Mentor Program Launched for New Member Institutions

NAIA Mentor Program

Mentor Program Launched for New Member Institutions

As part of the NAIA’s recent Mind, Body, Character initiative, a number of student-athlete development programs are being modernized. 

One key to success in these efforts is engaging, empowering, and supporting the Champions of Character Liaison (CCL) at each member institution.

As such, a mentor program for CCLs is being launched this spring. The CCLs at the five new NAIA member institutions will be paired with a high-achieving CCL from a peer institution within their respective conference.

This inaugural class of mentors and mentees will work with each other and with the student-athlete development staff at the national office to create a template of expectations for future classes of mentors and mentees.

“It takes an entire community of like-minded advocates to effectively program for today’s collegiate student-athletes,” said Dr. Robert Greim, NAIA Director of Student-Athlete Development Programs. “This program allows five outstanding campus professionals to welcome their colleagues from our five newest member institutions and guide them through the Champions of Character program. It is encouraging that the athletics director at each of the participating institutions was enthusiastically supportive of this initiative, as well.”

“The first year of membership can be overwhelming,” said Julie McCollum, NAIA Director of Membership Sales and Services. “Providing our new CCLs with a mentor makes for a smoother, less-stressful onboarding experience, which ultimately benefits the student-athletes.”

“I am excited to be part of an initiative that allows us to increase our ability as liaisons to relate to and engage student-athletes in key areas of their lives,” said mentor Alyssa Ramos from the University of Saint Katherine. “Advancing the NAIA's core values through practical action on our campuses every day is one of the many components that makes the NAIA special." 

Ramos will serve as mentor to Karin Gadberry of Park University Gilbert (Ariz.), who added, “I am thrilled to be part of a program that helps the transition in NAIA and learn more about all the possibilities for our students and staff on campus.”

Fellow mentee James Larson from Westcliff University (Calif.) is also honored to be part of the program.

“The opportunity to learn from great people dedicated to bringing out the best in student-athletes and preparing them to succeed in life after college is a blessing,” said Larson. “Thank you to the NAIA and member schools for this opportunity.”