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2012-13 Student-Athlete Handbook (PDF)
Academic Support
Career Development
Personal Development
Community Service


Student-athletes face a unique set of challenges and circumstances as they participate in Division I intercollegiate athletics. In addition to the enormous investment of time and energy, each student-athlete must adhere to strict NCAA guidelines regarding academic eligibility while balancing their athletic and academic pursuits. The Division of Academic Support Services, in collaboration with the Department of Athletics, has developed a comprehensive support and resource program to help maintain this balance. The Student Development for Athletes program provides a wide range of services from the recruiting stage through graduation. In 2008, the Student Development for Athletes program was recognized by the National Academic Advising Association (NACADA) as an exemplary practice for its holistic approach to meeting the needs of the student-athlete population.

The Student-Athlete Center for Excellence opened in August 2007. Located in Carnesecca Arena the newly renovated area serves as the new home for the Student Development for Athletes program. The new space, which is convenient and easily accessible for student-athletes, boasts a 54 seat study center, four private tutoring rooms, meeting space for leadership groups and special events and an area to facilitate small study groups and review sessions. The center is open from 9am-10pm to accommodate the needs of the student-athletes and their demanding academic and athletic schedules. The center also houses all services related to academic support, leadership development, sport psychology, nutrition, counseling services and the Campus Minister for Athletics.

The mission of the Student Development for Athletes program is to assist student-athletes in realizing their educational and athletic potential. Utilizing the Developmental Advising Model, each student-athlete will be expected to achieve his/her highest level of educational capability. Through the provision of a range of services, each student-athlete will receive the necessary support to be successful life-long learners, capable of success inside and outside of the classroom. Our student-athletes will be well-equipped to use their academic experience and appreciation of Vincentian character and values in their post-collegiate, professional, and personal endeavors.

The program focuses on five key areas: Academic Support, Career Development, Personal Development, Leadership, and Community Service.

The Academic Support program assigns each varsity team an Athletic Academic Advisor. This advisor serves as a key contact for student-athletes seeking academic assistance, and helps the student-athletes navigate the academic community. The advisor works closely with their assigned students to monitor their academic progress throughout their four years.

The Career Development Program provides personalized assistance to student-athletes throughout their four years at St. John's University. Our student-athletes gain the skills necessary to make appropriate career decisions from freshman year through graduation by attending workshops and one-on-one meetings with a Career Counselor.

Numerous leadership opportunities exist for student-athletes at St. John's, ranging from team and campus positions to national leadership involvement. Student Development for Athletes works with each team to help develop programs to enhance leadership development, including the selection and training of Student-Athlete Orientation Leaders, SD101 Peer Educators, and Community Service Coordinators.

The personal development commitment builds a foundation for a well-balanced lifestyle for student-athletes by encouraging emotional well-being, personal growth and effective decision-making skills.

It is important that student-athletes at St. John's University develop an understanding and appreciation for the Vincentian mission of this institution. Each member of the Student Development for Athletes team encourages student-athletes to put their knowledge of the Vincentian mission into action through community service activities. Each team is provided with opportunities to perform community service throughout the year as a group or on an individual basis.

Dr. Nancy S. Kaplan, Associate Vice President, Student Development for Athletes: x1672
Eric Rienecker, Director, Academic Support for Student-Athletes: x5687
Frauke Dittel, Director, Leadership Development and Special Events: x6779
Mark Armiento, Sports Psychology & Counseling Consultant: x6899
Ray Howell, Associate Director, Academic Support for Student-Athletes: x1459
Vicki Laemmel, Assistant Director, Academic Support for Student-Athletes: x5546
Nik Berisha, Assistant Director, Academic Support for Student-Athletes: x6736
JoAnne Zissel, Administrative Assistant, Student Development for Athletes: x2643
Rev. Richard Rock, Campus Minister for Athletics: x2534
Cheresa Fewell, Career Center: x6031
Megan Klement, Graduate Assistant
Frank Peluso, Graduate Assistant
Mariana Barrios, Graduate Assistant
Jonathan Ochoa, Graduate Assistant