Leading with Heart: Dr Monique Carroll of Chicago State University On The Power of Authentic Women’s Leadership

An Interview With Pirie Jones Grossman

Dr. CarrollAuthentic leadership helps you build genuine relationships — I’ve been able to quickly build relationships because I’m showing up as my genuine self to every meeting and situation. From student-athletes to our corporate partners, I’ve got the right consensus of people behind my work. I am intentional in how I spend my time, and I enjoy the part of my day that involves building relationships with my colleagues and those I serve daily. It’s a humbling reminder of who my work truly impacts when I get to truly know who I am serving.

In today’s dynamic world, the concept of leadership is continuously evolving. While traditional leadership models have often been male-dominated, there is a growing recognition of the unique strengths and perspectives that women bring to these roles. This series aims to explore how women can become more effective leaders by authentically embracing their femininity and innate strengths, rather than conforming to traditional male leadership styles. In this series, we are talking to successful women leaders, coaches, authors, and experts who can provide insights and personal stories on how embracing their inherent feminine qualities has enhanced their leadership abilities. As part of this series, we had the pleasure of interviewing Dr. Monique Carroll.

Dr. Monique Carroll was named Chicago State’s Director of Intercollegiate Athletics on July 28, 2022, and promoted to her current position of Vice President and Director of Intercollegiate Athletics in December 2023. Dr. Carroll made an immediate impact on Cougars athletics and the University. In just over 14 months in the role, she worked with President Zaldwaynaka Scott and the Chicago State University Board of Trustees for the University to receive and accept an invitation for full conference membership with the Northeast Conference (NEC) beginning in fall 2024. Additionally, under her leadership, CSU has begun a fundraising campaign to expand sports offerings to increase Division I athletic programs on the South Side with the possibility of adding FCS Division I Football, as well as earned approval for the launch of a women’s triathlon program set to begin in the fall of 2024. Among these first-year successes, Dr. Carroll has added a significant number of corporate partners to support the future of CSU Athletics. Finally, she is also credited with hiring the winningest women’s soccer coach in program history.

Dr. Carroll came to Chicago State after serving as the athletic director at Huston-Tillotson University. During her two-year tenure at Huston-Tillotson, Carroll developed a partnership with Thrivent Financial to support athletic operations and campus-wide social justice internship initiatives which provided student-athletes with financial literacy workshops and resources. She also developed a partnership with the San Antonio Spurs & Frost Bank on the announcement of the $100,000 Spurs Operation Renovation Grant. She also oversaw an unprecedented four-year deal with Adidas via Cardinal Sports to support all 13 Red River Athletic Conference teams, cheerleading and E-Sports. Academically, 60 student-athletes earned degrees for the 2019–2020 & 2020–2021 academic years and finished Spring 2021 with nine student-athletes earning a 4.00 GPA while 90 student-athletes achieved a GPA of 3.00 or higher.

Prior to her time at Huston-Tillotson, Carroll was the Deputy Athletic Director for Internal Operations and Senior Woman Administrator at South Carolina State University. In that role, she served as the sport administrator for 10 sports. In addition to serving as a sport administrator, Carroll oversaw various units including, business operations, compliance, academics, strength and conditioning, sports medicine, ticketing, sports information, and game day operations.

Prior to South Carolina State, Carroll served a nine-year stint at Prairie View A&M University in various roles. In her last role as Associate Athletic Director for External Operations her duties included overseeing all external functions of Panther Athletics, including fundraising, game operations, ticket operations, and sponsorships and advertising.

Carroll got her start in intercollegiate athletics as a compliance volunteer at the University of Arkansas-Pine Bluff (UAPB). Carroll was a three-sport athlete as she was a member of the UAPB volleyball, track and field, and bowling teams. Carroll also attended Langston University (LU) where she was a member of the track and field team. During her time at LU, she set four school records in the indoor high jump, outdoor high jump, outdoor triple jump, and women’s heptathlon.

Carroll’s recognitions and organizational memberships include NCAA Division I National SAAC Representative for the SWAC, NCAA Committee on Women’s Athletics, NCAA Effective Facilitation workshop, Women Leaders in College Sports, NAAC, and BWSF, and Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc.

A native of New Boston, Texas, Carroll received her Bachelor of Science in Secondary Health and Physical Education from Arkansas Pine Bluff, a Master’s of Sports Science in Sports Management at the United States Sports Academy in Daphne, Ala, and a Doctor of Education with an emphasis in sports management from Northcentral University.

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