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Wright, Branch, Hassett Recognized for Promoting Collegiate Volleyball


In effort to recognize those who work to further the sport of volleyball, especially at the collegiate level, CVU.com is pleased to announce the recipients of the second RESPecting Volleyball award.

This season, two conference SIDs and a university SID have been selected for the RESPecting Volleyball (Recognition for Excellence in Supporting and Promoting Volleyball) honor.

CVU is pleased to select Danielle Wright of the Mid-American Conference, Carmen Branch of the Big 12 Conference and Kevin Hassett of Florida International for the 2006 RESPecting Volleyball award.

Danielle Wright, Mid-American Conference

The MAC is on the rise in volleyball, continually producing strong teams and top players. And Danielle Wright makes sure she gets the word out.

From passing along weekly notes, to making sure her conference is in consideration for awards and honors, Wright is quick to grant requests and send along helpful information. In fact, two of her nominations were chosen as the CVU.com National Player of the Week this past season.

"Danielle works with great passion at whatever she does and has really taken ownership of our publicity efforts for MAC volleyball," said Gary Richter, MAC Assistant Commissioner for Media Relations. "Since she joined our staff, Danielle has worked extremely hard in promoting our volleyball student-athletes and teams. Her work ethic and positive attitude have added quality and character to our staff."

Wright, originally from Hudson, Ohio, also takes care of the media relations duties for men's and women's track, as well as men's golf and wrestling. She has been at the MAC since July of last year. Before that, she received her Masters Degree from Indiana University and her B.S. from Hampton University.

"Danielle goes out of her way to make sure that the Mid-American Conference is represented to the best of her ability," said Matt Brendich, volleyball SID at Northern Illinois University.

Carmen Branch, Big 12 Conference

While it seems like it should be an easy task, promoting volleyball in one of the nation's power conference is bound to have its challenges - especially with success undoubtedly bringing more media attention.

But, Carmen Branch keeps on top of the action, making sure all of the teams in her conference are getting the attention they deserve. She is prompt in responding to requests, as well as getting weekly releases and nominations out. Additionally, she has been well representative of the Big 12 at various events the past season.

Branch joined the Big 12 in 2001 as an intern before being hired full time. In addition to her volleyball duties, she is the primary liaison for the Big 12 Web site and assists in media coordination at Big 12 Championships. She graduated from the University of Kansas in 2001 with a degree in Journalism.

Kevin Hassett, Florida International

A rising team, FIU has been making a name for itself in the Sun Belt for the past two seasons -- partially thanks to the work of Kevin Hassett.

While the talent on the floor builds and the Golden Panthers add the victories, Hassett does the job of getting their exploits publicized. Quick to fulfill requests, Hassett also goes out of his way to provide supplemental information as well as nominations for weekly and yearly awards.

In addition to his duties for volleyball, Hassett serves as the contact for softball and women's golf, and is the Web master for the athletic department's Web site. He joined the staff at FIU in 2003 as an intern before being promoted to Athletic Media Relations Coordinator the next year.

He was a four-year starter for the Western New England College men's tennis team, and also served as the Sports Editor at the student paper prior to his graduation in 2002.

RESPecting Volleyball

  • Danielle Wright, Mid-American Conference
  • Carmen Branch, Big 12 Conference
  • Kevin Hassett, Florida International

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