Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Sometimes being "clueless" isn't a bad thing.

This past Friday morning I flew from Burlington to Philadelphia on my way to Indianapolis, Indiana and an NCAA Leadership Fellows Institute for 18 FAR's from across the country. Faculty Athletic Representatives are referred to by the NCAA as being the "conscience of athletics" on college campuses and the 18 of us all serve in that capacity at our respective institutions. This picture was taken of the group in the lobby of the Hall of Champions at NCAA Headquarters where we worked for the three days we were there. In Philadelphia, as we were about to board the plane three TSA screeners came up to our gate area and one of them signaled me to place my briefcase on their cart and then asked me for my ID - while I had already had everything checked once before I complied and then they asked a woman and then another man to do the same thing. I have never seen this happen before but it really didn't bother me to work with TSA as they have a job to do. As we taxied across the runway I noticed that the UPS hanger we passed had a LOT of flashing lights, emergency vehicles and police cars surrounding it - I wondered if there was a fire or something. As we took off I had a better view and sure enough, it WAS surrounded by all types of emergency vehicles. I didn't think anything more about it and when we landed in Indianapolis and I checked into my hotel, I turned on the television set in my room. I WAS surprised to see that there was a worldwide terrorism alert and that a "suspicious" package had, in fact, been discovered at the Philadelphia Airport at the UPS hanger - sometimes being "clueless" isn't a bad thing.........

The workshops were excellent and it was good to listen to what others are doing on their campuses to comply with the NCAA D-II Platform of LIFE IN BALANCE for our athletes. I was proud to share the many efforts that our Athletic Department and our Faculty are doing to make every student-athlete's experience here a balance between academics and athletics. The NCAA released its latest data this past week and we are very happy that Saint Michael's College has one of the HIGHEST ASR's in the country - ASR is the academic success rate and we had 18 of our 21 varsity teams that had a 100% graduation rate - the data refers to the cohort that graduated in 2009 and Seth Cole, our Sports Information Director provided local media with the data and the report from the NCAA. I made sure that our faculty were thanked because without the successful collaboration between academics and athletics, there is no balance. My colleagues at the conference were full of questions about how WE were able to be so successful and this is just an observation, but I sometimes find that at some other institutions there is a competition between academics and athletics and here we have COLLABORATION. When I get asked "how do you get your faculty to work so well with student-athletes?" I simply reply, to quote Prof. Mary Beth Doyle from our Education Department when I asked her the same question on an evaluation form a couple of years ago - "because we are asked to." - well put.....

In two weeks I travel to Baltimore to the Faculty Athletic Representative Association national convention - this will be my first visit to this conference and I look forward to learning more about how we can all work together with faculty, staff AND, especially our student-athletes to continue making this balance a successful one.

Classes are continuing to go well. My Theories of Counseling class was exceptional last week as we utilized our Development Laboratory with the one-way mirror and my students were able to do some amazing role playing (counselor/counselee) and learn how they are perceived by others and how fast they ARE learning the skills necessary to become successful counselors. This experience continues to provide them with a rich experience that has proven in the past to be most helpful as they interview for and get accepted to graduate schools. This afternoon Heather Strassel, who graduated last year and who is now working in MA with people with borderline personality disorders, will be coming to class to talk about the use of DBT (a specific therapy for BPD) and how she was able to use the skills she learned in all of her classes here to successfully transition to an excellent job.

Take care, be well, VOTE and please remember to keep all of the members of our active and retired military AND their families in your thoughts and prayers.


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