Run With The Pack--ASPSA Edition
March Madness is Approaching in More Ways Than One

Since it is March and almost basketball tournament time, I’m going to go into some detail about how Anthony and I have been preparing for road trips (not to mention a crazy amount of snow days for North Carolina) and how we assist our guys in staying on top of their academic demands. At the beginning of the semester, around the same time I created our Academic Update Report, I also created a color-coded semester long calendar for my Men’s Basketball students. This is a monthly calendar of all the games and travel days for the term in addition to any major assignments, tests, quizzes, etc. Each student is a specific color so we can clearly see which task belongs to whom. This was one of the things Carrie Leger (former director) suggested to me when we began preparing for the fall semester. She said it was time consuming but it was the easiest and most effective way to see immediately which assignments will conflict with travel. She could not have been more right! I love being able to tell in seconds what my guys have coming up and when they need to reschedule assignments they may miss.

This has been a huge resource for travel and snow days. Specifically for snow days, I am able to have the calendar in my hand as I talk to students about assignments that may have been pushed back and/or cancelled because of missed class. This is a one stop shop for all of my students and is very easy to read and sort through. For travel, I take this calendar and put it in list form by student (another idea stolen by former intern and AC, Tory Casas Silvestri). I narrow down 1-2 assignments for each class the students can and should be working on. Some classes may not have anything pressing so I may add more assignments for another class. Anthony takes this list when he travels with the team and can immediately check in with the guys during study hall. Depending on the trip, multiple study times may be organized including plane and/or bus time. It is very important that when our students do return after a road trip that they can join the class and pick up where they left off without missing a beat. We also try to plan ahead as much as possible when we know our students will be traveling. For example, last week our students filled out their weekly yellow sheets for the upcoming week on Thursday night with their mentors because they traveled Sunday evening when they would normally have been working on them.

Anthony and I will continue to plan ahead in the anticipation of the ACC and NCAA tournaments quickly approaching. However, our entire staff will have their hands full with spring break, registration and course planning- not to mention coordinating the 13th Annual Drive In Conference! Bryce, Dixie and I are full-force planning mode for this year’s conference. Our 2014 theme is…drum roll…The Academic Playbook: Drawing Up the Future of Student Athlete Support. This year’s conference will be held on Friday, April 25th at the NCSU Murphy Football Center in Raleigh, NC. We currently have a NCAA update, director/staff panel, and presentations on APR, mental health and making the most with limited resources on the schedule! We are excited to continue the planning process and will keep our readers updated! If you have any questions or would like more information on the conference, please contact us at aspsadrivein@gmail.com.

In addition, I’m excited to give a huge welcome back to Rachel Roney! Rachel was an intern here a couple years ago and is in her third week with us as an Academic Coordinator. Rachel will be working with baseball and women’s soccer and we are very excited to have her back! Also, we’d like to give a huge thanks and say goodbye to AJ Johnson. AJ has been here for almost two years and has recently accepted a job at Temple University. He has been a valuable asset to our team and we will miss him!! Best of luck to both Rachel and AJ as they begin new chapters in their careers.

Lastly, we would like to give our new director, Jermaine Holmes, his first blog shout out! Jermaine joins us from Virginia Tech and we, as a staff and university, are very excited to have him as a part of our team! Stay tuned for updates as we dive into March Madness!

Emily

We’ve reached the halfway mark!

Happy New Year! I am proud to say that Bryce, Emily, and I have survived and conquered our first semester as interns here at ASPSA. We have finished our mid-year evaluations from our primary supervisors and completed our mid-year intern evaluation with Maria as well. To say that I have grown immensely as a young professional is an understatement. I could probably spend the next several hours writing to you all about the trials and tribulations that I, along with my fellow interns, have experienced- but no worries, I’ll spare you. I will say that this has been one of the most rewarding experiences in regards to personal and professional growth and development and it’s only half-way over.

 The main purpose of this month’s blog is to provide you all with our answers to some of the questions we received from our readers. I think this blog post is very fitting as we have just finished reflecting over the past 5 months and are gearing up for the last 6 months of this internship. We reached out to you all to have you ask some questions that you’d like to know about our experience here at ASPSA. I hope that our answers will provide you with a small glimpse of what we’ve learned and experienced since joining the ASPSA team. We hope you enjoy!

On your worst day, what do you find you need the most?

