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K-State Today

September 21, 2020

Rubin receives N4A research award and publishes article

Submitted by Patrice Scott

Lisa Rubin, associate professor of special education, counseling and student affairs, recently received a research award from the National Association of Academic and Student-Athlete Development Professionals, or N4A, and published her findings.  

Rubin was the lead author of "Collaboration Between Athletic and Campus Advisors: Ensuring College Athletes' Success," which was published in a special edition of this fall's Journal of Issues in Intercollegiate Athletics. Her co-author was Will Lewis, lead academic advisor-intended business at the University of Georgia.  

"We interviewed 28 advisors at NCAA member institutions across the country — a mix of faculty, professional and athletic advisors — and asked how they collaborate and communicate," Rubin said. "We examined reporting lines and even where advisors' offices were located on campus and discovered both presented barriers."  

The researchers offered general suggestions for innovative practices such as serve on each other's search committees, identify liaisons between athletic advisors and major advisors, conduct a complete review of academic advising on campus and create a mentor program between units across campus.   

"What's nice about K-State is we already have an advisor forum and are ahead of many universities that are very siloed," Rubin said. "Another area where K-State is leading is in the area of title differentiation."  

She said title differentiation not only helps professionals define one another's roles but also clarifies the difference for student-athletes, who are often confused why they have two advisors: one in athletics and one in their major. K-State Athletics' academic staff are academic counselors. 

Other suggestions include having athletic advisors assist with summer orientation and registration so they interact with student populations beyond athletes.   

"We were honored to be recognized by N4A with the research award and the opportunity to present our study as a webinar in July, making our findings immediately accessible to the practitioners who support students every day," Rubin said.