Jessica Mendoza, Doctor of Humane Letters, Honoris Causa

Jessica Mendoza is a two-time Olympian and ESPN MLB analyst. She is described by TIME Magazine as “the glass-shattering baseball broadcaster who is the first woman, in any major American men’s team sport, to serve as top color commentator for a national network.” 

One of the most notable softball players in the last decade, Mendoza was a four-time first team All-American while playing outfield at Stanford University. She led the team to their first Women’s College World Series appearance and finished her college career with school records that are still held today. 

Mendoza won a gold medal at the 2004 Olympics in Athens, and a silver medal at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing. She is a three-time World Champion, World Cup Champion, and a two-time Pan American Gold Medalist. She was a member of the U.S. Women’s National team and played professionally in National Pro Fastpitch. In 2006, she was named the USA Softball Athlete of the Year and was inducted into the International Latin Sports Hall of Fame; in 2008 she was recognized as the Women’s Sports Foundation Sportswoman of the Year. She was inducted into the National Softball Hall of Fame in 2019.

Mendoza joined ESPN in 2007 and has since become one of the leading voices in ESPN’s Major League Baseball coverage. In 2016, Jessica Mendoza became the first female Major League Baseball analyst when she joined ESPN’s Sunday Night Baseball team. In 2020, Mendoza was named the first woman to serve as a solo analyst on national baseball telecasts for ESPN, and the first female World Series game analyst on national radio. She has also served as an analyst and reporter for the Men’s College World Series and Women’s College World Series and sideline reporter for college football. Prior to her work with ESPN, Mendoza was a field reporter for Yahoo! Sports at the 2010 Winter Olympic Games and was the lead college softball analyst on FOX Sports. 

In addition to her achievements as an athlete and broadcaster, Mendoza is also a trustee and past-president of the Women’s Sports Foundation where she is featured in their GoGirlGo! educational curriculum designed to build healthy, active and confident girls. She was an athletic ambassador for Team Darfur and served as a board member of the National Education Association Foundation.

Mendoza graduated from Stanford with a Bachelor of Arts degree in American Studies and a Masters in Social Sciences in Education. Mendoza originally planned to use her degree to work in Washington, D.C. on education reform but when approached by ESPN in 2006, she decided to pursue a career in television. Questioning why women weren’t represented in the baseball commentary world, she worked to find new opportunities at ESPN and pushed to make change in a male-dominated field. 

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