Athletics Hall of Fame
Malika Starr

Malika Starr

SPORT(S) Field Hockey, Basketball, Tennis, Track and Field
PLAYED AT BSU 1971-1975
Malika Starr, known as Lila Veenker during her days at Bemidji State, played field hockey, basketball, tennis, and track & field until she graduated in 1975. She was elected in consecutive years to both the basketball Minn-Kota All-Conference team and in field hockey to the Sectional Teams from which she went on to play at the National Tournament. In her senior year, she co-captained the basketball and field hockey teams. She graduated with a B.S. in Physical Education and Health with a coaching certificate. After she graduated, Malika was a volunteer with the Peace Corps in Gambia, West Africa for three years. She taught physical education, health, and general science. She also coached girls? basketball, volleyball, and track and field, and they were National Champions two consecutive years. Upon her return to the U.S., Malika taught physical education, health, and also coached at Cardinal Newman High School for six years. She was the assistant girls? basketball coach and head girls? soccer coach and also coached the women?s volleyball team at Palm Beach Atlantic College during this time. She left Cardinal Newman High School to work for Eckerd Family Youth Alternatives where she developed special programs for incarcerated youth. She was a member of the team that developed the first Florida Conservation Corps facility, and it was with Eckerd that she discovered the exciting learning modality of a challenge ropes course. In 1992 she founded an action-based training and development company called High Excellence, Inc. The company provides leadership development and team building for corporations, non-profits, and schools. Considered by many as the top experiential learning ?guru? in south Florida, Malika?s approach involves the interfacing of hands-on team-based exercises with practical, real-world application. Along with her team building and leadership consulting, she has also facilitated comprehensive school reform programs for many schools in Florida, Louisiana, North Carolina, and Alabama. Malika has also earned a Master?s Degree in Social Work and a Doctorate in Educational Leadership, with a focus in Adult Learning. Her free time is spent playing golf and flying stunt kites on the beach. She lives with her long-time companion in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida.