Marquette University announces speakers, media availability for Sport at the Service of Humanity Conference

Former professional, collegiate athletes and executives will convene in Milwaukee to discuss the intersection of sport and faith

Marquette University Campus

MILWAUKEE — Former professional and collegiate athletes, as well as sports executives and journalists, will take part in a series of panel discussions when Marquette University hosts the Sport at the Service of Humanity (SSH) Conference in collaboration with the Vatican Dicastery for Culture and Education, Nov. 8-10, in Milwaukee.

The SSH Conference — the fourth hosted in the United States — will bring together leaders in sport and faith for conversations that celebrate the strengthened human connection provided by sport and sportsmanship. Panels and events will take place on the Marquette campus, as well as at American Family Field and Northwestern Mutual.

Initial expected speakers and panels include:

  • Craig Counsell, manager of the Milwaukee Brewers; Peter Feigin, president of the Milwaukee Bucks; and Mark Murphy, president of the Green Bay Packers, will discuss the power of sport on the community in a conversation moderated by Sophia Minnaert, Marquette alumna and director of broadcast and digital features for the Brewers.
  • Vin Baker, assistant coach of the Bucks and author of “God and Starbucks: An NBA Superstar’s Journey Through Addiction and Recovery,” will be the featured guest for a discussion on the transformative power of sports to overcome addiction and work toward recovery. He will be joined by Dr. Andrew Kim, associate professor of theology at Marquette and an expert on the theology of addiction and recovery.
  • A panel of Marquette alumni who have been greatly impacted by sport will discuss why and how they use their platform to give back. This panel includes former basketball players Jerel McNeal and Erin Monfre, track and field athlete Djade Denson, and Jenny Fischer, social and digital on-site content lead for the NBA.
  • Big East Conference Commissioner Val Ackerman will be part of a conversation on how sport and faith intersect. She will be joined by Rev. Pat Kelly, S.J., associate professor of religious studies at University of Detroit Mercy and author of “Play, Sport, and Spirit,” and Rabbi Erez Sherman, Senior Rabbi of Sinai Temple in Los Angeles and host of the Rabbi on the Sidelines podcast.

Additional speakers and panelists include: Father José Miguel Cardoso of the Vatican Dicastery for Culture and Education, Sports; Nancy Armour, Marquette alumna and columnist for USA Today Sports; Marquette head men’s basketball coach Shaka Smart; Marquette head women’s basketball coach Megan Duffy; and Marquette alumnus Tim Miazga, a Paralympian and six-time CrossFit Fittest Seated Man on Earth.

Many of the panels and discussions will be moderated by David Eades, chief presenter for BBC World News and chair of the Sport for Humanity Foundation Board of Directors.

A complete listing of speakers, panelists and discussions will be available closer to the conference. All speakers and panels are subject to change.

This event is by invitation only, so no open registration is available.

Media availability

For the first time, the SSH conference will be open to media. Interested reporters and outlets should register their interest by emailing Kevin Conway, associate director of university communication at Marquette, at [email protected].

  • Media members and outlets are invited to attend all speakers and panels, reporting on their experience and the conversations.
  • Journalists are welcome to cover panel discussions. Individual interviews with speakers and panelists will not be available.
  • This is a credentialed event and journalists covering the conference must be registered in advance through the Marquette Office of University Relations.

This event is by invitation only, so no open registration is available.

About Sport at the Service of Humanity

Inspired by His Holiness Pope Francis, SSH was launched in October 2016 during the First Global Conference on Faith and Sport at the Vatican. This gathering brought together global thought leaders and influencers from the world of faith, sports, business and other sectors to discuss how faith and sport could work together for the betterment of humanity. Since then, SSH has become the only global sport and multi-faith movement with a vision to see a world where people “live like they play” — combining the passion for sport with the values of faith to serve humanity.

About Marquette University

Marquette University is a Catholic, Jesuit university located near the heart of downtown Milwaukee that offers a comprehensive range of majors in 11 nationally and internationally recognized colleges and schools. Through the formation of hearts and minds, Marquette prepares our 11,100 undergraduate, graduate, doctoral and professional students to lead, excel and serve as agents of positive change. And, we deliver results. Ranked in the top 20% of national universities, Marquette is recognized for its undergraduate teaching, innovation and career preparation as the sixth-best university in the country for job placement. Our focus on student success and immersive, personalized learning experiences encourages students to think critically and engage with the world around them. When students graduate with a Marquette degree, they are truly prepared and called to Be The Difference.