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CCACSA Members Participate in N4A Convention

CCACSA Members Participate in N4A Convention

BATON ROUGE, La. – Earlier this month in Dallas, members of LSU’s Cox Communications Academic Center for Student-Athletes attended in the National Association of Academic Advisors National Convention, participating in, and leading, a host of informational sessions throughout the week-long event.

The N4A has been in existence since 1975. At Michigan State University that summer, Dr. Frank Downing (University of Kentucky) and Dr. Clarence Underwood (Michigan State University) met to outline the development of the National Athletic Counselors Association (NACA). The current name, the National Association of Academic Advisors for Athletics (N4A), was adopted in 1977 at the second national convention in Miami.
Kenneth O. Miles, Assistant Vice Chancellor and Executive Director of the CCACSA at LSU, was joined by Katrina Allen, Athletic Academic Advisor at North Carolina A&T, Collen Campbell, Director of Student-Athlete Support Services at Loyola University Maryland, Patrice Feulner, Senior Associate Athletics Director for Student Services at Iowa State University and Wes Maas, Assistant Vice President Undergraduate Education Director and Director of Student-Athlete Academic Center at Florida International University.

“This panel provides us the opportunity to connect with young professionals in our field. It is the first step for many of them to establishing a mentor/mentee relationship with the veterans who were in their same position many years ago,” Campbell said.

Miles moderated the session, which allows veteran academic advisors from small and large institutions to share their knowledge and experience working in the in the field. Covering topics such as developing relationships, maintaining a work-life balance, effective counseling and advising techniques, advisor-coach issues, advisor-student-athletes issues, APR/ compliance issues as well as best practices in the field
“The opportunity to present with such seasoned peers, while also giving back to the younger generation of N4A, was something I am extremely grateful for,” Maas said. “I learned a great deal from my fellow presenters and encourage our rookie N4A members to continue to ask questions. We all learn and grow together to benefit our programs and our student-athletes.”

This specific session has been around since 2008 when Miles and Campbell felt the need for there to be an orientation for new advisors, growing into a featured presentation at the conference because of the influx of new members.

“I thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity to share insights and information I have learned over the course of my career with our rising stars in student-athlete development,” Feulner said. “There can be no progress without constant growth and education, new ideas and sharing knowledge so it was an absolute pleasure to give back and learn a few things from other panelists as well.”

At the end of the presentation, attendees were given the ability to ask the panelists questions so that they were able to gain a greater understanding of the profession, while also being able to take some of the tips provided to use back at their respective universities.

“Opportunity comes to many sooner or later. To gain knowledge should never be neglected,” Allen said.

John Parham of the center was also able to participate in the 12th annual Professional Development Institute which preceded the N4A National Convention, which was an event started to create and maintain a learning community that transmits, creates, and preserves the knowledge that defines the profession.

The center’s Courtney Hoffman presented a piece called “Mindfulness and Yoga,” showing the benefits it can have on working with people with learning challenges. Walt Holliday also continued his role as the divisional director of student-athlete development which includes ethnic concerns, life skills, honors & awards, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender ally and learning concerns & enhancements.

At the end of the convention, Miles transitioned from his role as President Elect and assumed the full duties of the acting president of the N4A. The 2017 conference will be held in Orlando, Florida, with the theme being “One Goal, One Mission, and One Vision.”

The Cox Communications Academic Center for Student-Athletes is a 54,000 square foot facility comprised of academic affairs, student affairs and an information technology teams, serving more than 530 student-athletes. The purpose is to provide an all-inclusive, student-centered support structure for all student-athletes from matriculation, through graduation and life beyond.