ABOUT US

Villanova University's Special Olympics Committee organizes the largest student-run Special Olympics event in the world! Comprised of 94 dedicated students, the "SpO" committee works year round to organize every aspect of the Festival, from staging ceremonies to managing the budget and coordinating thousands of volunteers. Members are chosen from a pool of hundreds of applicants who all share a dedication and love for Special Olympics and its athletes. The intercommittee collaboration, devotion, and work ethic embodies the Villanova tradition of "Veritas, Unitas, Caritas"and strives to create a more inclusive campus and world.

 

About the Fall Festival

Villanova University is the official host of the Special Olympics Pennsylvania fall state games, one of four statewide Special Olympic events. During the first weekend in November, the campus will host over 1,000 athletes, 400 coaches, 5,000 volunteers, and the many corporate sponsors and media outlets that will provide coverage for the event. The athletes who participate in the Fall Festival will compete in six Olympic-type sports: bocce, long distance running, power-lifting, roller skating, flag football, soccer, and volleyball. All housing and meals for the weekend are provided by Special Olympics Pennsylvania and Villanova University.

Special Olympics is a life-changing movement of people helping people. The athletes of Special Olympics -- more than 20,000 alone in Pennsylvania -- are constant reminders of all that is right with the human spirit.

 

About the Festival Director

The Festival Director for the games is chosen each year to be the student leader of the Committee. Villanova students who are interested in the position must endure a rigorous application process and have significant Committee experience along with a strong academic record. This year’s director, Karoline Menze ('23), is no exception. Her expertise, passion, and focus will help to lead the 2022 Special Olympics Committee to organize the most extraordinary Fall Festival to date!

Karoline can be contacted at festivaldirector@villanovaspo.com.

 

ADVISORS & MANAGEMENT TEAM

 
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STEVE KOCH

Faculty Advisor

Education: M.Ed., Drexel University
Hometown: Havertown, Pennsylvania
Position: Assistant Director of Student Involvement for Servant Leadership Programs
Previous Position: SOPA Eastern Competition Director
Favorite SpO Sport: All of course!

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BRUCE BACH

SOPA Liaison

Position: SOPA Senior Competition Director 
Favorite SpO Sport: All of course!

KAROLINE MENZE

Festival Director

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DAN KOLB

Athlete Representative

Hometown: Coatesville, Pennsylvania
Position: SOPA Global Messenger & Athlete Representative
Favorite SpO Sport: Tennis

EMILY McCARTHY

Director of Competition

COLE MOROS

Director of Support Services

MOIRA HORAN 

Director of Administration

FRANCESCA GUARRERA

Director of Special Events

MARY KILMARTIN

Director of Human Resources

POSITIONS AND DESCRIPTIONS

Administration | Competition |Diversity Equity & Inclusion | Human Resources | Special Events | Support Services

 

2022 Special Olympics Committee Descriptions

 

Thank you so much for your interest in applying for the 2022 Special Olympics Committee! Below is a list of the committees on each Management Team as well as a brief description of the various tasks the committees complete throughout the year. If you have any questions regarding any positions feel free to reach out to anyone from the Management Team!

 

Festival Director - Karoline Menze- festivaldirector@villanovaspo.com

Administration - Moira Horan - administration@villanovaspo.com

Competition - Emily McCarthy - competition@villanovaspo.com

Human Resources - Mary Kilmartin - humanresources@villanovaspo.com

Special Events - Francesca Guarrera - specialevents@villanovaspo.com

Support Services - Cole Moros - supportservices@villanovaspo.com

 

Administration:

  • Development (3 members)

    • Maintains contact with VIPs and organizes reception. Responsible for keeping records of all revenues and expenses, as well as in-kind donations, sales of SOPA merchandise, and corporate sponsorships, and the end of year Committee Banquet.

  • Athlete Involvement (4 members)

    • Responsible for Athlete interactions with the Villanova Community including coordinating and planning weekly athlete practices, the pen pal program and more. Also responsible for planning the Young Athlete Program at Fall Fest. 

  • Unified (3 members)

    • Responsible for establishing a platform for Unified Sports at Villanova, spreading awareness about Unified Sports, and promoting acceptance, respect, and inclusion for people of all abilities. Responsible for planning multiple Unified Sports events for Special Olympics athletes and the Villanova community. 

  • Computers and Registration (3 members)

    • Responsible for all computer operations including creating and managing the Villanova Special Olympics website, athlete registration and creating and printing credentials for everyone involved with Fall Fest.

  • Evaluations (2 members)

    • Responsible for coordinating all logistics of ensuring a professional evaluation takes place before, during, and after Fall Festival, including creation of an Evaluations booklet and training of an evaluations team consisting of students, faculty and athletes.​ Also responsible for creating and facilitating the evaluation of each committee member in the spring and fall.

  • DEI & Awareness (5 members)

    • Responsible for promoting causes related to the mission of inclusion and diversity throughout the year, including the Disabilities Panel and the Spreadthewordinclusion Instagram Account. The committee also serves as a liaison to the other inclusion-based and diversity-based organizations on campus.  Responsible for signage inventory, ordering and distributing signage during Fall Festival.  Is responsible for all personnel, procedures, and activities related to increasing awareness, support, and advocacy around diversity, equity and inclusion. Facilitate discussion and activities on committee and plan guest speakers to engage in meaningful conversations around DEI topics with a focus on ability. 

