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UVMWOMENSSOCCER  February 2004

UVMWOMENSSOCCER February 2004

Subject:

UVM Life Skills Program Continues To Expand

From:

UVM Sports Information <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

UVM Womens Soccer Mailing List <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Wed, 18 Feb 2004 13:12:16 -0500

Content-Type:

text/plain

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text/plain (84 lines)

For Immediate Release                           Contact: Rob Johnson or Gordon Woodworth
February 18, 2004                                                                           802/656-1110

UVM’s CHAMPS/Life Skills Program Continues to Expand

BURLINGTON, Vt. – Along with the recent changes in personnel and conference
affiliations, there has also been significant growth in services that are
provided to student-athletes at the University of Vermont.

Through the efforts of Life Skills Coordinator Joe Gervais and Academic
Coordinator Gary Bruening, the CHAMPS/Life Skills Program offers numerous
programs and services that help UVM student-athletes strive not just for
academic and athletic success, but total success. The core of this program is
at the newly renovated Kinsler Life Skills Center located in Patrick Gymnasium.
The center includes offices for personnel, a conference area for one-on-one
consultation, tables for group work, and 10 computer workstations linked to the
UVM network.

To continue the tradition of academic excellence that the UVM Athletics has been
known for, there are five major programs and services that are provided. Upon
arriving at the university, student-athletes have an orientation where they are
introduced to Life Skills and other department staff members, explained the
different services provided through the department, and made aware of other
services provided on campus. They also participate in activities to help build
a greater sense of community between student-athletes throughout the
department.

To reinforce the basis of the orientation is a one-credit course entitled “Life
Skills for Student-Athletes” which involves approximately 125 incoming
student-athletes. The course is offered four times in the fall and twice in the
spring. Subject matter includes time management, learning strategies,
nutrition, sport psychology, hazing, alcohol education and moral reasoning, all
in an effort to assist student-athletes in the transition to Division I
athletics.

There are also academic support services available to each individual
student-athlete. Bruening acts as the athletic department’s link to the
Learning Cooperative, ACCESS (Accommodation, Consultation, Collaboration &
Education Support Services), and the university’s assortment of colleges. The
Learning Cooperative offers individualized learning skills and subject-area
tutoring, writing assistance for papers in any discipline, and facilitated
group study in many large lecture courses.

Another service that is provided is called Captain’s Leadership Training, which
includes all of the varsity team captains and further emphasizes their roles as
leaders. Along with the Life Skills staff, a local sports psychology
consultant, Sheila Stawinski, coordinates leadership training through
presentations. Topics covered include team dynamics, communication between
athletes as well as between athletes and coaches, conflict resolution, and
awareness of mental health issues. The team captains then have the
responsibility of sharing all of the information and knowledge that they gained
with their teammates.

The CHAMPS/Life Skills program also allows student-athletes an opportunity to
voice their opinions on athletic department issues, including the development
of policy by means of the Student-Athlete Advisory Council (SAAC). Gervais is
the advisor to the council made up of representatives form each varsity team,
and this year it includes student-athletes like Jamie Kingsbury (skiing), Ben
Driver (hockey), Katie McNamara (women’s basketball), and David Hehn (men’s
basketball).

A new component for the Spring 2004 semester is the SAAC’s Life Skills
Competition. This provides incentives to individuals and teams to earn points
by attending other teams’ events, performing community service, attending
campus educational or cultural events, academic achievement, and commitment to
training and conditioning.

The Life Skills staff has a variety of new ideas that they want to explore as
the program advances under the guidance of Dr. Robert Corran, director of
athletics. Plans include expanding academic support services, developing a
comprehensive student development program utilizing on- and off-campus
resources, increasing outreach efforts in the community, and building a
stronger relationship with the faculty.

Consistent with changes in other areas of the athletic department, the Life
Skills program is also changing to better serve student-athletes at the
University of Vermont, and to make their academic and athletic experiences rich
and rewarding.

 “We’re just on the ground floor of where we can move to,” Bruening said.

For more information on UVM athletics, please check us out on the web at
http://www.uvmathletics.com.

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