Joan Hopkins Earns Distinguished Service Award From N4A

UMass Associate Athletic Director of Academic Support Services Joan Hopkins was recently name the National Association of Academic Advisors For Athletics (N4A) Distinguished Service award winner as announced by the organization. Hopkins was presented the award at the N4A Convention in Dallas, Texas.

Hopkins oversees the entire Academic Support Services unit, the academic progress of UMass' 500-plus student-athletes as well as six full-time staff members.

The Distinguished Service Award is given to members who contribute above and beyond the normal service required by positions of leadership.

N4A President Gerald Gurney referenced Hopkins in his latest online address:

"Thanks to the tireless work of Joan Hopkins and Jim Pignataro, our individual certification program is up and running with great vigor. Academic support professionals are now able to attain an N4A academic advising credential through the successful completion of an online qualifying examination or completion of CEUs. Renewal of certification ... ensures an ongoing commitment to professional development."

She is the second recipient of the award to represent UMass as former director Mike Jenkins won the award in 2002. UMass is one of just four schools (UNLV, Penn State, N.C. State) to have multiple Distinguished Service honorees.

Hopkins spent 20 years prior to UMass, at Eastern Kentucky University as the Coordinator of the Bratzke Student-Athlete Academic Success Center. The Center oversaw all academic support programs for EKU's 350 student-athletes, resulting in a top-50 rating for the NCAA's Academic Progress Rate. The Academic Center was also honored eight times as the top program in the Ohio Valley Conference and was the runner-up eight additional times. She has served as an executive board member of the National Association of Academic Advisors for Athletics (N4A) and currently is Co-Chair of N4A's Program Certification task force.