 Dixie:

On my worst day, I need a few minutes to myself to process that day’s events and just vent. One of the MOST important things that I need on a bad day is my support group (aka: my family). My parents are the best about giving words of encouragement or taking my mind off of my troubles- even from 12 hours away. I think that, especially in this field, a support group (or person) is crucial. If we kept all of our emotions from each crazy day’s events to ourselves, we’d go crazy! I think that it’s also important too, that we make time for ourselves. So often we get so wrapped up in helping others that we forget to help ourselves. On my bad days, I make sure to do something for Dixie (that usually involves ice-cream).

 Emily:

I love this question! I started a “Successes Spreadsheet” back in November. This job has a tendency to point out negatives or issues on a daily basis; not necessarily because they are prevalent but because these are the things that need to be addressed quickly and in the moment. Because of this, it is easy to get wrapped up and focus on the “bad,” rather than all of the good things that happen every day. I noticed my stress levels were really increasing late last fall. Registration had just ended, basketball season was beginning and we were hitting crunch time with about a month before classes ended. I decided I needed to stop each day and think about the successes, no matter how big or small. I created a spreadsheet with a column for each day of the month and a column to type what the success was for that particular day. Successes vary every day; some days they are grades that have come back after I know a student has worked really hard on a particular assignment and some days they are simply good conversations with students I may not even directly work with. This has become one of my favorite parts of the day; I sit down and reflect on what has happened and some days it’s hard to pick just one so I write down any that come to mind. This is helpful to look back at on a particularly long day. And if a day comes where I can’t actually think of one, I have a whole month’s worth to look back on and can move on to the next day with a positive attitude!

What qualities make for a successful AC in this field?

Dixie:

  • Patience. Patience is without a doubt one of the MOST important qualities that an AC can exhibit. Students, coaches, and deadlines are going to push you to your personal limits and if you don’t have patience, I feel that it will be extremely hard to succeed.
  • Flexibility. No two days are going to be the same in this field. As an AC you will be asked to do about a million things at a time. You have to be flexible in the fact that you are able to accomplish things that may not have necessarily been on the top of your list of “things to do”.
  • Passion. I have learned that as an intern, you will be pushed and stretched to what feels like your absolute limit. However, because I am able to do what I love with students that I care about, it’s worth it. I learn something new every single day. Although I may not get a “thank you” each day, those special moments when you do are what keep me motivated and willing to push through to the next day.

 Bryce:

I completely agree with the three qualities Dixie mentioned and will add a couple more.  First is the ability to think quickly.  This is a fast-paced environment and new situations arise daily.  An academic coordinator needs to have the ability to quickly think through situations and come up with the best solution.  A lot of what goes on day to day is very time sensitive which means action has to be taken quickly.  If decisions are made quickly it allows the best opportunity for student to be successful.

Consistency is another quality I think a successful academic coordinator possesses. Each day you need to come to work with all the qualities that make you successful. There are no days off because someone will always need your help.  Even after the semester is over there is always work to do preparing for new students and new classes.  Also, having a student know the type of help they are going to receive every day when they come to you really helps build that relationship.  If you are consistent students know they will always be able to come to you for help.

What have you learned most about yourself through this ASPSA experience?

Dixie:

I’ve learned that it’s ok to make mistakes. No one is perfect and that if you mess up, fix it. With that being said, it’s extremely important to double or even triple check what you are doing. There are so many things happening at once, that it is easy to get distracted which can lead to mistakes. One big thing that I didn’t realize about myself until joining ASPSA is that I need to improve my attention to details. The small details are often ones that can lead to the mistakes so it’s crucial to be aware of these details. I want to avoid these situations as much as possible.

 Bryce:

One of the biggest things I have learned about myself is how I adapt to new situations.  I grew up and went to school all in the same area so I did not experience a whole lot of big change before this.  Moving to Raleigh and coming to a school I knew little about was exciting and a little scary at the same time.  Learning a new school and how everything operates was something I was looking forward to because it is a skill I will need to learn and will help me grow as a professional.  There were some growing pains and times where I was not adjusting as fast as I would have liked, but overall I think my transition has gone pretty well.  This experience has definitely made me feel better about the process of adapting to a new school and in the future I will better know how to handle everything involved with a big change.

Have you learned more about your philosophy or style of working with student-athletes since you have been at NC State? And what have you learned?