 

Competition:

  • Soccer (5 members)

    • Responsible for all venue operations including scheduling competition, referees, divisioning, decorations, athlete gift, etc. Responsible for developing working relationships with Special Olympics Pennsylvania representatives and Volunteer Coordinators.

  • Volleyball (4 members)

    • Responsible for all venue operations including scheduling competition, referees, divisioning, decorations, athlete gift, etc. Responsible for developing working relationships with Special Olympics Pennsylvania representatives and Volunteer Coordinators.

  • LDR/W (3 members)

    • Responsible for all venue operations including scheduling competition, referees, divisioning, decorations, athlete gift, etc. Responsible for developing working relationships with Special Olympics Pennsylvania representatives and Volunteer Coordinators.

  • Powerlifting (2 members)

    • Responsible for all venue operations including scheduling competition, referees, divisioning, decorations, athlete gift, etc. Responsible for developing working relationships with Special Olympics Pennsylvania representatives and Volunteer Coordinators.

  • Bocce (3 members)

    • Responsible for all venue operations including scheduling competition, referees, divisioning, decorations, athlete gift, etc. Responsible for developing working relationships with Special Olympics Pennsylvania representatives and Volunteer Coordinators.

  • Rollerskating/ Flag Football (5 members)

    • Responsible for all venue operations including scheduling competition, referees, divisioning, decorations, athlete gift, etc. Responsible for developing working relationships with Special Olympics Pennsylvania representatives and Volunteer Coordinators. 

 

Human Resources:

  • Vols (4 members)

    • Responsible for the coordination, recruitment, training, and allotment of all on and off-campus volunteers. 

  • VC (4 members)

    • Responsible for selecting and training a group of Villanova students that lead and oversee volunteers at all competition and awards venues. The Volunteer Coordinators work closely with members of Competition and Awards.

  • LPH (4 members)

    • Responsible for selecting, overseeing, and training approximately 100 Villanova freshmen that will serve as a support system and as liaisons between the Special Olympics community and the Villanova community throughout the weekend. 

  • Inclusion Crew (3 members)

    • Responsible for recruiting and overseeing all Inclusion Crew members and Inclusion Crew activities. Facilitates and leads all Inclusion Crew small groups and their leaders. 

  • Media & Publicity (4 members)

    • Responsible for the on-campus distribution of information related to Special Olympics, as well as all promotional and advertising efforts for the organization. Also responsible for assisting in video production throughout the year and managing videos produced by committee. 


 

Special Events:

  • Healthy Athletes (3 members)

    • Responsible for coordinating numerous clinics to be held during Fall Festival that provide free health care screenings and items for athletes. Additionally responsible for executing Healthy Habits, which consists of various health-related booths scattered throughout campus during Fall Festival. Healthy Athletes strives to improve athletes' ability to train and compete.   

  • Ceremonies (3 members)

    • Responsible for coordinating Opening and Closing Ceremonies, securing a keynote speaker and on/off-campus performers, communicating with Special Olympics staff, creating backdrops, and choosing decorations.

  • Entertainment (3 members)

    • Responsible for planning and executing all aspects of Olympics Town, including recruiting on-campus and off-campus organizations for Olympics Town booths, securing entertainment groups to perform in Olympics Town, choosing decorations, and creating a large banner.  Also responsible for planning the annual Victory Dance.

  • Fundraising (4 members)

    • Responsible for planning a series of on and off campus fundraisers leading up to Fall Festival, including the Airport Shuttle Fundraiser, Strikes 5K, A Cappella SpOlooza, and Restaurant Week. 

  • Awards (4 members)

    • Responsible for the planning and execution of all awards ceremonies throughout Fall Festival. Other responsibilities include allocating medals, securing presenters and emcees, and choosing decorations.


 

Support Services:

  • Facilities (4 members)

    • Responsible for the organization, set up, and breakdown of all tables, chairs, speakers, etc. for events leading up to Fall Fest as well as the weekend itself. Facilities schedules the set up and clean up of Fall Fest and where things will be stored after the weekend is over. 

  • Food (4 members)

    • Responsible for securing food donations from various food donor locations for events, organizing food for committee events, working with Dining Services to coordinate meals in dining halls for athletes, coaches and volunteers for Fall Fest weekend, recruiting volunteers for dining halls.

  • Medicurity (5 members)

    • Responsible for organizing CPR certification for all committee members, organizing the allocation of radio communication equipment, organizing spirit lines and the exit plan to ensure athlete safety when leaving event venues, running the command and operations center which are the liaison between medical vols on the field, medicurity committee members, doctors, VEMs Dispatch, and Radnor Police.

  • Transportation (3 members)

    • Responsible for organizing the Van and Golf Cart certification of committee members, organizing golf cart allocation, creating a parking and transportation handbook and brochure, and creating the shuttle schedule to assure that all transportation needs for athletes, coaches, volunteers and committee are fulfilled.

  • Housing (3 members)

    • Responsible for making the accommodations for all attendees of Fall Fest which includes working and creating relationships with participating hotel representatives, working with Special Olympics Pennsylvania to allocate housing to all athletes and coaches, and coordinating housing letters for athletes when they arrive.

Awareness, Diversity, Equity and Inclusion:

The goal of this team is to be responsible for the procedures and activities related to increasing active awareness, support and advocacy around diversity, equity and inclusion for the Special Olympics athletes as well as on campus. On this team, you will have the opportunity to think creatively, work with various on campus partners and organizations as well as directly connect with many athletes and Villanova students. If you are interested in this team, please place it as one of your application preferences.