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Academic Devleopment of Student-Athletes (ADSA) Student Academic Engagement & Success

Mustang Champions Announced for March 2024

SMU Athletics and the Academic Development of Student-Athletes (ADSA) have selected four Mustang Champions for the month of March! Let’s meet the four SMU Mustangs that are reaching for new heights personally and academically during this semester:

Leif Bouwman (Men’s Swim & Dive)

  • Leif isn’t just keeping his head above water in the pool – he’s also conquering the demanding world of Mechanical Engineering (Premedical/Biomedical Specialization). Despite the challenging coursework, Leif boasts a near-perfect 3.981 GPA this Spring and exemplifies dedication and perseverance.

Raelyn Roberson (Track & Field/ Cross Country)

  • Raelyn isn’t just double-majoring in Applied Physiology and Health Management (APHM) and Biological Sciences – as a senior, she’s mastered the art of being a student-athlete. Driven, resilient, and a true leader on and off the track, Raelyn embodies what it means to excel in academics and athletics. As president of the Student-Athlete Advisory Council (SAAC), she’s a champion for her fellow athletes, using her voice to make a positive impact across the entire campus. Want to learn more about the amazing work SAAC does? Check them out here! SMU SAAC

Kobe Wilson – (Football)

  • Kobe Wilson isn’t just a standout on the field – he’s a champion for his fellow student-athletes and the Dallas community. Over the past few months, Kobe has become an active member for the Black Student-Athlete Advisory Council (BSAAC). He’s not just attending meetings, he’s actively spreading the word about BSAAC’s mission and inspiring others to join.  He’s a dedicated volunteer, actively participating in DEIB (Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging) events and making a positive difference in Dallas. Kobe is also taking full advantage of the Life After Ball (LAB) program, networking with professionals and applying for internships. Talk about a World Shaper in action!

Jenna Watson – (Women’s Swim & Dive)

  • This semester, Jenna Watson has immersed herself in the SMU Community head first! Not only did she jump in to help lead the March SAAC meeting when Raelyn was away, but she also spearheaded the preparation for the crucial SAAC/Strategy Meeting on March 25th. Jenna shouldered a huge chunk of the project, making sure all the presentation materials were polished and ready to go by deadline. This Mustang Champion clearly isn’t afraid to take charge and make a difference!

Come back next month for another update of Mustang Champions of the Month!

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Academic Devleopment of Student-Athletes (ADSA) Student Academic Engagement & Success

Highlighting our February Mustang Champions

Our second round of Mustang Champions has been announced for the Spring semester! Mustang Champions are nominated each month, by ADSA and athletics staff, for recognizing athletes that are working to perform at their highest level! Whether by improving their academic or athletic performance, embodying the S.P.I.R.I.T of SMU athletics, or student-athlete success initiatives.

Sarah Kelly (Women’s Rowing) exemplifies dedication and perseverance. Despite facing challenges, Sarah has remained focused throughout the spring semester, demonstrating an unwavering commitment to success in her academics. Her hard work is evident in her strong academic performance and grades.

Ja’Heim Hudson (Men’s Basketball) embodies a well-rounded student-athlete. Ja’Heim dedicates extra time to academics, attending study hall and diligently completing work with his counselor, even while traveling for games. His commitment shines not only in the classroom but also on the court.

Bryce McMorris (Football) has emerged as a true leader. Bryce actively participates in both the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) and the Black Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (BSAAC). He collaborated to establish a student-athlete STEM group-fostering academic engagement in science, technology, engineering, and math. Furthermore, Bryce advocates for fellow athletes by discussing student-athlete employment opportunities and their potential benefits and drawbacks. His consistent leadership extends to bi-monthly senior staff meetings, where he represents SAAC effectively.

Layla Garcia-Moreno (Women’s Soccer) exemplifies a strong work ethic. Despite only speaking English for two years, Layla actively participates in all Life After Ball (LAB) resources this semester. She is diligently working on her resume in pursuit of an internship, demonstrating a proactive approach to her future and excellent use of her resources.

