Penny Davis

Penny Davis

Flagstaff, AZ ·

I realized early on in my professional career that being happy doing what you are doing is far more important than a title, salary or prestige. My first technical position out of college was a great experience where I excelled and was promoted quickly, but I was unfulfilled. After a few years, I left that position and took a chance on myself. I started my own consulting business doing free-lance website development work, and committed more time into another interest, basketball officiating. I found joy in officiating and a great deal of success advancing to the highest levels in the collegiate game and officiating in the WNBA for several years.

In 2009 I founded Referee School, a training program for basketball officials to help other officials learn the fundamentals of officiating and gain the skills to climb the officiating ladder from high school up through the collegiate level. I was undeterred but the fact that I did not have teaching experience my passion took me from behind the keyboard to the front of the room, sharing the knowledge that I gained elsewhere. I grew, evolved, and redirected my professional targets to things I enjoyed and where I excelled. In 2019, I was encouraged to apply for the top leadership officiating position in women's basketball. After 22 years of officiating, I left the court to take the position of NCAA National Coordinator of Officiating, becoming only the fifth person to hold the position. I just landed my dream job!

The responsibility of the national position is daunting and it's my intention to have a long tenure in the position, which led me to pursue a master's degree in educational leadership with an emphasis in community college and higher education. I have gained a great deal of insight in my studies and have enhanced my knowledge of higher education preparing me to work effectively with key stakeholders at many of the 1,100 schools that are members of the NCAA and the thousands of current and future women's college basketball officials that service their games. Checkout my testimony on my master's degree pursuit video.

There's a master plan in the universe, unbeknownst to us all. Figure out what fulfills you and follow that path, have faith, trust, and enjoy the ride. The best is yet to come.

Master's Degree Pursuit

Academic Work

  Carnegie Mellon Fenced From Covid: Official Report

This statement paper is part of this final project for the master's seminar class. The assignment instructed students to report on three issues impacting their university from COVID-19 and associated mutations. I took this opportunity to research my undergrad alma mater, learning of the approach taken there, the changes that have happened since my attendance and so much more. This was an informative project and a trip down memory lane. The title of this work has an underlying reference to a historical tradition at CMU. The Fence resides at the center of campus and serves as a community bulletin board. It holds a record for being painted more times than any other object. Read More

  Advancing Equity Through College Sports

The course work for CCHE 620 (Programs for Access and Opportunity in Higher Education)included the development of a hypothetical program proposal to address inequity in an area that relates to my own professional experience. Inspired by the 2021 basketball championship media frenzy exposing the inequities between the men's and women's basketball tournaments, the Equity Program or "eProgram" proposal presents a strategy to engage the member institutions in identifying equity initiatives for athletic departments that focus on inclusive staffing decisions and equity between men's and women's student-athlete experiences. Read More

   The Influence of COVID-19 on Adult Learning in the Fitness Industry

The final project in CCHE 670 (Adult Learners) was due in the fall of 2020 seven months into the pandemic when stay-at-home orders and public fears led to a major impact on many industries. I was inspired to explore the challenges of adult learners adapting to online platforms available for home fitness as most gyms were forced to close due to the public health concerns. Fitness companies with a strategic design and andragogy design experienced a massive increase in sales and usage by a desperate customer base who are motivated to learn their system. Read More

   A Perspective on the Academic Enterprise

The course work of CCHE 680 (Higher Education in the U.S.) included the opportunity to write a perspective paper on the Academic Enterprise. The financial stability of institutions in the face of declining enrollment, increased cost of tuition, changing US demographics are some of the areas addressed in the 2020 book The Emergence of the Fifth Wave in American Higher Education, Michael Crow (ASU President) and William Dabars (ASU research fellow). The perspective points to the critical need for a mindset change by leaders in higher education to engage with corporations to develop enterprise partnerships to address the many issues in higher education. Read More

  Community College Overview

This media presentation is an overview of the topics covered in CCHE 580, The Community College. The course contained six modules that covered the history, mission, employee perspective, funding, accreditation, and the issues that are threatening the future of community colleges. I thoroughly was surprised by what I did not know about community colleges prior to this course. My knowledge has grown and my perception has changed completely from this course. The video was developed using Adobe Premiere video editing software; audio was recorded using Audacity, a free and open-source digital audio editor and recording application software, and the completed project has been uploaded to YouTube for hosting and distribution. Watch Video

   Student Growth Collective - Adopt A Student Program

This media presentation is the result of a group project from CCHE 650, Social Entrepreneurship in Higher Education whose group members included Krystina Burzdak. Lynn Cushing, & Penny Davis. The course approach included a focus on creativity, compassion and collaboration which pairs perfectly with the concept of social entrepreneurship. The first phase of the group project was to develop a written team plan to address an issue in higher education. The media presentation was the second phase of the project, and our group created a media presentation to market the team plan through social media. This was my first group project and I had been warned by many students who have horror stories of group projects gone wrong; the collaboration on this project was remarkable as each member approached their roles and responsibilities professionally. Please enjoy the results of our collaboration in the video here. Watch Video


"Penny Davis is creative, solution oriented and a visionary. Her ambition is relentless; her passion is infectious and her way of enhancing the lives of others is inspirational. A true leader, that recognizes life is more about what you give - than what you consume."

Wanda Szeremeta,
Retired Educator and NCAA Regional Advisor

"Penny Davis has made valuable contributions to women's basketball by encouraging and empowering officials, educating coaches and stakeholders, and fostering transparency within the NCAA. She uses her vast experiences from on and off the court to provide leadership, trainings, and opportunities for those who love the game."

- Michal-Ann Watts,
Community College Instructor and Collegiate Basketball Official

"Penny has an uncanny ability to see the big picture and do what is best for the organization.  Penny puts others first and has the ability to put people in positions to be successful.  I would be excited to work with or for Penny in any endeavor."

- Matthew Head,
Elementary PE Teacher and Collegiate Basketball Official

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