Phylicia McCorkle, M.A., '13
For PHYLICIA MCCORKLE, M.A. ’13, baseball means giving back to the community and making an impact. As the Manager of Diversity and Inclusion for Major League Baseball at the Office of the Commissioner, she works with all 30 clubs as well as with MLB Network and MLB Advanced Media to put together strategies and diversity recruiting efforts.
“I like connecting that sport to the community,” she said. “How are our players and our organizations giving back to the community? At the end of the day, I think that is what is most important.”
After working with the Akron RubberDucks (formerly the Akron Aeros) on her thesis for her master’s degree in public relations at Kent State, McCorkle spent four years working on diversity and community relations with the Cincinnati Reds. When she joined the Office of the Commissioner in 2017, she began working on the inaugural MLB Diversity Fellowship Program, an effort to create more diversity, both in gender and race, among people working in the sport.
“We’re looking for ways to bring in that next generation of leaders,” McCorkle said. “How can we put together efforts to make sure we’re bringing that brand awareness (to baseball) and make sure everyone has an idea of what it’s like to work within this sport?”
Since graduate school at Kent State, McCorkle has been passionate about using communication to help others. She traces this interest to a media relations course, as well as her hands-on experience with the Reds.
“I knew I wanted to make an impact and bring awareness about baseball,” McCorkle said. “Working for the Reds as diversity relations coordinator and being able to work in the community with those underserved populations was definitely what helped me drive and come to where I’m at right now.”
Through her job, McCorkle is able to shine a light on philanthropic efforts in the MLB and show how players dedicate themselves to causes and initiatives.
“With communications and community relations, you can look at things with a different lens and tell a different story that isn’t always at the surface,” she said. “You can do your research, dive a little deeper and tell those human-type stories.”
McCorkle said she continues to use skills she learned at Kent State to help bring awareness to the opportunities within baseball for everyone.
(Adapted from an article published in August 2018)