Congratulations once again to Sarah, Ja’Heim, Bryce, and Layla for being recognized as our February Mustang Champions! These student-athletes are just a few examples of the many Mustangs who are excelling both on and off the field. Remember, there’s always someone to cheer for at SMU!

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Student Academic Engagement & Success

ADSA Sends Second Academic Feedback Request for Spring 2024

The Academic Development of Student-Athletes (ADSA) program at SMU is committed to collaborating with faculty to ensure student-athlete success. To achieve this, ADSA solicits feedback from instructors twice per semester. 

  • This feedback aligns with critical academic milestones, including Early Progress Reports (EPRs), Mid-Term Progress Reports (MPRs), and the final withdrawal deadline with a “W” grade. 
  • Faculty who have current student-athletes enrolled in their courses will receive these feedback requests directly from ADSA@smu.edu. 
  • Current progress report will close on April 22nd 

Through this collaborative process, ADSA aims to provide early intervention and support for student-athletes facing academic challenges. 

ADSA is an academic unit that reports through Associate Provost Dr. Sheri Kunovich. As such, you may also receive direct communication from the sport-specific ADSA counselors as they collaborate with you to determine support for this population related to your specific feedback.    

Below is an example of what the progress reports will look like when sent: 

PR1 Thank you to our dedicated faculty for your continued partnership in supporting student-athlete success. Through this collaborative process, ADSA aims to provide early intervention and support for student-athletes facing academic challenges. 

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Academic Devleopment of Student-Athletes (ADSA) Student Academic Engagement & Success

47 SMU Student-Athletes Make Honor Roll in Fall 2023 Semester

We are honored to highlight our Fall 2023 student-athletes that have shown their dedication and hard-work in the classroom. In total, 47 student-athletes made one of three categories of the honor roll: Honor Roll, Honor Roll- Distinction, and Honor Roll-High Distinction. 

11 Student-athletes made the Honor Roll in the Fall 2023 semester. To achieve this honor at SMU, the student needs to be in the top 15% of the school record. 

Name (Last, First) Sport Distinction 
Righellis, Ned Football Honor Roll, Honor
Chou, Megan Women’s Golf Honor Roll, Honor
Taylor, Alex Rowing Honor Roll, Honor
Berkovitz, Niv Men’s Soccer Honor Roll, Honor
Rudden, Mackenzie Women’s Soccer Honor Roll, Honor
Corbeau, Angus Men’s Swimming Honor Roll, Honor
Culver, John Men’s Swimming Honor Roll, Honor
Dickinson, Isabella Women’s Swimming Honor Roll, Honor
Parkinson, Maxine Women’s Swimming Honor Roll, Honor
Priest, Lauren Women’s Swimming Honor Roll, Honor
McPhaul, Camryn Track & Field, Cross Country Honor Roll, Honor

21 Student-Athletes made the Honor Roll with Distinction. To achieve this status, the student-athlete needs to be in the top 10% of the school record.

Name (Last, First) Sport Distinction 
Doles, Evie Equestrian Honor Roll- Distinction
Douglas, Grayson Equestrian Honor Roll- Distinction
Iwasaki, Augusta Equestrian Honor Roll- Distinction
Holleron, Case Football Honor Roll- Distinction
Vivier, Nicole Women’s Golf Honor Roll- Distinction
Fina, Anna Rowing Honor Roll- Distinction
Kercher, Saylor Rowing Honor Roll- Distinction
Knudson, Grace Rowing Honor Roll- Distinction
Lewis, Ellie Rowing Honor Roll- Distinction
New, Annabelle Rowing Honor Roll- Distinction
Schwenn, Haley Rowing Honor Roll- Distinction
Guerra Echeverria, Marcelo Men’s Soccer Honor Roll- Distinction
Halscheid, Hayden Women’s Soccer Honor Roll- Distinction
Yumul, Maura Women’s Soccer Honor Roll- Distinction
Bouwman, Leif Men’s Swimming Honor Roll- Distinction
Fields, Wyatt Men’s Swimming Honor Roll- Distinction
Forrest, Jack Men’s Swimming Honor Roll- Distinction
Ruan, Tiffanie Women’s Swimming Honor Roll- Distinction
Grammas, Ellie Track & Field, Cross Country Honor Roll- Distinction
Tissier, Flora Track & Field, Cross Country Honor Roll- Distinction
Lamirand, Jentry Volleyball Honor Roll- Distinction

