Dr. Jennifer Cooper chosen for 2021 NCAA Division III New FAR Orientation

Dr. Jennifer Cooper, Ph.D., has been selected to attend the 2021 NCAA Division III faculty athletics representative (FAR) Orientation on February 18-20, 2021.

Division III is a leader in supporting the role of the FAR in governance, strategic planning, establishing academic standards, and, most importantly, advocating for student-athletes. Because faculty athletics representatives are such a vital link in any Division III institution’s strategic communications chain, FARs can help explain in a positive manner the complex relationship between intercollegiate athletics and higher education.

The event will be held virtually this year due to concerns about COVID-19.

Dr. Cooper is an assistant professor of nursing at Hood College. She started at Hood in 2016 after earning her doctorate of nursing practice from The George Washington University. She was awarded the Nursing Distinguished Alumni Award from The George Washington University in 2020 and the Maryland Higher Education Commission Academic Nurse Educator Certification Award in 2019. Cooper earned her Master of Science in Nursing in 2011 from Rush. Her education began at Cedarville University, where she earned her bachelor's degree in nursing in 1995.

"While I have always appreciated collegiate sports, I now have been provided with a unique perspective in my new role as FAR at Hood College," said Dr. Cooper. "As a nurse, I know that sports promote physical and mental health. Coaches and athletic staff are part of the team that supports students in their overall college experience. I look forward to this orientation to prepare me to support this valuable connection between sports and academics!"

An FAR is a member of the faculty at an NCAA institution that has been designated to serve as a liaison between the institution and the athletic department and represent the institution at NCAA conferences. Each institution determines the exact role of their FAR but a common responsibility is ensuring the institution maintains the appropriate balance between academics and intercollegiate athletics.

"Dr. Cooper's understanding of the rigorous challenges our student-athletes face, combined with her empathy and belief that athletics are instrumental in the overall educational process, leads me to believe that she is an excellent fit for this FAR role," said Dr. Susan Kolb, Hood's director of athletics. "Gaining this experience for Dr. Cooper to meet other FARs and work with representatives from the NCAA will not only benefit her, but our academic mission for Blazer athletics."

The New FAR Orientation program is offered in response to the NCAA Division III FAR Engagement Working Group's recommendation to implement a seamless education model to orient new FARs and support them through their tenure in the position. It includes pre-work activities, which have been designed to maximize the time at the orientation and the overall impact of the program. The program is offered to implement a seamless education model to orient new FARs and support them through their tenure in the position. The orientation will take place for two consecutive years (2020, 2021 etc.) and then alternate with a year of the FAR Fellows Leadership Institute (2022, 2025, etc.).

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