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FAM program now in fifth year at SFU

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FAMs have been helping student-athletes at Saint Francis since the 2014 Fall Semester.

A Faculty Athletics Mentor – or FAM – is a faculty member who a student-athlete can go to if he or she has any academic questions or needs some motivation. FAMs also attend games, send inspirational emails, make Christmas cards for alumni, and organize service events for their teams.

Each spirit group and varsity sports team is assigned one FAM, with some teams assigned more than one.

“This program has increased progress reports, communication between professors and student-athletes, and the warning of a student being at academic risk,” said Associate Director of Student-Athlete Development Jaime Lipski, who oversees the initiative.

FAMs are meant to bridge gaps between athletics and academics. Forming mentoring relationships with faculty members has helped student-athletes stay on track with grades and academic performance.

“I think it is a positive avenue to get to know students outside of the classroom,” said Loretta Johnson, FAM of the cheerleading team.

The idea for the program came from former SFU Associate Director of Student-Athlete Development Dasha Cherkosav.

“This program is a way for faculty to understand the student-athlete perspective better,” said Lipski. “We hope that one positive relationship will encourage more.”

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