Emily:

I have learned a lot about my philosophy and style when working with student athletes. My philosophy on academic support has evolved over time. Eight or ten months, I would have said it is all on the student. I’m here for assistance but it is up to each individual student to do what he or she needs to do to graduate. While I still believe a student’s education is ultimately his or her responsibility, I have learned there is not a “one size fits all” approach and each students’ background will determine how I am utilized. Because each student starts at a different place in terms of academic ability, level of independence, and amount of accountability, individualized academic plans are very important. No two students are the same therefore tutoring, mentoring, weekly meetings, and classes are all going to look different. It’s not just about the amount of support but the type of support. A mentoring session that introduces time management and study skills may be valuable to a weak student, whereas another student may benefit from more subject specific tutoring. In developing individual academic plans, there are a lot of important factors to take into account the most obvious being academic ability- high school grades, test scores, etc. It is also important to look into their general background including their family and relationships. A student who has lived a relatively easy going middle to upper class life is going to have a different plan than a student who may have helped raise younger siblings and had more responsibilities growing up. Family background can affect how much responsibility and accountability students have been previously held to; this can help map an individualized plan. These individualized plans must be flexible because you never know how a student will respond once they get to college and are thrown into life as a student athlete. Some high achieving students may falter and vice versa.

It can sometimes be hard to formulate an academic plan with freshmen because you may not know much about them coming in; this is where relationship building plays a huge part. It is important to build a trusting relationship from day one. I like to ask them questions about things outside of academics to show them I care about them as people and their outside lives. While my background may be very different from that of my students, I’m constantly trying to find some sort of common ground. Common ground may be favorite sports teams for one student while it may be just asking about family members for another student. Earning a student’s trust in this process is very important to me and to the student’s individualized academic plan. 

**Thanks for reading this month’s blog post! I hope that you’ve enjoyed a little glimpse into our experience thus far. Thanks for reading and following along!

Dixie

Happy Almost Thanksgiving!

Hey all! I cannot believe it is November and there are only 5 days left of classes! Where has the time gone? November means a staff Thanksgiving potluck…which was very exciting and dangerous but it also means basketball season, therefore things are really picking up with me and my students as far as organization and planning for how to keep fifteen guys on track over five months through 32 (hopefully more) games. I’m going to use this time to dive in to what my “typical” day as the Men’s Basketball/Gymnastics Assistant Academic Coordinator looks like! I use “typical” loosely because there are no two days alike.

I usually get to Case Academic Center around 8:30am (depending on the morning) and the first thing I do is pull tutor and mentor reports from the previous day/night. Before I even get to work in the morning, our ASEP (Academic Skills Enhancement Program) team has already read these reports and likely have already met about any “issues.” Issues could mean anything from being late to a session to not being fully prepared or focused for a session. The objective of ASEP is “to enhance academic skills through teaching study strategies, providing tutoring and academic mentoring within ASPSA’s facilities throughout the academic year.” These reports help us gauge whether or not the above objective is being met and if not, they can offer an inside look to sessions and provide us with ideas to make them more engaging and productive. After reading these reports, I meet with Jody Moylon, Associate Director of ASPSA/ASEP, and Anthony Bennett, Assistant Director of ASPSA and my direct supervisor. We review them together to make sure we are on the same page. This is when we discuss and/or brainstorm possible strategies that could help further develop our students through tutoring and mentoring sessions.

After this meeting, I usually have a couple hours of weekly student meetings. These meetings only last about 15 minutes and cover everything from grade updates to just general life updates from the student, such as how they are adjusting if they are freshmen, living situation, practice schedule, etc. All of this information is put into the Academic Update Reports (AURs) that I mentioned several months ago. I currently meet with several gymnasts, swimmers, wrestlers, and a diver. I usually get these updates for Men’s Basketball student athletes through Anthony’s weekly meetings or during our evening study hall, which I will get to in a little bit. In between these meetings, I usually try to squeeze in some other tasks. For example, I have recently been working on schedules and tutoring requests for the spring semester.

At 11:30am, I have a meeting with our Learning Enhancement Coordinator, Christi Turner, and Dixie. We focus this meeting on mentoring sessions. It is similar to my meetings with Jody, just covering different reports and sessions. Our mentoring program is in its first semester. Our mentors focus on time-management and study skills with our students. The idea is that our mentors prepare students for tutoring sessions so that tutoring sessions can be subject and content specific. Our mentors meet with students anywhere from 1-3 times a week depending on a student’s individual academic plan. During their first meeting of the week, students fill out the infamous “yellow sheet,” created by former intern, Shannon Roberts! This is a daily to do list that our students put together to keep themselves on track for the week. This will be especially helpful come January when my basketball students start travelling more for games. Time management can be one of the hardest parts of being a student athlete because of balancing class schedules, practice times, homework, sleep, etc.