The third and final category is Honor Roll with High Distinction; which means that the student-athlete’s listed below are in the 5% of the school record.

Name (Last, First) Sport Distinction 
Young, Jackson Men’s Basketball Honor Roll, High Distinction
Hoch, Hannah Equestrian Honor Roll, High Distinction
Fiser, Charlie Equestrian Honor Roll, High Distinction
Schumacher, Markus Football Honor Roll, High Distinction
Stuelpe, Sydney Football Honor Roll, High Distinction
Annen, Peyton Rowing Honor Roll, High Distinction
Burr, Isabella Women’s Soccer Honor Roll, High Distinction
Dermott, Abigail Women’s Soccer Honor Roll, High Distinction
Binder, Benjamin Men’s Swimming Honor Roll, High Distinction
DeJean, William Men’s Swimming Honor Roll, High Distinction
Olsen, Mia Track & Field, Cross Country Honor Roll, High Distinction
McGinley, Caroline Women’s Tennis Honor Roll, High Distinction
Cullen, Celia Volleyball Honor Roll, High Distinction
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Academic Devleopment of Student-Athletes (ADSA) Student Academic Engagement & Success

January Mustang Champions Announced

Champions of the month is a new initiative by SMU Athletics to recognize the achievements of various SMU student-athletes. Every month, 2 female and 2 male student- athletes will be nominated and selected for their embodiment of excellence in one or more of the following areas: Academic Achievement, Athletic Success, and Student-Athletes Success Initiatives. The goal of this is to honor and recognize the effort of our student-athletes to achieve their personal best in these areas; on and off the competition field. For the month of January, the four athletes selected are: Key’Shawn Smith, Chantae Embry, Martin Dominguez, and Gabby Ayiteyflo!

 Key’Shawn Smith (Football):
Key transferred to SMU in the Spring of 2023 and he has consistently worked hard athletically and academically. Over the last year, Key has made huge strides both on and off the field and his positive outlook impacts all those around him. Key took a January term class that took up his entire winter break; during this time, he stayed on task, communicated when he needed support, and took pride in getting a grade reflective of his hard work and dedication.

Chantae Embry (Women’s Basketball):
Chantae has been a steady presence at Black Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (BSAAC) and has even gotten involved in some SAAC meetings/opportunities as well. She has gone out of her way to seek out community engagement and career development opportunities; as well as sharing/motivating her teammates to attend and get involved too!

Martin Dominguez (Men’s Soccer):
Martin is someone who from day one has been a welcoming and warm personality. He takes the time to support other teammates, classmates, and even staff. He has been training relentlessly to prepare for the Goalkeeper competition that will be underway this season. He was a part of the Unity Video Campaign and has continuously searched for a way he could give back, especially to the South Dallas Community he came from. Lastly, he has been doing all of this while balancing school and work; all while having a smile on his face!

Gabriella Ayiteyflo (Track & Field) :
Gabby transferred to SMU in the Fall 2023 semester as a junior. She has persevered during her time as a Mustang, during this difficult transition. Gabby has demonstrated dedication all with a positive attitude, even when things don’t go her way. She has been able to find her stride this semester, and works extremely hard in both her academic and athletic commitments!

PONY UP!

