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Cox Communications Academic Center for Student-Athletes Hosts Annual Student Support Summit

by Judy Willson | Assoc. Communications Director
Cox Communications Academic Center for Student-Athletes Hosts Annual Student Support Summit

BATON ROUGE — The Cox Communications Academic Center for Student-Athletes recently hosted its seventh annual Student Support Summit. The summit was conducted virtually and had 480 registered attendees from across the United States and Canada.

“The Student Support Summit is held each year to provide Learning Support and Student-Athlete Support Services professionals a free professional development opportunity,” said Director of Educational Support Services and chair of the Summit’s Executive Planning Committee Dorothy Kemp. “Usually this is held as an in-person event, but due to ongoing COVID restrictions, the event was held virtually. This gave us the opportunity to reach professionals across the country that we would not have otherwise had an opportunity to reach.”

The 2021 summit focused on the topic of examining best practices in collegiate academics with 29 presentations, including 12 by members of LSU’s academic staff and the University faculty and staff. LSU Faculty Athletics Representative and Professor of African and African American Studies and Sociology Dr. Lori Martin served began the event with the keynote address. Dr. Martin is currently the interim chair of the Department of African and African American Studies and has written or edited more than 20 books and numerous journal articles and book chapters. Her areas of expertise are race and ethnicity, racial wealth inequality, and race and sports.

Sessions on advising college bound student-athletes, conference collaboration, managing student-athlete eligibility during COVID-19 and structured literacy were among the topics in the concurrent morning sessions. The concurrent afternoon sessions included the topics of engaging reluctant readers, mindfulness, resources for former professional athletes and the value of social workers in the field of academic support. There was also a concurrent session track throughout the day for graduate assistants and new professionals to the area of academic support. Sessions included day-in-the-life experiences from veterans in the profession and networking in the field.

CCACSA Executive Director Walt Holliday acknowledged his team’s effort on a successful event. “Our executive planning committee did a tremendous job in creating an agenda within the area of student-athlete development that generated meaningful conversations that focused on experiential teaching and learning through sharing best practices on how to develop, implement and assess model practices.”

To break up the day, participants had the opportunity to have Lunch With A Leader. Several sessions were available and led by LSU Vice Provost for Diversity, Equity & Inclusion/Chief Diversity Officer Dr. Derek Rovaris, LSU Executive Deputy Athletics Director/Chief Operations Officer Stephanie Rempe, Senior Associate Athletics Director/Health and Wellness Shelly Mullenix and Associate Athletics Director/Compliance Matt Jakoubek. Graduate assistants and new professionals had the lunch opportunity to quiz staff members from LSU, Southeastern Louisiana and Ohio State on their experiences.

“The Student Support Summit was an outstanding opportunity for hundreds of people across the country to experience a little bit of LSU,” said Rempe. “Our Academic staff did an outstanding job planning and executing the event and it was exciting to showcase their talents through this virtual platform.”

Kemp was joined on the Executive Planning Committee by Director of Student Affairs Dr. Louise Bodack, ACSA Manager of Internal Operations Sarah Moran, Academic Advisor Delanie Authement, Academic Advisor Jerrica Steward, Assistant Director Keenen Maddox and graphic designer Joshua Crawford.

Accountability – Commitment – Success – Integrity – Diversity – Teamwork – Service – Education

It is through living the values of the Total Team Commitment 2017-2022, particularly education, academic success, and service to the community that six student-athletes are recognized as Cox Communications Academic Center Student-Athlete of the month. These values are fundamental to the growth and development of our student-athletes as they enter to learn, then leave to serve.

The Cox Communications Academic Center for Student-Athletes is a 54,000 square-foot facility comprised of teams for academic affairs, student affairs and information technology, who annually serve more than 500 student-athletes. The purpose of the CCACSA is to provide an all-inclusive, student-centered support structure for all student-athletes from matriculation, through graduation, and life beyond.