Afternoons vary day to day. Every Monday, I meet with Anthony one on one and we basically run through every student (Men’s Basketball and Gymnastics) we have. We are both so busy throughout the week; we may have impromptu meetings daily but we like to have an hour or so to sit down, close the door and really make sure we are on the same page with each other and our students. On Tuesdays, we have either a staff meeting or a staffing. Staff meetings are used as time where we can get together and update each other on things like our annual graduation breakfast or professional development opportunities. Staffings are used to bounce ideas off each other and brainstorm for specific scenarios/situations. I find these extremely helpful as I am a new professional in the field and we have a large staff of varying experience. On Wednesdays, everyone on staff teaches a university studies course (USC). This course is required for freshmen student athletes and covers topics from time management to eligibility to major exploration. Thursdays, we usually have some sort of staff training. Topics from this semester so far have included registration, communication and iPad apps. These trainings are run by fellow staff members or people around campus.

At this point during the day (3:30ish), I usually review the Men’s Basketball AUR. I may go through and highlight upcoming assignments or grades that we are waiting to hear back on. I also use this time to start breaking this 40 page document down into a smaller version for our coaches. A coach’s time can be limited so I make a weekly snapshot of our AUR. This one page document includes the most recent grades and any assignments due in the next week or so. It also includes a projected grade for our students based on progress reports returned from instructors and the current grades we have. While reviewing our AUR, I also begin to prepare for nightly study hall. This means double checking our tutor pairings and knowing exactly what our students should be working on that day. I like to have a general idea of what each student has going on that week so I can easily answer questions and respond when students think they “have nothing to do.” I have been known to quote syllabi before…I’m not sure if that is a good thing or a bad thing.

I usually leave the office for about an hour sometime after 5pm. I may work out or go window shop and eat…more likely the latter…and take some “me” time before two hours of monitoring structured study hall with 9-11 college guys. This can sometimes be overwhelming, but I’m usually prepared! This semester has not been quite as chaotic as I predict next semester to be. This is because my guys have only and will only travel once this semester. Basketball season really picks up in January and study hall will become even more important than it is right now as it will likely become a bit harder to keep the students focused on academics. 7pm is go time- my students come in, check the board to find their assigned rooms and hit the books! I am always available during this time to field questions and to check in with the students; this is when I get grade and life updates. Although it may not be glamorous working a 12ish hour day, I love ending my day with my students. It can be very refreshing and is a great reminder as to why I have chosen this field.

At 9pm, I pretty much go home, maybe catch up on some TV but usually fall asleep pretty quickly and then wake up and start again! Like I mentioned, I feel like my work life is about to get a little crazier, but I also love this time of year. Basketball has always been one of my favorite sports and it is fun to see the guys on the court, in their element, doing what they love! Go Pack!!

Hope everyone has a great Turkey Day (:

Emily

Reaching the halfway mark!

        WOW- it’s crazy how much has happened since my last blog entry! Bryce, Emily, and I have made it to our 3 month mark here at ASPSA (whoop whoop!).  It’s pretty crazy how much I have learned and experienced thus far in the short time that I have been working at NC State. For the record, the Scholar-Athlete Recognition Game went off without a hitch! We had a GREAT turnout from the students and I appreciate all of the help that we had from the ASPSA staff. The month of October alone has been a pretty busy month for everyone in the office, including myself (which is why I decided to wait until the end of the month to fill you in on the latest adventures)! It has certainly brought about more changes/adaptations for the office. Veteran staff member Tory Casas (one of my amazing supervisors) recently left ASPSA to pursue other opportunities and we wish her the absolute best!! With all of the changes happening recently,  we’re all taking it with great strides and working together to help one another as any fabulous ASPSA family member would do.

       For any advisor in education, there is one word that most likely comes to mind as we venture into the second half of the semester- REGISTRATION!! For us here at ASPSA, we just finished up with the registration process last week, and boy was it a learning experience! During this time, I reflected back on my experience as an undergraduate student and the emotions that I felt during this time each semester. What should I decide to major in? What classes should I take? How many hours should I enroll in for the semester? The registration process for me as a student was, overall, a fairly simple process. However, going from advisee to the advisor was a role that I had never played before.

