The Whole FAM Damily

Coaches, professors, kick off mentor program

Compiled by Staff

In what coaches, professors, and administrators hope will be a program that bolsters student-athlete success here, the FAM program kicked off March 28 with a lunch and introduction to the program in the Blue Ridge Mountain Room.

FAM is short for Faculty-Athletic Mentor and is designed to bridge the gap between the faculty and athletics communities.

“The goal is to have a faculty member assigned to every sports team to act as an advocate for student athletes,” said Head Football Coach Cleive Adams.

Adams has designed the program with the help of Katie Goff, Faculty Council Chair.

“I think the FAM is a great idea because athletics are such a huge part of our student lives, and we need to partner with athletics to combine our efforts together toward student success,” Goff said. “Without this program, we’re duplicating some efforts, and there’s also not as great communication as I think this program will facilitate, and communication between coaches and faculty can be nothing but productive for our student-athletes’ development.”

Business Professor Andy Shome is one of the faculty who signed on to the program.

“I think if there was a mentor in my teenage years, helping me find a path that was more suitable for me, instead

of telling me how limited my skills were, I could have done much better,” said Shome, “I would like to help my students find a fit between their skills and the market demand, instead of judging them.”

That type of involvement is exactly what Adams is after.

“In my history on any college campus I’ve been associated with, community has always been important,” Adams said. “Obviously, Ferrum being my alma mater, it’s even more important and personal to me. As we progress through the COVID era, I believe it is absolutely critical that we as a community don’t drag our feet to get things back to normal and create that personal touch that Ferrum was built on.”

Adams went on to say that thus far, 23 faculty have signed on for the program, and all teams have at least one FAM member.

“The success of this program will be our ability to keep the program fresh
on everyone’s minds,” he said. “Shared responsibility between the head coaches and the FAM representative is critical.”

Adams is optimistic for its success.

“My philosophy from Day 1 has been to celebrate who we are and help brand our community in a way that everyone is proud and excited about their connection with this institution,” he said. “By pulling our campus together and work- ing together, we can all begin to speak the same language.”