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GW hires head of external operations, student-athlete development

Hatchet File Photo
Athletic director Tanya Vogel speaks at a press conference last March.

The Athletic Department added two members to its staff, athletic director Tanya Vogel announced Wednesday.

Andy Ruge, the associate athletic director of marketing and sales at Atlantic 10 peer George Mason, will serve as the senior associate athletics director for external operations. Sarah Vollaro, a former assistant academic adviser in Maryland’s athletic department, joined GW’s educational support services team as the senior program associate of student-athlete development, the release states.

Ruge will oversee the Colonials’ brand management, grow general engagement and collaborate with outside organizations to increase ticket sales. He will work on fan engagement and contribute to the department’s marketing, communications and video services, according to the release.

The department had been looking to fill his position since Nov. 6, 2019, according to a Linkedin job listing.

Prior to joining GW, Ruge spent nearly 24 years at George Mason. During his tenure with the Patriots, Ruge was honored 10 times by the National Associate of Collegiate Marketing Administrators, an organization that recognizes achievement in marketing and promotional campaigns.

“I am fortunate to stay in the DMV and the Atlantic 10 while continuing to grow my career with such a prominent university,” Ruge said in the release. “I sincerely thank Athletics Director Tanya Vogel and the hiring committee for selecting me.”

Vollaro, the former academic adviser at Maryland, officially joined GW after completing an internship with the department, the release states.

John Square, the associate athletics director for internal operations, said in the release that Vollaro helped rebrand the department’s Leadership Academy into LEAPP, an organization that provides workshops and trainings for student-athletes.

“Her energy and passion for student development will help propel us forward, allowing our student-athletes to become the best version of themselves,” Square said in the release.

Vollaro received a degree in sport and recreation management from Iowa, where she also played softball. She continued her education at Maryland, where she earned her master’s in education in student affairs.

“As a former student-athlete, I believe there is incredible value in the student-athlete experience and I cannot wait to assist these students to create memorable, lasting experiences on and off the court,” Vollaro said in the release. “In this role, my hopes are to help our student-athletes reach their full potential in life, not just in sports.”

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