|Position:||Associate Athletics Director for Enrichment Services|
Jessica De Palo, a former team captain and Patriot League Player of the Year for the Lehigh women's basketball team and former Division I women's basketball assistant coach, was named Columbia's Director of Enrichment Services in August 2011.
De Palo is responsible for all day-to-day operations for Enrichment Services and student-athlete programming, including career development.
"We are thrilled to have Jessica join Columbia Athletics as our Director of Enrichment Services," Jacqueline Blackett, Senior Associate Athletics Director and Senior Woman Administrator said after De Palo's hire. "Jessica brings a unique combination of experience as a former Division I student-athlete, a Division I assistant coach and as a managing director in the private sector. She will be an outstanding resource for our career services programs and the myriad other daily functions of Enrichment Services."
De Palo was the managing director of The Focus Room in New York City from 2008-11. The Focus Room is a leading provider of qualitative market research in the tri-state area. While with the company, De Palo oversaw all operations including supervision of employees, domestic and global client networking and corporate professional development.
"I am excited for this incredible opportunity to return to intercollegiate athletics at one of the world's premier universities," De Palo said. "Optimizing the student-athlete experience is mission critical in Division I athletics and Columbia's Enrichment Services programs are without peer. I look forward to working with our outstanding student-athletes and coaches, award-winning faculty and administrators and our dedicated alumni."
De Palo has an extensive background in intercollegiate athletics, having served as an assistant women's basketball coach at Iona College from 2006-08.
During her time at Iona, De Palo served as one of the team's academic advisors and provided support and guidance in the classroom to the student-athletes on the women's basketball team. During her two seasons, the Gaels won 41 games and advanced to second round of the Postseason WNIT in 2007.
Before her position at Iona, De Palo was a graduate assistant for the Lehigh women's basketball team for one season. She supervised individual student-athlete academic standing and planned and facilitated all community service efforts of the team.
De Palo was a standout member of the Lehigh women's basketball team for four seasons. She was named captain as a junior and senior and was also the Patriot League representative to the NCAA for three years. De Palo was selected to participate in the NCAA National Leadership Conference in 2004-05 and currently serves as the communications chair of the Lehigh women's basketball alumni committee.
A native of Rumson, N.J., De Palo was named Patriot League Player of the Year as a senior after averaging 18.5 points per game. She graduated with a degree in marketing in 2005 and later earned a master's degree in technology-based elementary education in 2006.