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Academic Center for Excellence Academic Devleopment of Student-Athletes (ADSA) Altshuler Learning Enhancement Center Disability Accommodations & Success Strategies Student Academic Engagement & Success Student Academic Success Programs

ADSA & SASP Hosting a Staff & Faculty Breakfast on January 11th

Student Academic Engagement and Success (SAES) is hosting two upcoming tours of the Academic Development of Student-Athletes (ADSA) and Student Academic Success Programs (SASP).  Tours will take place at 9 AM and 9:30 AM at the ADSA & SASP offices located in Loyd All-Sports Center. ADSA is located on the 3rd floor, in suite 316. SASP is located on the second floor, in suite 201.  This opportunity is an invitation to all SMU faculty and staff to tour our academic centers and learn more about the support services offered to students! Breakfast and drinks will be available.

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Academic Devleopment of Student-Athletes (ADSA) Student Academic Engagement & Success

Ariana Contreras Uses Heritage To Connect With Hispanic Student-Athletes

 

By: Jordan Mitchell, originally on SMUMustangs.com (October 26)

DALLAS (SMU) – Getting hired on as a senior academic counselor in SMU Athletics’ Academic Development of Student-Athletes (ADSA) office was a full-circle moment for Ariana Contreras.

When she was taking a sports law class during her undergraduate career at New Mexico State in 2015, Contreras was struggling to find a topic for a required paper. Eventually, her brother, Alan, suggested she watch the ESPN 30For30 documentary “Pony Excess.” After watching, Contreras decided to write about SMU and completed what she believes was one of the best papers of her undergraduate career.

Fast forward to November 2022. After earning her master’s in sports management from Eastern Michigan University and spending 18 months as an Assistant Director of Men’s and Women’s Track and Field and Cross Country at the University of Houston, Contreras found a job opening for a football academic counselor at SMU.

During an interview with associate head football coach Rob Likens, she told him about the “brilliant” paper that she had written about SMU as an undergrad and about how she almost came to the Hilltop for graduate school. He laughed.

“I think at this point, I’m manifesting (things) into reality!” Contreras said.

While manifestation is all well and good, Contreras excelled in her career through hard work and a passion for students. A first-generation college student and American from La Quinta, California, she had to wondered on and off different career paths before finding her love of academic counseling in athletics. A love that has only grown stronger since moving to Dallas.

Working with football, men’s soccer and women’s basketball gives Contreras a unique opportunity to build genuine relationships with a diverse group of student-athletes. When working with some men’s soccer student-athletes, she is able to practice her Spanish, her first language, so that she can communicate better with her father back home in California.

While speaking Spanish with Spanish-speaking students isn’t a job requirement, it allows Contreras to create a comfortable environment that feels like home for Hispanic students. Those students regularly praise her for making them feel connected to their heritage when away from home.

Women’s soccer midfielder Layla Garcia-Moreno had immense appreciation for Contreras when she stepped out of her office and called her “mija,” an endearing Spanish contraction translating to “my daughter” in English, and asked how she was doing.

“(Garcia-Moreno) was super excited,” Contreras said. “She was like, ‘You just made me feel like I was back home.’ That made my day.”

Her Spanish not only benefits other Spanish-speaking students, but those taking Spanish classes as well. SMU football offensive lineman Keaton Schultz approached her last Wednesday to talk about his upcoming advising appointment, but did so fully in Spanish. When he stumbled on a word, Contreras let him rummage through his thoughts to recall vocabulary, just as she must do when remembering obscure vocabulary when talking with her dad. But unlike her dad, who tells her to ask her mom for the word and will joke about her losing her grip on the language, she let him fumble until Schultz got it.

“It made me so happy!” Contreras said. “For the guys that are taking Spanish, once I know who they are, I start speaking to them in Spanish. And (Schultz) never used English! We had a full-on discussion.”

While working as an academic counselor allows for Contreras to play to her strengths and use her big personality to build relationships with student-athletes and help them grow holistically as people, she loves that she can be a role model for Hispanics and other minorities wanting to work in collegiate athletics. There aren’t many Hispanic women in those type of senior athletic staff roles, and Contreras believes that if she can be the first in her family to get her master’s and climb the ladder, others can too.

