Nez becomes Bear Athletics’ full-time Student Success Coach
University of Oklahoma alum brings decade of PC experience to athletic department
Phoenix, Arizona – October 1, 2013 -- Phoenix College is proud to announce that Jennifer Nez has been hired as the school’s full-time athletic student success coach. The announcement furthers the college’s ongoing commitment to the emphasis on success in the classroom for its more than 200 student-athletes. Nez becomes the first full-time academic success coach for the student-athlete contingent on campus.
For Nez, today isn’t the start of a brand-new direction. Instead, it’s the expansion of duties that she has been fulfilling since the beginning of the calendar year. Nez is actually beginning her second decade as an employee of Phoenix College, having arrived on campus in the spring of 2003 as an administrative secretary in the school’s financial aid office. After spending two years in that office, though, her background in Student Life at the University of Oklahoma (spending a total of five years as an OU Student Recruiter, as a staff member in the OU Center for Student Life, and as a coordinator in the OU McNair Scholars Program) came back to the forefront when she shifted gears to join PC’s Office of Recruitment and Retention in the summer of 2005. Nez spent the next six years working with students and staff alike with Maricopa Grants and international student financial aid as well as creating visual ways to help students learn how to check their financial aid status.
That desire of Nez to make things easier scholastically for students is what caught the eye of PC Athletic Director Samantha Ezell when Ezell helped put the building blocks in place for the SASS (Student-Athlete Scholastic Success) Program while Nez was moving over to be PC’s Student Service Specialist/Admissions & Registration Services Representative in December of 2011. After getting the wheels turning to get a building specifically for student-athletes to have mandatory study halls (known as the C.A.V.E. (Center for Athletic Victory and Education)); and developing a Q-Code reader to quickly direct student-athletes to a one-stop academic success web page; Ezell knew that having a full-time person to oversee many of the facets of the SASS Program would be crucial to the success of the student-athletes.
Nez first became a component of that vision in January when she added ‘part-time athletic academic success coach’ to her duties. Nez was an integral part of the department initiating team-specific scholarship workshops and the first-ever Social Media Seminar. Finally, the full-time position was formed late this summer, and Nez outlasted the list of other finalists. Beginning this week, Nez will work full-time with the athletics department to monitor retention and student-athlete success in the classroom; working one-on-one with students, coaches, instructors, tutors and staff to implement strategies that will help student-athletes get their two-year degrees; and provide student-athletes with the tools to learn how to be self-sufficient in their academic success. “This is such a crucial program for the overall success of our program, and very few understand that better than Jenn does,” said Bears’ Athletic Director Samantha Ezell. “Jenn has shown a great passion towards SASS, and she will do a great job enhancing the time and effort that our coaches, staff and student-athletes already put towards it. She’s a great addition to our Bears’ Athletic Family, and we’re so happy to welcome her aboard full-time.”