Valparaiso University Director of Athletics Dr. Charles Small has announced several promotions within the Valpo Athletics staff.
Brandon Vickrey has been promoted to Associate Athletic Director for Strategic Communications, while Erica Fedornock has been elevated to Assistant Athletic Director for Marketing and Ticket Operations. Stephen Jones has been named Head Athletic Trainer, while Brittany Anderson (Assistant Athletic Director for Compliance) and Grace Frederickson (Director of Academic Services) both take on increased roles in the compliance and student-athlete academic services area.
Vickrey joined the Valpo Athletics staff as Assistant AD for Media Relations in September 2016. In his expanded role as Associate AD for Strategic Communications, he will provide oversight of the department’s media relations and broadcasting efforts. His leadership will cover the areas of athletic communications, ESPN3/+ web streaming and the department’s radio broadcasts. He will serve as a liaison with University marketing and communications as well as the department’s campus radio partner, WVUR. He will also play a key role in the department’s internal and external communication strategy. In addition, Vickrey will continue as the communications contact for his assigned Valpo athletic programs.
“The opportunity to be a part of Valpo Athletics means more than just a job to me; it is a significant part of my day-to-day lifestyle,” Vickrey said. “I’ve met so many friends and had so much fun as part of our campus community for the last decade. Valpo is a home to me, and I’m thrilled to remain home and continue to communicate the stories of our programs, student-athletes, coaches and department going forward.”
Vickrey was recognized as part of the College Sports Communicators (CSC, formerly known as CoSIDA) inaugural “30 Under 30” class in December 2022 as he was honored as one of the top 30 athletic communication professionals nationally under the age of 30. During the 2020-2021 season, Vickrey joined Aaron Leavitt to form the Valpo Sports Information Office that was honored as the Missouri Valley Conference Sports Information Office of the Year. He has received District 5 awards in the CoSIDA Fred Stabley Sr. Writing Contest on five occasions.
A Northwest Indiana native who graduated from Portage High School, Vickrey is a two-time Valparaiso University graduate who completed his bachelor’s in digital media in 2016 and his master’s in sports administration in 2020. Away from Valpo, he has served as the Director of Communications for the Northwest Indiana Oilmen, a freelance sports writer for the Post-Tribune newspaper, coverage team coordinator for ValpoLife.com, a radio board operator and update anchor for 89.1 FM The Lakeshore and a game statistician or broadcast statistician for numerous collegiate athletic events.
Fedornock joined the Valpo Athletics staff after graduating from Valpo with a degree in sport management and a minor in business administration. A Northwest Indiana native who graduated from Valpo in May 2014, Fedornock served as ticket operations manager for seven years before expanding her role to Director of Ticketing and Promotions in August 2021. She started as a ticket office intern in 2013 before earning a full-time role a year later.
“I want to thank Dr. Small for this opportunity,” Fedornock said. “I feel blessed to be able to continue to work for Valpo Athletics and I am thankful every day for my Valpo family.”
Fedornock will provide leadership and strategic oversight in the areas of marketing, promotions and ticketing. She resides in Valpo with her two children, Maycie and Jacob.
Jones joined the Valpo Sports Medicine staff in September 2019 as an Assistant Athletic Trainer. He serves as the athletic trainer for the women’s basketball, women’s cross country and women’s bowling programs. In his new role, Jones will provide strategic direction for the athletic training unit and supervise the athletic training staff.
“I am honored to lead our Sports Medicine Department especially as we enter this time of transformation of NCAA athletics,” Jones said. “I’m excited to have the opportunity to help enhance the student-athlete experience as it pertains to health, safety and wellbeing. I am also excited to lead and support a great staff of athletic trainers who provide tremendous care to our student athletes.”
Jones joined Valpo’s staff after spending the previous year as an assistant athletic trainer at Austin Peay State University in Clarksville, Tenn. He provided athletic training services to the NCAA Division I baseball program while assisting with Division-I FCS football coverage. Prior to his time in Tennessee, Jones served as an assistant athletic trainer for men’s and women’s soccer, golf and baseball at the University of Indianapolis from February 2014 to June 2018. Jones was the interim head athletic trainer at Albion College in Albion, Mich. during the summer of 2013, part of his stint at Albion as an assistant athletic trainer that spanned from August 2012 to February 2014.
From August 2009 to June 2011, Jones was a graduate assistant athletic trainer at Western Michigan University, where he provided athletic training services for the Division-I women’s gymnastics and volleyball teams. During the 2007 and 2008 summers, Jones interned with the Indianapolis Colts sports medicine department. Jones holds numerous athletic training certifications and memberships. He received his master’s of science in exercise and sports medicine from Western Michigan in December 2011 after earning a bachelor of science in athletic training from the University of Indianapolis in May 2009.
Anderson joined the department in a full-time capacity during the 2022 summer as Director of Compliance after previously serving as a compliance intern. She earned her undergraduate degree from Valpo in sport management and business administration in December 2020 before going on to complete her master’s in sports administration in May 2022.
“I want to acknowledge every individual who surrounds me daily that has poured their confidence into me as a young professional,” Anderson said. “I absolutely look forward and am honored to continue serving the student-athletes and coaches, athletic department and University in my new role.”
Anderson, an East Chicago, Ind. native and Bishop Noll High School graduate, held the rare distinction of being a two-sport athlete in volleyball and softball at the Division-I level. She was a team captain in volleyball from 2019-2021, helping lead the program as it continued its tradition of success including a run to the National Invitational Volleyball Championship (NIVC) title match in the fall of 2021. Anderson was a two-time MVC Scholar-Athlete Honorable Mention before earning MVC Scholar-Athlete First Team status in 2021.
Frederickson arrived on Valpo’s campus in August 2021, spending a year as an academic services intern before being promoted to Academic Support Coordinator. She helps manage eligibility, organization, time management and academic support for student-athletes while serving as a liaison between coaches, professors, advisors and student-athletes. In addition, she serves as the staff advisor for Valpo’s Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC).
“I love working alongside Liz (Jarnigan) and Brittany to have a greater understanding of the eligibility component of academics and to learn how we can best instruct and help student-athletes,” Frederickson said. “Interacting with student-athletes in academic meetings continues to be my favorite part of the job, so I look forward to continuing that and being able to help them in even more ways now.”
Frederickson’s experience prior to Valpo includes working with the Governor’s Scholar Program in Danville, Ky. and with the Murray State University baseball program as an operations intern. She graduated with a master’s degree in sport management from Liberty University in May 2021 after completing her bachelor’s degree in organizational communication at Murray State University in December 2019.