“I’m in this profession because I think it’s important that women of color, especially Hispanic women, be in leadership roles,” Contreras said. “I would love to eventually be a Director of Football Academics, Senior Woman Administrator and Deputy AD one day. I want student-athletes who look like me to have someone they can look up to and (say), ‘If she got there, I can too!'”

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Academic Devleopment of Student-Athletes (ADSA)

Save the date: SMU is hosting the American Athletic Conference Academic Consortium

Mark your calendars and prepare for an enriching event that promises to bring together the brightest minds in our field!

SMU is hosting the annual American Athletic Conference (AAC) Academic Consortium Symposium. Here are a few reasons why you won’t want to miss it.

Save the Date Details:

  • Dates: April 12- 14, 2024
  • Location: Southern Methodist University (Dallas, TX)

The AAC Academic Symposium is more than just another conference. The core focus of the event is to discuss programming related to student well-being. These programs will create a structure, process, and programming that fosters partnerships among member institutions and develops initiatives that advance the academic mission of each school. Find additional information about the Consortium on the AAC Site: Academic Consortium (theamerican.org)

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Academic Devleopment of Student-Athletes (ADSA) Student Academic Engagement & Success

ADSA welcomes two new literacy specialists

The Academic Development of Student-Athletes (ADSA) is happy to add two new Learning Specialists to their academic support team! Welcome Julie Rinker and Kelly Franklin! 

Julie Rinker (Literacy Specialist) 

Julie is back on the Hilltop after she graduated from SMU with her Master’s in Education in 2018. She brings with her an extensive background in providing structured literacy interventions for students with dyslexia and infuses motivation along with mechanics for reading. She previously worked as a K-12 public school educator and enjoyed sharing her passion with others by helping certify other dyslexia practitioners. She is a human rights educator and enjoys inserting these topics into her lessons to create thought-provoking conversations among her students. 

Kelly Franklin (Literacy Specialist) 

Say hello to Kelly Franklin, our newest Literacy Specialist! She comes to the Hilltop from her previous role as an adjunct English instructor at TCU and other institutions. She is currently pursuing her Doctoral degree in English Rhetoric and Composition at TCU and brings over 20 years of teaching experience at the K-12 and university levels. Her work with underrepresented and marginalized communities remains a  through-line in her career and the ADSA welcomes her expertise to their intervention program! 

Our Intervention program is now fully staffed with the addition of Julie and Kelly, and the ADSA staff is ready to provide academic support to our 500 student-athletes for the upcoming academic year! 

Welcome to the Hilltop, Julie & Kelly! 

 

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Academic Devleopment of Student-Athletes (ADSA)

Introducing Keyana Smith as the new ADSA associate director

As we gear up for the upcoming 2023-2024 academic year, Academic Development of Student-Athletes is thrilled to welcome Keyana Smith, as our new Associate Director! 

Smith comes to us with a wealth of experience and a passion for serving student-athletes. Her impressive background and commitment to student-athletes success on and off the field, align seamlessly with our office’s values and aspirations. With the addition of Keyana, we are poised to elevate our academic support and enhance the student experience in new ways!  

A Glimpse into Smith’s Journey: 

Keyana joins the Hilltop from the University of Mississippi, where she was the Assistant Director of Athletics Academic Services working as the lead academic counselor of Women’s Basketball and second of Football. Her previous stops include the University of New Mexico, Utah Valley University, and the University of Texas at San Antonio. Smith is a previous student-athlete herself, playing two years at Morgan State University on their softball team. After receiving her undergraduate degree, she pursued a Master’s in Kinesiology with an emphasis in Sports Psychology and then later, achieved her Master’s in Sport Administration. She is an active member of N4A and is currently the Co-Lead on the Institutional Partnership Program.  

The ADSA is excited to have the additional leadership and insight that Keyana will bring into the 2023-2024 Academic Year!