October 3, 2011

Faculty Associates Program Provides Valuable Balance for Student-Athletes

MILLEDGEVILLE, Ga. – Georgia College’s Department of Athletics is doing its best to provide a valuable balance between academics and athletics. Now in its second year, the Faculty Associates Program provides each of GC’s 10 Division II athletic programs with a Faculty Associate Representative, who helps with various aspects that arise in a student-athlete’s day.

“It’s a program that has been instituted at many universities across the country,” according to Dr. Ken Farr, the Faculty Athletics Representative for GC Athletics. “It’s been very successful for us. It attempts to infuse more academics into the student-athletes lives by enhancing the connections between athletics and academics on our campus.”

Falling under the Faculty Athletics Representatives Association (FARA), each professor representative helps student-athletes with the balance that can sometimes be a struggle.

“It encourages our faculty and student-athletes to get to know each other outside of the classroom,” said Director of Athletics Wendell Staton. “Our faculty do an incredible job with this program and it is common to see them at practices and sitting on the sidelines during contests. We are thrilled with the process.”

However, the program doesn’t benefit just the student-athlete according to Dr. Farr, “It opens up the eyes of the faculty, allowing faculty to see what the student-athlete’s daily schedule looks like.”

Junior women’s tennis player Kayla Barksdale (Augusta, Ga.) shares a similar sentiment saying, “It’s a great way for teachers to get a feel for how we balance our schoolwork and athletics. By forming this relationship and getting a first-hand look, it allows them to truly experience the full life of a student-athlete.”

There’s no doubt the Faculty Associates Program has been a valuable asset to Georgia College Athletics. It supplies the perfect give-and-take relationship necessary between teachers and student-athletes in order for them to succeed in both academics and athletics.

The following is a list of the Faculty Associates and their corresponding sport:

Baseball: Jason Rich, Assistant Professor of Political Science

Women’s Basketball: Dr. Catherine Whelan, Chair and Associate Professor of Accounting

Men’s Basketball: Dr. Sally Humphries, Professor, Information Systems and Communication

Women’s Cross Country: Leslie Moore, Assistant Professor of Nursing

Men’s Cross Country: Dr. Tom Moore, Professor of Business Law

Golf: Dr. Jason Huffman, Director of Strategic Initiatives

Soccer: Dr. Holley Roberts, Assistant Professor of Early Childhood Education

Softball: Dr. Ginger Carter Miller, Professor of Mass Communication

Women’s Tennis: Lurline West, Director of Business Student & Community Services

Men’s Tennis: Dr. Steven Elliott-Gower, Director and Associate Professor Government and Sociology

The Georgia College Department of Athletics, two-time winners of the PBC Commissioner's Cup, sponsors 10 varsity athletic programs at the NCAA Division II level. As a Division II program, Bobcat Athletics prides itself on balancing the life of the student-athlete, evidenced by the teams' multiple appearances in post-season competition as well as documented academic success and community-service involvement. Sign up at www.twitter.com/BobcatSports and www.facebook.com/gcbobcats for up-to-the-minute spports, and visit www.GCBobcats.com for more information, and to nominate your favorite former Bobcats and Colonials to the GC Athletics Hall of Fame.