       For football, the entire team was divided amongst Katie, Jenny, Ramone, Bryce, and myself to meet with and advise. Bryce and I each met with around 20 football student-athletes the week before the registration window opened. I was also responsible for advising my other 10 student athletes (Baseball, Women’s Soccer, and Softball) that I meet with regularly during the week. Needless to say, things got pretty hectic in Office 305! During pre-registration, I met with students that were both upperclassmen as well as freshmen, and students who were in a major and those that were First Year College students. I found this process to be particularly interesting as it was something that I had only experienced as a student previously.

        As mentioned before, I had never advised a student so to be put in this situation was a little frightening at first. I was absolutely terrified that I would forget a step or mess up someone’s schedule. One major thing that I learned about the registration process is that in order to have a successful advising session, you must do your research prior to your student meeting. What I mean by this is that prior to meeting with my student, I would pull degree audits, look at courses the student had taken and still needed to take. I would then have an idea in my mind and compare/contrast with what the student was thinking. This was honestly something that I had never realized or considered prior to advising. Attention to detail and preparedness is crucial for success in this field- which is something that I push myself to practice and exhibit daily. I also learned by working with multiple sports teams how difficult and complex it is to build a schedule for someone in-season versus out-of-season. There are so many things such as practice times, work out times, and traveling in general that you have to be mindful of. Reflecting back on the experience, I appreciate the trust that the staff had in me to work through my nervousness and figure out this process on my own (although someone was always around to answer one of my many questions being asked).  I have learned so much already from the advising experience and am already mentally preparing for Summer/Fall 2014 registration.

       Outside of registration, things are going pretty smoothly. For the most part, students have completed midterms and have a good idea of the direction that they are headed grade-wise for each class. We have officially reached the halfway mark!! I always liked this time of year as a student because it meant that you still had some time left to make a change (if needed). I am anxious to see the hard work that my students will be putting forth to finish out this fall semester. For even more exciting news, the Drive-In Conference committee met last week! Bryce, Emily, and I will also be meeting here soon to develop more logistics, so definitely be prepared for that. I suppose I better sum up this blog entry…I told you a lot has happened! Keep reading next month to find out more about the happenings here at ASPSA!

-Dixie

     P.S.  Next month we would like to answer questions from our readers. If you have any questions for Bryce, Emily, and me about the ASPSA internship experience, please follow this link to submit your questions  and we’ll do our best to answer them in our November blog post: 

                      https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/H2CWWPV

Happy Halloween from the interns!

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The Grind Has Begun

Happy Friday Everyone,

My name is Bryce Nogle and I am the third member of the internship class. I know the month is almost over and everyone has been eagerly awaiting the next post. Before I get into my responsibilities and what has been going on here at ASPSA over the last month I would first like to congratulate one of the blogs few “official” followers on starting a new career path (hint: create a tumblr so we can have more official followers). Last Wednesday was Carrie Leger’s last day here at ASPSA.  It is unfortunate that we interns only got to work with Carrie for a short period of time, but are glad we did get some time with her. As you all know Carrie is an extremely hard worker and someone who took pride in her work, so we know she will succeed in this next chapter. So, from this intern class and I am sure from past classes too, we would like to say thank you for the opportunity to be part of this experience at NC State and we wish you the best of luck with your future endeavors!!!!!

Now a little bit about my responsibilities this year. I am working primarily with football during this internship and while I will more closely work with upperclassmen I will get my fair share of experience with freshmen as well. My secondary responsibilities include men’s and women’s track and field/cross country and awards and recognitions.   

As you probably know it is that time of year where everyone is starting to get into a routine and the first rounds of exams are upon us. The past three weeks have by far been the busiest since we arrived in July. Even though we have been very busy, these past few weeks are also when I have learned the most, especially when it comes to learning and getting to know about specific student-athletes. I am excited to continue to learn and grow as this internship moves forward, even if it means being busy.

In USC we just completed our 5th class on Wednesday. USC 103 is a course designed to help students transition into college through skill development. Helping out with USC has been somewhat of a challenge for me. Teaching USC was one of the parts of the internship I was most worried about, but so far my experience with USC has been pretty good. We have covered the topics of goal setting, procrastination, and classroom etiquette along with learning about some of the different colleges NC State has to offer. We are now starting to focus more on skill development that will help give the student-athletes the tools to succeed academically. Last class we broke into groups and had two 20 minutes presentations on different topics including paper writing tips, study skills, note taking and test preparation. These sessions went very well and seemed very beneficial to everyone involved.

