As an Eddie Phillips Scholar, Desmond Steward has benefited from scholarship funds, leadership development opportunities and mentoring. This summer, for example, he completed a summer leadership and professional development course that he describes as both intense and rewarding.

These kinds of experiences promise to set Steward up for a successful conclusion to his college career. His path to Saint Mary’s and its campus in Winona began back in Milwaukee, where he grew up. Steward said Saint Mary’s was the first school to ever send him a recruitment letter for athletics. “They saw something in me that I didn’t. And when I visited, I saw how great the academics were and of course the scenery is amazing.”

Steward studies sports management and sociology at Saint Mary’s, and hopes to go into sports advertising. “I want to be on the internal side of sports, to be behind-the-scenes. I want to see why fans react the way they do and improve their sports watching experience.”

Steward already has experience at a Saint Mary’s on-campus internship called the Athlete Network — a company similar to LinkedIn, made for and by college athletes. “It’s an easy way to build a network of people you can relate to. I’m learning a lot about sports marketing and social media,” Steward said. He’ll be building on that experience with another internship that he’ll be undertaking through the Eddie Phillips program.

Steward is active on campus at Saint Mary’s with a work-study position supporting intramural sports and participating on the track and field team. Busy with school and work, Steward said he tries to see his mother in Milwaukee as much as he can. “Being away from home is tough, but I wanted to get to college and finish it out in four years for my mom.”