In The Locker Room With Track Super Star, Ana Richardson


Curtesy of GoYeo

Ana Richardson, OC ’18.

Ana Richardson, OC ’18, graduated as a two-time All-American and four-time National Collegiate Athletic Association national qualifier thrower on the women’s track and field team. During her time at Oberlin, she won six conference championships and 12 all-conference performances. Richardson majored in psychology and neuroscience, and returned to Oberlin post-graduation to work as an Admissions Counselor. She was recently hired as the athletics diversity and inclusion designee where she will work with the NCAA, the North Coast Athletic Conference, and the Oberlin Athletics department to support diversity and inclusion initiatives around national, local, and campus-level issues. She will also serve as the staff representative for the Black Student-Athlete Group, a student organization working to support Black athletes both on and off the field. 

This interview has been edited for length and clarity.


What are some of the things that you enjoyed during your time at Oberlin as a student-athlete?

I enjoyed the friendships I made along the way with teammates and coaches, the challenge of practice and the overall growth and lessons that track gave me. It was really great to be a part of such a record breaking, historic, and truly talented team. Free meals at Nationals were not too bad either. 


What are you excited to be able to work on in the Athletics department, now that you have the ability to make change? 

I am excited to be a part of the Athletics department’s recommitment to diversity, inclusion, and social justice — they have been engaging in many deep conversations and doing training for coaches and student-athletes. I will help continue those efforts by bringing additional expertise and perspective in the fight against systemic racism. I am excited to work with BSAG, the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee, and other student-athletes to see what they are needing from the Athletic department and this position.


What is your role in admissions? 

Recruiting students to come to Oberlin, and reading applications from Southwest Ohio, Kentucky, Tennessee, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, Houston Texas and Iowa. Within admissions, I work with our multicultural recruitment team, Athletic recruiting, QuestBridge and the Admissions Ambassador program. 

My goal is to continue to help diversify our campus by focusing on recruiting students from traditionally underrepresented populations, reaching out to community-based organizations outside of and within high school students’ communities. I am a strong believer in education being a tool for social mobility and positive change.


What are your plans as the new representative for BSAG?

I am not faculty — only staff. The advisor for BSAG is Chris Donaldson. I will be working closely with BSAG assisting them in any way they see necessary, and plan to support BSAG however they see fit. I am currently in close contact with the leadership. 


What does this position mean to you, and what are your plans as the Athletics Diversity & Inclusion Designee?

This appointment is a step in the right direction to better support our student-athletes on campus. However, there is a lot of work to be done in not only our school but our country as a whole. My goal is to support students and help establish and maintain diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives. 

My hope is that student-athletes will see me as an ally and will challenge me and the athletic department along the way. Oberlin has always been a school that bolsters its progressive history, so it is our duty to have the difficult conversations and actually enact change within our community. I hope this position will aid in the continual work necessary to achieve equity, justice, and inclusion.


How have your new jobs been going thus far?

This is my second year in admissions, and I am enjoying my work. As for the ADID position, we are just in the beginning of the role. I have been in close contact with our Associate Vice President for Athletics Advancement and Delta Lodge Director of Athletics & Physical Education Natalie Winkelfoos and the diversity, equity, and inclusion working group, as well as the leadership of the Black Student-Athlete Group. We are looking forward to working together in order to improve the athletic experience for all student-athletes.