 Another task the interns and Maria have been busy planning is the first Scholar Athlete Football Game. The concept stems from the Scholar Athlete Basketball Game. During halftime of the NC State vs. Central Michigan game on Saturday student-athletes who earned a 3.0 or higher in the Spring 2013 semester will be honored.  Student-athletes who were on the Dean’s List and student-athletes who received a 4.0 will also be honored. We currently have a few items to double check before the game tomorrow, but we are excited to see the finished product. The bar has been set pretty high for half time entertainment with last week’s card stunt vs. Clemson.

I am sure everyone has been dying for the update on hot yoga, so here it is. I have had many chances to join in hot yoga, but have not attended. I have zero flexibility and am not yet sold on sweating that much so early in the morning (6:00am) while doing something I am bad at. Stranger things have happened and I am easily bribed with Chick-fila, but as of now I am staying away from the hot yoga. Also, happy early birthday to Emily who’s birthday is on Monday!!

-Bryce

The Countdown to August 21st!

Well…it is almost that time of year again- the first day of classes is quickly approaching! I’m going to briefly tell you a little bit about myself and my role at ASPSA before jumping into the good stuff like the end of summer school and how we are getting ready for the fall semester! 

 My name is Emily DeRatt and this is actually my second year with ASPSA. Last year I was the Assistant Coordinator for ASEP, which is our Academic Skills Enhancement Program. ASEP provides tutoring and now mentoring services to our student athletes. In my role with ASEP, I did everything from scheduling tutoring sessions to meeting one on one with tutors to discuss new strategies to use with their students. I have left my ASEP responsibilities behind and have transitioned into my new role as an Assistant Academic Coordinator. My primary responsibility is working with Men’s Basketball; however I will also be working with Gymnastics, Volleyball, Women’s Basketball, Men’s Tennis, Wrestling, and Swimming & Diving students. So far, so good! I still have a lot to learn about this field and could not be more excited to be here for another year! 

Before getting into how we are currently prepping for the fall semester, I wanted to briefly tell you about a summer bridge program at NC State called Summer START. Summer START is a campus wide program available to incoming freshmen. The program is designed to help students adjust to college before the fall semester begins. Students move into the dorms the first week of July and begin their lives as NC State students. They go to class five days a week; this year they took one English course, one Sociology course and an orientation course focused on diversity. After class they go to tutoring for several hours. This is a great way for students to ease into college classes, independence, and life away from home! As advisors, we meet with tutors and instructors to check in on our students’ progress to see how their transition is going and give additional support if needed. Summer START has the same schedule as any normal summer session class so the program just ended last week after exams. I was very excited to be involved with this program and believe it is very helpful in setting the stage for a successful fall for our freshmen student athletes! 

Not all of our incoming freshmen student athletes participate in Summer START. We have a summer bridge program specific to student athletes called MAGIC (Maximizing Academic Growth in College). This program was created and is organized by ASPSA. Students take classes as any other student would, however they also meet as a group twice a week. The program is coordinated by Christi Turner, our Learning Enhancement Program Coordinator, with the help of peer instructors, students who have participated in the program previously. This year the students met on Mondays and went off campus to perform some sort of work in the community; our students did everything from packing bagged lunches to playing with kids at the Raleigh Boys Club. The students then met on Wednesdays to discuss topics related to the transition to college such as time management, study skills, etc. Transfer students are also invited to participate in MAGIC as a way to get acclimated to campus, give back to the community, and meet other student athletes.

 With summer school ending last week, we are in the home stretch for preparing for the fall semester. I also like to call it the “calm before the storm.” Our offices are quiet this time of year as our students are not yet on campus. My goal for these couple weeks has been to get ahead as much as possible. I’ve been trying to think and prepare for any and everything that could happen in the fall which ranges from simply preparing schedules to hand out at next week’s team meetings to sitting down and creating a plan for what I want Men’s Basketball Study Hall to look like this fall. Other things I have been working on include preparing travel letters that our students give their instructors, submitting tutor requests, and getting ready to collect syllabi from our students to create our Academic Update Report (AUR). Dixie mentioned AURs briefly in her last post; these are our lifelines in keeping up with our students’ academic progress. We take information provided by the instructor (usually via their syllabus) and put it in a word document. This information includes due dates, test dates, assignments, attendance policies, etc. This allows us to have all the information we need on our students’ classes in one location; which keeps us organized and on top of our game!

