and with the help of dedicated mentors – it all eventually brought me back into college sports. It didn’t take long to realize I had found my professional home in intercollegiate athletics – a place where my passion for supporting student-athletes and equipping them for leadership intersected with opportunities to apply my unique combination of preparation, capabilities and energy. That passion and my blessed and colorful path, ultimately, have brought me here to Cornell.

Recently, a number of people have asked about my leadership style. It really boils down to three expectations I have of myself and those I lead: to listen, lead, and love.

  • To Listen is to practice open-mindedness and curiosity – the foundation of learning – and to value the voices of those we hope to influence.
  • To Lead is to pursue clear, shared goals with others, and to promote and celebrate individual and collective growth and excellence.
  • To Love is to treat oneself and others with wholehearted care and respect, and to cultivate a culture of belonging alongside colleagues and those we serve.

When we all listen, lead, and love, we will inspire the best in everyone, we will realize our shared goals and audacious dreams… and we will become unstoppable!

I wanted to take this moment to thank you for all you do and for always stepping up in ways big and small to support the Big Red.

  • For showing up for your favorite teams… and for finding a new one to learn, cheer and support.
  • For recalling memories of PE classes and outdoor education adventures… and recommitting to your health as a proud Cornellian.
  • For enjoying Cornell traditions and making new ones… and for bringing great energy and good sportsmanship when the Big Red men’s and women’s teams compete.
  • For making a gift – be it your first or your fiftieth… and for pushing yourself – like our student-athletes do – to give even more.
  • For listening to our call to join in our efforts.
  • For leading your classmates, teammates and friends to come back and engage with Cornell. And…
  • For deepening your love for this place and her people… believing in the greatest good we can do – for our students, for our Cornell Community, and for our world… together.

Thank you. I can’t wait to meet you!

Dr. Nicki Moore
Meakem Smith Director of Athletics and Physical Education