Oswego Professor Earns Diversity Award For Onondaga Nation Tennis Program

OSWEGO — Jennifer Kagan, a faculty member of SUNY Oswego’s curriculum and instruction department, recently earned a 2018 Diversity & Inclusion Leadership Award from the Eastern Tennis Association for her work over the last 11 years with the tennis program of the Onondaga Nation School.

Jennifer Kagan (right), executive director of the tennis program at the Onondaga Nation School and a faculty member in SUNY Oswego’s curriculum and instruction department, pauses for a photo of her Eastern Tennis Association 2018 Diversity & Inclusion Leadership Award, with Chris Capella, an Onondaga art teacher at the school who works with the year-round program.

The Eastern Tennis Association, a section of the United States Tennis Association, annually makes the award to “a person or organization who has demonstrated leadership and promotional initiatives in bringing tennis programs to diverse communities within the section.”

Kagan has worked with the Onondaga Nation School tennis program since it began with a grant from the Junior Tennis Foundation in 2007.

Part of the National Junior Tennis and Learning network, the program has become year-round, offering instruction, fun and tournament competition to students.

“The award is for me as executive director of the program, but I feel Chris Capella (an Onondaga and teacher) and the Onondaga Nation School should share in the award, as I have chosen to house the award at the Onondaga Nation School,” Kagan said.

She also said that for the past two years, they have organized a four-week summer program at Tsha’ Thoñ’nhes (Where They Play Ball), the pavilion for box lacrosse on the Nation.

“What’s most exciting, is that we go to AAKD, or Arthur Ashe Kids’ Day (in New Jersey), by chartered bus as the culminating activity to the tennis program,” she said.