Davison Awarded NCAA Division II Faculty Mentorship Award

January 28, 2021

By Stephanie Rizzo ’09

Political science professor and faculty athletics representative Joan Davison received the prestigious 2020 Faculty Mentor Award to honor her support of students on and off the field.

Political science professor Joan Davison facilitates a simulation of the U.S. National Security Council during her Globalization RCC course.
Political science professor Joan Davison facilitates a simulation of the U.S. National Security Council during her Globalization RCC course.Photo by Luke Woodling ’17MBA.

Political science professor Joan Davison, who serves as Rollins’ faculty athletics representative and the president of the NCAA’s national Faculty Athletics Representative Association, was recently awarded the 2020 Dr. Dave Pariser Faculty Mentor Award by the NCAA Division II Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC).

This award, named in honor of physical therapy professor Dave Pariser of Bellarmine University, honors faculty members at Division II institutions for their dedicated support and mentorship of student-athletes. Davison was nominated by Rollins’ head women’s golf coach Julie Garner and women’s volleyball coach Mika Robinson. In making the nomination, Garner and Robinson acknowledged Davison’s dedication to mentoring student-athletes in academics as well as her ability to aid in the transition into life after college.

“Dr. Davison stands for integrity, teamwork, good sportsmanship, hard work, grit, and humility,” says Garner. “She champions our best and brightest by guiding them through scholarship and fellowship applications. She mentors students from the top of the roster to the bottom, as she values all student-athletes’ efforts, not just the All-Americans. There is no one on our campus whose respect the athletics team values more than hers. We are so pleased that she won.”

Another highlight of Davison’s win is the recognition of her work surrounding student-athlete mental health. The official nomination alluded to Davison’s support of student-athletes who wanted to create a more extensive and widespread focus on mental health challenges in collegiate athletics. According to one former student, “[Davison] was there every step of the way, often sending me useful articles and information to enhance my understanding of the issues.”

The committee recognized that Davison doesn’t only support Tars on and off the field, but that her encouragement and mentorship often extends to members of other teams within the NCAA Division II network. The committee praised Davison for “living the NCAA Division II core values of learning, passion, service, resourcefulness, sportsmanship, and balance.”

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