Cox Academic Center Maintaining Active Summer Program

by Ashleigh Maerke | Communications Student Assistant
Cox Academic Center Maintaining Active Summer Program

BATON ROUGE, La. — The Cox Communications Academic Center for Student Athletes (CCACSA) is working diligently throughout the summer semester to provide support to current and in-coming LSU student-athletes through the Summer Academic Success Program (SASP).

“Our summer program is one of the best, if not the best, in the entire country in terms of assessment, academic support and student welfare,” said Executive Director of the CCACSA Walt Holliday.

Under the direction of Director Dorothy Kemp and Learning Specialist Molly Ann Walke and in conjunction with Director of Life Skills Courtney Randall, the Cox Center Educational Support Services team was readily able to convert the program into a virtual platform.

“The CCACSA staff converted SASP into an entirely virtual platform, which involved the use of innovative technology and constant communication,” stated Walke. “Our online academic skills modules, student development modules, and individual tutoring appointments provide the solid foundation needed for our student-athletes to succeed academically as they transition from high school to college.”

SASP utilizes strategy tutors from a variety of backgrounds, including teachers from across the region. The tutors go through training seminars prior to the summer and most have worked with the program for multiple years. These invaluable tutors are integral to the accomplishment of this very successful program.

This year’s team of tutors included: Lauren Barker (Middle School Teacher), Kristen Bourgeois (Middle School Teacher), Caitlin Broadwell (Graduate Assistant, LSU School of Education), Emma Cangalosi (Graduate Student, LSU Kinesiology), Sara Ducote (Elementary School Teacher), Hillary Eisworth (Instructor, LSU School of Education), Abigail Gazvoda (Graduate Assistant, LSU Student Advocacy and Accountability), Ben Howland (Instructor – Southeastern Louisiana University), Katie Keller (Middle School Teacher), Amelie Kramer (Graduate Assistant, LSU Olinde Career Center), Michele Macloud (Elementary Teacher – Retired), Katelyn Papierski (Graduate Student, LSU School of Social Work) and Christina Rothenbeck (Instructor, LSU English Department).

The main goals of the program are to assist new LSU student-athletes in their transition to the university community by supporting their intellectual, social, cultural and emotional development, help them understand the values, traditions, norms and expectations of an educational experience at LSU, provide academic resources and the skills needed to make the incoming student-athlete experience successful within the college environment, giving each student-athlete more confidence, leading to responsibility and initiative for their own growth, and to create a culture with incoming student-athletes that places a priority on academics.

Incoming freshman Marlon Martinez, an offensive lineman from Fort Lauderdale, Florida on the LSU Football team, has already benefitted from the program. “SASP has taught me to stay on top of my schoolwork while juggling athletics, and it was so helpful in getting me acclimated to college life.”

Each incoming student-athlete goes through three learning programs over the summer to get acclimated to life at LSU. Each student-athlete develops a learning profile, completes six academic skills workshops and six student-athlete development workshops. Topics of the workshops range from writing skills and critical thinking to an overview and foundational concepts of diversity and inclusion.

For more information about the Cox Communications Academic Center for Student-Athletes, go to