 Well that is all for now. We are at the end of our sixth week as interns and we are excited to keep on pushing and see where this journey takes us!

 And on a completely unrelated note, Dixie and I started taking hot yoga classes last week to prepare for the chaos that is the first couple weeks of classes. We are trying to get Bryce to join…stay tuned!

Namaste,

Emily

The start of a new year…

     Hi! My name is Dixie Wingler and I am the lucky intern who will be starting this year’s blogging off! The 2013-2014 class of interns (myself, Bryce, and Emily) completed an intern training last week which helped prepare us for our first full week of working with the student athletes. During this training we learned about GradesFirst, Academic Update Reports (AURs), and other things associated with our primary responsibilities.  I was definitely less nervous about what my role will consist of and how this program functions after meeting with the ASPSA staff and getting their input and advice. I am coming from a school that is much smaller than NC State and so it has been an eye-opener already, just being two weeks in, at how amazing this program is and the opportunities that I have to learn and grow. I am so excited about the opportunities that have been afforded to Bryce, Emily, and me.

   The Summer II session is in full swing, but thankfully the ASPSA staff isn’t too overwhelmed. I feel like this time period of the intern transition is a perfect time to learn the ropes without experiencing the ‘controlled chaos’ that entails this profession. So far we have really just been trying to meet all of our student athletes as well as get to know their course schedules and grade updates.

   Bryce and I are working with football as our primary responsibility. Throughout the week we are alternating days for checking in with the freshmen and upperclassmen which is a good way to meet all of the guys (and break up the workload) without having to find them all at their assigned times. Emily is working with men’s basketball. While I can’t speak for her responsibilities, I know she is certainly busy! We haven’t been assigned our secondary responsibilities as of yet. You will more than likely read about that in our August blog posting.

     I am very excited about this journey that my intern class is about to embark on. Learning to navigate ASPSA, NC State and Raleigh feels slightly intimidating at first. However, I could not be more fortunate to be surrounded by such friendly and knowledgeable people to help ease this transition.  One of the things that I am most excited about is the opportunity to get out of my comfort zone. I feel that NC State is the best place for me to do so while I prepare and train to be the best that I can be both personally and professionally.  Transitioning into the role of an intern will be a rollercoaster of emotions for each of us throughout this next year. I have been really looking to find a statement that I plan to use as motivation and a reminder of why I love what I do through my new experience as an intern.   I’ll leave you with this:

“That which we persist in doing becomes easier, not that the nature of the task has changed, but our ability to do so has increased.”

                Ralph Waldo Emerson

    I hope that you as a reader will enjoy our yearlong transition from “newbies” to professionals! Thanks for sticking around!

Until next time,

 Dixie

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                                     Emily, Bryce, and myself

It’s not goodbye, it’s see you later!

Dear ASPSA Intern Supporters:

We would like to thank you for following our journey this year as the 2012-2013 ASPSA Intern class.  Our experiences at NC State have truly prepared us for the next steps in our professional lives.  Although we won’t be in the same places next year, the bond that has been established between us three can never be broken!  We were able to leave a positive mark on the internship program, and a piece of us will always be with ASPSA.  This is by no means a goodbye, but rather a see you later.  We can’t wait to reunite with other ASPSA Intern alums to reminisce about all of our favorite moments at Case University.  

With that being said,  we would like to formally introduce the 2013-2014 ASPSA Intern class:

Emily DeRatt

Bryce Nogle

Dixie Wingler

They will continue to do great things to uphold the ASPSA Internship’s reputation, and we look forward to reading about their experiences in the upcoming school year!  

Best Regards,

AJ, Jack and Shannon!!!

Curtain Closed: Wrapping Up the Drive-In

Hello again ASPSA Intern Blog followers,

It has been a while since our last blog post.  Our intern class just wrapped up hosting the Drive-In Conference on Friday, April 26th.  The event drew more than 125 attendees – the largest crowd in the twelve-year history of the conference.  We had academic advisors from area high schools, community colleges, and four-year institutions as well as representatives from EIGHT ACC institutions (Clemson, Duke, Maryland, NC State, Wake Forest, UNC, Virginia, and Virginia Tech)!  Finally, we had tremendous support from our campus community, as more than 40 advisors from NC State participated in the event.

