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June 13, 2017

Dr. David L. Graham, Assistant Vice Provost & Associate Athletic Director for Student-Athlete Success, was honored with the Lan Hewlett Award on Saturday, June 10 at the annual National Association of Academic Advisors for Athletics (N4A) Conference in Orlando, Florida.

The award is named in honor of Mr. Lan Hewlett, a long-time advisor at the University of Texas, who is generally acknowledged as the first in the field to provide academic support services to student-athletes. Award recipients demonstrate achievements including: sustained professional service in academic advising for college student-athletes; a high level of competency in administrative skills; merited stature and support from student-athletes, faculty, coaches, and fellow administrators; innovative responses to the varying/emerging needs of student-athletes; effectiveness in developing junior staff; contributions to the field through publications or professional development; and leadership in university affairs.

Graham began his journey in academic support services in 1993 at Savannah State University, where he developed a passion for assisting student-athletes in becoming independent learners. From there he continued to Oxford, Ohio, where he developed his leadership style and furthered his career as Director of Student-Athlete Support Services at Miami University. Graham has been at The Ohio State University since 2006, where he leads a staff of nearly 30 in the Student Athlete Support Services Office (SASSO).

Graham’s nominators highlighted successes in transitioning the Student Athlete Support Services Office from the Department of Athletics to the Office of Academic Affairs, implementing innovative programming in the instructional support services and student-athlete development areas within SASSO, serving on several institutional committees, and his several publications including recent articles in the NACADA Journal and Diversity in Higher Education.

SASSO staff in attendance at N4A were delighted when Graham received the award, and many colleagues quoted his acceptance speech on Twitter. “There are two things that determine your success in life: how hard you work and how you treat people,” he said.

These words are parallel to what his nominators had to say. “David has been continuously working to create an innovative and inspiring place for not only the student-athletes to learn and grow, but for our entire staff.” On behalf of the SASSO team — congratulations, Dr. Graham!

A native of Adel, Georgia, David received his Bachelor of Science degrees in Mathematics and Electronics Engineering Technology from Savannah State University in 1992 while a student-athlete on the football team. He received a Master’s Degree in Sport Administration/Education from Georgia Southern University in 1998, and a Ph.D. in Higher Education Administration from Ohio University in 2011.