The University makes changes for innovative student-athlete program

Reagan Cerney, Staff Writer

The University has always been recognized as one that provides tremendous academic and athletic opportunities for Division I athletes. Throughout the years, Bison athletes have excelled in the classroom and on the field. Currently, the Orange and Blue ranks second in the nation with student­-athlete graduation rates, second only to Stanford University. The University hopes to continue this long-standing tradition by creating a leadership program specifically for athletes who are excelling in the classroom.

Initially, the athletic department launched the Bucknell Bison Leadership Academy in 2011. The program was specifically designed to encourage student-athletes to improve their leadership skills at the University and real-world level. After careful consideration, the Athletics Department decided to change the motives for the organization by changing the name to The Bucknell Athletics Leadership Institute. The program goes beyond athletic and academic performance and strives to engage leadership opportunities and improve networking among athletes. The program realizes that in order to develop leaders beyond their innate athletic ability, it is necessary to teach proper leadership skills. Keynote speakers such as coaches and sports psychologists lead several seminars, with the hope of raising awareness of different aspects of the athletic world.

This year, the restructured program offered nearly 120 student-athletes the opportunity to develop their leadership skills with a luncheon and experiential learning session in late August. President John Bravman and Dr. Joe Thomas of The Student-Leader Seminar were among the featured speakers at this year’s session.

The goal of the program is to create student-athletes who exemplify leadership in order to create a lasting impact on their teams and the University community. Athletes and coaches will gain insight on improving relationships and increasing their involvement. Instead of being recognized solely as “student-athletes,” the program initiatives will work to institute a larger appreciation toward representatives.

If you would like more information on The Bucknell Athletics Leadership Institute, please contact associate director for athletic leadership development Lauren Cavallaro at [email protected].

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