While the conference was challenging to plan (and about 7 months in the making) it turned out to be a success.  Shannon’s idea for the theme –“Lights, Camera, Action: The Spotlight is on Academic Support” – was spot on.  Her program design was awesome and her organization of RSVPs was incredible.  AJ secured enough food donations and low-cost items to feed a small army.  He executed the pick-up, transportation, and set-up of the food perfectly.  This left me with the simple job of enlisting and communicating with presenters.  As it turned out, our presenters were so exceptional and so willing to participate that my job was by far the easiest.  Special thanks to all of our presenters, moderators, and panelists:

Shamaree Brown, Atlantic Coast Conference

Carrie Leger and Katie Sheridan, NC State University

Joe Rehder, University of Virginia

Sam Plonk and Matt Lombardi, Clemson University

Anthony Bennett, North Carolina Central University

Cayce Crenshaw, Elon University

Lisa Hibbs, University of North Carolina at Charlotte

Bruce Matthews, University of Richmond

Ted White, University of Georgia

Katie Ethridge, University of South Carolina

Angel Bowers, NC State University

I would also like to acknowledge the former ASPSA Interns who were in attendance: Carrie Drake, Tory Casas, Katie Ethridge, Grey Beatty, Seth Youngblood, Lolly Hemphill, Joe Rehder, Audrey Piotrowski and Rachel Roney. Amazingly, we had one member from every intern class except one since the inception of the program.  The picture below includes current and former ASPSA Interns (we are holding up the number of our intern class).

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I hope everyone is closing out a great semester!

Until next time,

Jack

LIGHTS, CAMERA, ACTION!

We are off to great start for the Spring 2013 Semester! I seriously cannot believe it is 2013, it seemed like yesterday, Muriel was giving us our temporary parking permits. The past seven months has flown by! A lot has happened since our last post, Final Exams, mid-year evaluations, two coaching changes, two eligibility reviews, New Student-Athlete Orientation and the execution of the planning process for the 12th Annual ASPSA Drive-In Conference! We are about 8 weeks into the semester ((ASPSA is in the groove)) giving the intern class, time to really focus on Conference logistics.

We want this Conference to be the best! This is our opportunity to shine and this conference is a direct reflection of our work here at ASPSA. It is also a great opportunity to network for future jobs. In efforts to make this event the best, we sought advice from Audrey Piotrowski, a former Intern. She advised us to pick a theme, set a weekly meeting maker, and designate roles:

Set a Theme: It sounds easy peezy, lemon squeezy. Not so much. Good thing we work for a staff with lots of creativity! The theme for the 2013 ASPSA Drive-In Conference is…….”Lights, Camera, Action! The Spotlight is On Academic Support,” in reference to the myriad of academic scandals appearing in the media.  Our vision for the conference is to include presentations that outline best practices from a different array of Institutions.  Sneak Preview: members of the UVA, UGA, USC, Elon, U of R, NCSU, UNCC Academic Support Staff are confirmed presenting guests.

Here is the Game Plan-

Weekly Meeting: Every Thursday from 3:00-4:00. 1 hour a week, set aside, just to brainstorm and communicate the planning process.

Designated Roles:

-AJ is in charge of Conference logistics. Tasks like reserving the location, attainment of donations for breakfast, lunch and the social, programs, etc.

-Jack is in charge of communication with prospective and confirmed panel members and presenters.

- I am in charge of invitations. This task entails gathering contact information from institutions in driving distance/or otherwise interested in the Conference, then sending out an informative email, save-the-date, invitation, and a reminder.

**The purpose of the designated roles is to hold each of us accountable, stay organized, and get us out of our comfort zone. AJ has never been in charge of logistics, Jack works with basketball, only a 2-man academic operating squad, and one of my biggest areas of improvement is paying attention to detail. These roles give all the opportunity to grow as a professional.

 

Although planning this big event is exciting, we need to remember our primary role here at ASPSA: Assistant Academic Coordinator. Getting grades from students, participating in staffings and meetings, accumulating reports from study hall, registration, etc…But like always, us interns like to stay busy!  

 

So, save the date for April 26, 2013: Lights, Camera, Action! The Spotlight is on Academic Support.  ASPSA’s 12th Annual Drive in Conference.

 

Rainbows and Butterflies,

 

Shannon