New podcast series features captivating conversations with Penn alumnae

Alanna Shanahan, director of Penn Athletics, is hosting a series of interviews with alumnae in support of ‘Power the Next 100,’ a new fundraising initiative focused on women’s varsity athletics.

Image: Penn Athletics

Penn Athletics recently launched the “Power the Next 100 Podcasts,” a series of interviews with Penn alumnae hosted by Alanna Shanahan, the T. Gibbs Kane, Jr. W’69 Director of Athletics and Recreation. “Power the Next 100” is the recently announced fundraising initiative from Penn Athletics focused on women’s varsity sports. Its goal is to raise $40 million to sustain varsity annual funding, elevate team-specific endowments, and upgrade the physical footprint of the University’s women’s teams.

The first guest is 2010 alumna Emma Spiro, a former superstar midfielder on the women’s lacrosse team. She was a two-time unanimous First-Team All-Ivy selection, the 2009 Ivy League Co-Player of the Year, and a 2010 Intercollegiate Women’s Lacrosse Coaches Association Third-Team All-American.

In her chat with Shanahan, Spiro discusses the impact that Penn has had on her life, her mentors, and some of her favorite memories as a women’s lacrosse player.

The first two episodes of the “Power the Next 100 Podcasts” feature AD Alanna Shanahan (left) in conversation with 2010 alumna Emma Spiro (top) and 1985 alumna Alicia McConnell (bottom). (Images: Eric Sucar/US Squash/Penn Athletics)

1985 alumna Alicia McConnell is featured in episode two. US Squash calls her “inarguably one of the greatest American players ever” and “easily the most storied U.S. player ever.” In part, she won the national junior squash championship twice while in high school, won both the intercollegiate and national singles championships while at Penn, and represented the United States at five World Team championships. She currently sits on the Board of Trustees of the Professional Squash Association in Dublin, Ireland, and is a member of the U.S. Squash Hall of Fame and the Intercollegiate Squash Hall of Fame.

McConnell and Shanahan discuss her time at Penn and how she has stayed involved in the governance of squash in the United States and Ireland.

“Power the Next 100 Podcasts” can be found by visiting, Spotify, or Amazon Music. New podcasts will be released several times each semester.